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. 2010 Apr;44(5):314-20.
doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2009.08.014. Epub 2009 Sep 20.

Insular Cortex Morphometry in First-Episode Schizophrenia-Spectrum Patients: Diagnostic Specificity and Clinical Correlations

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Insular Cortex Morphometry in First-Episode Schizophrenia-Spectrum Patients: Diagnostic Specificity and Clinical Correlations

Benedicto Crespo-Facorro et al. J Psychiatr Res. .

Abstract

Evidence so far indicates that the consistent association between insular cortex abnormalities and schizophrenia is already present at early phases of the illness. In the present investigation we aimed to study the specificity of insular structural abnormalities in schizophrenia by using region-of-interest morphometry to assess insular cortex morphological characteristics in the same heterogeneous sample of schizophrenia-spectrum patients. The 225 subjects, comprising 82 schizophrenia patients, 36 schizophreniform disorder patients and 24 patients with nonschizophrenic non-affective psychoses, and 83 healthy individuals were investigated. Magnetic resonance imaging brain scans (1.5T) were obtained and images analysed to evaluate insular cortex morphometric variables. The main resulting measurements were for insular gray matter volume and cortical surface area. The contribution of sociodemographic and clinical characteristics was controlled. Patients with schizophrenia-spectrum disorders did not significantly differ from controls in the insular cortex morphometric variables evaluated (all P's>0.11). Clinical variables were not significantly related with insular morphological changes. Noteworthy is the fact that none of the group morphological measurements varied significantly by gender or hemisphere. Neither did we find significant differences when patients with schizophrenia and with other non-affective psychoses were compared. Contrary to our initial hypotheses, we were unable to demonstrate significant morphometric anomalies in a large and heterogeneous sample of patients with a first-episode of schizophrenia-spectrum disorders.

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