NAC Neuroimage Analysis Center: Collaborations

Psychiatry

Schizophrenia

click here for full picture and textOur laboratory's major focus over the last several years has been the investigation of temporal lobe abnormalities in schizophrenia MR images represent an improvement over CT images which are prone to "bone" hardening, particularly in temporal lobe regions, and which, unlike MR, do not provide detailed contrast between soft tissues such as gray matter, white matter and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the brain.

In the brains of schizophrenic patients, both post-mortem and structural studies seem to suggest that the temporal lobe may be implicated in the physiology of schizophrenia. More specifically, post-mortem investigations suggest that abnormalities pertaining to shape and size in the brains of schizophrenic patients show a selectivity to temporal lobe structures, especially limbic system, and especially pronounced on the left.

Shenton, Kikinis, Jolesz, et al... 1992

McCarley, Wible, Frumin, et al... 1999

Kwon, McCarley, Hirayasu, et al... 1999

Shenton, Dickey, Frumin, et al... 2001

Schizotypal Disorder

click here for full picture and text SPD is characterised by cognitive or perceptual distortions, an inability to tolerate close friendships, and odd behavior, but not frank psychosis. The hypothesis of a close link between schizotypal disorder (SPD) and schizophrenia (SZ) is strongly supported by the presence of numerous phenotypic similarities, including neurochemical and performance measures of attention and information processing. Genetic-epidemiologic studies now suggest that the spectrum disorders share a common heritability, and thus the presence of such a SPD-SZ link implies that the schizophrenia spectrum abnormalities might be studied in SPD without the complicating variables present in SZ. A pilot study has produced striking findings suggesting that SPD patients indeed have many of the biological characteristics of schizophrenics, including disorders of verbal memory and lowered event-related potential, which shows processing of unusual stimuli. Physiologically, these disorders can be seen in MRI volume reduction of gray matter of amygdala/hippocampus and increase in CSF in the temporal horn of the lateral ventricles, with both anomalies especially prominent on the left.

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