Discovery of Brain Pathway May Help Develop New Schizophrenia Treatment

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by abnormal social behavior and a failure to distinguish between what is real and not.  People suffering from schizophrenia often have false beliefs, unclear or confused thinking, audio and visual hallucinations, reduced social activity and emotions, and low motivation.  Schizophrenia often gradually begins in young adulthood, and sufferers often experience other mental health issues.  There is no cure for this disease.

But, neuroscientists at Tufts University School of Medicine recently discovered a previously unknown signaling pathway that directly connects two major brain receptors associated with learning and memory.  The scientists were able to demonstrate that astrocytes, a glial cell once thought to have little part in brain function, are a key element that functionally links the receptors. 

The authors stated that the finding was exciting and has direct relevance to the development of new treatments for schizophrenia. 

For more information: http://www.cell.com/neuron/fulltext/S0896-6273(17)30347-1

Schizophrenia and related mental disorders are recognized by the Social Security Administration in Listing 12.03.  Our firm has represented individuals suffering from this significant mental disease previously and has found some success.  We generally have to show medical documentation of delusions, hallucinations, disorganized thinking, disorganized behavior or catatonia along with marked difficulties in memory, social interaction, concentration, or managing oneself.  In some cases, we face difficulty because of the nature of the disease which causes patients to not trust the treatment they are receiving and not follow through on treatment due to conspiracy theories involving their providers and others.  In those cases, we work with a provider to document the symptoms and establish how the patient’s thought process and inconsistent treatment is part of the disease process.  

Loyd J. Bourgeois
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