Jude Children’s Research Hospital scientists have identified problems in a connection between brain structures that may predispose individuals to hearing the “voices” that are a common symptom of schizophrenia.

Researchers linked the problem to a gene deletion that leads to changes in brain chemistry which reduce the flow of information between two brain structures involved in processing auditory information. The research marks the first time that a specific circuit in the brain has been linked to the auditory hallucinations, delusions and other psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia.The findings were published in Science.

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