A “weak spot” in the brain, which may be play some common role(s) underlying both Alzheimer’s Disease and schizophrenia, appears to have been identified using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) brain scans.
The brain area in question has been found to develop in late adolescence and it degenerates earliest during age-related cognitive decline. It plays a role in “higher order” information processing, including the coordination of information coming-in from the different senses.
Medical Research Council researchers have found that patients with Alzheimer’s Disease and those with schizophrenia have the same brain region affected in common.
The researchers believe they may now be on the tracks towards discovering a potential link between brain development, cognitive ageing and disease processes (including dementia) in the brain. Interestingly, but possibly just a coincidence, schizophrenia used to be termed “premature dementia” / “dementia praecox”.
Brain’s dementia weak spot identified. London: BBC Health News, November 25th 2014.
This relates to:
Douaud, G. Groves, AR. [and] Tamnes, CK. [et al] (2014). A common brain network links development, aging, and vulnerability to disease. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. November 24th 2014. [Epub ahead of print].
Possibly of interest (from an entirely different angle):
Song, MH. Hamada, H. Mimura, M. (2014). Semiological differences between late-life schizophrenia and senile dementia. The Keio Journal of Medicine. 2014; 63(2): 34-8. Epub June 10th 2014.
On the Application of Neuroimaging in Understanding Neuropsychiatric Disorders
Possibly of related interest, concerning the international Human Connectome Project (HCP):
Walsh, F. (2016). Why brains are beautiful. London: BBC Health News, January 16th 2016.
Bullmore, E. (2016). Why brains and airports have a lot in common. London: BBC Health News / BBC News Magazine, February 17th 2016.