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Psychiatry Res. 1999 Jun 30;90(3):169-79.

Low resolution brain electromagnetic tomography (LORETA) functional imaging in acute, neuroleptic-naive, first-episode, productive schizophrenia.

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The KEY Institute for Brain-Mind Research, University Hospital of Psychiatry, Zurich, Switzerland.


Functional imaging of brain electrical activity was performed in nine acute, neuroleptic-naive, first-episode, productive patients with schizophrenia and 36 control subjects. Low-resolution electromagnetic tomography (LORETA, three-dimensional images of cortical current density) was computed from 19-channel electroencephalographic (EEG) activity obtained under resting conditions, separately for the different EEG frequencies. Three patterns of activity were evident in the patients: (1) an anterior, near-bilateral excess of delta frequency activity; (2) an anterior-inferior deficit of theta frequency activity coupled with an anterior-inferior left-sided deficit of alpha-1 and alpha-2 frequency activity; and (3) a posterior-superior right-sided excess of beta-1, beta-2 and beta-3 frequency activity. Patients showed deviations from normal brain activity as evidenced by LORETA along an anterior-left-to-posterior-right spatial axis. The high temporal resolution of EEG makes it possible to specify the deviations not only as excess or deficit, but also as inhibitory, normal and excitatory. The patients showed a dis-coordinated brain functional state consisting of inhibited prefrontal/frontal areas and simultaneously overexcited right parietal areas, while left anterior, left temporal and left central areas lacked normal routine activity. Since all information processing is brain-state dependent, this dis-coordinated state must result in inadequate treatment of (externally or internally generated) information.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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