Study identifies a link between a brain fold and hallucinations in Schizophrenia

A study conducted by Cambridge University has found that a furrow, which is located near the front of each hemisphere in some people’s brains, can be responsible for causing hallucinations among those with schizophrenia.

For patients that endure hallucinations, the paracingulate sulcus (PCS), which is a fold in an area of the brain associated with perceptions, is shorter than for those who do not.

In total, 153 brain scans were assessed as part of the research and, despite the relatively small study group size, researchers have claimed that it could help diagnose people at an earlier stage.

Jon Simons, a neuroscientist at the university, said: “It might be that if somebody is born with this particular property, a reduction in this brain fold, that might give them a predisposition towards developing something like hallucinations later on in life.”

According to the research team, more work is needed, particularly to see if the same can be detected among children.

Dr Simons has claimed that more support could be given from an earlier stage, if people are found to have an elevated risk of suffering hallucinations.

While hallucinations are one of the symptoms of schizophrenia, the condition is complex and each patient’s care programme has to be tailored to their specific needs.

Dr Simons added: “We’ve known for some time that disorders like schizophrenia are not down to a single region of the brain. Changes are seen throughout various different areas.

“To be able to pin such a key symptom to a relatively specific part of the brain is quite unusual.”

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