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Psychiatry Res Neuroimaging. 2019 Jun 30;288:29-36. doi: 10.1016/j.pscychresns.2019.04.013. Epub 2019 May 1.

A preliminary study of cortical morphology in schizophrenia patients with a history of violence.

Author information

1
Ostfold Hospital Trust, Graalum, Norway.
2
Department of Mathematics, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.
3
NORMENT, KG Jebsen Centre for Psychosis Research, Institute for Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo, Norway.
4
Department of Mental Health and Addiction, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo, P.O.Box 4956 Nydalen, 0424 Oslo, Norway.
5
Section of Neuroradiology, Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway.
6
NORMENT, KG Jebsen Centre for Psychosis Research, Division of Mental Health and Addiction, Oslo University Hospital, Norway.
7
NORMENT, KG Jebsen Centre for Psychosis Research, Division of Mental Health and Addiction, Oslo University Hospital, Norway; NORMENT, KG Jebsen Centre for Psychosis Research, Institute for Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo, Norway.
8
NORMENT, KG Jebsen Centre for Psychosis Research, Institute for Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo, Norway; Department of Psychiatric Research, Diakonhjemmet Hospital, Oslo, Norway.
9
NORMENT, KG Jebsen Centre for Psychosis Research, Division of Mental Health and Addiction, Oslo University Hospital, Norway; Department of Mental Health and Addiction, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo, P.O.Box 4956 Nydalen, 0424 Oslo, Norway. Electronic address: unn.haukvik@medisin.uio.no.

Abstract

Clinical studies of patients with schizophrenia and a history of violence are challenging both from an ethical and practical perspective, and the neurobiological underpinnings remain largely unknown. We here present a comprehensive account of the brain cortical characteristics associated with violence in schizophrenia. We obtained 3T MRI scans and thorough clinical characterization of schizophrenia patients with a history of violence (murder, attempted murder, criminal assault, SCZ-V, n = 11), schizophrenia patients with no history of violence (SCZ-NV, n = 17), and healthy controls (HC, n = 19). Cortical thickness, area, and folding were analyzed vertex-wise across the cortical mantle (FreeSurfer). SCZ-V had significantly increased cortical folding in the visual and orbitofrontal cortex, and reduced cortical thickness within the precentral-, parietal-, temporal-, and fusiform cortex compared to SCZ-NV, as well as widespread regional thinning and increased folding compared to HC. There were no group differences in cortical area. A major limitation is the small subject sample. If replicated, the results from this pilot study suggest cortical abnormalities in areas involved in sensory processing, emotion recognition, and reward to be of importance to the neurobiology of violence in schizophrenia.

KEYWORDS:

Aggression; Cortical thickness; Forensic psychiatry; Gyrification; Orbitofrontal cortex; Psychosis; Visual cortex

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