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Psychosis Symptoms Associated With Impaired Information Spread in the Brain

by Iswarya on November 24, 2020 at 2:18 AM
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Psychosis Symptoms Associated With Impaired Information Spread in the Brain

Altered white matter restricts the brain's conscious access to information, potentially contributing to delusions and other psychotic symptoms, according to new study. The findings of the study are published in the journal JNeurosci.

Our brain is always active, but we are not always aware of it. The accepted theory regards you do not become consciously aware or informed of something until non-conscious brain activity in sensory areas spreads to a bigger network of neurons all over the brain by long-distance white matter tracts.

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Dysfunction in these tracts can explain the delusions characteristic of psychiatric disorders like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

Berkovitch et al. used MRI to differentiate the white matter structure and consciousness threshold of healthy adults, schizophrenia patients, and bipolar disorder patients with and without psychotic symptoms.
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The person's consciousness threshold corresponds to how long a visual stimulus must be displayed on a screen to be broadcasted across the brain and become conscious - the shorter it is, the better the conscious access. The Thresholds were significantly higher in patients with psychosis compared to those without psychosis.

Across all participants, lower thresholds correlated with greater white matter connectivity in long-distance tracts. These results suggest altered white matter connectivity does not induce psychosis directly but may affect the consciousness threshold.

Source: Medindia
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