BACKGROUND: Mismatch negativity (MMN) is an event-related brain potential that is sensitive to stimulus deviation from a repetitive pattern. The MMN is thought primarily to reflect the activity of sensory memory, with, at most, moderate influences of higher-level cognitive processes, such as attention. The MMN is reported to be reduced in patients with chronic schizophrenia. However, it is unknown whether MMN is reduced in patients with first-episode schizophrenia (at first hospitalization).
METHODS: Subject groups comprised patients with chronic schizophrenia (n = 16) and older control subjects (n = 13), and patients with first-episode schizophrenia (n = 21) and younger control subjects (n = 27). The MMN was visualized by subtracting the averaged event-related brain potential to standard tones (1 kHz [95% of all tones]) from the event-related brain potential to pitch-deviant tones (1.2 kHz [5% of all tones]). The MMN voltage was the mean voltage from 100 to 200 milliseconds.
RESULTS: Pitch-deviant MMN was reduced by approximately 47% in patients with chronic illness along the sagittal midline relative to controls. The MMN was not reduced in patients with first-episode schizophrenia. All 4 groups showed approximately 64% larger MMN to pitch-deviant tones over the right hemisphere compared with the left hemisphere.
CONCLUSIONS: The pitch-deviant MMN reductions present in patients with chronic schizophrenia are not present at first hospitalization. The sensory, echoic memory functions indexed by MMN seem unaffected early in the schizophrenia disease process. Reductions in MMN amplitude may develop over time and index the progression of the disorder, although that can only be definitively determined by longitudinal assessments.
OBJECTIVE: "Cognitive" circuits anatomically link the frontal lobe to subcortical structures; therefore, pathology in any of the core components of these circuits, such as in the caudate nucleus, may result in neurobehavioral syndromes similar to those of the frontal lobe. Neuroleptic medication, however, affects the size of the caudate nucleus. For this reason, individuals diagnosed with schizotypal personality disorder offer an ideal group for the measurement of the caudate nucleus because they may be genetically related to individuals with schizophrenia but do not require neuroleptic treatment because of their less severe symptoms.
METHOD: Magnetic resonance imagining (MRI) scans obtained on a 1.5-T magnet with 1.5-mm contiguous slices were used to measure the caudate nucleus and lateral ventricles in 15 right-handed male subjects with schizotypal personality disorder who had no previous neuroleptic exposure and in 14 normal comparison subjects. Subjects were group matched for parental socioeconomic status, handedness, and gender.
RESULTS: First, the authors found significantly lower left and right absolute (13.1%, 13.2%) and relative (9.1%, 9.2%) caudate nucleus volumes in never-medicated subjects with schizotypal personality disorder than in normal subjects. Second, they found significant, inverse correlations between caudate nucleus volume and the severity of perseveration in two distinct working memory tasks in these neuroleptic-naive subjects with schizotypal personality disorder.
CONCLUSIONS: These data are consistent with the findings of reduced caudate nucleus volume reported in studies of neuroleptic-naive patients experiencing their first episode of schizophrenia and support the association of intrinsic pathology in the caudate nucleus with abnormalities in working memory in the schizophrenia spectrum.
OBJECTIVES: It is controversial whether a semantic processing bias for strong associates is present in schizophrenia, and unknown whether the language abnormalities observed in schizophrenia can be attributed to dysfunctions early or late in cognitive processing. Combined behavioral and event-related potential (ERP) data can indicate the nature and timing of such abnormalities.
METHODS: Sensibility judgements of dominant and subordinate homograph sentences were measured in 12 schizophrenia patients and 13 normal controls. ERPs were recorded to the disambiguating sentence-ending word.
RESULTS: All subjects showed greatest misinterpretation of subordinate homograph sentences, but schizophrenia patients particularly misinterpreted these sentence types. For control subjects, subordinate homograph sentences that were classified as nonsensical showed greater N400 than those classified as sensible. By contrast, the N400 of patients was large, regardless of the sensibility judgement--patients' brains initially responded to all subordinate sentences as if nonsensical. These data are consonant with a semantic bias. However, the patients' N400 to dominant homograph sentence endings was also larger than that of controls, a finding not consonant with a semantic bias.
CONCLUSIONS: The behavioral results indicate a selective comprehension abnormality in schizophrenia dependent on the content of verbal memory. The ERP results suggest a pervasive contextual memory failure. A semantic activation decay model is proposed to explain these results.
OBJECTIVE: The corpus callosum, the largest white matter tract in the brain, is a midline structure associated with the formation of the hippocampus, septum pellucidum, and cingulate cortex, which have been implicated in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. Corpus callosum shape deformation, therefore, may reflect a midline neurodevelopmental abnormality.
METHOD: Corpus callosum area and shape were analyzed in 14 first-episode psychotic patients with schizophrenia, 19 first-episode psychotic patients with affective disorder, and 18 normal comparison subjects.
RESULTS: No statistically significant corpus callosum area differences between groups were found, but there were differences in the structure's shape between the patients with schizophrenia and the comparison subjects. A correlation between width and angle of the corpus callosum was found in patients with affective disorder.
CONCLUSIONS: Corpus callosum shape abnormalities in first-episode psychotic patients with schizophrenia may reflect a midline neurodevelopmental abnormality.
