OBJECTIVE: Gray matter volume and glucose utilization have been reported to be reduced in the left subgenual cingulate of subjects with familial bipolar or unipolar depression. It is unclear whether these findings are secondary to recurrent illness or are part of a familial/genetic syndrome. The authors’ goal was to clarify these findings. METHOD: Volumetric analyses were performed by using magnetic resonance imaging in 41 patients experiencing their first episode of affective disorder or schizophrenia and in 20 normal comparison subjects. RESULTS: The left subgenual cingulate volume of the patients with affective disorder who had a family history of affective disorder was smaller than that of patients with affective disorder with no family history of the illness and the normal comparison subjects. Patients with schizophrenia did not differ from comparison subjects in left subgenual cingulate volume. CONCLUSIONS: Left subgenual cingulate abnormalities are present at first hospitalization for psychotic affective disorder in patients who have a family history of affective disorder.
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.
OBJECTIVE: Recent evidence suggests that the cerebellum may play a role in higher cognitive functions and, therefore, may play an important role in schizophrenia. METHOD: The authors used magnetic resonance imaging to measure cerebellum and vermis volume in 15 patients with schizophrenia and 15 normal comparison subjects. RESULTS: They found that 1) vermis volume was greater in patients with schizophrenia than in normal subjects, 2) greater vermis white matter volume in the patients with schizophrenia significantly correlated with severity of positive symptoms and thought disorder and with impairment in verbal logical memory, and 3) patients with schizophrenia showed a trend for more cerebellar hemispheric volume asymmetry (left greater than right). CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that an abnormality in the vermis may contribute to the pathophysiology of schizophrenia.
BACKGROUND: Structural MRI data indicate schizophrenics have reduced left-sided temporal lobe gray matter volumes, especially in the superior temporal gyrus (STG) and medial temporal lobe. Our data further suggest a specificity to schizophrenia spectrum disorders of STG volume reduction. Interpretation of research studies involving schizophrenics may be complicated by the effects of exposure to neuroleptics and chronic illness. Sharing the same genetic diathesis of schizophrenics, subjects with schizotypal personality disorder (SPD) offer a unique opportunity to evaluate commonalities between schizophrenia and SPD, particularly as SPD subjects are characterized by cognitive and perceptual distortions, an inability to tolerate close friendships, and odd behavior, but they are not psychotic and so have generally not been prescribed neuroleptics nor hospitalized. Evaluation of brain structure in SPD may thus offer insight into the "endophenotype" common to both disorders. In addition, differences between groups may suggest which are the brain structures of schizophrenics that contribute to the development of psychosis. METHODS: To test the hypothesis of whether SPD subjects might show similar STG abnormalities, STG and medial temporal lobe regions of interest (ROI) were manually drawn on high resolution coronal MRI 1.5 mm thick slices. Images were derived from 16 right-handed male SPD subjects, without regard to family history, and 14 healthy, right-handed, comparison males who did not differ from the SPD group on parental socio-economic status, age, or verbal IQ. RESULTS: As predicted, SPD subjects showed a reduction in left STG gray matter volume compared with age and gender matched comparison subjects. SPD subjects also showed reduced parahippocampal left/right asymmetry and a high degree of disordered thinking. Comparisons with chronic schizophrenics previously studied by us showed the SPD group had a similarity of left STG gray matter volume reduction, but fewer medial temporal lobe abnormalities. CONCLUSIONS: These abnormalities strengthen the hypothesis of a temporal lobe abnormality in SPD, and the similarity of STG findings in schizophrenia and SPD suggest that STG abnormalities may be part of the spectrum "endophenotype." It is also possible that presence of medial temporal lobe abnormalities may help to differentiate who will develop schizophrenia and who will develop the less severe schizophrenia spectrum disorder, SPD.
PURPOSE: To review preliminary experience with an open-bore magnetic resonance (MR) imaging system for guidance in intracranial surgical procedures. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A vertically oriented, open-configuration 0.5-T MR imager was housed in a sterile procedure room. Receive and transmit surface coils were wrapped around the patient’s head, and images were displayed on monitors mounted in the gap of the magnet and visible to surgeons. During 2 years, 200 intracranial procedures were performed. RESULTS: There were 111 craniotomies, 68 biopsies, 12 intracranial cyst evaluations, four subdural drainages, and five transsphenoidal pituitary resections performed with the intraoperative MR unit. In each case, the intraoperative MR system yielded satisfactory results by allowing the radiologist to guide surgeons toward lesions and to assist in treatment. In two patients, hyperacute hemorrhage was noted and removed. The duration of the procedure and the complication rate were similar to those of conventional surgery. CONCLUSION: Intraoperative MR imaging was successfully implemented for a variety of intracranial procedures and provided continuous visual feedback, which can be helpful in all stages of neurosurgical intervention without affecting the duration of the procedure or the incidence of complications. This system has potential advantages over conventional frame-based and frameless stereotactic procedures with respect to the safety and effectiveness of neurosurgical interventions.