Parietal lobe volume deficits in schizophrenia spectrum disorders.
ABSTRACT There has been little attention given to whether parietal lobe structural deficits are present in patients with schizophrenia and related personality disorders. The current study was designed to examine parietal volume alterations between schizophrenia and schizotypal personality disorder. Twenty-five patients with schizotypal disorder, 53 patients with schizophrenia, and 59 healthy volunteers were scanned using high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Volume measurements of the postcentral gyrus (PoCG), precuneus, superior parietal gyrus (SuPG), supramarginal gyrus (SMG), and angular gyrus (AGG) were performed on consecutive 1-mm coronal slices. Gray matter volumes were reduced in all parietal subregions in patients with schizophrenia compared with healthy controls. White matter volumes were also reduced in the SuPG and PoCG. In contrast, the schizotypal subjects had gray matter reductions only in the PoCG, while other regions were not affected. In addition, there was a lack of normal significant-leftward asymmetry in the SMG in schizophrenia. These findings demonstrate that volume reductions in the somatosensory cortices are common morphological characteristics in schizophrenia spectrum disorders. The additional volume alterations in schizophrenia may support the notion that a deficit in the posterior parietal region is critical for the manifestation of overt psychotic symptoms.
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ABSTRACT: Schizophrenia is characterized by neurostructural and neurofunctional aberrations that have now been demonstrated through neuroimaging research. The article reviews recent studies that have attempted to use neuroimaging to understand the relation between neurological abnormalities and aspects of the phenomenology of schizophrenia. Neuroimaging studies show that neurostructural and neurofunctional abnormalities are present in people with schizophrenia and their close relatives and may represent putative endophenotypes. Neuroimaging phenotypes predict the emergence of psychosis in individuals classified as high-risk. Neuroimaging studies have linked structural and functional abnormalities to symptoms; and progressive structural changes to clinical course and functional outcome. Neuroimaging has successfully indexed the neurotoxic and neuroprotective effects of schizophrenia treatments. Pictures can inform about aspects of the phenomenology of schizophrenia including etiology, onset, symptoms, clinical course, and treatment effects but this assertion is tempered by the scientific and practical limitations of neuroimaging.Current Psychiatry Reports 03/2013; 15(3):345. · 3.23 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Semantic association retrieval task (SORT) requires participants to indicate whether word pairs recall a third object, e.g. 'honey' and 'stings' activates 'bees'. We have previously shown that individuals with schizophrenia with more severe positive symptoms tend to report associations between unrelated word pairs than healthy controls; schizophrenia individuals with more severe negative symptoms tend to fail to report associations between related word pairs. This over-retrieval and under-retrieval on SORT correlates with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) activity in inferior parietal lobule (IPL). To examine the suitability of SORT as an endophenotype for schizophrenia, we examined SORT performance and activity across multiple stages of the illness: chronic, relapse, and first episode. We also examine SORT performance and activity in unaffected relatives. SORT performance and fMRI activity in schizophrenia-first episode, schizophrenia-chronic and schizophrenia-relapse were significantly impaired relative to healthy controls and unaffected relatives. Schizophrenia-chronic and schizophrenia-relapse participants showing more severe PANSS-positive and -general symptoms showed larger SORT impairments. For schizophrenia-first episode more severe negative symptoms were related to lower IPL activation, consistent with previous results showing that negative symptoms are among the first to emerge in the schizophrenia prodrome and that more severe symptoms in the first episode predict worse future outcomes. Unaffected relatives showed no impairments on SORT performance or fMRI activity relative to healthy controls, which is incompatible with the concept of SORT as an endophenotype for schizophrenia, but is consistent with the concept of SORT as a potential schizophrenia biomarker.Schizophrenia Research 04/2013; 145(1-3):20-6. · 4.59 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The executive function (EF) is a set of abilities, which allows us to invoke voluntary control of our behavioral responses. These functions enable human beings to develop and carry out plans, make up analogies, obey social rules, solve problems, adapt to unexpected circumstances, do many tasks simultaneously, and locate episodes in time and place. EF includes divided attention and sustained attention, working memory (WM), set-shifting, flexibility, planning, and the regulation of goal directed behavior and can be defined as a brain function underlying the human faculty to act or think not only in reaction to external events but also in relation with internal goals and states. EF is mostly associated with dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (PFC). Besides EF, PFC is involved in self-regulation of behavior, i.e., the ability to regulate behavior according to internal goals and constraints, particularly in less structured situations. Self-regulation of behavior is subtended by ventral medial/orbital PFC. Impairment of EF is one of the most commonly observed deficits in schizophrenia through the various disease stages. Impairment in tasks measuring conceptualization, planning, cognitive flexibility, verbal fluency, ability to solve complex problems, and WM occur in schizophrenia. Disorders detected by executive tests are consistent with evidence from functional neuroimaging, which have shown PFC dysfunction in patients while performing these kinds of tasks. Schizophrenics also exhibit deficit in odor identifying, decision-making, and self-regulation of behavior suggesting dysfunction of the orbital PFC. However, impairment in executive tests is explained by dysfunction of prefronto-striato-thalamic, prefronto-parietal, and prefronto-temporal neural networks mainly. Disorders in EFs may be considered central facts with respect to schizophrenia and it has been suggested that negative symptoms may be explained by that executive dysfunction.Frontiers in Psychiatry 01/2013; 4:35.