Scientists have discovered how schizophrenia and the use of anti-psychotic drugs can impact brain tissue by reviewing progressive data from brain scans, according to a study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry.
Researchers from the University of Iowa, led by psychiatry professor Nancy Andreasen, analyzed 202 MRI scans of patients who suffer from the mental disorder.
All patients had their scans reviewed from their first schizophrenic episode and at regular 6-month intervals up to a period of 15 years.
The researchers say that as clinical follow-up data was obtained every 6 months, they were able to compute measures of relapse number and duration, and relate these to structural MRI measures.
They note that as higher treatment intensity has previously been linked to smaller brain tissue volumes, this countereffect was measured in terms of dose-years.
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