This article introduces the reader to how neuroscience has helped to view schizophrenia within the brain, it also starts to introduce the problem that manifest illness occurs long after the actual onset of schizophrenia. When symptoms become diagnosable it is often too late to treat the disorder. Next, methods of detection are listed, starting with imaging, then neural circuitry (microcircuits), functional aspects (related to cognition and memory consolidation), and finally connectivity. The paper then suggests that finding ways to view genetics is a potential way to detect the early onset of schizophrenia or at least identify risk factors associated with the onset of schizophrenia. Also, viewing the genetics and brains of those who have not yet been diagnosed but have risk factors may be more useful in creating medicines and therapies to deter onset.
For example, looking at hippocampal volume in family members or early disconnectivity. I found it intriguing that disconnectivity was a large factor (especially in early adolescence before myelinization occurs for long range tracks) and was curious as to how that occurs. Especially when disconnectivity in auditory functioning was noted, I’ve always been interested in how auditory and visual hallucinations occur. How do these neurons misfire to create dysfunctional neuronal architecture? Is that architecture always permanent past adolescence? I also wonder what this means for childhood onset of schizophrenia and if that means it is genetics or environment based. The text says that the hallucinatory and delusional effects are possibly caused by dysregulation of dopaminergic signalling in the midbrain (and hyper-mentalizing). The article also implies that disconnectivity occurs because of aberrant oscillations which, to me, seemed to be like being on the right or wrong frequency of sound. I want to know what oscillations are exactly and also what phase locking is and how that occurs.
Another thing that I would like to learn more about is the effect of living in urban vs rural areas and how that effects the brain, the article briefly notes that urban areas may cause environmental-gene interactions that relate to schizophrenia. It would make sense to me that urban areas which cause stress would be a large factor in the onset of the disorder, especially for those who have low socioeconomic status (and are more prone to disease in general).
I appreciate the explanation that some findings were inconclusive. For example, in rewards and salience where ventral striatal responses to reward were found in several but not all studies. I feel like this demonstrated an unbiased report instead of cherry-picking results and trying to make a completely conclusive statement. The internet analogy was also helpful because it helped to educate the reader about the limitations of brain imaging through circuitry. The analogy was about how the internet works in computers, seemingly small information is translated into complex media and that this may also be the case with the brain’s signalling.
Overall, I felt that this article gave a very in depth view of the current neural findings for schizophrenia. The article also proposed ideas for useful further research like genetics in order to determine risk factors. I thought the article was interesting but I would like to learn more so that I can more accurately decode this article in the future.