Normally, cortical nerve cells or neurons reside in the brain’s gray matter with only a few scattered neurons in the white matter, but some people with schizophrenia have a higher number of neurons in the white matter. Neuronal migration errors may arise in schizophrenia as a consequence of both genetic and environmental factors.
The phenomenon of aberrant cellular localization has now been studied in detail in a paper by Yang and colleagues, published in the current issue of Biological Psychiatry.
Using a specialized technique that involves staining cells, the researchers were able to determine the distribution of nerve cells in brain tissue from people who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia in comparison to tissue from people who did not carry this diagnosis prior to their death.
Their results linked two main findings emerging from analyses of brain tissue in schizophrenia: abnormalities in the inhibitory neurons within the cortex and increases in neurons in white matter below the cortex…..
The above story is reprinted (with editorial adaptations by ScienceDaily staff) from materials provided by Elsevier, via AlphaGalileo.
Journal Reference: Yang Yang, Samantha J. Fung, Alice Rothwell, Si Tianmei, Cynthia Shannon Weickert. Increased Interstitial White Matter Neuron Density in the Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex of People with Schizophrenia. Biological Psychiatry, 2011; 69 (1): 63 DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2010.08.020