Evidence that the frontal pole has a significant role in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia

Psychiatry Res. 2022 Nov;317:114850. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2022.114850. Epub 2022 Sep 13.


Different regions of the cortex have been implicated in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Recently published data suggested there are many more changes in gene expression in the frontal pole (Brodmann's Area (BA) 10) compared to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (BA 9) and the anterior cingulate cortex (BA 33) from patients with schizophrenia. These data argued that the frontal pole is significantly affected by the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. The frontal pole is a region necessary for higher cognitive functions and is highly interconnected with many other brain regions. In this review we summarise the growing body of evidence to support the hypothesis that a dysfunctional frontal pole, due at least in part to its widespread effects on brain function, is making an important contribution to the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. We detail the many structural, cellular and molecular abnormalities in the frontal pole from people with schizophrenia and present findings that argue the symptoms of schizophrenia are closely linked to dysfunction in this critical brain region.

Keywords: Anterior prefrontal cortex; Brodmann's Area 10; Frontopolar cortex; Neuroimaging; Postmortem; Psychiatric disorders; Rostral prefrontal cortex; Transcriptomics.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain
  • Frontal Lobe
  • Gyrus Cinguli
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Prefrontal Cortex
  • Schizophrenia* / diagnosis