Sussex Psychosis Research interest Group (SPRiG)

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Folds in the brain found to be associated with hallucinations among patients with psychosis

Brain studies have demonstrated that there is a connection between bran folds and hallucinations in individuals with psychosis.

The study was published in Nature Communications by researchers in University of Cambridge who worked with those from Durham University, Macquarie University, and Trinity College Dublin. A previous study by researchers in Cambridge found that different lengths of the PCS among healthy people was linked to a process known as reality monitoring, or ability to differentiate reality and imagination. However, this study suitably advanced from this to assess hallucinations in patients with psychosis. Within the study, 153 brain scans were analysed to investigate whether brain structural markers predict occurrence of hallucinations by compared patients with schizophrenia who have experienced hallucinations against patients who have not.

Using advanced brain analysis techniques, hallucinations were found to be associated with specific brain morphology differences in a fold, known as the paracingulate sulcus (PCS) found in the medial prefrontal cortex. A 1cm reduction in the length of this fold was associated with increased likelihood of hallucinations by 19.9%. This was regardless of the sensory modality of the hallucinations e.g. auditory, visual.

This can advance research focusing on early detection and prevention of psychosis.

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By: Abigail Christine Wright
Last updated: Friday, 20 November 2015

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