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Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2015 Jan;232(2):369-77. doi: 10.1007/s00213-014-3670-7. Epub 2014 Aug 2.

Brain differences in first-episode schizophrenia treated with quetiapine: a deformation-based morphometric study.

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  • 1College of Life Science and Bioengineering, Beijing University of Technology, Beijing, 100022, China.



With the development of various imaging techniques, the deformation-based morphometry (DBM) method provides an objective automatic examination of the whole brain.


This study aims to assess the abnormalities in the brains of first-episode schizophrenia (FES) patients treated with quetiapine using another advanced nonrigid registration method, hierarchical attribute matching mechanism for elastic registration, through the application of DBM in the entire brain.


Thirty FES patients and 30 normal controls were grouped by age and handedness and subjected to magnetic resonance imaging examination. The patients had relatively short durations of untreated psychosis (DUP; 6.4 ± 5.2 months), and only a single antipsychotic drug, quetiapine (dosage, 200 ± 75 mg), was used for treatment. Statistically significant changes in regional volume were analyzed via DBM. In addition, a voxel-wise analysis of correlations between the duration of treatment or dosage and volume was also performed.


Compared with control subjects, FES patients showed contracted regions located in Brodmann area (BA) 42 and BA 19. By contrast, expanded regions were observed in BA 38, BA 21, BA 6 and 8, and left cerebellum. A negative correlation was observed between dosage and volume in the hippocampus, while a positive correlation was found in the caudate. Meanwhile, a negative correlation was observed between duration of treatment and volume in BA 38.


Both regional volume reductions and increases were detected in the brains of FES patients treated with quetiapine compared with healthy control subjects. Such differences may be partially relevant to dosage and treatment duration in clinic.

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