Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Schizophrenia Research

PNAS, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is well-regarded source. That doesn't make everything it publishes true, but it does provide an entry-level filter in evaluating content.

The neurotransmitter acetylcholine, or rather, its reduction in the prefrontal cortexes of those with schizophrenia, may provide an explanation for the disruption of working memory.
In a new study, researchers at Yale University School of Medicine pinpoint key molecular actions of proteins that allow the creation of mental representations necessary for higher cognition that are genetically altered in schizophrenia.
The creation of mental representations... We have previously discussed this in relation to anosognosia, and the inability to hold a competing narrative in place long enough for it to influence an embedded narrative.

Added bonus: the researchers mention what is increasingly forbidden in mental health: that the prevalence of smoking among schizophrenics is not just weak will and desire for stimulation, but deeply related to the ability to interact with a complicated world in the light of diminished functioning of specific brain areas. As we learn how to mimic the effects of nicotine in the brain, reducing or removing the need for smoking, that knowledge may be allowed to return. But for the moment, the effect on physical health and social ickiness continues to be regarded as the only True Concerns wrt tobacco.


james said...

I wonder if chewing stimulates something similar. I find that concentrating seems to bring on the munchies and a bowl of peanuts helps the calculations. Or maybe I'm kidding myself, but I vaguely recall a report from the last couple of years alleging something like this.

BTW, does this make any sense to you? I find it odd that nobody would have noticed double-walled vessels before.

james said...

And they say it isn't just nicotine: "A mathematician is a machine for turning coffee into theorems." Alfréd Rényi (I'd thought it was Paul Erdős but I guess I was wrong.)

Assistant Village Idiot said...

First I've heard of "glymphatic" anything. We no longer have much of a research component, and we never did that sort anyway, so my ignorance may be expected. We do seem to live in exciting times.