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Neuroimaging study in subjects at high risk of psychosis revealed by the Rorschach test and first-episode schizophrenia

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Ota M, Obu S, Sato N, Asada T. Neuroimaging study in subjects at high risk of psychosis revealed by the Rorschach test and first-episode schizophrenia.

Objective: There is increasing evidence of neuroanatomical pathology in schizophrenia, but it is unclear whether changes exist prior to disease onset. This study aimed to examine whether changes exist prior to disease onset, especially in the temporal lobes.

Methods: T1-weighted and diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging were performed on 9 first-episode schizophrenia patients, 10 patients who were at high risk of schizophrenia and 10 healthy controls. Voxel-based analysis using the normalised images of cortical volume data was examined, and the fractional anisotropy value at three component fibres of the temporal lobes, inferior longitudinal fasciculus, superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF) and cingulum hippocampal part was compared among the three groups.

Results: There were statistically significant volume differences at the bilateral temporal lobe between the healthy subjects and high-risk group. Between the schizophrenic group and healthy subjects, statistically significant volume differences were detected at the bilateral temporal lobes and anterior cingulate cortex. The fractional anisotropy values of the SLF in the schizophrenic and high-risk groups were significantly lower than in the healthy subjects.

Conclusion: Our findings indicate that some brain alterations may progress in patients at psychosis pre-onset, possibly because of disrupted developmental mechanisms, and these pathological changes may be predictive of functional outcome.
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Keywords: Rorschach test; diffusion tensor imaging; magnetic resonance imaging; schizophrenia; voxel-based morphometry

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychiatry, Hospital Bando, Bando, Ibaraki, Japan 2: Department of Radiology, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, Kodaira, Tokyo, Japan 3: Department of Neuropsychiatry, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan

Publication date: 2011-06-01

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