Investigation of frontal lobe subregions in first-episode schizophrenia

Philip R. Szeszko, Robert M. Bilder, Todd Lencz, Simcha Pollack, Jose Ma J. Alvir, Manzar Ashtari, Houwei Wu, Jeffrey A. Lieberman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations


The evidence for frontal lobe structural abnormalities in schizophrenia using magnetic resonance (MR) imaging has been mixed, but most studies used either single slice measures or total volumes of a single frontal region, neither of which is sensitive to potential volume differences in more specific subregions. This study employed reliable methods for parcellation of the frontal lobes from MR images based on the sulcal anatomy. Following a cytoarchitectonic theory that distinguishes dorsomedial (archicortically derived) from ventrolateral (paleocortically derived) frontal subregions, we measured the superior frontal gyrus, anterior cingulate gyrus, and orbital frontal region in 19 first-episode schizophrenia patients and 26 healthy comparison subjects. Results indicated that male patients had significantly larger right orbital frontal volume compared to their left orbital frontal volume and compared to healthy men. Among male patients larger right orbital frontal volume was significantly correlated with smaller right 'archicortical' (i.e. anterior cingulate and superior frontal gyri) volume. Furthermore, the ratio of right orbital frontal to right 'archicortical' volume was significantly and positively correlated with level of delusions among male patients. These findings suggest that there may be reciprocal controls on 'archicortical' and 'paleocortical' neurodevelopment among men with schizophrenia, and that larger paleocortical relative to archicortical volumes may be associated with increased delusions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalPsychiatry Research - Neuroimaging
Issue number1
StatePublished - 22 Feb 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Cerebral sulci
  • Frontolimbic
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Parcellation
  • Sex differences


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