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Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1998 Mar;55(3):235-43.

Dorsal striatal size, shape, and metabolic rate in never-medicated and previously medicated schizophrenics performing a verbal learning task.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY 10029-6574, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography were used to study the size and metabolic rate of the caudate and the putamen in 18 patients with schizophrenia (n=16) or schizo-affective disorder (n=2) and 24 age- and sex-matched control subjects.

METHODS:

The patients were either never medicated (n=7) or drug free (n=11) for a median of 3 weeks. During uptake of fludeoxyglucose F 18, all patients performed a serial verbal learning test. Positron emission tomographic and magnetic resonance imaging scans were coregistered, and the caudate and the putamen were traced on the magnetic resonance image.

RESULTS:

The striatum had a significantly lower relative metabolic rate in schizophrenics than in controls. Never-medicated patients had lower metabolic rates in the right putamen (ventral part of the dorsal striatum) than previously medicated patients. The caudate was significantly smaller in never-medicated patients than in controls and largest in previously medicated patients. Patients with higher relative metabolic rates in the putamen scored higher on the Abnormal Involuntary Movements Scale.

CONCLUSIONS:

The findings are consistent with reports of striatal enlargement in previously medicated patients and size increases after neuroleptic treatment. Never-medicated patients, in contrast, had ventral striatal structures that were smaller and less active than those observed in controls and previously medicated patients.

PMID:
9510217
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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