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Schizophr Res. 2002 Dec 1;58(2-3):123-34.

An MRI study of temporal lobe abnormalities and negative symptoms in chronic schizophrenia.

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Clinical Neuroscience Division, Laboratory of Neuroscience, Department of Psychiatry, Brockton Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02301, USA.


Previous magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies have reported various subtle brain abnormalities in schizophrenic patients, including temporal lobe abnormalities, which are of particular interest given the role of this brain region in auditory and language processing, and the characteristic deficits in these processes in schizophrenia. Subjects in this study were 16 male patients diagnosed with chronic schizophrenia and 15 healthy male comparison subjects. These patients were characterized by negative symptoms. High spatial resolution coronal MRI 1.5-mm-thick slices were used to measure the gray matter volume of the superior temporal gyrus, anterior and posterior amygdala/hippocampal complex, and parahippocampal gyrus. Patients, relative to normal comparison subjects, evinced a reduction of gray matter volume in bilateral superior temporal gyri and anterior amygdala/hippocampal complex. The reduction in gray matter of the superior temporal gyrus in patients with schizophrenia is consistent with previous findings, and is noteworthy in that it was found in this group of patients with predominantly negative symptoms. The reduction in the anterior amygdala/hippocampal complex was an additional temporal lobe finding. These results underscore the role of temporal lobe structures in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia.

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