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The increased life expectancy in people with severe and persistent psychiatric illness, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, has been predicted to substantially affect mental healthcare system (Bartels et al., 2002) that must adapt to meet the needs of older adults (Jeste et al., 1999). Development of specialized geriatric psychiatry services is thus needed.
Autobiographical memory retrieval is impaired in schizophrenia.
To determine the neural basis of this impairment.
Thirteen patients with schizophrenia and 14 healthy controls performed an autobiographical memory retrieval task based on cue words during functional magnetic resonance imaging. Patients were selected on the basis of their ability to perform the task and all participants received training.
Although patients and controls activated a similar brain network during autobiographical memory retrieval, patients displayed decreased activation in several of these regions, including the anterior cingulate cortex, left lateral prefrontal cortex, right cerebellum and ventral tegmental area (k ≥ 10, P < 0.001, uncorrected). In addition, activation of the caudate nuclei was negatively correlated with retrieval performance in controls but positively correlated with performance in patients.
The autobiographical memory retrieval brain network is impaired in schizophrenia. Patients with schizophrenia display decreased activation of the cognitive control network during retrieval, possibly due to aberrant functioning of the dorsal striatum.
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