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Schizotypal Personality Disorder Studies

Project Description

Recently there has been an increased interest in studying the neurobiology of personality disorders, and, in particular, schizotypal personality disorder (SPD). SPD is characterised by cognitive or perceptual distortions, an inability to tolerate close friendships, and odd behavior, but not frank psychosis. Of particular importance to SPD is the concept of the “schizophrenia spectrum,” a concept derived from evidence that persons with SPD and schizophrenia often share a common genetic diathesis and show similar, though not identical symptoms. A comparison of findings in SPD with those in schizophrenics may help to clarify what factors lead to psychosis.

 We have evaluated several regions of interest (ROIs) in subjects with SPD, including the superior temporal gyrus (STG), medial temporal lobe structures, and the prefrontal cortex. One important finding (as reported in Dickey et al., 1999) includes the reduction of left STG gray matter volume in SPD subjects when compared to normal controls. This finding supports the hypothesis of the importance of STG involvement in the schizophrenia spectrum disorders.


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