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Schizophrenia and neurodevelopment Where do we stand today?

Dr Vibeke Catts

The schizophrenia brain is differentiated from the normal brain by subtle changes, with significant overlap in measures between normal and disease states. For the past 25 years, schizophrenia has increasingly been considered a neurodevelopmental disorder. This frame of reference challenges biological researchers to consider how pathological changes identified in adult brain tissue can be accounted for by aberrant developmental processes occurring during fetal, childhood or adolescent periods. The objective is to place schizophrenia neuropathology in a neurodevelopmental context.

This requires solid, scrutinized evidence of changes occurring during normal development of the cerebral cortex. We review literature on the development of the prefrontal cortex and chart major molecular and cellular events on a similar time line. Whilst neurogenesis, neuronal migration and myelination undergo most dramatic changes prenatally, these processes also extend into adolescence. 

12th Biennial Australasian Schizophrenia Conference
13-14 May 2013 Melbourne, Australia.
Visit MAPrc at: www.maprc.org.au

Vibeke Catts
Vibeke Catts
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Dr Vibeke Catts

1. Schizophrenia Research Institute, Sydney, Australia
2. Neuroscience Research Australia, Sydney, Australia
3. School of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales, Australia

Co-authors: Samantha J. Fung, Leonora E. Long, Dipesh Joshi, Katherine M. Allen, Stu G. Fillman, Debora A Rothmond, Duncan Sinclair, Yash Tiwari, Shan-Yuan Tsai, Cynthia Shannon Weickert
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