Neurocognitive rehabilitation could improve the function of neural networks altered in schizophrenia

A study published in Biological Psychiatry shows that neurocognitive rehabilitation treatment is able to improve the performance of different neural networks altered in schizophrenia. The study is the result of a close collaboration between the Schizophrenia Unit of the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona, directed by Dr. Miquel Bernardo, and the Neuropsychology Laboratory at the University of Barcelona, led by Dr. Carme Junque, both of them research teams from IDIBAPS . Dr. Rafael Penadés is the first author of the study.

The analysis of multimodal neuroimaging data performed by the researcher Nuria Pujol has demonstrated that functional changes are accompanied by structural changes in the white matter, specifically the corpus callosum. Dr. Carme Junque pointed the possible role of these findings in the definition of a process of interhemispheric transference that could result in a possible neurobiological marker of cognitive recovery.

This is a basic research study with a clear clinical application because, as noted by Dr. Rosa Catalan, it may help to identify therapeutic targets for neurocognitive and pharmacological treatments. It is therefore a relevant translational research and, due to its impact, it was highlighted on the cover of the latest issue of the journal Biological Psychiatry.

Reference: Penadés R, Pujol N, Catalán R, Massana G, Rametti G, García-Rizo C, Bargalló N, Gastó C, Bernardo M, Junqué C. Brain effects of cognitive remediation therapy in schizophrenia: a structural and functional neuroimaging studyBiol Psychiatry. 2013 May 15;73(10):1015-23. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2013.01.017. Epub 2013 Feb 26.