Study gives insight into biology of schizophrenia

Researchers have gained an insight into the biology of schizophrenia and the factors that can increase the risk of developing it.

The study, just published in Nature, has found why some people are more at risk of developing schizophrenia. The risk is tied to a process called synaptic pruning, which involves the brain shedding weak connections between neurons as the brain matures. It is a normal process that occurs in all individuals, however researchers believe it happens differently for people at risk for schizophrenia. “We believe the process may get amplified, or out of control in people with schizophrenia,” says lead researcher Assoc Prof Steven McCarroll.

Prof Cyndi Shannon Weickert spoke with ABC radio program The World Today and says it is an important step forward. It is hoped that this new finding will lead to improved treatment of schizophrenia.

Click here to listen to the full interview (3.38mins)