Neural Structures and Schizophrenia

Professor David Lewis discusses how the diversity of symptoms in schizophrenia is reflected in the diversity of genetic and neural causes of the disorder.

Schizophrenia has a variety of symptoms and signs associated with it. These include delusions and hallucinations, impairments in motivation and emotional expression, and difficulties in a number of areas of thinking and attention and certain forms of memory. That diversity of symptoms clearly suggests that there are multiple regions of the brain, and multiple connections or circuits formed by these regions that are disturbed in schizophrenia. One of the most studied areas is the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, basically the part of the brain that’s directly beneath my hand now, and that part of the brain seems to be involved in executive processes and in a certain function called working memory - the ability to transiently keep in mind a bit of information and manipulate it in order to guide behavior. A major area of study in schizophrenia right now is deciphering the specific components, the molecules, cells, connections between cells called synapses, and the larger circuits that are present in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex that underlie this disturbance in working memory.

schizophrenia, schizophrenic brain, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, DLPFC, neural circuits, hippocampus, working memory, striatum, neural structures, executive processes, david lewis

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