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Schizophr Res. 2007 Jan;89(1-3):22-34. Epub 2006 Nov 13.

Prefrontal cortex and insight in schizophrenia: a volumetric MRI study.

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  • 1King's College London, Institute of Psychiatry, Department of Psychology, London, UK.

Abstract

Previous studies have suggested a relationship between frontal lobe-based neuropsychological functions and insight in schizophrenia. There is some evidence linking both smaller whole brain volume and frontal cortical atrophy to poor insight in this population. We investigated the relationship between total as well as specific prefrontal regional volumes and insight in schizophrenia. Twenty-eight stable outpatients with schizophrenia underwent magnetic resonance imaging scanning and assessment for insight. Insight was measured using the Birchwood self-report Insight Scale and the Expanded Schedule of Assessment of Insight. The whole brain and prefrontal regional (superior frontal, middle frontal, inferior frontal and orbitofrontal) volumes were then manually measured using the Cavalieri method and established criteria. Twenty healthy subjects were also scanned to provide control data for volumetric assessments. Smaller total prefrontal grey matter volume was moderately associated with a lower level of insight into the presence of illness. At the prefrontal sub-regional level, volumes of the superior, inferior and orbitofrontal regions contributed to this relationship, especially in males. It is concluded that smaller prefrontal grey matter volume is associated with poor insight into the presence of illness in stable schizophrenia patients. Future research should examine the association of specific dimensions of insight with frontal as well as non-frontal regional brain volumes.

PMID:
17097853
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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