This is a selective review of the work of Buchsbaum and colleagues. It revisits and pays tribute to four decades of publications employing positron emission tomography (PET) with F-18fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) to examine the neurobiology of schizophrenia-spectrum disorders (including schizotypal personality disorder (SPD) and schizophrenia). Beginning with a landmark FDG-PET study in 1982 reporting hypofrontality in unmedicated schizophrenia patients, Buchsbaum and colleagues published high-impact work on regional glucose metabolic rate (GMR) abnormalities in the spectrum. Several key discoveries were made, including the delineation of schizophrenia-spectrum abnormalities in frontal and temporal lobe, cingulate, thalamus, and striatal regions using three-dimensional mapping with coregistered MRI and PET. These findings indicated that SPD patients have less marked frontal lobe and striatal dysfunction compared with schizophrenia patients, possibly mitigating frank psychosis. Additionally, these investigations were among the first to conduct early seed-based functional connectivity analyses with FDG-PET, showing aberrant cortical-subcortical circuitry and, in particular, revealing a thalamocortical circuitry abnormality in schizophrenia. Finally, pioneering work employing the first double-blind randomized antipsychotic (haloperidol) vs. placebo FDG-PET study design in schizophrenia indicated that GMR in the striatum, more than in any other region, was related to clinical response.
- Frontal lobe
- Positron emission tomography
- Schizotypal personality disorder