Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder both appear to be associated with dendritic spine loss in the brain, suggesting the two distinct disorders may share common pathophysiological features, write author Glenn T. Konopaske, M.D., and colleagues at McLean Hospital, Belmont, Mass., and Harvard Medical School, Boston.

The dendritic spines play a role in a variety of brain functions. Previous studies have observed spine loss in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortices (DLPFCs) from individuals with schizophrenia. 

The authors analyzed postmortem human brain tissue from 14 individuals with schizophrenia, nine individuals with bipolar disorder and 19 unaffected control group individuals.

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