MRI Scans Show Brain Changes in Kids With
WEDNESDAY, Jan. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Children who are diagnosed
with schizophrenia or a number of other psychoses go on to
experience a progressively greater than normal loss of gray matter
in the frontal lobe region of the brain, new research suggests.
These adolescents also experience an above-average spike in the
amount of so-called "cerebrospinal fluid" found in the same
location, according to a report published in the January issue of
Archives of General Psychiatry.
In turn, children who experience these brain developments appear
to face an increased risk for longer hospitalization, more severe
illness and a poorer overall prognosis, the authors of the study
"We found progression of gray matter volume loss after a two-year follow-up in patients who ended up with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, but not bipolar disease, compared with healthy controls," Dr. Celso Arango, of the Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Maranon in Madrid, Spain, and colleagues said in a journal news release.
"Some of these pathophysiologic processes seem to be markers of poorer prognosis," the researchers added.
The findings stem from an analysis of brain changes detected
using MRI scans taken over a two-year period among 61 patients who
had been diagnosed with a range of different psychoses at one of
six child and adolescent psychiatric facilities in Spain.
In all, brain changes among 25 children diagnosed with
schizophrenia, 16 with bipolar disorder and 20 with a number of
other psychoses were stacked up against the brain status of 70
The result: in addition to the principal findings, the team
further observed that total brain gray matter (as well as gray
matter in the left parietal region of the brain) were notably
different among patients with schizophrenia compared with their
"To develop therapeutic strategies to counteract these pathologic progressive brain changes, future studies should focus on their neurobiological underpinnings," the study authors advised.
For more on adolescent schizophrenia, visit the
American Academy of Child and Adolescent
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