The former MRI/structural schizophrenia study has, based on suggestion from the International Scientific Advisory Board, been replaced with a study that fits better into the neurovascular research theme. Accordingly, the study “Structural alterations in schizophrenia: Stability over time and relation to functional deficits” has in 2007 been replaced with the new study: Source localization of sensorimotor gating: a combined fMRI and EEG study.
Schizophrenia is a sever, complex brain disorder with partly unknown pathogenetic mechanisms and insufficient treatment methods. The direct costs for schizophrenia are of a similar order of magnitude to ischemic heart disease. It is of utmost importance to characterize pathogenetic and pathophysiological mechanisms involved in schizophrenia in order to develop more effective prevention and treatment strategies. Clinically schizophrenia is characterized by psychotic symptoms as well as disturbances in information processing. The disturbances in information processing are believed to make up the (genetically determined) vulnerability for development of psychotic symptoms and some of these disturbances are the, until now, best validated candidate endophenotypes for the disease. Recent research has shown that these disturbances are more significant for outcome than the psychotic symptoms as such. The schizophrenia study related to the LUCENS centre will contribute with significant knowledge with regard to the pathogenetic and pathophysiological mechanisms involved in neurovascular signalling in schizophrenia by use of a unique combination of fMRI and EEG source localization approach. All preliminary trials in the psychophysiological laboratory have been carried out and a pilot trial in the fMRI machine has shown very promising results.