Schizophrenia stems from genetic and environmental influences that change the structure of the brain and the way it functions. Losses of brain tissue volume and changes in nerve tissue density in related brain structures called the temporal lobe, frontal lobe and basal ganglia (e.g., thalamus) have been found in people with schizophrenia. These changes make thinking difficult. Utlimately, delusions, hallucinations and lack of interest occur.
The Conte Center Sibling Study focuses on identifying these changes in structures of the brain during the early years of the illness. Particpants and their siblings receive brain scans at 2 year intervals to examine these changes.
New treatments for schizophrenia are needed, especially those that improve memory, attention and decision making. See the Volunteer section to learn more.