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Hippocampus volume and episodic memory in schizophrenia

  • ROBERT J. THOMA (a1) (a2) (a3), MOLLIE MONNIG (a2) (a3), FAITH M. HANLON (a1) (a2), GREGORY A. MILLER (a4), HELEN PETROPOULOS (a5), ANDREW R. MAYER (a2), RON YEO (a2) (a3), MATT EULER (a2) (a3), PER LYSNE (a2) (a3), SANDRA N. MOSES (a6) and JOSE M. CAÑIVE (a1) (a7)...

Abstract

Previous studies of schizophrenia have suggested a linkage between neuropsychological (NP) deficits and hippocampus abnormality. The relationship between hippocampus volume and NP functioning was investigated in 24 patients with chronic schizophrenia and 24 matched healthy controls. Overall intracranial, white and gray matter, and anterior (AH) and posterior (PH) hippocampus volumes were assessed from magnetic resonance images (MRI). NP domains of IQ, attention, and executive function were also evaluated with respect to volumetric measures. It was hypothesized that AH and PH volumes and episodic memory scores would be positively associated in controls and that the schizophrenia group would depart from this normative pattern. NP functioning was impaired overall and AH volume was smaller in the schizophrenia group. In the controls, the hippocampus–memory relationships involved AH and PH, and correlations were significant for verbal memory measures. In the schizophrenia group, positive correlations were constrained to PH. Negative correlations emerged between AH and verbal and visual memory measures. For both groups, cortical volume negatively correlated with age, but a negative correlation between age and hippocampus volume was found only in the schizophrenia group. In this sample of adults with schizophrenia, atypical relationships between regional hippocampus volumes and episodic memory ability were found, as was an atypical negative association between hippocampus volume and age. (JINS, 2009, 15, 182–195.)

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Corresponding author

*Correspondence and reprint requests to: Robert J. Thoma, Ph.D., Center for Neuropsychological Services, MSC 11 6094, 1 University of New Mexico, 915 Vassar NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131. E-mail: rjthoma@salud.unm.edu

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