Masayoshi Kurachi

University of Toyama, Тояма, Toyama, Japan

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Publications (238)621.83 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Schizophrenia is considered as a "neurodegenerative" and "neurodevelopmental" disorder, the pathophysiology of which may include hypofunction of the N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDA-R) or subsequent pathways. Accordingly, administration of NMDA-R antagonists to rodents during the perinatal period may emulate some core pathophysiological aspects of schizophrenia. The effect of 4-day (postnatal day; PD 7-10) administration of MK-801, a selective NMDA-R antagonist, on gene expression in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), hippocampus, and amygdala was evaluated using quantitative polymerase chain reaction methods. Specifically, we sought to determine whether genes related to Glu transmissions, for example those encoding for NMDA-Rs, metabotropic Glu receptors (mGluRs), or Glu transporters, were altered by neonatal treatment with MK-801. Model rats showed downregulation of the mGluR3 subtype in the mPFC around puberty, especially at PD 35 in response to MK-801 or during ontogenesis without pharmacological manipulations. Genes encoding for other mGluRs subtypes, that is NMDA-Rs and Glu transporters, were not affected by the neonatal insult. These results suggest that NMDA-R antagonism in the early course of development modulates the expression of mGluR3 in mPFC around puberty. Thus, mGluR3 may serve as a potential target to prevent the onset and progression of schizophrenia. Synapse, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Synapse 02/2014; · 2.31 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Sleep can integrate information into existing memory networks, look for common patterns and distil overarching rules, or simply stabilize and strengthen the memory exactly as it was learned. Recent research has shown that sleep facilitates abstraction of gist information as well as integration across multiple memories, insight into hidden solutions, and even the ability to make creative connections between distantly related ideas and concepts. To investigate the effect of sleep on memory organization, 35 normal volunteers were randomly assigned either to the sleep (n = 17) or wake group (n = 18). The sleep subjects performed the Japanese Verbal Learning Test (JVLT), a measure of learning and memory, three times in the evening, and slept. On the following morning (9 h later), they were asked to recall the words on the list. The wake subjects took the same test in the morning, and were asked to recall the words in the same time interval as in the sleep group. The semantic clustering ratio (SCR), divided by the total number of words recalled, was used as an index of memory organization. Our main interest was whether the sleep subjects elicit a greater increase in this measure from the third to the fourth assessments. Time × Group interaction effect on SCR was not significant between the sleep group and wake group as a whole. Meanwhile, the change in the SCR between the third and fourth trials was negatively correlated with duration of nocturnal waking in the sleep group, but not other sleep indices. Based on this observation, further analysis was conducted for subjects in the sleep group who awoke nocturnally for <60 min for comparison with the wake group. A significant Time × Group interaction was noted; these "good-sleepers" showed a significantly greater improvement in the memory index compared with the wake subjects. These results provide the first suggestion that sleep may enhance memory organization, which requires further study.
    Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 01/2014; 8:65. · 4.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Consumption of methamphetamine disturbs dopaminergic transmission and sometimes provokes schizophrenia-like-psychosis, named methamphetamine-associated psychosis (MAP). While previous studies have repeatedly reported regional volume reductions in the frontal and temporal areas as neuroanatomical substrates for psychotic symptoms, no study has examined whether such neuroanatomical substrates exist or not in patients with MAP. Magnetic resonance images obtained from twenty patients with MAP and 20 demographically-matched healthy controls (HC) were processed for voxel-based morphometry (VBM) using Diffeomorphic Anatomical Registration using Exponentiated Lie Algebra. An analysis of covariance model was adopted to identify volume differences between subjects with MAP and HC, treating intracranial volume as a confounding covariate. The VBM analyses showed significant gray matter volume reductions in the left perisylvian structures, such as the posterior inferior frontal gyrus and the anterior superior temporal gyrus, and the frontopolar cortices, including its dorsomedial, ventromedial, dorsolateral, and ventrolateral portions, and white matter volume reduction in the orbitofrontal area in the patients with MAP compared with the HC subjects. The smaller regional gray matter volume in the medial portion of the frontopolar cortex was significantly correlated with the severe positive symptoms in the individuals with MAP. The volume reductions in the left perisylvian structure suggest that patients with MAP have a similar pathophysiology to schizophrenia, whereas those in the frontopolar cortices and orbitofrontal area suggest an association with antisocial traits or vulnerability to substance dependence.
