Regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) was assessed in 40 chronic male schizophrenic patients (20 medicated, 20 unmedicated) and 31 matched normal controls with Dynamic Single-photon Emission Computed Tomography (D-SPECT). Blind analyses of normalized color-coded tomograms revealed significant bifrontal and bitemporal rCBF deficits in the patient group. Frontal flow deficits were most prominent in paranoid patients (n=21) and right temporal deficits were most prominent in nonparanoid patients (n=19). These relative regional declines were observed within the context of significantly elevated hemispheric blood flow in schizophrenics compared with controls. Reduced left frontal rCBF was associated with neuropsychological impairment on the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test and Luria-Nebraska Battery. Increased hemispheric CBF was correlated with the presence of positive schizophrenic symptoms. Medication status was unrelated to rCBF. These findings demonstrate that hypofrontality has important implications for cognitive function in some schizophrenic individuals.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biological Psychiatry