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Volumetric abnormalities associated with cognitive deficits in patients with schizophrenia

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 April 2020

Robert Christian Wolf*
Department of Psychiatry III, University of Ulm, Leimgrubenweg 12–14, 89075Ulm, Germany
Annett Höse
Department of Psychiatry III, University of Ulm, Leimgrubenweg 12–14, 89075Ulm, Germany Department of Psychiatry II, University of Ulm, Ludwig-Heilmeyer-Str. 2, 89312Günzburg, Germany
Karel Frasch
Department of Psychiatry II, University of Ulm, Ludwig-Heilmeyer-Str. 2, 89312Günzburg, Germany
Henrik Walter
Department of Psychiatry, Division of Medical Psychology, Friedrich Wilhelms University, Sigmund-Freud-Str. 25, 53105Bonn, Germany
Nenad Vasic
Department of Psychiatry III, University of Ulm, Leimgrubenweg 12–14, 89075Ulm, Germany
*Corresponding author. Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy III, University of Ulm, Leimgrubenweg 12–14, 89075 Ulm, Germany. Tel.: +49 731 5006 1571. E-mail address: (R.C. Wolf).
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While functional neuroimaging studies on attention and executive function in schizophrenia have reported several functionally aberrant cortical regions, less is known about the relationship of cognitive impairment and regional volume alterations. In order to investigate the relationship between cognitive impairment and structural alterations, we studied healthy control subjects and partially remitted, medicated inpatients with DSM-IV schizophrenia using voxel-based morphometry (VBM) and a standardised neuropsychological test battery. Schizophrenic patients showed reduced grey matter (GM) density in the bilateral temporal cortex, the left inferior parietal lobule, the cingulate gyrus and the left middle frontal gyrus. Reduced GM volume was additionally found in the left hippocampal gyrus and the right superior frontal cortex. Reduced white matter density was found in the posterior corpus callosum. Structure-cognition regression analyses revealed that decreased GM density of the left inferior parietal and the right middle temporal cortex was associated with worse performance during divided attention. Worse performance during the spatial span was associated with volumetric abnormalities of the hippocampal gyrus. These results indicate that regional abnormalities in brain structure may offer an account for some impaired cognitive domains in patients with schizophrenia, while other cognitive domains may remain relatively less affected by volumetric alterations.

Original article
Copyright © Elsevier Masson SAS 2008

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