Anatomical and functional cerebral variables associated with basal symptoms but not risperidone response in minimally treated schizophrenia

Vicente Molina, Santiago Reig, Javier Pascau, Javier Sanz, Fernando Sarramea, Juan D. Gispert, Rogelio Luque, Carlos Benito, Tomás Palomo, Manuel Desco

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40 Scopus citations


In schizophrenia, structural and functional cerebral variables show an unclear association with clinical features and their value as predictors of response to a typical antipsychotic agents has yet to be determined. The goal of this study was to investigate the relationships between clinical variables (baseline syndromes and response to risperidone) and anatomo-functional brain variables. We studied 19 minimally treated patients with schizophrenia of recent onset using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) under resting conditions. The following brain variables were studied: volume of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and gray matter (GM) of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and temporal lobe; hippocampal metabolic activity and volume; and metabolic activity of the DLPFC, temporal lobe, putamen and caudate. Anatomical volume measurements were corrected for age and intracranial size using regression parameters determined from a matched sample of control subjects. Using stepwise multiple regression, we assessed the relation between these brain measures and basal scores of symptom dimensions (positive, disorganization, negative and total), as well as their change in response to risperidone. We found that positive and disorganization symptoms improved with risperidone treatment and that hippocampal metabolism, DLPFC CSF volume, and temporal CSF volume predicted baseline symptoms. However, none of the brain measures predicted response to treatment. We conclude that there is evidence of a significant association between basal symptoms and DLPFC atrophy and limbic hyperactivity at rest in recent-onset schizophrenic patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-175
Number of pages13
JournalPsychiatry Research - Neuroimaging
Issue number3
StatePublished - 30 Nov 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex
  • Hippocampus
  • MRI
  • Neuroleptics
  • PET
  • Temporal lobe


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