Cognition in schizophrenia: a missing piece of the therapeutic puzzle

What kind of mental image springs to mind upon reading the word ‘schizophrenia’? Many envisage an individual locked in a dark institution, constantly plagued by non-existent voices and vivid hallucinations. Even as a final year BSc Biology student with a neuroscience research placement under my belt, I too was guilty of this reflex association. Upon […]

Nocturnal light exposure and mood disorders

Milan, Italy in 2015

Introduction For millions of years prior to the widespread use of electricity, humans were exposed to minimal amounts of nocturnal light in comparison to modern times. During clear starry nights, light exposure was limited to around 0.001 lux, and no artificial light sources existed until the use of fire, an ability that is estimated to […]

Deciphering the biology behind psychiatric risk genes

Genetic studies that scan the genomes of psychiatric patients are becoming increasingly good at identifying ‘risk genes’ associated with disorders such as schizophrenia, autism and intellectual disability. However, we still know very little about the biological actions and pathways that are being genetically encoded within these risk genes. Understanding the biology behind the vulnerability to […]