New Eye Movement Tests Predict Schizophrenia.
In a study, researchers created a model that with 98.3 percent accuracy predicted who has schizophrenia from healthy control participants.
Eye movement tests that include gaze-fixation tasks, free-viewing, and smooth pursuit were employed. Individuals with schizophrenia displayed abnormal viewing patterns.
The study was published in Biological Psychiatry.
Lead authors of the study, Dr. Philip Benson and Dr. David St. Clair wonder if the results can be extrapolated to show when the abnormalities are first detectable. If so, they might be able to be used as disease markers for early intervention studies.
Do the eyes have it? Can a person's glare or stare be used to diagnose him in the prodrome?
(New eye movement tests can diagnose schizophrenia, retrieved on November 11, 2012 from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/252123.php)
Also in Biological Psychiatry:
A new study sheds light on the idea that immune and inflammatory mechanisms influence the biology of schizophrenia.
Dr. Mar Fatjo-Vilas and colleagues researched the impact of the interleukin1β gene (IL1β) on brain function alterations linked with schizophrenia.
The study enhances the recent field of 'functional imaging genetics' that could be powerful in the study of schizophrenia since genetic factors and cognitive impairment are hallmarks of the disease.
Interleukins play a role in the immune system and are also involved in a variety of development and functioning processes of the central nervous system. Interleukin-1β levels in the blood are altered in individuals with depression and other neuropsychiatric disorders.
(Inflammation and Cognition in Schizophrenia, retrieved on November 11, 2012 from http://www.elsevier.com . . .)
In lifestyle news:
Exercise improves mental health and cardiovascular fitness in individuals with schizophrenia.
A study of 63 patients with schizophrenia revealed that 1 or 2 hours of exercise therapy per week significantly reduced positive and negative symptoms.
31 patients were randomly assigned to undergo 6 months of exercise therapy, and 32 to receive occupational therapy, with creative and recreational activities such as painting, reading and computer activities.
The exercise group won hands down.
A 30.2 percent reduction in Montgomery Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) was seen compared with a 8.56 percent reduction with occupational therapy.
Not only that, exercise therapy was linked to a 20.7 percent reduction in Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) scores in those with a compliance rate of at least 50 percent.
The researchers suggest future studies could enroll larger numbers of patient with longer follow-up periods to validate their findings.
(Exercise benefits physical, mental health in schizophrenia retrieved on November 11, 2012 from http://www.news-medical.net . . .)