Schizophrenia ‘is like brain bomb’
Schizophrenia may be triggered by the equivalent of a nuclear disaster in the brain, new research reveals. Scientists believe a breakdown in the tiny ‘power stations’ known as mitocondria, which pump out energy in cells, causes the illness. They believe the damage could be linked to poor oxygen or glucose supply, striking people with a genetic disposition to the illness. Dr. Sabine Bahn, of Cambridge, told Molecular Psychiatry: ‘We hope our ifindings will lead to advances in treatment and diagnosis.’
The Metro, 17 Aug 2004
Mitochondrial dysfunction in schizophrenia: evidence for compromised brain metabolism and oxidative stress
S Prabakaran, J E Swatton, M M Ryan, S J Huffaker, JT-J Huang, J L Griffin, M Wayland, T Freeman, F Dudbridge, K S Lilley, N A Karp, S Hester, D Tkachev, M L Mimmack, R H Yolken, M J Webster, E F Torrey and S Bahn
The etiology and pathophysiology of schizophrenia remain unknown. A parallel transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics approach was employed on human brain tissue to explore the molecular disease signatures. Almost half the altered proteins identified by proteomics were associated with mitochondrial function and oxidative stress responses. This was mirrored by transcriptional and metabolite perturbations. Cluster analysis of transcriptional alterations showed that genes related to energy metabolism and oxidative stress differentiated almost 90% of schizophrenia patients from controls, while confounding drug effects could be ruled out. We propose that oxidative stress and the ensuing cellular adaptations are linked to the schizophrenia disease process and hope that this new disease concept may advance the approach to treatment, diagnosis and disease prevention of schizophrenia and related syndromes.
Molecular Psychiatry (2004) 9, 684-697.
Published online 20 April 2004