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Biol Psychiatry. 1991 Oct 15;30(8):753-69.

Magnetic resonance imaging in schizophrenia: altered brain morphology associated with P300 abnormalities and eye tracking dysfunction.

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  • 1University Department of Psychiatry, Royal Edinburgh Hospital, Scotland.


This study was designed to investigate whether auditory P300 event-related potential and smooth pursuit eye-movement abnormalities in schizophrenia are associated with brain structural changes measured using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Serial coronal MRI scans obtained from 31 schizophrenic subjects and 33 volunteer controls were analysed by a rater who had no knowledge of the subjects' diagnoses. The brain areas measured bilaterally were the temporal lobe, hippocampus, amygdala, parahippocampal gyrus, head of caudate, cingulate cortex, frontal cortex, and the lateral ventricles. The area of the third ventricle, the thickness of the corpus callosum, and the intracranial area were also measured. Auditory P300 and eye tracking performance were recorded on all subjects. There was a significant increase in the latency and a reduction in amplitude of the P300 in the schizophrenic group. Only in the schizophrenic group was P300 latency correlated negatively with the area of the right and left cingulate cortex and positively with the difference in size between the right and left amygdala. In the subgroup of schizophrenic subjects whose P300 latency was greater than 2 standard deviations above the control mean, the area of the left cingulate cortex was significantly smaller than in controls, and the absolute right-left difference in the area of the amygdala was significantly increased. Eye tracking dysfunction in schizophrenia was not related to changes in the amygdala or cingulate cortex but was significantly correlated with enlargement of the lateral ventricles. Schizophrenic subjects with poor eye tracking had significantly larger lateral ventricles than controls. Eye tracking dysfunction, but not P300 abnormality, was correlated with the severity of both positive and negative symptom of schizophrenia. These findings demonstrate that psychophysiological abnormalities are associated with altered brain structure in schizophrenia.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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