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, 33 (5), 332-41

The Relationship Between Social Alienation and Disorganized Thinking in Normal Subjects and Localized Cerebral Glucose Metabolic Rates Assessed by Positron Emission Tomography

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The Relationship Between Social Alienation and Disorganized Thinking in Normal Subjects and Localized Cerebral Glucose Metabolic Rates Assessed by Positron Emission Tomography

L A Gottschalk et al. Compr Psychiatry.

Abstract

This study investigated the relationships between the relatively mild manifestations in verbal behavior of social alienation and disorganized thinking in normal subjects and cerebral glucose metabolic rates measured by positron emission tomography (PET). Three groups of 10 young normal male subjects were injected with D-[18F]deoxyglucose (FDG) during either wakefulness, rapid eye movement (REM), or non-REM (NONREM) sleep, and 32 to 45 minutes later they were asked to report their thoughts, emotions, or dreams and free-associations to these mental events. Nonparametric correlations were obtained between measures of interpersonal social alienation, intrapsychic conflicts, and thought disorder derived from the typescripts of these reports by content analysis--using the Gottschalk-Gleser Social Alienation-Personal Disorganization Scale--and regional cerebral glucose metabolic rates obtained from PET scans. Total social alienation-personal disorganization scores obtained from the reports of wakeful, silent mentations showed significant positive correlations with glucose metabolic rates in the left temporal lobe. The patterns of significant correlations involving these verbal behavior measures derived from the content analysis of verbal reports of dreams or other mental events occurring during REM and non-REM sleep were in different cerebral locations from those found with these variables during silent, waking mentation. Previous observations suggesting that increased left temporal lobe glucose may typify chronic schizophrenia may instead be indicative of a wide range of thought disorder and/or social alienation manifestations occurring, at times transiently and minimally, in normal people.

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