Shared brain disruption illustrates similarities between mental illnesses

Share via AddThis
Posted July 4, 2013

A specific brain disruption is present both in individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia and those with bipolar disorder, adding to evidence that many mental illnesses have biological similarities.

The brain activity patterns identified by Yale University researchers and reported online July 3 in the journal Cerebral Cortex may serve as important biomarkers for diagnostic classification of complex psychiatric illnesses.

Using state-of-the-art functional neuroimaging, investigators examined interactions between the thalamus, the central hub through which the majority of neural computations flow, and the rest of the brain. Researchers found communication was altered significantly between the thalamus and other regions of the brain in individuals with schizophrenia and those with bipolar disorder.

“This data provides the first brain-wide evidence that cortical-thalamic pathways are profoundly altered in schizophrenia, and strongly supports the hypothesis that neuropsychiatric conditions with shared symptoms actually exist on a continuum of brain activity,” said Alan Anticevic, assistant professor in psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine and lead author of the study.

The research advances efforts to find new ways to classify mental illnesses based on neurobiological measures as well as observable behavior, a major goal of the National Institute of Mental Health.

“Present findings provide evidence for a robust brain-wide biomarker in schizophrenia that could possibly be used to better understand genetic risk for psychiatric illness,” said David Glahn, associate professor of psychiatry and senior author of the study. Glahn is also affiliated with the Olin Neuropsychiatry Research Center at the Institute of Living.

Source: Yale University

48,907 science & technology articles


Our Articles (see all)

General News

Follow us

Facebook   Twitter   Pinterest   StumbleUpon   Plurk
Google+   Tumblr   Delicious   RSS   Newsletter via Email

Featured Video (see all)

In control skin from the hip (A) and normal-appearing skin from the abdomen (B), elastic fibers responsible

for skin elasticity are intact, forming an intricate mesh-like network. In stretch marks that have recently

formed during pregnancy (C), elastic fibers are lost and replaced by disorganized, thin fibrils, or “strands,”

that persist without forming a normal elastic network. The middle and bottom panels magnify the identified

areas of the top panels.
Stretch mark science: What happens to your skin when pregnancy gives you a stretch mark?
Don’t believe the hype when you see those creams and ointments promising to prevent or reduce pregnancy stretch…

Featured Image (see all)

Dione Before the Rings
Saturn’s rings are so expansive that they often sneak into Cassini’s pictures of other bodies. Here, they appear…