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How can schizophrenia affect your brain?

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People who have schizophrenia may hear voices or see things that aren’t real. Scientists are working to understand what happens in the brains. They’ve found that people who have schizophrenia may be more likely to have glitches in their genes that may disrupt brain development. Also, certain brain chemicals that control thinking, behavior, and emotions are either too active or not active enough in people with schizophrenia. Doctors also believe the brain loses tissue over time. Imaging tools, like PET scans and MRIs, show that people who have schizophrenia have less “gray matter” -- the part of the brain that contains nerve cells -- over time.

SOURCES:

Rubio, M. , published online January 2012. Biomolecules & Therapeutics

National Institute of Mental Health: “Schizophrenia.”

Brisch, R., , published online May 2014. Frontiers in Psychiatry

Vaibhav A. Diwadkar, PhD, associate professor, psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences; co-director, Brain Imaging Research division, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit. 

Columbia University Medical Center: “High Levels of Glutamate in Brain May Kick-Start Schizophrenia,” published online April 2013.

Reviewed by Jennifer Casarella on December 4, 2019

SOURCES:

Rubio, M. , published online January 2012. Biomolecules & Therapeutics

National Institute of Mental Health: “Schizophrenia.”

Brisch, R., , published online May 2014. Frontiers in Psychiatry

Vaibhav A. Diwadkar, PhD, associate professor, psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences; co-director, Brain Imaging Research division, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit. 

Columbia University Medical Center: “High Levels of Glutamate in Brain May Kick-Start Schizophrenia,” published online April 2013.

Reviewed by Jennifer Casarella on December 4, 2019

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What other things could play a role in the development of schizophrenia?

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