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Modeling the neurochemical prodrome in schizophrenia: Evidence from animal models.

Darryl Eyles

The idea of a prodromal state in schizophrenia is controversial. Yet the evidence continues to mount that there are early pre-symptomatic behavioural, brain structural and even neurochemical changes in the brains of individuals “at risk” of progressing to clinical schizophrenia. As basic researchers we turn to animal models in an attempt to understand what neurobiological mechanisms may be acting to create such phenotypes in an attempt to find convergent pathways in which to intervene and hopefully arrest the condition. The authors are well-known for their work on modelling the gestational epidemiological risk-factors for this disease in rodents. Recently they have refocused their efforts to try and understand the basic mechanisms operating proximal to the gestational insult with a view to the possibility that this may have altered the trajectory of certain brain circuits. In this quest they have independently discovered that disparate developmental risk factors produce early alterations to dopaminergic circuits.

12th Biennial Australasian Schizophrenia Conference
13-14 May 2013 Melbourne, Australia.
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Darryl Eyles
Darryl Eyles
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Darryl Eyles

Associate Professor Darryl Eyles, head of the Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research Developmental Neurobiology laboratory, Queensland Brain Institute. Darryl’s research focuses exclusively on how known risk-factors for schizophrenia change the way the brain develops. His group have established the biological plausibility of various epidemiological risk factors for this disease. Much of the research focuses on the effects of developmental vitamin D, (DVD), deficiency on brain development. He also is interested in the effects Advanced Paternal Age and how this may relate to both autism and schizophrenia. Darryl has also established models of impaired dopaminergic development in the fly and zebra fish brains in order to investigate how the two major theories of schizophrenia namely the “Dopamine Hypothesis” and the “Neurodevelopmental Hypothesis“ of schizophrenia can be synthesised.

Co-authors: Urs Meyer
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