Neuropsychological correlates of MRI temporal lobe abnormalities in schizophrenia

Nestor PG, Shenton ME, McCarley RW, Haimson J, Smith RS, O’Donnell B, Kimble M, Kikinis R, Jolesz FA

Am J Psychiatry 1993 Dec;150(12):1849-55

PMID: 8238641


OBJECTIVE: The authors evaluated the neuropsychological correlates of temporal lobe abnormalities in schizophrenic patients.

METHOD: Fifteen schizophrenic patients underwent assessment of memory, by the Wechsler Memory Scale–Revised, and abstraction/categorization, by the similarities subtest of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale–Revised and the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test. Neuropsychological tests of motor and constructional functions were used as control tasks. The patients also underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies in which new neuroimaging techniques were used to derive measurements of volume and three-dimensional surface renderings of temporal lobe structures.

RESULTS: Spearman rank-order correlations indicated significant associations between poor scores on tests of verbal memory, abstraction, and categorization and reduced volume in temporal lobe structures, including the parahippocampal gyrus and posterior superior temporal gyrus (left and right). By contrast, performance on tests of visual memory and on control tasks was not correlated with MRI temporal lobe abnormalities.

CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest a significant but modest relation between reduced volume in specific temporal lobe regions and neuropsychological deficits in abstraction, categorization, and verbal memory, all of which may reflect a dysfunctional semantic system in schizophrenia.