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Schizophr Res. 2009 Aug;113(1):84-94. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2009.05.004. Epub 2009 Jun 13.

A prospective longitudinal volumetric MRI study of superior temporal gyrus gray matter and amygdala-hippocampal complex in chronic schizophrenia.

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Clinical Neuroscience Division, Laboratory of Neuroscience, Department of Psychiatry, Boston VA Healthcare System, Brockton Division and Harvard Medical School, Brockton, MA 02301, USA.


A progressive post-onset decrease in gray matter volume 1.5 years after first hospitalization in schizophrenia has been shown in superior temporal gyrus (STG). However, it is still controversial whether progressive volume reduction occurs in chronic schizophrenia in the STG and amygdala-hippocampal complex (AHC), structures found to be abnormal in chronic schizophrenia. These structures were measured at two time points in 16 chronic schizophrenia patients and 20 normal comparison subjects using manual tracing with high spatial resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Average interscan interval was 3.1 years for schizophrenia patients and 1.4 years for healthy comparison subjects. Cross-sectional comparisons showed smaller relative volumes in schizophrenia compared with controls in posterior STG and AHC. An ANCOVA with interscan interval as a covariate showed there was no statistically significant progression of volume reduction in either the STG or AHC in the schizophrenia group compared with normal subjects. In the schizophrenia group, volume change in the left anterior AHC significantly correlated with PANSS negative symptoms. These data, and separately reported first episode data from our laboratory, suggest marked progression at the initial stage of schizophrenia, but less in chronic schizophrenia.

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