Helsinki, Jan 16 (IANS) Patients with a schizophrenia spectrum disorder have an increased risk of Parkinson's disease later in life.The study indicates that the increased risk may be due to alterations in the brain's dopamine system caused by dopamine receptor antagonists or neurobiological effects of schizophrenia."According to our results, a previously diagnosed psychotic disorder or schizophrenia may be one factor that increases the risk of Parkinson's disease later in life," said researcher Tomi Kuusimäki from the University of Turku in Finland.For the study, published in the journal Movement Disorders, the researchers examined the occurrences of previously diagnosed psychotic disorders and schizophrenia in over 25,000 Finnish Parkinson's disease patients treated between 1996 and 2019.In the study, patients with Parkinson's disease were noted to have previously diagnosed psychotic disorders and schizophrenia more often than the control patients of the same age not diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.Parkinson's disease is currently the most rapidly increasing neurological disorder in the world. It is a neurodegenerative disorder that is most common in patients over 60 years of age. The cardinal motor symptoms include shaking, stiffness and slowness of movement.In Parkinson's disease, the neurons located in the substantia nigra in the midbrain slowly degenerate, which leads to deficiency in a neurotransmitter called dopamine. As for schizophrenia, the dopamine level increases in some parts of the brain. In addition, the pharmacotherapies used in the primary treatment of Parkinson's disease and schizophrenia appear to have contrasting mechanisms of action. Parkinson's disease symptoms can be alleviated with dopamine receptor agonists, whereas schizophrenia is commonly treated with dopamine receptor antagonists.--IANSvc/in
New York, June 28 (IANS) Researchers have developed tools to improve the analysis of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data which may pave the way for improving schizophrenia treatment.The image analysis method developed by the researchers at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) in the US is called independent vector analysis (IVA) for common subspace extraction (CS).Through this method, they were able to categorise subgroups of functional MRI data based solely on brain activity, proving that there is a connection between brain activity and certain mental illnesses, said the study published in the journal NeuroImage.In particular, they were able to identify subgroups of schizophrenia patients using the functional MRI data that they analysed.Previously, there was not a clear way to group schizophrenia in patients based on brain imaging alone, but the methods developed by UMBC researchers showed that there is a significant connection between a patient's brain activity and their diagnoses."The most exciting part is that we found out the identified subgroups possess clinical significance by looking at their diagnostic symptoms," explained Qunfang Long, a Ph.D. candidate at UMBC."This finding encouraged us to put more effort into the study of subtypes of patients with schizophrenia using neuroimaging data."Their work can assist in diagnosis and treatment of patients with mental illnesses that can be difficult to identify.It can also show medical practitioners whether the current treatments have or have not been working based on image groupings."Now that data-driven methods have gained popularity, a big challenge has been capturing the variability for each subject while simultaneously performing analysis on fMRI datasets from a large number of subjects," said Tulay Adali, Professor at UMBC. "Now we can perform this analysis effectively, and can identify meaningful groupings of subjects," Adali said. --IANSgb/na
London - Researchers have claimed that women who suffer from psychiatric disorders such as depression, anxiety and schizophrenia following the live birth of their first child are less likely to go on to have more children.
The study, published in the journal Human Reproduction, found that 69 per cent of women who experienced postpartum psychiatric disorders within the first six months after the birth of their first baby went on to have further children.
This contrasts with 82 per cent of mothers who did not experience psychiatric problems.
"We wanted to explore whether women with postpartum psychiatric disorders had a reduced possibility of having a second child. Furthermore, we considered whether a reduction in the live birth rate was due to personal choices or decreased fertility, as these are important issues to consider," said study lead author Xiaoqin Liu from Aarhus University in Denmark.
For the findings, the research team analysed data from Danish registries for 414,571 women who had their first live birth between 1997 and 2015 in Denmark.
They followed the women for a maximum of 19.5 years until the next live birth, emigration, death, their 45th birthday or June 2016, whichever occurred first.
They identified women with postpartum psychiatric disorders by seeing if they were given prescriptions for psychotropic medications or had hospital contact for psychiatric disorders during the first six months after the live birth of their first child.
A total of 4,327 (one per cent) of women experienced psychiatric disorders following the birth of their first child, according to the study.
These women were a third less likely to have a second live birth compared to women who did not experience psychiatric disorders.
If the first child died, the difference in subsequent live birth rates disappeared.
However, if the psychiatric problem required hospitalisation, the likelihood of a woman having a second child nearly halved and this remained the case irrespective of whether the first child survived or not.
"Although fewer women with postpartum psychiatric disorders had subsequent children, it is noteworthy that about 69 per cent of these women still chose to have a second child," Dr Liu said.
"For the remaining 31 per cent of women, we need to differentiate the reasons why they did not have another child. If they avoided another pregnancy due to fear of relapse, an important clinical message to them is that prevention of relapse is possible," Liu added.
The researchers said that other possible explanations for the reduction in the subsequent live birth rate may be that women with postpartum psychiatric disorders are less able to conceive or have more problematic relationships with partners. (IANS)