Serial MRI cracks mystery of schizophrenia's origins

March 1, 2007

Scottish researchers have opened a way to an accurate predictive test that might help prevent the onset of schizophrenia.

Scottish researchers have opened a way to an accurate predictive test that might help prevent the onset of schizophrenia.

For 10 years, Dr. Dominic E. Job and colleagues at the University of Edinburgh followed 200 young people who were at high risk of developing schizophrenia because two or more family members had already been diagnosed with the illness (BMC Med 2006;4:29).

The investigators analyzed MR scans from 65 of them taken over an interval of about 18 months. Their findings suggest that looking at changes in brain structure, particularly in gray matter in the temporal lobes, over time could help doctors predict whether a person who has a family history of schizophrenia will go on to develop the illness.