Lipid Signature May Flag Schizophrenia

A specific lipid profile can identify patients with schizophrenia, possibly paving the way for the development of the first clinically useful diagnostic test for a severe psychiatric illness, new research suggests. Although such a test remains a long way off, the investigators said, the identification of the unique lipid signature is a critical first step. … Read more

Psychiatric Illnesses Share Common Brain Network

A network of neural connections is linked to six psychiatric disorders: schizophrenia, bipolar disorder (BD), depression, addiction, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and anxiety, new research shows. Investigators used coordinate and lesion network mapping to assess whether there was a shared brain network common to multiple psychiatric disorders. In a meta-analysis of almost 200 studies encompassing more … Read more

Dopamine Dysregulation a Causative Culprit in Schizophrenia?

A genetic postmortem analysis of the brains of patients with schizophrenia suggests a dysfunction of dopamine receptors in the caudate nucleus may cause the disorder. Investigators have identified a mechanism on the dopamine receptor, known as the autoreceptor, which regulates how much dopamine is released from the presynaptic neuron. Impairment of this autoreceptor leads to … Read more

Patients With Schizophrenia Twice as Likely to Develop Dementia?

Patients with psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia are more than twice as likely as those without a psychotic disorder to eventually develop dementia, new research suggests. Results from a review and meta-analysis of almost 13 million total participants from nine countries showed that, across multiple different psychotic disorders, there was a 2.5-fold higher risk of … Read more

Menopause an Independent Risk Factor for Schizophrenia Relapse?

Menopause appears to be an independent risk factor for relapse in women with schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSDs), new research suggests. Investigators studied a cohort of close to 62,000 people with SSDs, stratifying individuals by sex and age, and found that starting between the ages of 45 and 50 years — when the menopausal transition is … Read more

‘Amazing’ Phase 3 Results for Novel Schizophrenia Combo Drug

VIENNA — The investigational agent xanomeline-trospium (KarXT, Karuna Therapeutics) achieves significant and clinically meaningful improvements in schizophrenia symptom scores without causing problematic adverse effects, new research suggests. Results from the phase 3 EMERGENT-2 trial, which included more than 250 patients with schizophrenia, showed that those who received xanomeline-trospium for 5 weeks achieved a significant reduction … Read more

‘U-Shaped’ Relationship Between Bipolar Risk and Parental Age

VIENNA — Individuals born to younger or older parents are at increased risk of developing bipolar disorder, new research suggests. Results from a meta-analysis of more than 210,000 patients with bipolar disorder and over 13 million healthy individuals showed that children of mothers younger than 20 years had a 23% increased risk for bipolar disorder … Read more

Poor Visual Acuity Linked to Depression, Brain Structure Changes

Poor visual acuity, defined as difficulty discerning letters or numbers at a given distance, is associated with depression in middle-aged and older individuals, new research suggests. After multiple adjustments, analysis of data from more than 114,000 participants in the UK Biobank Study showed that visual impairment was linked to a 19% higher risk for depression. … Read more

Commission Calls for Urgent Action to End Mental Illness Stigma

An international commission has developed a roadmap to end stigma and discrimination against people with mental illness by 2030, and calls on a massive response by governments, industry, the media, employers, and others. The Lancet Commission on Ending Stigma and Discrimination in Mental Health recommends aggressive steps to address stigma, which authors say is often … Read more

Gut Microbiota Disruption a Driver of Aggression in Schizophrenia?

Disturbances in the gut may help explain why some patients with schizophrenia are aggressive whereas others are not, new research suggests. However, at least one expert expressed concerns over the study’s conclusions. Results from a study of 50 inpatients with schizophrenia showed significantly higher pro-inflammation, pro-oxidation, and leaky gut biomarkers in those with aggression vs … Read more