Occipital lobe gray matter volume in male patients with chronic schizophrenia: A quantitative MRI study

Onitsuka T, McCarley RW, Kuroki N, Dickey CC, Kubicki M, Demeo SS, Frumin M, Kikinis R, Jolesz FA, Shenton ME

Schizophr. Res. 2007 May;92(1-3):197-206

PMID: 17350226


Schizophrenia is characterized by deficits in cognition as well as visual perception. There have, however, been few magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies of the occipital lobe as an anatomically defined region of interest in schizophrenia. To examine whether or not patients with chronic schizophrenia show occipital lobe volume abnormalities, we measured gray matter volumes for both the primary visual area (PVA) and the visual association areas (VAA) using MRI based neuroanatomical landmarks and three-dimensional information. PVA and VAA gray matter volumes were measured using high-spatial resolution MRI in 25 male patients diagnosed with chronic schizophrenia and in 28 male normal controls. Chronic schizophrenia patients showed reduced bilateral VAA gray matter volume (11%), compared with normal controls, whereas patients showed no group difference in PVA gray matter volume. These results suggest that reduced bilateral VAA may be a neurobiological substrate of some of the deficits observed in early visual processing in schizophrenia.