Schizophrenia, a severe mental disorder affecting about one in 100 people, is notoriously difficult to diagnose and treat, in large part because it manifests differently in different people. A new study published today in Molecular Neuropsychiatry helps explain why. Researchers at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine have created a map that shows how specific schizophrenia symptoms are linked to distinct brain circuits.

The findings add to a growing body of evidence that schizophrenia is not a single disease but a complex constellation of neural circuit problems. The study also reinforces the potential value of brain scans for identifying and understanding schizophrenia in individual patients, for finding promising new therapeutic approaches, and for helping clinicians track a patient’s progress during therapy.

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