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MRI investigation of immune dysregulation in schizophrenia

Gangadin, S. S., Nasib, L. G., Sommer, I. E. C. & Mandl, R. C. W., May-2019, In : Current opinion in psychiatry. 32, 3, p. 164-169 6 p.

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Purpose of review

Immune dysregulation has been suggested as a pathophysiological pathway in schizophrenia. MRI could aid in investigating this pathological process in more detail. This review aims to provide an overview of recent MRI findings of immune dysregulation in schizophrenia. In addition, we discuss the potential of more recently developed MRI techniques.

Recent findings

Subtle and indirect signs of immune dysregulation are detected in schizophrenia, particularly in the early stages of the disease. In recently diagnosed schizophrenia patients, findings based on conventional and novel MRI techniques suggest increased glutamate levels and increases in extracellular free water that may be associated with glial activation. As the disease progresses, reductions in white matter, myelin and grey matter seem present, that may point to neurodegeneration.

Summary

These MRI findings support the notion of immune dysregulation in early psychosis, which may result in neurodegeneration in later stages. However, these findings are not unequivocal. Therefore, we recommend multimodal MRI studies to further elucidate the role of different immune-related processes in schizophrenia. Future studies should consider inter-individual variability in immune dysregulation, for example, by focusing on recent-onset psychosis and/or by using stratification based on central or peripheral immune markers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-169
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent opinion in psychiatry
Volume32
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May-2019

    Keywords

  • immune dysregulation, MRI, neuroinflammation, schizophrenia, ANISOTROPIC WATER DIFFUSION, ABNORMALITIES, GLUTAMATE, PSYCHOSIS, MATTER, NEUROINFLAMMATION, SPECTROSCOPY, INFLAMMATION, REVEALS, PATTERN

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