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Regional gray matter reduction and theory of mind deficit in the early phase of schizophrenia: a voxel-based morphometric study

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Herold R, Feldmann Á, Simon M, Tényi T, Kövér F, Nagy F, Varga E, Fekete S. Regional gray matter reduction and theory of mind deficit in the early phase of schizophrenia: a voxel-based morphometric study. Objective: 

We tested the association between theory of mind (ToM) performance and structural changes in the brains of patients in the early course of schizophrenia. Method: 

Voxel-based morphometry (VBM) data of 18 patients with schizophrenia were compared with those of 21 controls. ToM skills were assessed by computerized faux pas (FP) tasks. Results: 

Patients with schizophrenia performed significantly worse in FP tasks than healthy subjects. VBM revealed significantly reduced gray matter density in certain frontal, temporal and subcortical regions in patients with schizophrenia. Poor FP performance of schizophrenics correlated with gray matter reduction in the left orbitofrontal cortex and right temporal pole. Conclusion: 

Our data indicate an association between poor ToM performance and regional gray matter reduction in the left orbitofrontal cortex and right temporal pole shortly after the onset of schizophrenia.
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Keywords: frontal lobe; schizophrenia; temporal lobe; theory of mind; voxel-based morphometry

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy 2: Department of Neurology 3: Neuro CT Diagnostic Center, University of Pécs, Pécs, Hungary

Publication date: 01 March 2009

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