MRI detects early signs of schizophrenia

The anatomical scan, as measured by an MRI technique sensitive to water diffusion in a preclinical rodent model of schizophrenia, shows that in early schizophrenia (vs. normal) inter-hemispheric connections (triangles) are reduced in frontal brain regions (top row) and increased in posterior brain regions (bottom row). (Image by Fahmeed Hyder / Yale University)

Patients with schizophrenia often exhibit early signs of behavioral abnormalities. However, changes in the brain underlying these behavioral signs have not been identified. Applying magnetic resonance scanning techniques that are used in humans, Yale researchers have revealed functional, metabolic, and anatomical abnormalities in a rodent model of early schizophrenia. These imaging and behavioral biomarkers could be used to diagnose and treat schizophrenia early in people, said the scientists. The study, led by visiting assistant professor Gen Kaneko and professor Fahmeed Hyder of the Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, was published early online in Biological Psychiatry.

Read the article in Biological Psychiatry.