Agenesis of Corpus Callosum and Emotional Information Processing in Schizophrenia

Departement de Psychiatrie, Université de Montréal Montréal, QC, Canada.
Frontiers in Psychiatry 02/2012; 3:1. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyt.2012.00001
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Corpus callosum (CC) is essential in providing the integration of information related to perception and action within a subcortico-cortical network, thus supporting the generation of a unified experience about and reaction to changes in the environment. Its role in schizophrenia is yet to be fully elucidated, but there is accumulating evidence that there could be differences between patients and healthy controls regarding the morphology and function of CC, especially when individuals face emotionally laden information. Here, we report a case study of a patient with partial agenesis of corpus callosum (agCC patient with agenesis of the anterior aspect, above the genu) and we provide a direct comparison with a group of patients with no apparent callosal damage (CC group) regarding the brain activity during the processing of emotionally laden information. We found that although the visual cortex activation in response to visual stimuli regardless of their emotional content was comparable in agCC patient and CC group both in terms of localization and intensity of activation, we observed a very large, non-specific and non-lateralized cerebral activation in the agCC patient, in contrast with the CC group, which showed a more lateralized and spatially localized activation, when the emotional content of the stimuli was considered. Further analysis of brain activity in the regions obtained in the CC group revealed that the agCC patient actually had an opposite activation pattern relative to most participants with no CC agenesis, indicating a dysfunctional response to these kind of stimuli, consistent with the clinical presentation of this particular patient. Our results seem to give support to the disconnection hypothesis which posits that the core symptoms of schizophrenia are related to aberrant connectivity between distinct brain areas, especially when faced with emotional stimuli, a fact consistent with the clinical tableau of this particular patient.

Download full-text


Available from: Ovidiu Lungu, Sep 26, 2014
  • Source
    • "For example, the deficit in emotional awareness associated with the range of alexithymic traits in schizophrenia has been shown to relate to (reduced) white matter integrity within the corpus callosum, via language capacity (Kubota et al., 2012). Neurological patients with a damaged or absent corpus callosum also have trouble processing emotional information (Lungu and Stip, 2012), and the role of this structure may be especially important in social contexts, where the fast recognition of emotions seems to require inter-hemispheric cooperation , rather than hemispheric lateralisation (Tamietto et al., 2007). Due to the complexity of socio-cognitive functions like the interpretation of emotion cues, which requires the coordinated functioning of a widely distributed network of grey matter regions, it is possible that these socio-cognitive impairments may be caused by disrupted connectivity between grey matter regions (Miyata et al., 2010). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Our ability to make sense of emotional cues is of paramount importance for understanding state of mind and communicative intent. However, emotional cues often conflict with each other; this presents a significant challenge for people with schizophrenia. We conducted a theoretical review to determine the extent and types of impaired processing of emotion-related conflict in schizophrenia; we evaluated the relationship with medication and symptoms, and considered possible mediatory mechanisms. The literature established that people with schizophrenia demonstrated impaired function: (i) when passively exposed to emotion cues whilst performing an unrelated task, (ii) when selectively attending to one source of emotion cues whilst trying to ignore interference from another source, and (iii) when trying to resolve conflicting emotion cues and judge meta-communicative intent. These deficits showed associations with both negative and positive symptoms. There was limited evidence for antipsychotic medications attenuating impaired emotion perception when there are conflicting cues, with further direct research needed. Impaired attentional control and context processing may underlie some of the observed impairments. Neuroanatomical correlates are likely to involve interhemispheric transfer via the corpus callosum, limbic regions such as the amygdala, and possibly dorsolateral prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortex through their role in conflict processing.
    Psychiatry Research 08/2014; 220(1-2). DOI:10.1016/j.psychres.2014.07.077 · 2.68 Impact Factor
  • Source
    Frontiers in Psychiatry 07/2012; 3:72. DOI:10.3389/fpsyt.2012.00072
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Converging research suggests phenomenological and neurobiological similarities between excessive food consumption and addictive behaviour in substance dependence. Recently, the Yale Food Addiction Scale (YFAS) has been proposed for the assessment of addictive eating behaviour. The German version of the YFAS was administered to obese individuals seeking bariatric surgery (N = 96). Factor structure, internal consistency, and item statistics were analysed. Forty participants (41.70%) received a food addiction diagnosis. The one-factorial structure of the YFAS, which has been found in non-clinical samples, could be confirmed. All but three items had factor loadings > .50. Internal consistency was α = .82. Item analysis revealed that items related to unsuccessful attempts to cut down and consumption despite physical and emotional problems were endorsed by the majority of participants. Findings support the use of the YFAS in clinical populations, while applicability of some items differs between clinical and non-clinical samples.
    European Eating Disorders Review 09/2012; 20(5):419-22. DOI:10.1002/erv.2189 · 1.38 Impact Factor
Show more