Current Schizophrenia Research: Translational, Physiological and Developmental Perspectives
In my lecture, I will attempt to provide an overview on current schizophrenia research. In particular, I will emphasize the role of neural synchrony in the pathophysiology of the syndrome. Our recent studies with magnetoencephalography (MEG) have revealed reduced power in chronic as well as first-episode schizophrenia patients compared to controls. These results suggest that schizophrenia is associated with a widespread reduction in high-frequency oscillations that indicate local network abnormalities. Moreover, certain abnormalities in neural synchrony can be recreated in healthy volunteers during ketamine-administration, suggesting a potential role of NMDA-receptor-hypofunctioning in the pathophysiology of the disorder. Studies with schizophrenia patients are complemented by investigations into the development of neural synchrony during normal brain maturation. We found marked changes in the amplitude of high-frequency oscillations and synchrony in both EEG- and MEG-data that were particularly pronounced during the transition from adolescence to adulthood. These findings may be relevant for the understanding of schizophrenia as neurodevelopmental disorder that emerges during the transition from adolescence to adulthood.