Article

Aggression and Quantitative MRI Measures of Caudate in Patients With Chronic Schizophrenia or Schizoaffective Disorder

Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, Orangeburg, NY 10962, USA.
Journal of Neuropsychiatry (Impact Factor: 2.77). 02/2006; 18(4):509-15. DOI: 10.1176/appi.neuropsych.18.4.509
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Caudate dysfunction is implicated in schizophrenia. However, little is known about the relationship between aggression and caudate volumes. Forty-nine patients received magnetic resonance imaging scanning in a double-blind treatment study in which aggression was measured. Caudate volumes were computed using a semiautomated method. The authors measured aggression with the Overt Aggression Scale and the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale. Larger caudate volumes were associated with greater levels of aggression. The relationship between aggression and caudate volumes may be related to the iatrogenic effects of long-term treatment with typical antipsychotic agents or to a direct effect of schizophrenic processes on the caudate.

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    • "As subcortical abnormalities are well-described in schizophrenia (Ananth et al., 2002; Spoletini et al., 2009), it is surprising that the extent to which the subcortical structures are related to suicidality is still unexplored, particularly in light of their key role in emotion regulation and impulse control due to their connections with the frontal cortices. Indeed, in schizophrenia altered subcortical structures are implicated in aggression (Hoptman et al., 2006, 2009), violence (Barkataki et al., 2006; Wong et al., 1997) and impulsivity (Hoptman et al., 2002, 2004); however, as yet no studies have explored the issue of suicidality. In particular, the amygdala and the hippocampus are key components in the neural circuitry that mediates stress responses. "
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    • "pulse inhibition ( Kumari et al . , 2003 ) , which is a measure of automatic inhibition and is found to be associated with the severity of violence across mental disorders ( Kumari et al . , 2005 ) . Very recently , a structural MRI study has shown larger caudate nucleus volumes to be associated with greater levels of aggression in schizophrenia ( Hoptman et al . , 2006 ) . Hoptman and colleagues ( 2006 ) propose that such volumetric increases may interfere with the normal frontal - subcortical functioning , and the disruption of the prefrontal - subcortical circuit ( including the caudate nucleus and thalamus ) may be implicated in aggression in individuals with schizophrenia . Taken in conjunction wi"
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