Study Shows Smaller Thalamus in Schizophrenia Patients

LONDON-A British psychiatrist has discovered that the brain's main sensory filter is smaller in people suffering from schizophrenia.

Dr. Tonmoy Sharma of the Institute of Psychiatry used magnetic resonance imaging on 67 people. His findings showed that 38 people in the group who had suffered their first psychosis had a smaller thalamus. The other volunteers were healthy and had normal thalamus size and function.

The thalamus translates neural impulses from various receptors to the cerebral cortex and regulates synaptic transmissions during resting states.

Schizophrenia affects 1 in 100 people worldwide and affects men and women with equal frequency. The neurological disorder is caused by a neurochemical imbalance. Symptoms include delusions, hallucinations, disorganizes speech, and grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior.

The disease is not characterized by "split personalities" as commonly believed. It is a brain disease caused by biochemical changes.

Information from www.houstonchronicle.com, www.surgeongeneral.gov, www.mhsource.com,www.mentalhealth.com

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