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Certain Types Of Schizophrenia Linked With Brain's Structural Characteristics

Update Date: Feb 01, 2016 10:45 AM EST

Researchers from the University of Granada show with the help of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI that symptoms of schizophrenia are linked with unique anatomical features of the brain. They show that various kinds of schizophrenia begin with different subgroups of brain structures. Their findings can help in diagnosing and treating mental disease.

With the use of diffusion tensor imaging, which is a kind of MRI technique, the team worked on 36 health participants and 47 with schizophrenia. The team showed that the schizophrenic group have some abnormalities in regions of their corpus callosum. This is a group of neural fibers linking both the brain's hemispheres. It is important to allow communication between the two.

Some symptoms of schizophrenia were linked with some traits in the brain scans of the patients. Those who showed "odd, disorganized behavior" seemed to be having some features in one part of the corpus callosum, while other areas were linked with exhibiting hallucinations, and disorganized thought and speech.

"The current study provides further evidence that schizophrenia is a heterogeneous group of disorders, as opposed to a single illness, as was previously thought to be the case," Igor Zwir, who headed the research, said in a press release.

The team focused on the data gained from the MRI scans and then connected the data to symptoms of schizophrenia.

"To conduct the research, we did not begin by studying individuals who had certain schizophrenic symptoms in order to determine whether they had the corresponding brain anomalies," he explained. "Instead, we first analyzed the data, and that's how we discovered these patterns. This type of information, combined with data on the genetics of schizophrenia, will someday be of vital importance in helping doctors treat the disorders in a more precise and effective way."

The findings were published in the Oct. 15, 2015, issue of NeuroImage.

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