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Spanish researchers analyse fundus to diagnose schizophrenia
03 August 2015 @ 10:20

       I have found an interesting news, that I should like to share with you.

     A new technique improves the diagnosis of schizophrenia and its evolution, being able to optimize the search for biomarkers of disease. The new study, analyses, in the fundus,  using optical coherence tomography, the state of the fibers of the retina and optic nerve for early detection of the disease.

        So it is deduced from a pioneering work, published in Psychiatry Research, about the use of optical coherence tomography (OCT for short), for early detection of schizophrenia.

      This new neuroimage technique, known as "window to the brain", allows noninvasively observe the thickening or thinning of the fibers of the retina and optic nerve, which are a true reflection of the state of the central nervous system, in the brain.

      Researchers at the University of Zaragoza, the Health Research Institute of Aragon (Aragon ISS) and the ophthalmology and psychiatry, at the University Hospital Lozano Blesa,   in Zaragoza, just published this development, thanks to the work, developed by a multidisciplinary team of ophthalmologists , psychiatrists, neurologists, psychologists, epidemiologists and statisticians Zaragoza, where experts have also collaborated University Hospital Doce de Octubre, in Madrid.

      In fact, in 2010, this team was the first one to demonstrate this technique, using the thinning of the retinal fibers (which suggests the presence of neurodegeneration, in patients with schizophrenia). Now, studies of this group of researchers have gone a step further.

      Their results confirm those results in a larger sign, formed by a group of patients with schizophrenia and a healthy control group, with similar characteristics of gender and age, and applying the same technique and using multivariate statistical methods, that control for confounding factors.

      For the first time too, this team has documented the change of retinal fibers, as the disease progresses. So, after a recent episode of schizophrenia, findings show a thickening suggestive of neuroinflammation, which would allow much earlier treatment and control, at the onset of disease.

      Conversely, when there is not a recent episode, but it has a time course, retinal fibers show thinning suggesting neurodegeneration, ie that disease is already a fact.

      Thus, this technique can provide important objective data, for diagnosis of schizophrenia, and to track its progress, may become an important contribution to the search for biomarkers of disease, which allow progress in diagnosis, based on objective evidence.

      Schizophrenia is one of the most serious mental illness and a serious problem for patients, families and public health. Its current diagnosis is primarily based on symptoms and clinical manifestations, presented by patients.

      However, the variety of symptoms, just like the overlap, that they can have with other diseases, make very important finding biomarkers, that can facilitate early diagnosis target and consequently, early treatment improves the prognosis of the disease.

      Well, I hope that you think this news a interesting, such as I do.

      Until my next post, kind regards,


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