Schizophrenia Research Roundup: April 12, 2024


What is new in research on schizophrenia?

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In this Research Roundup, we explore new studies on schizophrenia, including associated biological age acceleration and risk, as well as relationships between the disorder, gut microbiota, and the right superior frontal gyrus.

Exploring the Relationship Between Schizophrenia and Gut Microbiota

This study explored the relationship between gut microbiota and schizophrenia, aiming to identify consistently altered microbial taxa associated with the disorder. Through a systematic review and synthesis of human gut microbiome studies, the investigators found that, although there were no significant differences in diversity between participants with schizophrenia and healthy controls, certain microbial taxa were consistently up- or down-regulated in schizophrenia. Specifically, they noted a depletion of anti-inflammatory butyrate-producing genera and enrichment of opportunistic bacteria and probiotics.

The investigators concluded that, “This study contributes to further understanding the role of gut microbiota in schizophrenia and developing microbiota-based diagnosis and therapy for schizophrenia.”


Li Z, Tao X, Wang D, et al. Alterations of the gut microbiota in patients with schizophreniaFront Psychiatry. 2024;15:1366311.

Analyzing Biological Age Acceleration in Schizophrenia

This study investigated biological aging in schizophrenia using DNA methylation clocks across European cohorts. The investigators found that blood-based DNA methylation aging is altered in schizophrenia, independent of illness duration, with distinct age effects varying by sex and chronological age. Specifically, they noted intrinsic age deceleration in young adulthood and phenotypic age acceleration in later adulthood in schizophrenia, with women carrying a high polygenic burden showing the most pronounced acceleration.

The investigators concluded that these findings suggest that specific patient groups are at increased mortality risk, highlighting the potential of combining genetic and epigenetic predictors for disease management in schizophrenia.


Ori APS, Olde Loohuis LM, Guintivano J, et al. Meta-analysis of epigenetic aging in schizophrenia reveals multifaceted relationships with age, sex, illness duration, and polygenic riskClin Epigenetics. 2024;16(1):53.

Predicting Short-Term Efficacy in Schizophrenia With a Neuroimaging Biomarker

The study investigated the impact of antipsychotic treatment on brain structure and function in patients with schizophrenia and its correlation with treatment response. Investigators analyzed 163 patients with schizophrenia and 131 healthy controls using structural MRI at baseline, with a subset of 77 patients reexamined after 8 weeks of antipsychotic treatment. They found reduced grey matter density in the right cingulate gyrus and decreased white matter density in the right superior frontal gyrus, among other regions, in the treatment response group compared to the non-response group.

Additionally, alterations in functional connectivity, such as decreased connectivity between the right anterior cingulate and paracingulate gyrus and left thalamus, were observed in the entire schizophrenia group (n = 88) after treatment, while increased connectivity between the right inferior temporal gyrus and right medial superior frontal gyrus was seen in the response group.

The investigators concluded that these findings suggest specific brain regions, like the right superior frontal gyrus, exhibit critical alterations under antipsychotic treatment, with potential implications for predicting treatment outcomes in schizophrenia.


Yang Y, Jin X, Xue Y, et al. Right superior frontal gyrus: a potential neuroimaging biomarker for predicting short-term efficacy in schizophreniaNeuroimage Clin.

Note: This Research Roundup was prepared with the assistance of ChatGPT.

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