Brains Of Schizophrenics Try To Repair Themselves, Reverse The Effects Of Illness

First Posted: May 30, 2016 05:28 AM EDT

Researchers have discovered through the use of imaging data that the brains of people with schizophrenia attempt to reorganize and fight the illness.

Science Daily reports that the study was printed online in the current issue of Psychology Medicine. It was entitled "Dynamic cerebral reorganization in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia: an MRI-derived cortical thickness study."

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that affects how a person feels, thinks and behaves. It is a mysterious and misunderstood mental illness. Schizophrenics may have lost touch with the reality. Among its symptoms are hallucinations, delusions, thought and movement disorders, reduced feelings of pleasure in everyday life, reduced speaking, poor "executive functioning" and trouble paying attention.

The study involved 98 schizophrenics and compared them to 83 patients without the said disease. The researchers used the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and the covariance analysis to record the amount of brain tissue increase.

Dr. Lena Palaniyappan, the Medical Director at the Prevention & Early Intervention Program for Psychoses (PEPP) at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) said that despite the severity of tissue damage, the brain of people with schizophrenia is perpetually attempting to reorganize itself, possibly to rescue itself or limit the damage. Meanwhile, Dr. Jeffrey Reiss, site chief, psychiatry, LHSC explained that the findings are significant not only because of their novelty and the rigor of the study, yet because they point the way to the development of targeted treatments that possibly could better address some of the core pathologies in schizophrenia.

He further explained that the brain plasticity and the development of related therapies would provide to a new optimism in an illness that was 100 years ago described as premature dementia for its seemingly continuing deterioration. Dr. Paul Links, Chair/Chief, Psychiatry, LHSC said that their findings may lead them to be able to harness the brain's own compensatory changes in the face of this illness and enhance recovery. They were excited that Dr. Palaniyappan will be continuing this significant clinical research in London with his international colleagues.

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