Posted by & filed under Abnormal Psychology, Clinical Neuropsychology, Intervention: Adults-Couples, Neuroscience, Research Methods in ADA, Research Methods in AP, Research Methods in CP, Schizophrenia, Treatment of Psychological Disorders.

Description: The social withdrawal and emotional blunting that often present as symptoms amongst individuals struggling with schizophrenia have been hypothesized to not be linked to the neuro-chemical functioning within an area or areas of the brain. The suggestion was made due to the lack of response of these symptoms to neuro-chemical treatments that were producing positive results in relation to other symptoms of schizophrenia. This article in the research study upon which it reports suggest, positively, that we may need to rethink this hypothesis.

Source: Mouse Study May Offer Clues to Mysteries of Schizophrenia, Health Day, USNews, Robert Preidt

Date: January 6, 2016


Photo Credit: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

Links: Article Link –

The distinction between positive (e.g., hearing voices, feeling paranoid) and negative (e.g., social withdrawal and emotional blunting) symptoms of schizophrenia used to be partially based on the observation that the positive symptoms responded to drug therapy and negative symptoms did not. This lead to the suggestion that positive symptoms were due to neuro-chemical imbalances in the brain while negative symptoms were more likely due to physical changes in the brain as a consequence of struggling with schizophrenia. This article describes a study using a mouse model brain of schizophrenia which suggests that this distinction may not be a useful one. It’s worth reading because of what it has to say about this distinction but also as a way to understand how brain based research on schizophrenia is being conducted using mouse models.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. How have we historically distinguished between positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia?
  2. What area or areas of the brain may be involved in the positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia?
  3. What might some of the implications be if the results of this study are supported through replication for our thinking about and her treatment approaches to symptom patterns that are characteristic of schizophrenia?

References (Read Further):

Piskorowski, Rebecca A., Nasrallah, Kaoutsar, Diamantopoulou, Anastasia, Mukai, Jun, Hassan, Sami I., Siegelbaum, Steven A., Gogos, Joseph A., and Chevaleyre, Vivien (2016) Age-Dependent Specific Changes in Area CA2 of the Hippocampus and Social Memory Deficit in a Mouse Model of the 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome, Neuron, Volume 89, Issue 1, 163-176.

Arguello, P. A., & Gogos, J. A. (2006). Modeling madness in mice: one piece at a time. Neuron, 52(1), 179-196.

Paus, T., Keshavan, M., & Giedd, J. N. (2008). Why do many psychiatric disorders emerge during adolescence?. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 9(12), 947-957.

Edwards, A. C., Bigdeli, T. B., Docherty, A. R., Bacanu, S., Lee, D., de Candia, T. R., … & Walsh, D. (2015). Meta-analysis of Positive and Negative Symptoms Reveals Schizophrenia Modifier Genes. Schizophrenia bulletin, sbv119.

Dyck, D. G., Short, R. A., Hendryx, M. S., Norell, D., Myers, M., Patterson, T., … & McFarlane, W. R. (2014). Management of negative symptoms among patients with schizophrenia attending multiple-family groups. Psychiatric services.