According to the conclusions of a new scientific investigation conducted by Dutch researchers, it would now appear that the brain changes occurring in schizophrenia patients are the result of the disease itself (and the drugs used to treat it), rather than the consequence of genetic mutations.
Previously, it was thought that genetic influences were responsible for the neural abnormalities. The new study was carried out on 155 schizophrenics, 186 of their brothers and sisters who did not have the condition, and 122 healthy controls that were unrelated to the people in the first group.
All participants underwent structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, which measured brain volume, cortical thickness, brain anatomy and other traits, PsychCentral
“Our study did not find structural brain abnormalities in nonpsychotic siblings of patients with schizophrenia compared with healthy control subjects, using multiple imaging methods,” the researchers say.