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[Nuclear magnetic resonance in psychiatry].

[Article in Spanish]

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Centro de Salud Mental de Antequera, Málaga.


Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a more recent technique than computerized tomography (CT), with which morphological, high quality, three-dimensional images can be obtained, it is capable of differentiating gray/white matter without patients' exposure to radiation. Clinical investigation studies demonstrate the following findings: In Schizophrenics: Enlargement of lateral ventricles volume in 67-73%, in naive patients 21-33%. The increase of the third ventricle varies from 19 to 73%, whose patients have significant flat affect. The temporal lobe gray matter is reduced, including amygdala-hippocampal complex, and parahippocampal gyrus. No specific corpus callosum results are concluded. There is cortical atrophy, specially of bilateral prefrontal regions. Basal ganglia (lenticular and caudate nuclei) are increased. The prefrontal, temporal and limbic dysfunction supports the abnormal connection hypothesis in schizophrenics. Basal ganglia also are involved in the pathogenesis of the disease. Clinical cortical atrophy symptoms are demonstrated by neuropsychological tests, although some cognitive deficits are remediable. Perinatal complications are more frequent, in children who will be schizophrenics, than their siblings (23.6% vs 12.8%); those of special interest are: toxemia, prematurity, long labor, jaundice and bleeding during pregnancy. In affective Bipolar Disorders: There is increase (19-50%) in the number of focal signal hyperintensities at the lateral limits of ventricles and in both hemispheres, and a trend towards larger ventricular size. The temporal lobe is smaller bilaterally, but the right side is 15% larger; its volume correlates negatively with long-term illness in males. In Unipolar Disorder an increase of frontal white matter T1 values is registered.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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