New research points to potential source of mental disorders' symptoms

Jul 17, 2013

According to the Mayo Clinic, observing behavioral changes, psychological evaluations and imaging tests such as MRIs can help diagnose schizophrenia.
Credit Flickr/Creative Commons

The process of diagnosing, classifying and treating mental illness is incredibly complex and often controversial. The recent debate surrounding the new version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders illustrates how difficult it can be to get a handle on what causes the symptoms of mental illnesses like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

The results of a groundbreaking study led by MSU scientist Alexander Johnson could make things a little bit easier.  The research seems to point to a specific part of the brain that, when damaged, might be the source of some debilitating symptoms in people suffering from schizophrenia and other severe mental disorders.
Johnson, who serves as assistant professor in the Department of Psychology in the university’s neuroscience program, discusses what his findings might mean for those suffering from mental disorders.