No Brain Abnormalities in Early Psychosis


Brain scans of Singapore youth in a high risk mental state for psychosis found no evidence of brain abnormalities, according to a study in Schizophrenia Bulletin.

A team of researchers mainly from Australia and Singapore conducted a structural brain magnetic resonance imaging study involving 69 young people in an “at-risk mental state” for psychosis and 32 matched healthy controls in Singapore. The authors wrote that they “did not find any statistically significant difference” between the two groups.

Klauser, Paul, Juan Zhou, Joseph K. W. Lim, Joann S. Poh, Hui Zheng, Han Ying Tng, Ranga Krishnan, et al. “Lack of Evidence for Regional Brain Volume or Cortical Thickness Abnormalities in Youths at Clinical High Risk for Psychosis: Findings From the Longitudinal Youth at Risk Study.” Schizophrenia Bulletin, March 4, 2015, sbv012. doi:10.1093/schbul/sbv012. (Abstract)


  1. And Nancy Andreasen’s research points out that it’s the neuroleptic drugs which cause the atrophy of the brain, not psychosis.,d.aWw

    Can anyone tell me the logic behind the psychiatric industry’s theory that odd thoughts would cause brain damage? I don’t understand why anyone, especially an entire industry of supposedly properly educated doctors, would ever think the nature of one’s thoughts would cause brain damage. It strikes me as a completely ludicrous assumption.

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    • No, no, no, brain damage causes odd thoughts, not the other way around! And having odd thoughts proves you have brain damage, because, well, what else could cause them? They’re ODD, damn it! They can’t be caused by a “normal brain” because they’re ABNORMAL, because they BOTHER us and that is BAD, BAD, BAD. So the fact that there is no brain damage yet is only proof that we need to work harder to find the brain damage that we KNOW is there.

      Oh, and it can’t be the drugs, despite the evidence, because, well, because the drugs are GOOD, because we thought of them. And all we do is good, so they must be good, so it must be the brain’s fault that it shrinks. That’s it, only BAD brains shrink when we drug them! GOOD brains get better! The bad brains are genetically malfunctioning so they aren’t able to benefit from our wonderfully helpful drugs! It’s all the brain’s fault, because by God, the psychiatrists and the system MUST be protected from any possibility of wrongness!

      —- Steve

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      • Have you seen the research from England about “skunk” Cannabis and psychosis? The same lead author has done two imperfect cross-sectional studies that associate the two. I think you can list all the questions that arise when someone says one of those two causes the other. The Singapore study might be helpful to side or the other in a debate. Probably both if they’re equally adept at spin.

        Is that matter anywhere near settled? Likely to be?

        I like to think that pot doesn’t cause anything worse than short-term stupid, but I’d rather know.

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