Clinical symptoms and regional cerebral blood flow in schizophrenia

Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 1995;246(1):7-12. doi: 10.1007/BF02191809.


This study examined the relationship between clinical symptoms and regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) in schizophrenic patients using single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT). The subjects were 26 medicated schizophrenic patients diagnosed according to DSM-III-R criteria. Clinical symptoms were assessed using the Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms (SANS), selected items for the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), and the scale for Schneider's first rank symptoms. Resting rCBF was measured using N-isopropyl-p-[I-123] iodoamphetamine (I-123 IMP) SPECT, and relative rCBF distribution was evaluated in nine regions of interest in each hemisphere. Factor analysis of symptom ratings indicated four separate syndromes: psychomotor poverty, alienation (hallucination and disturbance of the self), delusion, and disorganization. Stepwise multiple regression analysis showed the psychomotor poverty syndrome to be correlated with decreased rCBF in bilateral superior frontal areas and increased rCBF in the left thalamus and right basal ganglia. The disorganization syndrome was correlated with increased rCBF in bilateral anterior cingulates and decreased rCBF in bilateral middle frontal areas. The alienation syndrome was shown related to increased rCBF in the right inferior frontal area and parietal area. Dysfunction in distinctive neural networks involving various prefrontal areas would thus appear to underlie these syndromes in schizophrenia.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Regression Analysis
  • Schizophrenia / physiopathology*
  • Schizophrenic Psychology*
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon