New Brain Model May Help Researchers Understand Schizophrenia

Nearly 3.2 Americans suffer from schizophrenia, a significant mental disorder, according to MentalHelp.net. When a mental illness is left untreated, it may lead to substance abuse. Rehabilitation facilities can provide individuals with the assistance they need to detoxify, and researchers are getting closer to discovering the link between schizophrenia and addiction.

This week, researchers are the University of Copenhagen announced that they have successfully completed a model that depicts how the brain releases dopamine. This chemical is responsible for transmitting signals between nerve cells. Analysts hope that they will be able to use this model to uncover how the brain determines punishment and reward. This can give them insight to schizophrenia and addiction.

“Our model shows that the collective signal from many cells provides a rapid enough reaction to influence learning,” said Jakob Kisbye Dreyer, who helped develop the model.

Symptoms of schizophrenia can begin to show in early childhood. Individuals are most vulnerable to the condition between the ages of 16 and 25. People suffering from addiction as a result of a mental illness can visit a drug rehabilitation center for treatment.