AI Can Pinpoint Where Psychosis Originates In The Brain

AI Can Pinpoint Where Psychosis Originates In The Brain
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Experts are moving a step closer to understanding the basis of hallucinations and delusions that characterize schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Check out the latest reports about this below.

Where psychosis originates in the brain

Recent brain scans of individuals with psychosis may provide evidence in support of a long-standing theory regarding the reasons behind such sudden breaks from reality. According to the theory, during psychosis, the brain networks that are responsible for directing a person’s attention undergo a malfunction.

As a result, individuals may experience hallucinations, or senses of events that are not actually taking place, and delusions, which are unshakeable false beliefs.

Psychosis is a characteristic of severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, but the symptoms of psychosis exist on a continuum and may also occur in isolation from any recognized mental illness.

Scientists have been struggling for a long time to understand the exact details of what happens in the brain that leads to psychosis. One of the reasons for this is that the study of psychosis is often carried out in individuals who have been taking antipsychotic medications for a prolonged period.

This makes it difficult to differentiate changes in the brain that are related to the disorder from those that are linked to the drugs.

To address this, a new brain-scan study was conducted and published on April 11 in the Molecular Psychiatry journal. The objective of the study was to identify the fundamental mechanisms that contribute to psychosis from an early age. This could potentially help in earlier diagnoses and development of more effective treatments.

“The abnormalities do not start when you are in your 20s; they are evident even when you are 7 or 8,” lead study author Kaustubh Supekar, a clinical associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine, said in a statement.

The team received assistance from colleagues in Computer Science at Stanford and together they developed a new algorithm based on machine learning to analyze fMRI data.

The tool was successful in identifying common patterns in the brain activity of individuals with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome and those with psychosis, whether or not the cause of the psychosis was known.

The algorithm was able to reveal overlapping “signatures” in the brain activity of these individuals, providing valuable insights into the condition.

According to a recent study, individuals with psychosis have unique signatures in their brain’s “salience network.” This network is responsible for shifting our attention between internal thoughts and external stimuli, helping us focus on what’s important.

The study found that two nodes in this network – the anterior insula and the ventral striatum – play a crucial role in psychosis.

The anterior insula filters out unimportant information, while the ventral striatum predicts which information will be most rewarding or significant to us. These findings could help improve our understanding of psychosis and its underlying mechanisms.

Check out more details about the matter in the original article.


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Rada Mateescu

Passionate about freedom, truth, humanity, and subjects from the science and health-related areas, Rada has been blogging for about ten years, and at Health Thoroughfare, she's covering the latest news on these niches.

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