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Psychiatry Res. 2015 Feb 28;231(2):103-10. doi: 10.1016/j.pscychresns.2014.10.017. Epub 2014 Nov 18.

Medial frontal gyrus alterations in schizophrenia: relationship with duration of illness and executive dysfunction.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology and Psychiatry, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy; Department of Psychosis Studies, Institute of Psychiatry, King׳s College London, UK.
2
Department of Psychosis Studies, Institute of Psychiatry, King׳s College London, UK.
3
Department of Neurology and Psychiatry, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy. Electronic address: alessiamirigliani@hotmail.com.
4
SAIMLAL, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy.
5
Department of Neurology and Psychiatry, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy; Department of Psychology, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy.
6
Department of Neurology and Psychiatry, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy.

Abstract

Executive functioning is consistently impaired in schizophrenia, and it has been associated with reduced gray matter volume in prefrontal areas. Abnormalities in prefrontal brain regions have also been related to the illness duration. The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of executive functioning decline and chronicity in prefrontal regions of patients with schizophrenia. Participants comprised 33 schizophrenic patients, 18 with duration of illness (DoI) shorter than 10 years and 15 with duration of illness longer than 10 years. In addition, 24 healthy controls served as a comparison group. Participants performed the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) and underwent structural magnetic resonance imaging. Patients with longer DoI showed significant reduction of gray matter volume in the left medial frontal gyrus compared with healthy controls. Moreover, there was a trend for greater gray matter volume decrease in patients with a longer illness duration compared with patients with shorter illness duration. There was no interaction between the volume of the left medial frontal gyrus performance on the WCST. The present study supports the hypothesis that medial frontal gyrus alterations in schizophrenia are sensitive to duration of illness. These alterations were not associated with executive functioning.

KEYWORDS:

Gray matter; Schizophrenia; Voxel-based morphometry; Wisconsin Card Sorting Test

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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