Pinpointing the foundations of disease is not easy, especially when they affect so many parts of the brain.

According to new research, there are three specific parts of the brain that diseases affect. These parts are neural networks and “alterations in these networks contribute to the cognitive dysfunction present in multiple psychiatric disorders,” (“Disrupted networks”, 2019).

Many disorders have an overlap of the kind of dysfunction they cause, making it difficult to pinpoint and categorize certain illnesses. To understand how disorders affect these three networks in the brain, researchers utilized over 200 different brain imaging scans from individuals with psychiatric disorders. Alterations in functionality were found in these three networks: the default mode network; frontoparietal network; and the salience network. It was also found that there was reduced grey matter confined specifically to these areas (“Disrupted networks”, 2019).

“This new knowledge calls for studying brain-based diagnostic biomarkers of psychiatric disorders that are beyond traditional diagnostic boundaries,” stated senior author Yong He. The overlap of symptoms in psychiatric disorders has made it difficult to categorize patients, but it is possible to further evaluate mental illnesses by continuing to study the effects on the three neural networks (“Disrupted networks”, 2019).

Reference: Elsevier. (2019, January 3). Disrupted networks link overlapping cognitive deficits in psychiatric disorders. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 6, 2019 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/01/190103110636.htm