A recent study involving a team of scientists from Cambridge University, University of Cologne and Imperial College London may have revealed a new method for early diagnosis of schizophrenia.
At present, early diagnosis of the mental disorder is based on interview and observation with patients being required to demonstrate symptoms for at least six months.
As part of the study, the research team analysed cerebrospinal fluid from 152 volunteers. Of the 152, 54 had been recently diagnosed with schizophrenia, 70 were healthy, and 28 were receiving some form of treatment.
The researchers were surprised to find high levels of glucose in the brain and spinal fluid of the group of 54 volunteers with schizophrenia.
It is hoped that these biomarkers will enable them to develop new early or pre-symptomatic treatments for schizophrenia that could even prevent disease symptoms.
Dr Elaine Holmes from Imperial College London said: “This research could be of huge importance in how we deal with schizophrenia. It shows we can now spot the changes which occur before it becomes a major problem.”