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Guller Y, Ferrarelli F, Shackman AJ, Sarasso S, Peterson MJ, Langheim FJ, Meyerand ME, Tononi G, Postle BR. Probing Thalamic Integrity in Schizophrenia Using Concurrent Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Arch Gen Psychiatry . 2012 Mar 5 ; PubMed Abstract

Comments on Paper and Primary News
Comment by:  Zoran Vukadinovic
Submitted 23 March 2012 Posted 23 March 2012
  I recommend this paper

In their recent article, Guller et al. demonstrated that, in individuals with schizophrenia, TMS stimulation of the precentral gyrus results in reduced activation of the thalamus, and, subsequently, of certain cortical regions (medial superior frontal cortex and insula) as measured by fMRI. This finding is consistent with earlier reports by the same group (Ferrarelli et al., 2007; 2010) that sleep spindles are reduced in this illness. Namely, sleep spindles are a brain rhythm seen in stages 2 and 3 of non-rapid eye movement sleep that is initiated by high-frequency discharges of cortical cells during “up” states of the slow cortical oscillations in slow-wave sleep (Steriade, 2006). The generation of sleep spindles subsequently involves the thalamic reticular nucleus (TRN) and the rest of the thalamus, and further thalamocortical interactions as the spindle activity spreads. In summary, sleep spindles constitute a form of trans-thalamic...  Read more

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Primary News: A New Case for Thalamic Dysfunction in Schizophrenia

Comment by:  Didier Pinault
Submitted 28 March 2012 Posted 1 April 2012
  I recommend this paper

Schizophrenia and Thalamus Dysfunction
The pathophysiology of schizophrenia still conceals many secrets (Meyer-Lindenberg, 2010; Insel, 2010), which is the reason why the neurobiology of schizophrenia is the relentless object of experimental and clinical investigations. These point out that schizophrenia is a complex, multifunctional disorder involving dysfunctional networks.

Guller and colleagues recently published, in the Archives of General Psychiatry (published online March 5, 2012), clinical data in favor of the hypothesis of thalamic dysfunction in schizophrenia. The authors’ objective was to test the hypothesis that the thalamus of patients with schizophrenia responds abnormally to cortical activation. The authors used fMRI to record in healthy subjects and patients with schizophrenia the vascular response in their cerebral cortex (medial superior frontal cortex [mSFC] and insula) and thalamus following a single...  Read more

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Comment by:  John Lisman
Submitted 2 April 2012 Posted 5 April 2012

The recent paper by Guller et al. provides evidence that schizophrenia produces a large and systematic change in the ability of cortical stimulation (by TMS) to increase BOLD activity in the thalamus (Guller et al., 2012). As pointed out by Guller et al., this adds to the growing list of evidence for a thalamic abnormality in schizophrenia. The most direct evidence is the observation of a size abnormality of the thalamus in schizophrenia (Brickman et al., 2004; Konick and Friedman, 2001). In addition, functions such as sensory gating and EEG sleep spindles (Ferrarelli and Tononi, 2011; Krause et al., 2003), which are thought to be regulated by the thalamus, are abnormal in schizophrenia. However, an additional line of evidence not mentioned by Guller et al. is of particular importance. This relates to the often replicated finding that delta...  Read more

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