Wednesday, July 12, 2017

'Little brain' plays a major role in schizophrenia

That is the title of this article I am reviewing today. "In a new study, Norwegian researchers have documented that the cerebellum is among the most affected brain regions in schizophrenia. Compared to healthy individuals, cerebellar volume was smaller in patients with schizophrenia. The study, published in Molecular Psychiatry, is the largest brain imaging study to date on the cerebellum in schizophrenia, with important implications for our understanding of the disorder. Although the cerebellum (latin for "little brain") occupies only about 20% of the human brain, it actually contains about 70% of all its neurons. This brain structure has traditionally been thought of as responsible for body movement and coordination, and has therefore often been ignored in research on the biological basis of psychological functions and mental disorders."I do know the neurons are important. I wonder why this part of the brain was ignored.
The article continues: "'The current study included brain scans from 2300 participants from 14 international sites. The researchers used sophisticated tools that allowed them to analyze both the volume and shape of the brain. Surprisingly, the results showed that the cerebellum is among the brain regions with the strongest and most consistent differences in schizophrenia. On a group level, patients had smaller cerebellar volumes compared with healthy individuals. 'These findings clearly show that the cerebellum plays a major role in schizophrenia,' says lead author Torgeir Moberget.'"Why shrinkage in people with schizophrenia? What all does it affect? Why and what are they finding out now.
The article ends:"'Most mental disorders emerge during childhood and adolescence, and a better understanding of the causes may give better patient care. 'To develop treatments that could reverse or even prevent the disease we need to understand why some people are at risk of developing these serious illnesses in the first place,' says senior author Lars T. Westlye. The large sets of data allowed the researchers to identify very nuanced differences in brain volume in patients when compared with healthy controls. 'It is important to emphasize that the brain differences we see in schizophrenia are generally very subtle. This is one reason why large collaborative studies are so important,' Moberget says. "When we saw the same pattern repeated across many groups of patients and controls from different countries, the findings became much more convincing.'"  I think they have to go deeper because as I have repeated all the time mine did not fully come on in childhood. It came on when I was twenty seven already.  Although in time of stress  like my marriage in came on in ways I did not understand. This illness and mine and my ex-wife lack of communication ended my marriage. I would like to know why and not just look back at my life and say if only.

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