Gray-matter abnormalities in deficit schizophrenia.

Research paper by Nicola G NG Cascella, Shaina C SC Fieldstone, Vani A VA Rao, Godfrey D GD Pearlson, Akira A Sawa, David J DJ Schretlen

Indexed on: 11 May '10Published on: 11 May '10Published in: Schizophrenia Research


Deficit schizophrenia (D-SZ) has been proposed as a putative disease subtype defined by prominent, primary negative symptoms that endure as trait-like features during periods of clinical stability. In this study, we acquired magnetic resonance images of the whole brain using a 1.5 T scanner in 19 outpatients with D-SZ, 31 with non-deficit schizophrenia (ND-SZ), and 90 healthy adults. Voxel-based morphometry was used to investigate differences in regional gray-matter volume (GMV) between outpatients with D-SZ and ND-SZ, and between the combined patient subgroups and healthy adults. Compared to healthy adults outpatients with schizophrenia showed GMV reductions, especially in left frontal and temporal cortices and in the left insula. The D-SZ subgroup showed reduced GMV in the insula bilaterally and in the left superior frontal, middle temporal and occipital gyri. Regions in which GMV reductions best distinguished D-SZ from ND-SZ patients included the superior frontal gyrus (Brodmann area 8) and superior temporal gyrus (Brodmann areas 22, 38) bilaterally, the left supplementary motor area (Brodmann area 6), left anterior cingulate, left cuneus and right putamen. These results suggest that patients with deficit schizophrenia have brain abnormalities that differ from those of patients with non-deficit schizophrenia. Further, the neuroanatomic differences between these two putative subtypes of schizophrenia involve brain regions that appear to be associated with the negative symptoms that define the deficit syndrome of schizophrenia.