Gamma synchrony in schizophrenia: Effect of symptom change

Proposal details

Title: Gamma synchrony in schizophrenia: Effect of symptom change
Research Area(s): Schizophrenia and Allied Psychoses
Background: How the brain perceives a coherent cognitive moment depends on the synchronous firing of functionally related networks of neurons. Coherent gamma (37-41Hz) band oscillations may provide the binding substrate of neuronal integration and is implicated in the perception of complex visual and auditory stimuli. Given the evidence for gamma synchrony in binding distributed cortical activity, abnormalities in this frequency may be expected to underlie the cognitive and perceptual abnormalities that are characteristic of schizophrenia. A substantial number of EEG analyses in response to visual and auditory stimuli report alterations in gamma synchrony in diverse subgroups classified according to chronicity and symptom profile. These results correlate with the structural abnormalities associated with cortical volume, neurotransmitter systems and genes important for neurotransmission. Together, this data underlines a breakdown in structural and functional cortical integration as a pathophysiological basis for schizophrenia. The question remains, however, as to whether these alterations in gamma synchrony occur as a state or trait-like effect of this disorder.
Aims: 1. To determine the correlation between gamma synchrony measures and symptom severity in patients with recent onset schizophrenia 2. To compare the change in gamma synchrony in the schizophrenia treatment group to healthy age & sex matched controls 3. To use the comparison between the schizophrenia treatment group and the healthy controls to determine relative contributions of state (clinical manifestations) vs. trait (subjects with schizophrenia in remission) to gamma synchrony
Method: Subjects aged 17-25yrs with recent onset schizophrenia, schizophreniform or schizoaffective disorder (