Could there be an underlying biological cause for many mental illnesses?
Diagnoses as different as depression, addictions and schizophrenia are all linked to a similar pattern of gray-matter loss in the brain, a new study finds.
The results hint at an underlying biological cause for these mental illnesses.
Dr Thomas Insel, commenting on the study, said:
“The idea that these disorders share some common brain architecture and that some functions could be abnormal across so many of them is intriguing,”
The research, published in JAMA Psychiatry, pooled data from 193 separate studies, which included brain imaging from 7,381 patients (Goodkind et al., 2015).
Patients were experiencing all sorts of different mental illnesses, including depression, schizophrenia, OCD and some anxiety disorders.
Despite this, the researchers identified three structures in the brain which had shrunk across all the different diagnoses.