There may be developmental differences in brain network function in children of parents with schizophrenia. According to an article in the Science Daily, a study provided significant insight into plausible origins of schizophrenia.
The study was led by Vaibhav Diwadkar,Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences and co-director of the Division of Brain Research and Imaging Neuroscience at Wayne State University.
Researchers were interested in studying brain network function associated with emotional processing and the relevance of impaired network function as a potential predictor of schizophrenia.
According to the article, the three-year study utilized fMRI to inspect brain function in individuals aged 8 to 20 as they observed pictures of human faces depicting positive, negative, and neutral emotional expressions. They then applied advanced analyses techniques to fMRI data to investigate how brain regions dynamically communicate with each other.
This investigation demonstrated that children at risk for schizophrenia demonstrated reduced network communication and disordered network responses to emotional faces.
According to Diwadkar, “Brain Network dysfunction associated with emotional processing is a potential predictor for the onset of emotional problems that may occur later in life and that are in turn associated with illnesses like schizophrenia.”
Although the study doesn’t determine who will develop schizophrenia in the future, it acts as a predictor and allows researchers to better understand the behavior.
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