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

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States
Journal of Neuropsychiatry (Impact Factor: 2.82). 02/2006; 18(4):509-15. DOI: 10.1176/appi.neuropsych.18.4.509
Source: PubMed


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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Available from: Leslie Citrome
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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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    • "Of the regions that showed altered activation patterns in the violent groups, temporal lobe regions have strongly been implicated in violent and antisocial behaviour (Dolan, 2002; Herba et al., 2004; Kumari and Taylor, in press). Abnormalities in the thalamus have been demonstrated in murderers (Raine et al., 1998), and in the basal ganglia in relation to aggressive behaviour in schizophrenia (Hoptman et al., 2006). How exactly these dysfunctions produce less/more favourable outcome in different violent scenarios in schizophrenia patients remains to be established. "
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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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