Hadassah

Study by Renowned Hadassah Neuropsychiatrist Featured in The Lancet

Thursday, Sep 7 2017

The work of Dr. Shahar Arzy, head of the Hadassah Medical Organization’s Neuropsychiatry Clinic and the Hadassah-Hebrew University Computational Neuropsychiatry Laboratory, is featured in the September 4, 2017 issue of The Lancet Psychiatry.

Dr. Arzy’s study, in collaboration with colleagues in Berlin, Germany, involved 43 patients with a particular form of severe brain inflammation. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the research team was able to witness changes in the connections within the patients’ brain networks.

Individuals who suffer from this particular form of brain inflammation called “anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis,” exhibit severe neuropsychiatric symptoms, including psychosis, memory deficits, and movement disorders. How the specific dysfunction leads to these clinical symptoms, however, is not understood. Do the symptoms arise from an impairment in specific brain regions? Do they arise from the interactions between these impaired regions?  The answers remain elusive.

In this study, Dr. Arzy’s research team observed 43 age and sex-matched healthy individuals, along with the 43 who had encephalitis. Although structural MRI proved normal in 31 (72 percent) of the 43 patients, the researchers report that they observed “widespread alterations of functional connectivity” and that these alterations correlated with what they saw clinically. The authors explain that “memory impairment correlated with hippocampal and medial-temporal-lobe network connectivity, whereas schizophrenia-like symptoms were associated with functional connectivity changes in frontoparietal networks.”

As the authors summarize: “This study reveals a characteristic pattern of whole-brain functional connectivity alterations in anti-NMDAR encephalitis that is well suited to explain the major clinical symptoms of the disorder.”  They also note that their findings could be similarly relevant for other neuropsychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia.

Related Stories

alt_text

Wednesday, Feb 19 2020

Meet Dr. Ibrahim Abu Zahira, Hadassah Pediatric Cardiologist

The young doctor rings the doorbell on Star Street in Bethlehem, hoping the parents will still go along with...

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Wednesday, Feb 19 2020

A Hadassah Cardiologist, a New Baby, and a Parking Lot

It was dark and raining hard when cardiologist Prof. Ronen Beeri parked his car and hurried toward Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem...

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Tuesday, Feb 18 2020

Hadassah Doctor Flies to Japan to Look After Israelis with Coronavirus

At the request of the Israel Health Ministry, Hadassah Medical Organization microbiology and infectious disease specialist...

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Tuesday, Feb 18 2020

Hadassah’s Holistic Hospice: A Small Haven with a Big Heart

Guided by a holistic approach, the hospice at Hadassah Hospital Mount Scopus helps patients and their loved ones...

READ MORE ›

Donation Questions

donorservices@hadassah.org

(800) 928-0685

Membership Questions

membership@hadassah.org

(800) 664-5646

Israel Travel

israeltravel@hadassah.org

(800) 237-1517

Contact Us

40 Wall Street

New York, NY 10005

support@hadassah.org

More ›

Show More