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Mexican researchers seeking new treatments for schizophrenia
Neurons - Photo: File Photo/EL UNIVERSAL

Mexican researchers seeking new treatments for schizophrenia

30/12/2018
16:42
Notimex
Mexico City
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This disease affects over 20 million people worldwide and is characterized by altering the personality, creating hallucinations and loss of control

Psychotic crisis suffered by schizophrenics damage their cognitive abilities in the long term, so researchers at the IPN, are trying to better understand this condition and find new treatments.

This disease affects over 20 million people worldwide and is characterized by altering the personality, creating hallucinations and loss of control. When a psychotic crisis occurs, thoughts and perceptions are distorted, self-awareness and the patient's language become incoherent and they have hallucinations and delusions.

The study focuses on the thalamus, the predominant structure with electrical activity on those who suffer from schizophrenia; this is formed by several nuclei, which receive sensory information that comes from the sense organs and forwards it to the corresponding cortical regions for transformation.

Enrique Querejeta Villagómez, head of the research project carried out at the School of Medicine (ESM), explained that "the brain of these patients has thick structural alterations: the prefrontal cortex is thinner, several nuclei of the thalamus are small and due to the reduction of the neuronal population in several regions, the cerebral ventricles are large."

The production of spindle waves, which originate in the reticular nucleus of the thalamus, have a strong dependence on the pale globe, a small structure located at the base of the brain because its destruction causes its alteration in the same reticular nucleus in the thalamus, he explained in a statement.

The scientist explained that in people with schizophrenia, the size of the pale globe is smaller and that anti-psychotics make it even smaller. In his study, he sought to demonstrate the control the pale globe has in the nRT, by recording the electrical activity of nRT neurons in live rodents.

The study showed that the neurons of the pale globe were activated and inhibited by the local administration of chemical substances; therefore, if a neurotoxin is applied, the pale balloon is destroyed in rodents, and this allows detecting different populations of neurons in the reticular nucleus of the thalamus (nRT), according to changes in its electric activity.
 

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