Two Key Brain Systems Are Central to Psychosis, Stanford Medicine-Led Study Finds

When the brain has trouble filtering incoming information and predicting what’s likely to happen, psychosis can result, Stanford Medicine-led research shows. Functional brain signatures of 22q11.2 deletion syndrome and associated psychosis studied.

Inside the brains of people with psychosis, two key systems are malfunctioning: a "filter" that directs attention toward important external events and internal thoughts, and a "predictor" composed of pathways that anticipate rewards. Dysfunction of these systems makes it difficult to know what’s real, manifesting as hallucinations and delusions. The findings come from a Stanford Medicine-led study, published on April 12 in Molecular Psychiatry, that used brain scan data from children, teens, and young adults with psychosis. The results confirm an existing theory of how breaks with reality occur. The article is titled “Robust and Replicable Functional Brain Signatures of 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome and Associated Psychosis: A Deep Neural Network-Based Multi-Cohort Study.”

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