Verbal memory impairments in schizophrenia associated with cortical thinning.

TitleVerbal memory impairments in schizophrenia associated with cortical thinning.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsGuimond S, Chakravarty MM, Bergeron-Gagnon L, Patel R, Lepage M
JournalNeuroimage Clin
Volume11
Pagination20-29
Date Published2016
ISSN2213-1582
Abstract

Verbal memory (VM) represents one of the most affected cognitive domains in schizophrenia. Multiple studies have shown that schizophrenia is associated with cortical abnormalities, but it remains unclear whether these are related to VM impairments. Considering the vast literature demonstrating the role of the frontal cortex, the parahippocampal cortex, and the hippocampus in VM, we examined the cortical thickness/volume of these regions. We used a categorical approach whereby 27 schizophrenia patients with 'moderate to severe' VM impairments were compared to 23 patients with 'low to mild' VM impairments and 23 healthy controls. A series of between-group vertex-wise GLM on cortical thickness were performed for specific regions of interest defining the parahippocampal gyrus and the frontal cortex. When compared to healthy controls, patients with 'moderate to severe' VM impairments revealed significantly thinner cortex in the left frontal lobe, and the parahippocampal gyri. When compared to patients with 'low to mild' VM impairments, patients with 'moderate to severe' VM impairments showed a trend of thinner cortex in similar regions. Virtually no differences were observed in the frontal area of patients with 'low to mild' VM impairments relative to controls. No significant group differences were observed in the hippocampus. Our results indicate that patients with greater VM impairments demonstrate significant cortical thinning in regions known to be important in VM performance. Treating VM deficits in schizophrenia could have a positive effect on the brain; thus, subgroups of patients with more severe VM deficits should be a prioritized target in the development of new cognitive treatments.

DOI10.1016/j.nicl.2015.12.010
Alternate JournalNeuroimage Clin
PubMed ID26909322
PubMed Central IDPMC4732190
Grant List106634 / / Canadian Institutes of Health Research / Canada