Imaging the Schizophrenic Brain
Professor Jeffrey Lieberman discusses how neuorimaging studies are providing fresh insights into brain structures associated with schizophrenia.
The brain is the final frontier of biomedical research and one of the reasons that it is the last organ to be fully investigated is because it lies within the skull and is not really available for examination unless you do something pretty invasive like remove part of the skull. With imaging, such as magnetic resonance imaging scans and PET scans, you can examine the structure and the function of the brain in a way that is not invasive - that does not interfere, disturb, or harm the brain. So that was the critical breakthrough to allow us to examine the brains of people - normal people, and people with mental disorders - without having to cause massive harm in the process.
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Professor Trevor Robbins describes functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) technology, which is used to take detailed images of the functioning brain.
Neuroimaging facilitates the precise mapping of specific brain structures. It is important to remember, however, that specific behaviors or emotions rarely map to specific brain areas.
A review of neuroimaging-related content on Genes to Cognition Online.
Professor Jeffrey Lieberman discusses the serotonin hypothesis of schizophrenia. Drugs such as LSD and ecstasy block serotonin and produce schizophrenia-like symptoms.
Professor Jeffrey Lieberman discusses the dopamine hypothesis, the predominant neurochemical theory of schizophrenia.
Professor Daniel Weinberger describes how neuroimaging techniques are being used to examine the brains of schizophrenic patients.
Dr. Sukhi Shergill discusses difficulties in recruiting schizophrenic patients for fMRI neuroimaging studies.
Professor Jeffrey Lieberman discusses the importance of early treatment for schizophrenia. Early intervention may delay loss of grey matter, which is symptomatic.
Professor Jeffrey Lieberman discusses the glutamate hypothesis of schizophrenia. The drug PCP acts on glutamate receptors, producing schizophrenia-like symptoms.
Professor Wayne Drevets explains how positron emission tomography (PET) is used to examine biochemicals in the brain such as serotonin.