Article

Regional Cortical Thinning in Subjects With Violent Antisocial Personality Disorder or Schizophrenia

Laboratory of Neuro Imaging, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Ángeles, California, United States
American Journal of Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 13.56). 10/2007; 164(9):1418-27. DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2007.06101631
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ABSTRACT Violent behavior is associated with antisocial personality disorder and to a lesser extent with schizophrenia. Neuroimaging studies have suggested that several biological systems are disturbed in schizophrenia, and structural changes in frontal and temporal lobe regions are reported in both antisocial personality disorder and schizophrenia. The neural substrates that underlie violent behavior specifically and their structural analogs, however, remain poorly understood. Nor is it known whether a common biological basis exists for aggressive, impulsive, and violent behavior across these clinical populations. To explore the correlates of violence with brain structure in antisocial personality disorder and schizophrenia, the authors used magnetic resonance imaging data to investigate for the first time, to the authors' knowledge, regional differences in cortical thickness in violent and nonviolent individuals with schizophrenia and/or antisocial personality disorder and in healthy comparison subjects. Subject groups included right-handed men closely matched for demographic variables (total number of subjects=56). Violence was associated with cortical thinning in the medial inferior frontal and lateral sensory motor cortex, particularly in the right hemisphere, and surrounding association areas (Brodmann's areas 10, 11, 12, and 32). Only violent subjects with antisocial personality disorder exhibited cortical thinning in inferior mesial frontal cortices. The biological underpinnings of violent behavior may therefore vary between these two violent subject groups in which the medial frontal cortex is compromised in antisocial personality disorder exclusively, but laminar abnormalities in sensorimotor cortices may relate to violent behavior in both antisocial personality disorder and schizophrenia.

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    • "Although the precentral cortex – which is involved in motor planning and execution – has not typically been associated with aggressive behavior, several recent studies have found a relation with aggression. Precentral cortical thinning has been reported in association with psychopathy and violence (Ly et al., 2012; Narayan et al., 2007). Furthermore, activation of the precentral cortex has been associated with impulsivity in juvenile offenders and impaired response inhibition in highly aggressive male students (Pawliczek et al., 2013; Shannon et al., 2011). "
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    • "The bulk of evidence involves the frontal lobe in impulsive behavior , mainly the orbitofrontal cortex (Horn et al., 2003; Berlin et al., 2004; Völlm et al., 2004; Antonucci et al., 2006) and the ventromedial frontal lobe (Narayan et al., 2007), although the inferior frontal cortex has also been included due to its role in response inhibition (Aron et al., 2004). However, some other brain regions such as the amygdala (Blair, 2007), the temporal lobe (Dolan et al., 2002), the angular gyrus (Soderstrom et al., 2000) and the posterior cingulate cortex (Tiihonen et al., 2008) have also been described as related to impulsive and antisocial behavior (Glenn and Raine, 2011). "
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