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UofA doctor working to develop biological test for schizophrenia

(Flickr photo)

PHOENIX — A University of Arizona doctor is leading a study in order to develop a biological test for schizophrenia.

Amelia Gallitano, a doctor at the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Phoenix, is leading the first biological test to diagnose schizophrenia, which is a long-term mental disorder that is characterized by hallucinations and delusions.

“It is any sensory experience that isn’t based in reality,” Gallitano said. “A typical hallucination is auditory, they hear voices.”

Gallitano said the goal of the study is to better — and more quickly — diagnose the disorder within patients.

“[The goal is to] have some uniformity in being able to diagnose the disorder, have it being able to be diagnosed more rapidly and by people who don’t have that specific expertise because not everyone has access to a psychiatrist.”

The university has been granted $175,000 to develop the test. Gallitano said they will conduct the test by studying both healthy individuals and those with schizophrenia and record the different responses.

KTAR News’ Ali Vetnar contributed to this report. 

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