Superior Temporal Gyrus Volume Abnormalities and Thought Disorder in Left-Handed Schizophrenic Men


Holinger DP, Shenton ME, Wible CG, Donnino R, Kikinis R, Jolesz FA, McCarley RW. Superior Temporal Gyrus Volume Abnormalities and Thought Disorder in Left-Handed Schizophrenic Men. Am J Psychiatry. 1999;156 (11) :1730-5.

Date Published:

1999 Nov


OBJECTIVE: Studies of schizophrenia have not clearly defined handedness as a differentiating variable. Moreover, the relationship between thought disorder and anatomical anomalies has not been studied extensively in left-handed schizophrenic men. The twofold purpose of this study was to investigate gray matter volumes in the superior temporal gyrus of the temporal lobe (left and right hemispheres) in left-handed schizophrenic men and left-handed comparison men, in order to determine whether thought disorder in the left-handed schizophrenic men correlated with tissue volume abnormalities. METHOD: Left-handed male patients (N = 8) with DSM-III-R diagnoses of schizophrenia were compared with left-handed comparison men (N = 10) matched for age, socioeconomic status, and IQ. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with a 1.5-T magnet was used to obtain scans, which consisted of contiguous 1.5-mm slices of the whole brain. MRI analyses (as previously defined by the authors) included the anterior, posterior, and total superior temporal gyrus in both the left and right hemispheres. RESULTS: There were three significant findings regarding the left-handed schizophrenic men: 1) bilaterally smaller gray matter volumes in the posterior superior temporal gyrus (16% smaller on the right, 15% smaller on the left); 2) a smaller volume on the right side of the total superior temporal gyrus; and 3) a positive correlation between thought disorder and tissue volume in the right anterior superior temporal gyrus. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that expression of brain pathology differs between left-handed and right-handed schizophrenic men and that the pathology is related to cognitive disturbance.

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