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The Effects of Brain Abnormalities within Schizophrenic Individuals



Type I: Characterized by psychotic espisodes that usually includes delusions (such as "I am a royal king"). Hallucinations such as hearing voices, disordered paranoid thoughts.

Type II:characterized by loss of appropriate emotional response ("flat effect" or inappropriate laughter or crying), abnormal postures (catatonia), and lack of spontaneous speech.


Gray Matter (GM): consists of neuronal cell bodies, synaptic dendritic and axonal extentions, supported by framework glia.

N-Acetylaspartate (NAA): an amino acid thought to be present in neurons, dendritic and axonal extentions, but not in glia.

Gray Matter Heterotopia (GMH):  collection of normal neurons in abnormal locations secondary to arrest of radical migration of neurons.

Brain Abnormalities:  structural abnormalities found within the brain causing schizophrenic symptoms

Studies: often used MRI scans, to have detailed assessment of tissue changes within brain structures.

 Suggested Reasons for Brain Dysmorphology:  There are several suggestions as to why there are recurrent brain strucutures (especially, gray matter deficits) present in schizophrenic patients.

Discussion:  Schizophrenia has a many contributing biological factors to the great amount of disability involved.  Many therapists have tried to identified this disease as an environmental outcome of stress.  Yet, the abnormal brain strucutres found among many studies imply that schizophrenia is indeed a result of biological determinants.  This gives researchers that ability to determine more appropriate treatments for such a devistating disease.
    Unfortunately, very little studies have been aplied to women with schizophrenia. It is important to find relationships with the disease and gender-related brain strucutes, to obtain the optimal pharmecutic therapy. Note that in the meta-analysis study of 40 relevant studies,  there were a total of 1314 patients.  Only 383 were women of these patients! It is essential to have more studies done on schizophrenic patients who are females.

    Lauriello, J., Hoff, A., Wieneke, M. H., Blankfeld, H., Faustman, W. O., Rosenbloom, M., DeMent, S., Sullivan, E. V., Lim, K. O., &  Pfefferbaum, A.  (1997).  Similar extent of brain dysmorphology in severly ill women and men in schizophrenia.  American Journal of Psychiatry, 154, 819-824.
    Lawrie, S. M., & Abukmeil, S.  (1998).  Brain abnormality in schizophrenia.  British Journal of Psychiatry, 172, 110-120.
    Lim, K. O., Adalstiensson, E., Spielman, D., Sullivan, E. V., Rosenbloom, M., &  Pfefferbaum, A.  (1998).  Proton magnetic resonance of cortical gray matter and white matter in schizophrenia.  Archives in General Psychiatry, 55, 346-352.
    Lim, K. O., Suliivan, E. V., Zipusrky, R. B., & Pfefferbaum, A. (1996).  Cortical gray matter volume deficits in schizophrenia: a replication.  Scizophrenia Research, 20, 157-164.
    Lim, K. O., Tew, W., Kushner, M., Chow, K., Matsumoto, B., & De Lisi, L. E.  (1996).  Cortical gray amtter volume deficit in patients with first-episode schizophrenia.  American Journal of Psychiatry,153, 1548-1553.
    Nopoulos, P., Swayze, V., Flaum, M., Andreasen, N. C. (1998).  Incidence of ectopic gray matter in patients with scizophrenia and healthy control subjects studied with MRI.  Journal of Neuropsychiatry, 10, 351-353.
    Sullivan, E. V., Lim, K. O., Manthalon, D., Marsh, L., Beal, D. M., Harris, D., Hoff, A. L., Faustman W. O., & Pfefferbaum, A. (1998).  A profile of cortical gray matter volume deficits characteristic of schizophrenia.  Cerebral Cortex, 8, 117-124.
    Sullivan, E. V., Shear, P. K., Lim, K. O., Zipusrky, R. B., &  Pfefferbaum, A. (1996).  Cognitive and motor impairments are related to gray matter volume deficits in schizophrenia.  Biological Psychiatry, 39, 234-240.
Thank You for Visiting Paty Pelayo's Homepage!
 (Special thanks to Stephanie Gomez for her consideration & help.)


My Favorite Links

NeuroImaging Laboratory
BrainWeb: Online Interface to a 3D MRI Simulated Brain Database
Doctor's Guide to Schizophrenia Information & Resources (Lots of important links)
Progressive Brain Changes Detected in Childhood Onset Schizophrenia
The Schizophrenia Homepage (Several links provided)