We are conducting this part of the study with individuals who have
experienced schizophrenia symptoms for more than 5 years to assess changes
that may have occurred prior to and since the beginning of the illness.
Clinical symptoms, thinking and problem-solving abilities, hormones,
electrical activity in the brain (a specialized EEG), and MRI imaging
studies will be assessed and the findings compared within the group and
with the other two groups. Approximately 84 people (42 individuals with
schizophrenia for more than 5 years and 42 healthy volunteers) will
participate in this part of the study.
Since schizophrenia has been identified as an illness, speculation has
existed that the condition's symptoms result from dysfunction of several
brain areas. More recently, consensus has coalesced to implicate specific
areas of brain dysfunction, although, the nature and cause of the
dysfunction remains unknown. We do know that each person demonstrates the
illness with an individual set of symptoms and ability to function,
secondary to possible neuronal loss or altered development. This study uses
the research expertise of several co-principal investigators to extend our
understanding of schizophrenia and ultimately lead to better clinical
One assessment will be conducted over approximately 4 to 5 visits.
Participation entails clinical interviews, filling out questionnaires,
neurocognitive assessment, providing hormonal and genetic samples, a
specialized EEG, and MRI scans. A parent, if available, will be
interviewed. This is not a treatment study but a study to understand
experiences and functioning at this point in time.
Individuals who are experiencing schizophrenia for 5 years or more are
invited to consider participation in the study. We are particularly looking
to recruit individuals who have had 3 or more hospitalizations for the
condition. Referrals to the study can be made by family physicians,
pediatricians, psychiatrists, mental health professionals, family members
or individuals themselves.