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Imaging Study Links Changes in Function and Structure of the Hippocampus in Early Psychosis
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Brain and Behavior Research Foundation – Posted November 21, 2019

Researchers have added an important piece to the scientific puzzle regarding one of the core features of psychosis. The new evidence is the product of advanced imaging that enables investigators to directly observe brain structure and function in living patients.

The newly published research, which appears in the American Journal of Psychiatry, provides what the researchers term “compelling evidence” that activation of a portion of the brain’s hippocampus "is impaired in early psychosis," and that this activation is directly related to hyperactivity of the region in question, which is called the anterior hippocampus.

The hippocampus is a tiny seahorse-shaped structure that is critical in forming and recalling memories, as well as our ability to orient ourselves and navigate through space. Normal hippocampal function depends upon a balance of excitation and inhibition of the nerve cells that comprise the structure. It has been proposed that an imbalance of these forces has a causal role in the development of schizophrenia—which typically begins with a “first episode” of psychosis, usually in the late teen or early adult years.

Read the full article here.

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