Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Schizophrenia and impulsivity

Being over-impulsive is one of the hallmarks of schizophrenia and can lead to violence, drug abuse and suicide. However, it is not really known what happens in the brains of people suffering from schizophrenia that makes them more impulsive. Researchers from the Universite de la Mediterranee in Marseilles studied this issue by comparing 26 people with schizophrenia with 30 healthy controls. The participants filled out a questionnaire about their impulsiveness, took a 'Go/No go' test - in which not reacting to things is as important as reacting to them - and had MRI brain scans. The patients with schizophrenia were more impulsive than the controls and a region of their brains called the right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex was less efficient at processing 'inhibitory control.'

Kaladjian, A. ... [et al] - Impulsivity and neural correlates of response inhibition in schizophrenia Psychological Medicine (2011), 41, 291–299

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