Incipient neurovulnerability and neuroprotection in early psychosis : a proton spectroscopy study of the anterior hippocampus at 3Tesla
Berger, G.E., Wood, S., Wellard, R.M., Pantelis, C., Proffitt, T., McCronchie, M., Monfries, R., Velakoulis, D., Brewer, W., Jackson, G., & McGorry, P.D. (2003) Incipient neurovulnerability and neuroprotection in early psychosis : a proton spectroscopy study of the anterior hippocampus at 3Tesla. Schizophrenia Research, 60(1), p. 238.
Programmed cell death (PCD) and progenitor cell generation (of glial and in some brain areas also neuronal fate) in the CNS is an active process throughout life and is generally not associated with gliosis which means that PCD can be pathologically silent. The striking discovery that progenitor cell generation (of glial and in some brain areas neuronal fate) is widespread in the adult CNS (especially the hippocampus) suggest a much more dynamic scenario than previously thought and transcends the dichotomy between neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative models of schizophrenia and related disorders. We suggest that the regulatory processes that control the regulation of PCD and the generation of progenitor cells may be disturbed in the early phase of psychotic disorders underpinning a disconnectivity syndrom at the onset of clinically overt disorders. An ongoing 1H-MRS study of the anterior hippocampus at 3 Tesla in mostly drug-naive first-episode psychosis patients suggests no change in NAA, but significant increases in myo-inositol and lactate. The data suggests that neuronal integrity in the anterior hippocampus is still intact at the early stage of illness or mainly only functionally impaired. However the increase in lactate and myo-inositol may reflect a potential disturbance of generation and PCD of progenitor cells (of glial and in selected brain areas also neuronal fate) at the onset of psychosis. If true the use of neuroprotective agents such as lithium or eicosapentaenoic acid (which inhibit PCD and support cell generation)in the early phase of psychotic disorders may be a potent treatment avenue to explore.
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