Elisa Canu1, Roberto Gasparotti2, Federica Agosta1, Paolo Valsecchi3, Giancarlo Comi4, Elisabetta Pagani1, Emilio Sacchetti3, Massimo Filippi1
1Neuroimaging Research Unit, Institute of Experimental Neurology, Division of Neuroscience, Scientific Institute & University Hospital San Raffaele, Milan, Italy; 2Department of Diagnostic Imaging, University of Brescia, Spedali Civili, Brescia, Italy; 3Department of Psychiatry, Brescia University School of Medicine, Brescia, Italy; 4Department of Neurology, Scientific Institute & University Hospital San Raffaele, Milan, Italy
Voxel based morphometry and Tract-based Spatial Statistics were used to assess volumetric and microstructural damage in 37 never-medicated schizophrenic patients vs. 17 healthy controls. Compared with controls, schizophrenic patients showed gray and white matter volume loss in the middle temporal lobes. Patients vs. controls also showed an increased mean diffusivity in the fornix, and a decreased fractional anisotropy in the corpus callosum, posterior cingulum, and parahippocampal region bilaterally. Schizophrenic patients demonstrated a complex pattern of parieto-temporo-occipital damage. Such a pattern is consistent with regions related to auditory hallucinations, and neurofunctional networks thought to be involved in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia.