Monday, March 26, 2012

Abnormalities Found in Brains of Children at Risk for Schizophrenia

Children at risk for schizophrenia because of having a parent with the illness have been found to have disordered brain networks, scientists report in the March Archives of General Psychiatry. They examined the brains of children who had a parent with schizophrenia, as well as the brains of children who did not, while the children looked at pictures of human faces. Those with a parent who had schizophrenia were found to have reduced and disordered neural network responses compared with the other children.

"Our results...provide direct evidence of dysfunctional interactions within the corticolimbic network...that may reflect the effects of vulnerabilility genes for schizophrenia...," the scientists concluded. Yet whether the children with the abnormal network responses will eventually develop schizophrenia remains to be determined.

Much more information about the biology and other aspects of schizophrenia can be found in the new book Essentials of Schizophrenia, from American Psychiatric Publishing. Read about other issues involved in schizophrenia risk in Psychiatric News.

(Image: Carla Castagno/


The content of Psychiatric News does not necessarily reflect the views of APA or the editors. Unless so stated, neither Psychiatric News nor APA guarantees, warrants, or endorses information or advertising in this newspaper. Clinical opinions are not peer reviewed and thus should be independently verified.