A group of Associate Professor Ryota Hashimoto of Osaka University and Senior Researcher Tetsuya Shimokawa of the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology succeeded in discovering the characteristics found in the brains of schizophrenic patients by imaging brain activity.It may enable objective diagnosis, which was previously difficult.

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that occurs in 100 in 1 people.Hallucinations, delusions, and decreased motivation are observed, and it is said that recurrence and chronicity often occur.Currently, doctors make a diagnosis based on the patient's self-report and symptoms.Therefore, it has been desired to establish a diagnostic method based on objective measurement.Therefore, we focused on a method called fMRI. fMRI can examine brain activity by examining blood flow in the brain.Individual brain activity has been measured so far.First, the state of activity of each part of the brain is measured.Furthermore, by tracing how they work together, we have clarified the state of activity of the entire brain.However, there was no example of analyzing a population such as a patient with mental illness.The variability in brain activity between individuals was so great that it was difficult to find characteristics common to the population.

In this study, we did not analyze the brain activity of each individual, but devised a method to analyze the brain activity of a population of 36 to 37 patients at once.This method does not cause individual variation.By comparing with the brain activity of the healthy subject population measured in the same way, we were able to find a clear difference between the patient population and the healthy subject population.A similar analysis of another patient population revealed the same characteristics as the first group.This suggests that the same characteristics will appear no matter how the patient population is selected.

In the future, we aim to establish an automatic diagnosis system that assists doctors in the actual medical field.Implementation of the effectiveness of these testing methods may lead to the development of diagnostic methods for other symptoms that are difficult to characterize at the individual level.

Source:[National Institute of Information and Communications Technology] Developed a new analysis method for schizophrenia based on network theory

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