    Schizophrenia Research 05/2013; · 4.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report our activity in the Consultation and Support Service in Toyama (CAST), a clinical service provided by the collaboration of Toyama Prefectural Mental Health Center and University Hospital of Toyama(UHT). About 23% of users diagnosed with at-risk mental state (ARMS), during October 2006 until March 2012, transitioned to overt schizophrenia. More than half of the subjects who continued to visit the specialized clinic in UHT were treated with antipsychotic drugs. We encountered a case of schizophrenia in which early treatment with an atypical psychotic drug was effective in normalizing cognitive function and achieving a good social consequence. The ability of mismatch negativity, an event-related potential, to predict progression to psychosis in subjects with ARMS is discussed. Further efforts should be directed towards improving long-term outcomes, such as social function, for users of the CAST.
    Seishin shinkeigaku zasshi = Psychiatria et neurologia Japonica 01/2013; 115(2):180-6.
  • Seishin shinkeigaku zasshi = Psychiatria et neurologia Japonica 01/2013; 115(1):3-9.
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    ABSTRACT: This longitudinal MRI study investigated the pituitary volume in 17 patients with chronic schizophrenia and 17 matched controls. In contrast to previous findings of pituitary expansion during the first episode of schizophrenia, the chronic patients showed non-significant mild pituitary atrophy, suggesting that the pituitary volume changes differently at different illness stages.
    Psychiatry Research 05/2012; 202(1):84-7. · 2.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Many psychophysiological tests have been widely researched in the search for a biological marker of schizophrenia. The exploratory eye movement (EEM) test involves the monitoring of eye movements while subjects freely view geometric figures. Suzuki et al. (2009) performed discriminant analysis between schizophrenia and non-schizophrenia subjects using EEM test data; consequently, clinically diagnosed schizophrenia patients were identified as having schizophrenia with high probability (73.3%). The aim of the present study was to investigate the characteristics of schizophrenia patients who were identified as having schizophrenia on EEM discriminant analysis (SPDSE) or schizophrenia patients who were identified as not having schizophrenia on EEM discriminant analysis (SPDNSE). The data for the 251 schizophrenia subjects used in the previous discriminant-analytic study were analyzed, and the demographic or symptomatic characteristics of SPDSE and SPDNSE were investigated. As for the symptomatic features, a factor analysis of the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) rating from the schizophrenia subjects was carried out. Five factors were found for schizophrenia symptoms: excitement/hostility; negative symptoms; depression/anxiety; positive symptoms; and disorganization. SPDSE had significantly higher factor scores for excitement/hostility, negative symptoms and disorganization than SPDNSE. Furthermore, the BPRS total score for the SPDSE was significantly higher than that for the SPDNSE. SPDSE may be a disease subtype of schizophrenia with severe symptoms related to excitement/hostility, negative symptoms and disorganization, and EEM parameters may detect this subtype. Therefore, the EEM test may be one of the contributors to the simplification of the heterogeneity of schizophrenia.
    Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences 02/2012; 66(3):187-94. · 2.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: T-817MA [1-{3-[2-(1-benzothiophen-5-yl)ethoxy]propyl}azetidin-3-ol maleate] is a newly synthesized neuroprotective agent for the treatment of psychiatric disorders characterized by cognitive disturbances, such as Alzheimer's disease. Cognitive impairment has also been suggested to be a cardinal feature of schizophrenia. We sought to determine whether T-817MA would ameliorate sensorimotor gating deficits and loss of parvalbumin (PV)-positive γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurons in the brain of rats transiently exposed to MK-801, an N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor blocker, in the neonatal stage, as an animal model of schizophrenia. Prepulse inhibition (PPI) was examined in rats treated neonatally with MK-801 (postnatal day; PD 7-10, 0.2 mg/kg/day, s.c.) or vehicle at PD 35 and PD 63. The number of PV-positive GABAergic neurons in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and the hippocampus was measured after the behavioral assessments. T-817MA (10 or 20 mg/kg) or vehicle was administered for 14 days (on PD 49-62). Administration of T-817MA at 20 mg/kg, but not 10 mg/kg, ameliorated PPI deficits and completely reversed the decrease in the number of PV-positive GABAergic neurons in rats given MK-801. These results indicate that T-817MA may provide a novel therapeutic approach for the treatment of cognitive deficits of schizophrenia.
    Journal of Psychiatric Research 02/2012; 46(5):622-9. · 4.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The number of parvalbumin (PV)-positive γ -aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurons is decreased in the brain of rats transiently exposed to MK-801, an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor blocker, in the neonatal stage (Uehara et al. (2012)). T-817MA [1-{3-[2-(1-benzothiophen-5-yl)ethoxy]propyl} azetidin-3-ol maleate] is a neuroprotective agent synthesized for the treatment of psychiatric disorders characterized by cognitive disturbances, such as dementia. We herein sought to determine whether T-817MA, haloperidol (HPD), or risperidone (RPD) would ameliorate the decrease in the number of PV-positive GABA neurons in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and hippocampus of the model animals. Rats were treated with MK-801 (0.2 mg/kg/day) or vehicle on postnatal days (PD) 7-10, and the number of PV-positive neurons in the mPFC and hippocampus were measured on PDs 63. T-817MA (20 mg/kg), HPD (1 mg/kg), or RPD (1 mg/kg) were administered during PDs 49-62. Fourteen-day administration of T-817MA reversed the decrease in the number of PV-positive neurons in the above brain regions of rats given MK-801, whereas HPD and RPD were ineffective. These results indicate that T-817MA provides a novel pharmacologic strategy to enhance cognitive function in patients with schizophrenia.
    ISRN psychiatry. 01/2012; 2012:947149.
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    ABSTRACT: While longitudinal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies have demonstrated progressive gray matter reduction of the superior temporal gyrus (STG) during the early phases of schizophrenia, it remains largely unknown whether other temporal lobe structures also exhibit similar progressive changes and whether these changes, if present, are specific to schizophrenia among the spectrum disorders. In this longitudinal MRI study, the gray matter volumes of the fusiform, middle temporal, and inferior temporal gyri were measured at baseline and follow-up scans (mean inter-scan interval = 2.7 years) in 18 patients with first-episode schizophrenia, 13 patients with schizotypal disorder, and 20 healthy controls. Both schizophrenia and schizotypal patients had a smaller fusiform gyrus than controls bilaterally at both time points, whereas no group difference was found in the middle and inferior temporal gyri. In the longitudinal comparison, the schizophrenia patients showed significant fusiform gyrus reduction (left, − 2.6%/year; right, − 2.3%/year) compared with schizotypal patients (left: − 0.4%/year; right: − 0.2%/year) and controls (left: 0.1%/year; right: 0.0%/year). However, the middle and inferior temporal gyri did not exhibit significant progressive gray matter change in all diagnostic groups. In the schizophrenia patients, a higher cumulative dose of antipsychotics during follow-up was significantly correlated with less severe gray matter reduction in the left fusiform gyrus. The annual gray matter loss of the fusiform gyrus did not correlate with that of the STG previously reported in the same subjects. Our findings suggest regional specificity of the progressive gray matter reduction in the temporal lobe structures, which might be specific to overt schizophrenia within the schizophrenia spectrum.Highlights► This MRI study examined the temporal gray matter changes in schizophrenia spectrum. ► Schizophrenia but not schizotypal patients showed fusiform reduction over time. ► Middle and inferior temporal gyri had no progressive changes. ► These findings suggest diagnostic and regional specificity.
    Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry 07/2011; 35(8):1957-1964. · 3.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The similarity between psychotic symptoms in patients with schizophrenia such as hallucinations and delusions and those caused by administration of methamphetamine has been accepted. While the etiology of schizophrenia remains unclear, methamphetamine induced psychosis, which is obviously occurred by methamphetamine administration, had been widely considered as a human pharmaceutical model of exogenous psychosis. Although volume reductions in medial temporal lobe structure in patients with schizophrenia have repeatedly been reported, those in patients with methamphetamine psychosis have not yet been clarified. Magnetic resonance images (MRI) were obtained from 20 patients with methamphetamine psychosis and 20 age, sex, parental socio-economic background, and IQ matched healthy controls. A reliable manual tracing methodology was employed to measure the gray matter volume of the amygdala and the hippocampus from MRIs. Significant gray matter volume reductions of both the amygdala and hippocampus were found bilaterally in the subjects with methamphetamine psychosis compared with the controls. The degree of volume reduction was significantly greater in the amygdala than in hippocampus. While the total gray, white matter and intracranial volumes were also significantly smaller-than-normal in the patients; the regional gray matter volume reductions in these medial temporal structures remained statistically significant even after these global brain volumes being controlled. The prominent volume reduction in amygdala rather than that in hippocampus could be relatively specific characteristics of methamphetamine psychosis, since previous studies have shown significant volume reductions less frequently in amygdala than in hippocampus of the other psychosis such as schizophrenia.
    Schizophrenia Research 07/2011; 132(2-3):183-9. · 4.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study examined the size of the useful visual field in patients (9 men, 6 women) with schizophrenia. A choice reaction task was conducted, and performances at 2.5, 5, 7, 10, and 25 degrees in both visual fields were measured. Three key findings were shown. First, patients had slower choice reaction times (choice RTs) than normal controls. Second, patients had slower choice RTs in the right visual field than in the left visual field. Third, patients and normal controls showed the same U-shaped choice RT pattern. The first and second findings were consistent with those of other studies. The third finding was a clear indication of the patients' performance in peripheral vision, and a comparison with normal controls suggested that there was no difference in the size of the useful visual field, at least within
    Perceptual and Motor Skills 04/2011; 112(2):369-81. · 0.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Abnormal fatty acid composition in neural membranes, that is, the balance between essential polyunsaturated fatty acids (EPUFAs) and saturated fatty acids, has been suggested to be related to the psychotic symptoms and cognitive impairment of schizophrenia. This study was conducted to test the hypothesis that the ability of atypical antipsychotic drugs to ameliorate positive symptoms and cognitive function relevant to daily living would be predicted by baseline EPUFAs concentrations in the erythrocyte membrane in subjects with schizophrenia. A total of 24 actively psychotic patients with schizophrenia participated in the study. After blood drawing, they were treated with olanzapine or perospirone. The Scale for the Assessment of Positive Symptoms (SAPS) and the Scale for Assessment of Negative symptoms (SANS), as well as the script tasks, a measure of event schema recognition, were administered at baseline and 3months after the start of treatment. Erythrocyte membrane fatty acid levels were analysed using a gas chromatography system. Scores of SAPS and SANS, as well as script task performance, were improved during treatment with either antipsychotic drug. Regression analysis indicates baseline EPUFAs concentrations were positively and negatively related with percent improvement of positive symptoms and script task performance, respectively. The results of this study suggest composition of phospholipids in the erythrocyte membrane provide a feasible marker to predict treatment response in patients with schizophrenia.
