BOSTON: Scientists have identified a pattern of brain activity that predicts the development of schizophrenia, an advance that could be used to diagnose the disorder earlier.
Schizophrenia, a brain disorder that produces hallucinations, delusions, and cognitive impairments, usually strikes during adolescence or young adulthood.
While some signs can suggest that a person is at high risk for developing the disorder, there is no way to definitively diagnose it until the first psychotic episode occurs.
“If we use these types of brain measurements, then maybe we can predict a little bit better who will end up developing psychosis, and that may also help tailor interventions,” said Guusje Collin, a visiting scientist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US.
Before they experience a psychotic episode, characterised by sudden changes in behaviour and a loss of touch with reality, patients can experience milder symptoms such as disordered thinking.
Next Horizon Of Science: AI To Diagnose Brain Haemorrhage, Spacecraft For Intergalactic Tra…Tech Surprises7 Sep, 2018From AI that can diagnose stroke to scientists taking antimatter for a truck ride, here’s everything exciting about technologies that are going to shape our future. (Text: Rajarshi Bhattacharjee)A Machine To Stop Climate Change7 Sep, 2018 Hate carbon dioxide for heating up the planet? Switzerland has a giant machine that sucks carbon dioxide from air and performs better than plants. In essence, it’s a gigantic artificial tree. Zurichbased Climeworks AG is the world’s first ever commercial plant that can capture CO2 from the air on an industrial level. The amount (900 tonnes) of carbon dioxide the plant draws annually is approximately the same as the amount emitted by 200 cars in the same time.
(Image: www.climeworks.com)A Faster Diagnosis Of Brain Haemorrhage With AI7 Sep, 2018 Scientists at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in US have developed an artificial intelligence platform that can identify disease in brain CT scans in 1.2 seconds, and diagnose a range of acute neurological illnesses, such as stroke, and haemorrhage. The study shows that the system was faster than human diagnosis. This is the first study to utilise AI for detecting acute neurologic events and demonstrate a direct clinical application.A Spacecraft For Intergalactic Travel7 Sep, 2018 Remember the pursuit craft driven by Valerian (Dane DeHaan) in the 2017 movie Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets? US design and technology company Lexus has a concept of the futuristic single-seat craft called Skyjet that will take the future humans on intergalactic trips. Powered by a compact fuel-cell capsule, the Skyjet will fly on clean, renewable energy for space travel, sometime around 2740.
(Image: www.lexus.co.uk)A Little Space For More Memory7 Sep, 2018 The most dense, solidstate memory in history is here. It could soon exceed the capabilities of current hard drives by 1,000 times. Scientists at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada say they can use hydrogen atoms to boost storage capacity. They were able to reach a storage density of 128TB per square inch. That’s much ahead of current 10TB hard disks which have approximately 512GB per square inch.
This kind of thinking can lead to behaviours such as jumping from topic to topic at random, or giving answers unrelated to the original question. Previous studies have shown that about 25 percent of people who experience these early symptoms go on to develop schizophrenia.
The researchers followed 158 people between the ages of 13 and 34 who were identified as high-risk because they had experienced early symptoms.
The team also included 93 control subjects, who did not have any risk factors. At the beginning of the study, the researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure a type of brain activity involving “resting state networks.”
Resting state networks consist of brain regions that preferentially connect with and communicate with each other when the brain is not performing any particular cognitive task.
“We were interested in looking at the intrinsic functional architecture of the brain to see if we could detect early aberrant brain connectivity or networks in individuals who are in the clinically high-risk phase of the disorder,” said Susan Whitfield-Gabrieli, a visiting scientist at MIT.
One year after the initial scans, 23 of the high-risk patients had experienced a psychotic episode and were diagnosed with schizophrenia.
In those patients’ scans, taken before their diagnosis, the researchers found a distinctive pattern of activity that was different from the healthy control subjects and the at-risk subjects who had not developed psychosis.
Original Article can be found by clicking here