Don’t go breaking my heart:
an exploration of altered cardiac structure and function in schizophrenia using MRI and genetics
It is unclear which mechanisms are responsible for increased cardiovascular mortality in patients with schizophrenia. In this talk, findings from the first ever case-control study to examine cardiac structure and function in people with schizophrenia using cardiac MRI will be discussed; this study reveals that even in the absence of cardiovascular risk factors, patients with schizophrenia who are taking antipsychotic medication present with myocardial changes characteristic of a fibro-inflammatory process. Also, findings from a study that explores the impact of polygenic risk for schizophrenia on cardiac structure and function (again assessed using cardiac MRI) in over 22,000 participants from the UK Biobank will be presented. The implications of these findings for both future research and clinical practice will be discussed.