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Psychopharmacol Bull. 1996;32(4):741-50.

Magnetoencephalographic assessment of spontaneous brain activity in schizophrenia.

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Psychiatry Service, Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Albuquerque, NM 87108, USA.


Magnetoencephalography (MEG) offers an attractive alternative to electroencephalography (EEG) in the assessment of psychiatric patients. In this study, a whole-head biomagnetometer equipped with 122 super-cooled sensors was used to assess spontaneous neuromagnetic activity in 11 unmedicated schizophrenic patients and 8 schizophrenic patients medicated for more than 8 weeks with novel antipsychotics (5 of whom were initially studied as part of the unmedicated group). Ten normal (nonpsychiatric) controls were also examined. For each subject, 5 minutes of data were collected in an eyes-closed state. Data were visually inspected for gross MEG abnormalities, and average power spectra were calculated for the data at each sensor. No gross abnormalities were identified for control subjects. One unmedicated schizophrenic patient showed epileptiform sharp waves, and 4 showed abnormal slow waves. No gross MEG abnormalities were found for the medicated schizophrenic group (which included 3 patients who had previously shown slow waves in the unmedicated state). Spectral analyses showed that the schizophrenia patients demonstrated lower alpha power and peak frequency than controls. The data are interpreted within the context of previously reported magnetic resonance abnormalities of the thalamus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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