Altered brain receptors linked with schizophrenia

October 29th, 2008 - 5:43 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Oct 29 (IANS) Altered brain receptors are linked with schizophrenia, one of the commonest of mental disorders, according to a new research.The brain is capable of producing different types of oscillations or electrical wave patterns. A Newcastle University team has identified a difference in one particular type - termed a gamma frequency oscillation - linked with schizophrenia.

They now want to investigate whether optimising the function of the receptors, which are already known to be involved with memories, could lead to a new way of treating the mental illness, according to a Newcastle release.

Schizophrenia is one of commonest mental health conditions and can cause a range of different psychological symptoms, including hallucinations and delusions.

One in 100 people will experience at least one episode of acute schizophrenia during their lifetime and it affects men and women equally. While its exact cause is unknown, most experts believe that the condition is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

Mark Cunningham, who led the research at Newcastle said: “We have shown that by selectively targeting receptors we can modify the dynamics of the brain… This could open a new route for the design of drugs and a better understanding of how existing drugs work.”

The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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