Head Lines; December 2008/January 2009; Scientific American Mind; by Rachel Mahan; Melinda Wenner; Nicole Branan; Rachel Dvoskin; Karen Schrock; Siri Carpenter; Aimee Cunningham; Erica Westly; 8 Page(s)
Brains today are expensive¿metabolically
speaking, that is. Pound for pound, the human
brain demands a huge amount of energy to
support its recently evolved language and social
skills. Now a study offers some of the first
strong evidence that the rapid development of
our metabolically costly brain may have led to
an unfortunate by-product: when energy problems arise, the result may be schizophrenia.
No one knows exactly what causes schizophrenia, a debilitating disorder characterized by psychosis and severe cognitive impairments. One theory, which suggests it is a consequence of our brain¿s high metabolism, has been around for years¿but until now scientists had not developed a way to test it.