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August 30 2017

Using DNA to predict schizophrenia and autism

Researchers in Japan show in a multi-institute collaboration that a single amino acid substitution in the protein CX3CR1 may act as predictor for schizophrenia and autism.

August 23 2017

Psychotic disorders and obesity: New report shows big waistlines are to blame

A number of factors, including obesity, shorten the lifespan for those with schizophrenia by 20 years and by 10 years for those with bipolar disorder compared to the general population. In the first study to compare long-term weight gain across psychotic disorders, researchers show that expanding waistlines and the way body fat is distributed are largely to blame.

August 16 2017

Roots of schizophrenia: Excess of methionine during pregnancy?

An abundance of an amino acid called methionine, which is common in meat, cheese and beans, may provide new clues to the fetal brain development that can manifest in schizophrenia, pharmacology researchers report.

August 15 2017

Which research results in mice will help humans with MS? Now there's a way to tell

Researchers have developed and successfully tested a method for determining how relevant to the human disease findings are from mouse models.

Weight-gain receptor linked to antipsychotic drugs, report researchers

Many schizophrenic and depressed patients experience weight gain and type 2 diabetes in their quests for the life-changing benefits of a major class of antipsychotic drugs. Now researchers may know why.

August 10 2017

What happens when people hear voices that others don't

People who hear voices -- both with and without a diagnosed psychotic illness -- are more sensitive than other subjects to a 125-year-old experiment designed to induce hallucinations. And the subjects' ability to learn that these hallucinations were not real may help pinpoint those in need of psychiatric treatment, suggests a new study.

August 09 2017

Too near, or too far? What fruit flies teach us about personal space

Until now, little has been understood about the mechanisms that allow us to determine when someone is 'too near' our personal space or too far away. A biologist has found dopamine levels in fruit flies can give us clues into humans' need for personal space.

August 07 2017

How an unlikely cellular 'antenna' can impair brain development

An antenna-like structure on cells, once considered a useless vestige, can cause defects in the brain's wiring similar to what's seen in autism, schizophrenia, and other disorders. In the lab, scientists prevented defects by restoring signaling though these structures called primary cilia.

Increased brain acidity in psychiatric disorders

Decreased brain pH in the patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder has been considered to be the result of secondary factors associated with the diseases, such as medication and agonal state. However, the researchers of the present study suggest that decreased brain pH is a primary feature of the diseases themselves, based on the current findings from systematic investigation using five animal models, which are devoid of such secondary factors.

August 03 2017

Neurons that control brain's body clock identified

Researchers have found that dopamine-producing neurons are connected with the brain's circadian center.

July 27 2017

Lab-created mini-brains reveal how growing organ maintains neuronal balance

Scientists can now explore in a laboratory dish how the human brain develops by creating organoids -- distinct, three-dimensional regions of the brain. Scientists coaxed early stage stem cells to create and fuse two types of organoids from different brain regions to show how the developing brain maintains proper balance of excitatory and inhibitory neurons.

July 26 2017

Body ownership is not impaired in schizophrenia

Schizophrenia patients often experience an altered sense of self, for example, as if someone else is controlling their actions. This impairment is described as a deficit in the “sense of agency”, and while it has been well established and linked to problems with sensorimotor brain signals, another category has been left unexplored: the “sense of body ownership” by which we feel that our bodies belong to ourselves. Using a full-body illusion experiment, EPFL scientists have now determined that body ownership is not affected in schizophrenia.

July 25 2017

Brain stimulation may improve cognitive performance in people with schizophrenia

Brain stimulation could be used to treat cognitive deficits frequently associated with schizophrenia, according to a new study.

July 20 2017

Faulty support cells disrupt communication in brains of people with schizophrenia

New research has identified the culprit behind the wiring problems in the brains of people with schizophrenia. When researchers transplanted human brain cells generated from individuals diagnosed with childhood-onset schizophrenia into mice, the animal's nerve cell networks did not mature properly and the mice exhibited the same anti-social and anxious behaviors seen in people with the disease.

July 12 2017

Trouble remembering details of social interactions seen in all phases of schizophrenia

Episodic memory is the way we remember life events, big and small. Poor episodic memory, a common feature of schizophrenia, limits the ability to form relationships with others, report investigators.

July 11 2017

Erratic time perception in schizophrenia

A meta-analysis investigates time perception and temporal information processing in patients with schizophrenia on the basis of 68 studies from the past 65 years.

June 28 2017

Genomic copy number variants contribute to cognitive impairment in the UK

Genetic alterations of rare deletions or duplications of small DNA segments, called copy number variants (CNVs), have been known to increase risk of neurodevelopmental disorders such as schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorder, and intellectual disability. Now, a new study reports that even in the absence of a disorder, people carrying a CNV associated with these disorders may have impaired cognition.

June 21 2017

'Little brain' plays a major role in schizophrenia

The cerebellum is among the most affected brain regions in schizophrenia, new research has found. Compared to healthy individuals, cerebellar volume was smaller in patients with schizophrenia. The study is the largest brain imaging study to date on the cerebellum in schizophrenia, with important implications for our understanding of the disorder.

June 20 2017

New findings reverse hypothesis of GABA neurodevelopment in schizophrenia

New research by provides an unprecedented level of resolution and insight into disturbances in cortical GABAergic microcircuits, which are thought to underlie cognitive impairments in schizophrenia. The study reveals new detailed understanding about alterations in neurocircuitry that point to abnormal neurodevelopment in the disorder.

June 14 2017

Disappointing outcome of bitopertin treatment for negative symptoms in schizophrenia

Two new phase III clinical trials investigating the efficacy and safety of bitopertin, a glycine uptake inhibitor considered to be a promising new add-on therapy for treating negative symptoms in schizophrenia, failed to show a benefit of the drug over placebo, report scientists.
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