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iSGTW Image of the week - Dynamics of cortical change

Image of the week - Dynamics of cortical change


Brain tissue loss over a five-year interval; severe loss is shown in pink. Schizophrenia patients (right) experience more rapid brain tissue loss than their healthy counterparts (left).
Image courtesy of Paul Thompson, Laboratory of Neuro Imaging, University of California

Schizophrenia, a brain disease where sufferers have trouble differentiating the real from the imagined, can be traced as far back as ancient Egyptian papyrus writings that chronicle mental disorders. About one percent of the world's population, across all times and cultures, suffer or have suffered from schizophrenia.

This disease, which is not the same as split- or multiple-personality syndrome, usually begins in late adolescence through to mid-adulthood. As it progresses the brain alters in structure and chemistry as well as function.

Schizophrenia research at the Laboratory of Neuro Imaging at the University of California, Los Angeles, (LONI) seeks to map, measure and visualize changes in the brain as a path to aiding neuroscience.

This image, created with image analysis software developed at LONI, shows progressive gray matter loss in the brains of Schizophrenia patients (right), as compared to normal (and unchanging) brains (left). Colors show the rates of brain tissue loss per year, over a five-year interval.

Mapping brain change can help in drug testing and development, aid early disease detection, and help doctors optimize therapy for their patients.

UCLA LONI are part of Function BIRN, a grid-enabled test bed for Schizophrenia imaging research. Function BIRN is working to build a large, publicly available data repository of imaging studies and clinical data for the neurological research community.

- Danielle Venton, iSGTW

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