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Approved Research

Polygenic risk for schizophrenia and its reflection in retinal architecture as well as brain structure and function.

Principal Investigator: Professor Philipp Homan
Approved Research ID: 102266
Approval date: April 18th 2023

Lay summary

Schizophrenia is a serious psychiatric condition with positive (e.g. hallucinations), negative (e.g. loss of drive) and cognitive (e.g. working memory deficits) symptoms. It is caused by an abnormal development, maturation and connectivity of the brain. Before psychotic symptoms are present, affected individuals often show unspecific mood and cognitive symptoms. To help in this early detection, biomarkers based on the central nervous system are promising, and recent studies have shown that even the retina of the eye might be affected and therefore be used as such a biomarker. To better understand the role of schizophrenia risk and this role of the retina the current study will evaluate how the genetic risk for schizophrenia is linked to alterations of the retina and the brain. The study is planned for 24 months and might help in the development of biological markers for the early detection of schizophrenia - the earlier schizophrenia is detected, the higher the chances are for better outcomes.