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Int J Psychophysiol. 2001 Mar;40(2):143-8.

SPECT neuroimaging in schizophrenia with religious delusions.

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MRI Unit, MRC Clinical Sciences Centre, Imperial College School of Medicine, Hammersmith Hospital, Du Cane Road, W12 0HS, London, UK.


Functional neuroimaging techniques such as single-positron emission computed tomography (SPECT) and positron emission tomography (PET) offer considerable scope for investigating disturbances of brain activity in psychiatric disorders. However, the heterogeneous nature of disorders such as schizophrenia limits the value of studies that group patients under this global label. Some have addressed this problem by considering schizophrenia at a syndromal level, but so far, few have focussed at the level of individual symptoms. We describe the first neuroimaging study of the specific symptom of religious delusions in schizophrenia. 99mTc HMPAO high-resolution SPECT neuroimaging showed an association of religious delusions with left temporal overactivation and reduced occipital uptake, particularly on the left.

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