MRIs of schizophrenia patients reveal an amazing process by which the brain self-repairs.
A team of scientists has used Magnetic Resonance Imaging, or MRI technology, to uncover a fascinating truth about people suffering from schizophrenia and the way their brain reacts to the disease. According to a report from UPI, the findings could provide new hope for patients suffering from the condition.
Researchers from the United Kingdom and China showed that the brain might have the ability to self-repair in certain instances, particularly with respect to mental illness. The study examined 98 patients with schizophrenia and 83 without the condition. Using MRI scans and a method called “covariance analysis,” researchers proved that the brain had the ability to reverse the effects of the disease. The team says the discovery could possibly lead to new cures for schizophrenia.
According to Dr. Lena Palaniyappan, the Medical Director for the Prevention & Early Intervention Program for Psychoses at the London Science Center, “Even the state-of-the-art frontline treatments aim merely for a reduction rather than a reversal of the cognitive and functional deficits caused by the illness. Our results highlight that despite the severity of tissue damage, the brain of a patient with schizophrenia is constantly attempting to reorganize itself, possibly to rescue itself or limit the damage.”
While the repairs that brain tissues made in the study were slow-moving, researchers hope to continue studying the changes in brain tissue over time to gain further insight into just how the processes work.
“These findings are important not only because of their novelty and the rigor of the study, but because they point the way to the development of targeted treatments that potentially could better address some of the core pathology in schizophrenia,” said team member Dr. Jeffrey Reiss of the London health Sciences Centre.
“Brain plasticity and the development of related therapies would contribute to a new optimism in an illness that was 100 years ago described as premature dementia for its seemingly progressive deterioration,” he said.
A press release describing the details of the study further can be found here.