Disease specific brain capillary angiopathy in schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and Alzheimer's disease

Shinobu Hirai, Atsuhiro Sakuma, Yasuto Kunii, Hiroko Shimbo, Mizuki Hino, Ryuta Izumi, Atsuko Nagaoka, Hirooki Yabe, Rika Kojima, Erika Seki, Nobutaka Arai, Takashi Komori, Haruo Okado

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Schizophrenia (SZ) and bipolar disorder (BD), which are both psychiatric disorders, share some common clinical evidence. We recently discovered that brain capillary angiopathy is another common feature of these psychiatric disorders using fibrin accumulation in vascular endothelial cells as an indicator. This study aimed to characterize the similarities and differences in cerebral capillary injuries in various brain diseases to provide new diagnostic methods for SZ and BD and to develop new therapeutic strategies. We evaluated whether discrepancies exist in the degree of vascular damage among SZ and BD and other brain disorders (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson's disease (PD), and Alzheimer's disease (AD)) using postmortem brains. Our results demonstrate that fibrin was strongly accumulated in the capillaries of the grey matter (GM) of brains of patients with SZ and AD and in the capillaries of the white matter (WM) in those of patients with SZ, BD, and AD when compared with control subjects without any psychiatric or neurological disease history. However, ALS and PD brains did not present a significant increase in the amount of accumulated fibrin, either in the capillaries of WM or GM. Furthermore, significant leakage of fibrin into the brain parenchyma, indicating a vascular physical disruption, was observed in the brains of patients with AD but not in the brains of other patients compared with control subjects. In conclusion, our work reveals that Fibrin-accumulation in the brain capillaries are observed in psychiatric disorders, such as SZ, BD, and AD. Furthermore, fibrin-accumulating, nonbreaking type angiopathy is characteristic of SZ and BD, even though there are regional differences between these diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-79
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Jul


  • Angiopathy
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Fibrin
  • Postmortem brain
  • Schizophrenia


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