    Psychiatry Research 03/2011; 186(1):23-7. · 2.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies have repeatedly demonstrated regional brain structural abnormalities in patients with schizophrenia, relatively few MRI-based studies have attempted to distinguish between patients with first-episode schizophrenia and healthy controls. Three-dimensional MR images were acquired from 52 (29 males, 23 females) first-episode schizophrenia patients and 40 (22 males, 18 females) healthy subjects. Multiple brain measures (regional brain volume and cortical thickness) were calculated by a fully automated procedure and were used for group comparison and classification by linear discriminant function analysis. Schizophrenia patients showed gray matter volume reductions and cortical thinning in various brain regions predominantly in prefrontal and temporal cortices compared with controls. The classifiers obtained from 66 subjects of the first group successfully assigned 26 subjects of the second group with accuracy above 80%. Our results showed that combinations of automated brain measures successfully differentiated first-episode schizophrenia patients from healthy controls. Such neuroimaging approaches may provide objective biological information adjunct to clinical diagnosis of early schizophrenia.
    PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(6):e21047. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Age-dependent changes of gene expression in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) of rats around the time of puberty were investigated by means of microarray and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). About 127 and 138 genes were increased and decreased, respectively, in the PFC of rats at post-puberty (PD56) compared with those at pre-puberty (PD35). Functional analysis showed significant associations of these genes with aging, cellular development, and neuropsychological disorders. qPCR analysis confirmed down-regulation of seven genes related to myelination. As these genes have been reported to be diminished in the brain of patients with schizophrenia, the results of this study suggest an exaggerated maturation process may contribute to the pathogenesis of psychotic disorders.
    Journal of Neural Transmission 11/2010; 117(11):1265-8. · 3.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: An enlarged volume of the pituitary gland has been reported in the schizophrenia spectrum, possibly reflecting the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) hyperactivity. However, it remains largely unknown whether the pituitary size longitudinally changes in the course of the spectrum disorders. In the present study, longitudinal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data were obtained from 18 patients with first-episode schizophrenia, 13 patients with schizotypal disorder, and 20 healthy controls. The pituitary volume was measured at baseline and follow-up (mean, 2.7 years) scans and was compared across groups. The pituitary volume was larger in the schizophrenia patients than controls at baseline, and both patient groups had significantly larger pituitary volume than controls at follow-up. In a longitudinal comparison, both schizophrenia (3.6%/year) and schizotypal (2.7%/year) patients showed significant pituitary enlargement compared with controls (-1.8%/year). In the schizophrenia patients, greater pituitary enlargement over time was associated with less improvement of delusions and higher scores for thought disorders at the follow-up. These findings suggest that the pituitary gland exhibits ongoing volume changes during the early course of the schizophrenia spectrum as a possible marker of state-related impairments.
    Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry 10/2010; 35(1):177-83. · 3.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Administration of non-competitive N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonists (e.g. phencyclidine, MK-801) has been shown to elicit behavioral abnormalities related to symptoms of schizophrenia, such as spontaneous locomotor activity and impaired sensorimotor gating, as represented by deficits of prepulse inhibition (PPI). We sought to determine whether transient blockade of NMDA receptors at the neonatal stage would produce dopamine supersensitivity around puberty, as manifested by these behavioral measures. For this purpose, we examined methamphetamine (MAP; 1.0mg/kg, i.p.)-induced locomotor activity and PPI in pre- (postnatal day; PD 36-38) or post- (PD 64-66) puberty in rats administered MK-801 (0.2mg/kg/day, s.c.) between PD 7 and PD 10. Neonatal MK-801 treatment augmented MAP-induced hyperlocomotion especially in the early adulthood, whereas spontaneous locomotor activity and rearing were not changed. MK-801 administration also disrupted PPI without affecting startle amplitudes around puberty. These findings suggest that transient exposure to MK-801 in the neonatal stage causes exaggerated dopamine transmission and cognitive deficits, particularly in the post-puberty stage.
