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Schizophr Res. 2015 Dec;169(1-3):76-82. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2015.08.001. Epub 2015 Sep 18.

Subcortical structure alterations impact language processing in individuals with schizophrenia and those at high genetic risk.

Author information

1
Department of Biomedical Engineering, New Jersey Institute of Technology, NJ, United States; Gruss Magnetic Resonance Research Center, United States; Department of Radiology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY, United States. Electronic address: xli.aecom@gmail.com.
2
Gruss Magnetic Resonance Research Center, United States.
3
New York University Medical School, NY, United States.
4
Gruss Magnetic Resonance Research Center, United States; Department of Radiology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY, United States.
5
New York University Medical School, NY, United States; VA Boston Healthcare System, Harvard Medical School, Brockton, MA, United States.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Cortical structural and functional anomalies have been found to associate with language impairments in both schizophrenia patients and genetic high risk individuals for developing schizophrenia. However, subcortical structures that contribute to language processing haven't been well studied in this population, and thus became the main objective of this study.

METHOD:

We examined structural MRI data from 20 patients with schizophrenia, 21 individuals at genetic high risk, and 48 controls. Surface shape and volume differences of 6 subcortical structures that are involved in language processing, including nuclei pallidum, putamen, caudate, amygdala, thalamus, and hippocampus from both hemispheres, were compared between groups. Performance scores of language-associated cognitive tests were obtained to identify relationships of subcortical structures to language-related behaviors.

RESULTS:

Significantly reduced volumes of both the left and right side caudate nuclei, thalami and right side amygdala were shown in patients when compared with controls. Very interestingly, the high risk group demonstrated significantly increased correlations between volumes of left side pallidum nucleus and bilateral thalami and language-related cognitive test scores when compared to controls.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study furthers our understanding of subcortical structural alterations in schizophrenia and high risk individuals, and suggests the contribution of subcortical structures to the language impairments that may serve as an early sign for impending development of schizophrenia.

KEYWORDS:

Genetic high-risk; Language processing; Schizophrenia; Structural MRI; Subcortical structures

PMID:
26386898
PMCID:
PMC4681604
DOI:
10.1016/j.schres.2015.08.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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