A new study may have just blown the lid off schizophrenia.
Have scientists just made a breakthrough on schizophrenia that could lead to new treatments and possibly even a cure? Some think so.
Scientists from the United Kingdom and China have used Magnetic Resonance Imagine (MRI) to prove that brains can repair themselves, even in cases of schizophrenia that were long thought to be instances of irreversible brain damage, according to a Lawson Health Research Institute statement.
Scientists observed 98 patients with schizophrenia and compared them with 83 that didn’t have the disease, and then they used MRI to compare brain tissue.
Modern treatments seek to reduce rather than reverse the loss of brain tissue, but this study shows that it’s possible for a schizophrenic brain to actually try to reorganize itself, even with severe tissue damage. It’s a huge discovery that could lead to targeted treatments to attack the core causes of schizophrenia, and provides hope to sufferers.
The findings were published in thel Psychology Medicine, and the study is titled “Dynamic cerebral reorganization in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia: a MRI-derived cortical thickness study.”
“These findings are important not only because of their novelty and the rigour of the study, but because they point the way to the development of targeted treatments that potentially could better address some of the core pathology in schizophrenia,” said Dr. Jeffrey Reiss, Site Chief, Psychiatry, LHSC, in the statement. “Brain plasticity and the development of related therapies would contribute to a new optimism in an illness that was 100 years ago described as premature dementia for its seemingly progressive deterioration.”
“Dr. Palaniyappan and his colleagues have opened new avenues of research into our understanding of schizophrenia,” added Dr. Paul Links, Chair/Chief, Psychiatry, LHSC. “Their findings may lead us to be able to harness the brain’s own compensatory changes in the face of this illness and improve recovery. We are excited that Dr. Palaniyappan will be continuing this important clinical research here in London with his international colleagues.”