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Molecular Imaging Pinpoints Inflammation In The Brains Of Schizophrenics And Migraine Sufferers

Inflammatory response of brain cells - as indicated by a molecular imaging technique - could tell researchers more about why certain neurologic disorders, such as migraine headaches and psychosis in schizophrenic patients, occur and provide insight into how to best treat them, according to two studies published in the November issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine. By using positron emission tomography (PET) - a noninvasive molecular imaging technique - researchers were to able to identify neuroinflammation, which is marked by activated microglia cells (brain cells that are responsive to injury or infection of brain tissue) in patients with schizophrenia and in animal models with migraines.

World's Leading Experts In Schizophrenia To Meet At 26th Annual Pittsburgh Schizophrenia Conference Nov. 13

Internationally renowned experts in schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders, researchers and clinicians, patients and their families and friends will gather in Pittsburgh to discuss the latest in research and clinical advances at the 26th Annual Pittsburgh Schizophrenia Conference to be held Friday, Nov. 13, at the Sheraton Station Square, Pittsburgh. With more than 400 attendees expected this year, the conference is the nation's longest-running scientific meeting devoted to exploring the latest research findings related to schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. Schizophrenia is a chronic severe and disabling brain disorder that affects 3.

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Study Links Evolution Of Single Gene To Human Capacity For Language

If humans are genetically related to chimps, why did our brains develop the innate ability for language and speech while theirs did not? Scientists suspect that part of the answer to the mystery lies in a gene called FOXP2. When mutated, FOXP2 can disrupt speech and language in humans. Now, a UCLA/Emory study reveals major differences between how the human and chimp versions of FOXP2 work, perhaps explaining why language is unique to humans. Published Nov. 11 in the online edition of the journal Nature, the findings provide insight into the evolution of the human brain and may point to possible drug targets for human disorders characterized by speech disruption, such as autism and schizophrenia.

Major Schizophrenia Study Finds Striking Similarities Across 37 Countries In Six Regions

An international study of more than 17, 000 people with schizophrenia has found striking similarities in symptoms, medication, employment and sexual problems, despite the fact that it covered a diverse range of patients and healthcare systems in 37 different countries. The research, published in the November issue of IJCP, provides a valuable international profile of the mental health disorder, which is estimated to affect as many as one in every 250 people at some point in their lives. Schizophrenia is the fifth leading cause of years lost through disability in men and the sixth leading cause in women. "The Worldwide-Schizophrenia Outpatient Health Outcomes study (W-SOHO) was a three-year observational study designed to assess costs and outcomes in outpatients using antipsychotics" says lead author Dr Jamie Karagianis from Eli Lilly Canada Inc.

How The Brain Gets Wired

In a new study, researchers at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital (The Neuro), McGill University have found an important mechanism involved in setting up the vast communications network of connections in the brain. A signaling pathway involving interactions between a schizophrenia-linked gene product, Calcineurin, and a transcription factor known as Nuclear Factor in Activated T-cells (NFAT) contributes to the connectivity at nerve cell (neuron) junctions or synapses and affects the extent of nerve cell projections or dendritic branches, in the visual system. The results of this study, published in the journal Neuron, may bring hope to adults suffering from brain injuries and offer the possibility of early diagnosis, treatments and therapies for schizophrenia, autism or other developmental disorders where abnormal neurological wiring is thought to occur early in life.

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Rats' Mental 'Instant Replay' Drives Next Moves

Researchers at MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory have found that rats use a mental instant replay of their actions to help them decide what to do next, shedding new light on how animals and humans learn and remember. The work will appear in the Aug. 27 issue of the journal Neuron. "By understanding how thoughts and memories are structured, we can gain insight into how they might be disrupted in diseases and disorders of memory and thought such as Alzheimer's and schizophrenia, " said study author Matthew A. Wilson, the Sherman Fairchild Professor of Neuroscience at the Picower Institute. "This understanding may lead to new methods of diagnosis and treatment.

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