Penn researchers use MRI for early schizophrenia diagnosis

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Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania Health System (UPHS) used MRI to look for subtle brain abnormalities that cannot be seen by the human eye that could assist in the early diagnosis of schizophrenia. A study examined the entire brain, looking at distributed patterns of abnormalities rather than differences in specific regions of the brain, according to the results published in the Archives of General Psychiatry.

The results of the study demonstrate that sophisticated computational analysis methods can find unique structural brain characteristics in schizophrenia patients, with a predictive accuracy of more than 83 percent. Recently, the researchers announced that further analysis of this data with even more sophisticated classification methods achieved a 91 percent predictive accuracy for diagnosis of schizophrenia via MRI.

Early detection would help clinicians delay the onset of clinical manifestation and improve quality of life.