Deficit syndrome, which is characterized by primary and enduring negative symptoms, is a homogeneous subtype within schizophrenia. Negative symptoms in schizophrenia are currently considered to be closely linked with frontal lobe impairment. However, the etiology in the frontal lobe of people with deficit syndrome is not fully understood. We measured regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) with single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) in 33 patients with deficit syndrome, 40 patients with nondeficit syndrome, and 45 healthy controls, and we compared groups using the voxel-wise method. Schizophrenia combined group, the deficit syndrome and the nondeficit syndrome presented hypoperfusion in mainly the medial and lateral prefrontal cortices. The deficit syndrome group showed a significant decrease in rCBF in the right orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) compared to the nondeficit group. These results demonstrated that at-rest hypofrontality was a common feature within the disease group and suggested that the OFC might play an important role in the development of severe negative symptoms in people with deficit syndrome.
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