Dynamic cerebral reorganization in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia: An MRI-derived cortical thickness study. Credit: Lena Palaniyappan

Increase in brain’s grey matter proof that brain has ability to rescue itself

A team of scientists from across the globe have shown that the brains of patients with schizophrenia have the capacity to reorganize and fight the illness. This is the first time that imaging data has been used to show that our brains may have the ability to reverse the effects of schizophrenia.

There is an overarching feeling that curing people with a severe mental illness, such as schizophrenia is not possible.

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by abnormal social behavior and failure to understand reality. Common symptoms include false beliefs, unclear or confused thinking, hearing voices, reduced social engagement and emotional expression, and a lack of motivation. People with schizophrenia often have additional mental health problems such as anxiety disorders, major depressive illness or substance use disorder. Symptoms typically come on gradually, begin in young adulthood, and last a long time.

A new study using specialized MRI scans provides evidence that patients with schizophrenia actually possess the ability to reorganize and battle the mental illness . This is the first time that imaging scans have been employed to demonstrate the ability of the brain to actually reverse the devastating effects of schizophrenia.

Although schizophrenia is typically associated with a global reduction in the volume of brain tissue, recent evidence indicates that there is a also a small increase in tissue and volume that can also occur in specific areas of the brain.

The study, “Dynamic cerebral reorganization in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia: a MRI-derived cortical thickness study” was published online in Psychology Medicine.