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The role of the language network in the pathophysiology of formal thought disorder has yet to be elucidated.
To investigate whether specific grey-matter deficits in schizophrenic formal thought disorder correlate with resting perfusion in the left-sided language network.
We investigated 13 right-handed patients with schizophrenia and formal thought disorder of varying severity and 13 matched healthy controls, using voxel-based morphometry and magnetic resonance imaging perfusion measurement (arterial spin labelling).
We found positive correlations between perfusion and the severity of formal thought disorder in the left frontal and left temporoparietal language areas. We also observed bilateral deficits in grey-matter volume, positively correlated with the severity of thought disorder in temporoparietal areas and other brain regions. The results of the voxel-based morphometry and the arterial spin labelling measurements overlapped in the left posterior superior temporal gyrus and left angular gyrus.
Specific grey-matter deficits may be a risk factor for state-related dysfunctions of the left-sided language system, leading to local hyperperfusion and formal thought disorder.
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