30th October 2019
LMS Seminar Room
2nd floor CWB, Faculty of Medicine
Imperial College London
Hammersmith Hospital Campus
Du Cane Road
W12 0NN

LMS Student Talk – Ellis Chika Onwordi

In vivo synaptic imaging in schizophrenia”

Synaptic dysfunction is hypothesised to play a key role in schizophrenia pathogenesis, but this has not been tested directly in vivo.  Furthermore, aberrant synaptic elimination is hypothesised to underlie the grey matter volume loss and alterations in N-acetyl aspartate (NAA, a marker of neuronal integrity) found in schizophrenia.  I will present data from a study using [11C]UCB-J positron emission tomography to image synaptic vesicle glycoprotein 2A (SV2A) in the living human brain.  I will discuss preliminary findings on SV2A’s relationship with regional grey matter volumes and NAA. Our findings that SV2A is reduced in schizophrenia in the frontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex and hippocampus indicate that there are lower synaptic terminal protein levels in schizophrenia in vivo, and form the basis for further work exploring their neurobiological correlates and clinical significance.


Ellis Chika Onwordi

Psychiatric Imaging group, MRC LMS