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Psychiatry Res. 2006 Oct 30;147(2-3):221-6. Epub 2006 Sep 6.

Prefrontal dysfunction in schizophrenia controlling for COMT Val158Met genotype and working memory performance.

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Psychiatric Neuroscience Group, Section on Mental Disorders, Department of Psychiatric and Neurological Sciences, University of Bari, Bari, Italy.


Earlier studies with functional imaging in schizophrenia have demonstrated dysfunction of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex during working memory. Controlling for behavioral performance and for catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met genotype, we here demonstrate in a functional magnetic resonance imaging paradigm that patients recruit greater neuronal resources in prefrontal cortex during working memory, suggesting that this phenotype is a core functional trait of the disease. We also replicated earlier findings that the Val allele of the COMT polymorphism is associated with greater engagement of the prefrontal cortex.

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