    Brain research 09/2010; 1352:223-30. · 2.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: While longitudinal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies have demonstrated progressive gray matter reduction of the superior temporal gyrus (STG) during the early phases of schizophrenia, it remains unknown whether patients with schizotypal features exhibit similar STG changes. In this study, longitudinal MRI data were obtained from 18 patients with first-episode schizophrenia, 13 patients with schizotypal disorder, and 20 healthy controls. The volumes of the STG and its subregions [planum polare (PP), Heschl gyrus (HG), planum temporale (PT), rostral STG, and caudal STG] were measured on baseline and follow-up (mean: 2.7 years) scans and were compared across groups. At the baseline, both the schizophrenia and schizotypal patients had smaller left PT and left caudal STG than the controls. In a longitudinal comparison, the schizophrenia patients showed significant gray matter reduction of the STG over time (left: -2.8%/year; right: -1.5%/year) compared with the schizotypal patients (left: -0.6%/year; right: -0.3%/year) and controls (left: 0.0%/year; right: -0.1%/year) without a prominent effect of subregion or type of antipsychotic (typical/atypical). In the schizophrenia patients, greater annual volume reductions of the left PP and right PT were correlated with less improvement of positive psychotic symptoms. A higher cumulative dose of antipsychotics during follow-up in schizophrenia was significantly correlated with less severe gray matter reductions in the left PT and bilateral caudal STG. Our findings suggest that the left posterior STG subregions are commonly reduced in diseases of the schizophrenia spectrum; whereas, schizophrenia patients exhibit further progressive STG changes associated with overt psychosis in the early years of the illness.
    Schizophrenia Research 06/2010; 119(1-3):65-74. · 4.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to determine if the functional single nucleotide polymorphisms of rs6259 C(-1019)G in the promoter region, which regulates serotonin 5-HT(1A) receptor transcription, affects the ability of antipsychotic drugs to improve attention in patients with schizophrenia. Subjects were neuroleptic-free and meeting DSM-IV-TR criteria for schizophrenia. Psychopathology and attention were evaluated with the Scale for the Assessment of Positive Symptoms (SAPS) and the Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms (SANS) at baseline and 3 months after treatment with atypical antipsychotic drugs (AAPDs). DNA was extracted from peripheral blood following standard procedures. Genotyping was performed with HS-Taq assay (LaboPass). Data were available from 30 subjects (male/female=19/11), in which 17 had the CC genotype, three had the GG genotype, and 10 were heterozygous. The 3-month treatment with AAPDs was associated with significant improvements in positive and negative symptoms, but not attention as measured by SANS-Attention subscale in the entire subject group. There were no significant differences in the degree of improvements of SAPS and SANS scores between the CC genotype group and the (C/G plus G/G) combined group. On the other hand, improvement of attention was significantly greater for the former group compared to the latter group (P<0.016), suggesting a detrimental influence of the G-allele. These results provide additional support to the role of 5-HT(1A) receptors in some of the cognitive disturbances of schizophrenia. Further studies with a larger number of subjects are warranted.
    Advances in Therapy 05/2010; 27(5):307-13. · 2.44 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

3k Citations
621.83 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2006–2014
    • University of Toyama
      • • Department of Neuropsychiatry
      • • School of Medicine
      Тояма, Toyama, Japan
  • 2012
    • Ludwig-Maximilian-University of Munich
      • Department of Psychiatry
      München, Bavaria, Germany
  • 2009
    • Toho University
      • Department of Neuropsychiatry
      Edo, Tōkyō, Japan
  • 1987–2009
    • Toyama Medical and Pharmaceutical University
      Тояма, Toyama, Japan
  • 2008
    • Hokuriku National Hospital
      Тояма, Toyama, Japan
  • 2001
    • Fukushima University
      Hukusima, Fukushima, Japan
  • 1979–1994
    • Kanazawa Medical University
      • • Department of Neuropsychiatry
      • • Department of Neurology
      Kanazawa-shi, Ishikawa-ken, Japan
  • 1979–1984
    • Kanazawa University
      • School of Medicine
      Kanazawa, Ishikawa, Japan