Psychiatric illnesses are an inexhaustible source of scientific research. So poorly understood, sometimes known but difficult to recognize, they can be very dangerous for the patient, but also for the people around him. Such is the case with this disease called schizophrenia!
This psychiatric condition causes very different symptoms, but the most common ones are delusions and hallucinations. Social withdrawal and cognitive difficulties are also symptoms of this disease. Japanese researchers explain in one study that they discovered that people with schizophrenia had neurons that were not the same thickness as others. Maybe hope for the detection of this disease?
According to INSERM, 600,000 people are affected by schizophrenia in France. Pharmacological and psychosocial treatment now enables permanent remission. However, researchers want to be able to detect this disease as early as possible in order to limit the consequences. And if the disease is prevented from becoming serious, it can put the patient or those around him at risk.
Hope in research?
A study conducted by researchers at Tokai University in Japan used two different X-ray microscopy technologies. In Japan it is an SPring-8 light source installation. In the USA it is the Advanced Photon Source (APS) of the US Department of Energy.
These two technologies make it possible to accelerate the particles along a curved trajectory (synchroton). This makes it possible to reject short wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation in the X-ray part of the spectrum.
Using x-rays on small objects like neurons helps capture every detail of the neuron. By capturing these brain cells, researchers have found evidence that schizophrenic neurons can vary in thickness and curvature.
This study could therefore explain some of the symptoms of the disease. Photo credit: Shutterstock / Photographee.eu
This could therefore explain some of the symptoms of the disease. Be careful, however, the research was conducted on a very small number of donors. This does not yet show that these nerve cells explain the neurological state.
By harvesting nerve cells from 4 deceased schizophrenic patients and 4 deceased but unaffected patients, the researchers were able to conduct this study. If this does not provide a solution for the treatment of schizophrenia at the moment, it will at least allow a serious avenue to be found for further research.
This study, using X-rays, would show that the thickness and outward curvature of cells are thicker in schizophrenics than in unaffected patients. These variations could therefore affect the transmission of these neurons and cause hallucinations or delusions that are characteristic of schizophrenia. If this disease is detected as early as possible, its impact on the patient’s future life can be wiped out … A real hope for all patients?