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Psychiatry Res. 2008 Nov 30;164(2):160-5. doi: 10.1016/j.pscychresns.2007.12.023. Epub 2008 Oct 18.

Structural abnormalities of the right inferior colliculus in schizophrenia.

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Department of Psychiatry, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.


Although structural and functional neuroimaging studies of schizophrenia have suggested that impaired connectivity in the extensive network of cortical and subcortical areas is involved in its pathophysiology, there were no studies have investigated the structural integrity of the lower sensory brain areas including the inferior (IC) and the superior (SC) colliculus. The IC plays an important role in mediating auditory gating processes and inhibitory neural transmission, while the SC is a key structure in a distributed network mediating saccadic eye movements and shifts of attention, both of which have been linked to the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. We compared the morphologies of the IC and SC, which are involved in the early stage processing of visual and auditory stimuli, in patients with schizophrenia (N=28) and healthy controls (N=34) using high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging. Subjects with schizophrenia had a significantly smaller right IC, compared with controls. The reduced IC volume suggests that a structural abnormality of the IC in patients with schizophrenia may be involved in the auditory cognitive dysfunction of schizophrenia.

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