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Prepulse inhibition as an early schizophrenia biomarker

Venhuizen, Bas (2023) Prepulse inhibition as an early schizophrenia biomarker. Bachelor's Thesis, Biology.


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An early schizophrenia biomarker is useful for diagnosis of the disease in an early stage. Thus, intervention can be performed before the onset of full-blown symptoms. Prepulse inhibition (PPI) is presented as a potential early schizophrenia biomarker. This is a measurement tool by which a prepulse is applied in order to inhibit the startle response to a following pulse. It is a measure of sensorimotor gating, which is impaired in schizophrenic patients. Since PPI is already decreased in schizophrenia patients before the onset of first psychosis, its use as a diagnostic tool is discussed. PPI is variable among schizophrenia patients. Likewise, symptoms of schizophrenia are also variable. In order to decide if PPI is a good early diagnostic tool, it is important to know if impaired gating is linked to specific symptoms. There is still unclarity about the neurobiological processes that underlie schizophrenia. PPI is a promising marker, because it is impaired in prodromal schizophrenics and it is stable across time. Though, the use of PPI as an early biomarker for schizophrenia has some challenges. It is not disease specific and not homogenous among schizophrenic patients. Additional research is needed in order to determine if these challenges can be overcome. For now, PPI is not a reliable biomarker in isolation, but is a promising tool that aids in detecting people at high risk of schizophrenia.

Item Type: Thesis (Bachelor's Thesis)
Supervisor name: Buwalda, B.
Degree programme: Biology
Thesis type: Bachelor's Thesis
Language: English
Date Deposited: 28 Mar 2023 14:09
Last Modified: 28 Mar 2023 14:09

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