Did you know that the brain contains its own set of chemicals that act like chemicals found in cannabis? You may have heard of endorphins (not to be confused with the Australian electronic musician), opiate-like chemicals made by our bodies that help us control pain and feel good after exercise. Well, the body also makes its own cannabis-like chemicals, called endocannabinoids, that help us with everyday functions such as memory and appetite. Continue reading
Why are adolescent males at the highest risk for schizophrenia onset? And what is it about adolescence that makes male brains more vulnerable? Continue reading
In a normal human brain, there is a balance between brain cells which stimulate the brain (excitatory neurons) and brain cells which calm the brain (inhibitory neurons). In the brains of people with schizophrenia, however, this balance is disrupted because the inhibitory neurons are unhealthy. Continue reading
Our new study suggests that we can add schizophrenia to the list of diseases containing an immune system element. As such, this provides a new set of targets for therapeutic interventions in schizophrenia, which in combination with previous treatments can help alleviate the burden of this disease. You can read the paper here, and the media release here. Continue reading
We are calling for volunteers to take part in a new clinical trial that may help people with schizophrenia.
Many people with schizophrenia have residual symptoms in spite of treatment with antipsychotic medication. Auditory hallucinations (‘hearing voices’) are a symptom that is treatment-resistant in 25 to 30% of patients, and cause distress. Continue reading
In addition to the ‘classic’ symptoms of psychosis which include delusions and hallucinations, people with schizophrenia often have problems with ‘executive functions’. This is a cognitive system that resides predominantly in the frontal lobes and regulates other cognitive processes. It is typically invoked when automatic processes need to be overruled to produce appropriate goal-directed behaviour. Another domain that is often affected in schizophrenia is emotional processing. Continue reading