PURPOSE: We determine the value of color mapping of bladder wall thickness for detection of tumor as a component of virtual cystoscopy.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 31 subjects with hematuria and/or a history of bladder tumor underwent helical computerized tomography of the pelvis after distention of the bladder with air. Three-dimensional (D) models were constructed, and thickness of the wall was color mapped according to a fixed and validated mm. scale. Axial source images and 3-D models were reviewed and graded for the presence of wall thickening. A comparison was made with findings on conventional cystoscopy in 31 patients and pathological specimen in 13.
RESULTS: Compared with conventional cystoscopy, the analysis of axial image yielded a sensitivity of 0.80, specificity 0.90, positive predictive value 0.80 and negative predictive value 0.90 for the presence of tumor. Examination of color mapped 3-D renderings resulted in 0.83, 0.36, 0.42 and 0.71, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: Thin axial computerized tomography of the air distended bladder shows promise as a potential screening tool for bladder cancer. The low specificity of color mapped 3-D renderings makes the technique inappropriate for screening. It may valuable for guiding urologists to additional suspicious sites in a patient with a known tumor.
RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES: Small bowel MRI (MR imaging) is a new imaging modality that excellently depicts small intestine pathology in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Virtual endoscopy based on sectional imaging is a recently introduced technique to create endoscopy like views. The aim of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of virtual small bowel endoscopy based on MR imaging in patients with Crohn disease.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Thirty consecutive patients with Crohn disease were scanned after oral application of pineapple juice for contrasting the small bowel. Dedicated high resolution T1 weighted 3D-FLASH sequences with fat suppression were used for volume scanning. Volume-rendered 3D models of the small bowel were created and virtual endoscopy was performed. The feasibility and quality of this new visualization method was assessed.
RESULTS: In nine of 30 patients virtual endoscopy was considered as good quality (flight through the entire small bowel was possible, typical folds were revealed). In 18 patients fair quality (at least 4/5 of the small bowel were depicted adequately) was assessed. In three of 30 patients virtual endoscopy was not sufficiently possible because of inadequate bowel filling or breathing artifacts. Three fistulae diagnosed on 2D MRI were visualized on the virtual endoscopic view.
CONCLUSION: Virtual endoscopy of the small bowel is feasible based on high resolution MR imaging. Vivid insight views and 3D models provide an interesting addition to sectional MR findings.
Evidence suggests that some structural brain abnormalities in schizophrenia are neurodevelopmental in origin. There is also growing evidence to suggest that shape deformations in brain structure may reflect abnormalities in neurodevelopment. While many magnetic resonance (MR) imaging studies have investigated brain area and volume measures in schizophrenia, fewer have focused on shape deformations. In this MR study we used a 3D shape representation technique, based on spherical harmonic functions, to analyze left and right amygdala-hippocampus shapes in each of 15 patients with schizophrenia and 15 healthy controls matched for age, gender, handedness and parental socioeconomic status. Left/right asymmetry was also measured for both shape and volume differences. Additionally, shape and volume measurements were combined in a composite analysis. There were no differences between groups in overall volume or shape. Left/right amygdala-hippocampal asymmetry, however, was significantly larger in patients than controls for both relative volume and shape. The local brain regions responsible for the left/right asymmetry differences in patients with schizophrenia were in the tail of the hippocampus (including both the inferior aspect adjacent to parahippocampal gyrus and the superior aspect adjacent to the lateral geniculate nucleus and more anteriorly to the cerebral peduncles) and in portions of the amygdala body (including the anterior-superior aspect adjacent to the basal nucleus). Also, in patients, increased volumetric asymmetry tended to be correlated with increased left/right shape asymmetry. Furthermore, a combined analysis of volume and shape asymmetry resulted in improved differentiation between groups. Classification function analyses correctly classified 70% of cases using volume, 73.3% using shape, and 87% using combined volume and shape measures. These findings suggest that shape provides important new information toward characterizing the pathophysiology of schizophrenia, and that combining volume and shape measures provides improved group discrimination in studies investigating brain abnormalities in schizophrenia. An evaluation of shape deformations also suggests local abnormalities in the amygdala-hippocampal complex in schizophrenia.
Both the amplitude and latency of P300 vary with changes in stimulus parameters. Stimuli at intensities or pitch separations near threshold evoke a smaller and later P300. P300 is also affected by extraneous stimulus parameters in tasks where stimulus frequency separation is large and stimuli are well above intensity thresholds. For example, the presence of background white noise when tones are suprathreshold and easily detectable has been reported to increase P300 latency. However, the effects of background masking noise on P300 amplitude and scalp topography have not been reported. Subjects performed an oddball task both in the presence and in the absence of background noise. Performance accuracy was unaffected by background noise. P300 showed latency increases when noise was present, but P300 peak amplitude was unaffected. P300 scalp topography was stable across both conditions. P300 latency is affected by background noise, even when performance is not, but amplitude and amplitude topography remain unaffected.
BACKGROUND: The fusiform gyrus (occipitotemporal gyrus) is thought to be critical for face recognition and may possibly be associated with impaired facial recognition and interpretation of facial expression in schizophrenia. of postmortem studies have suggested that fusiform gyrus volume is reduced in schizophrenia, but there have been no in vivo structural studies of the fusiform gyrus in schizophrenia using magnetic resonance imaging.
METHODS: High-spatial resolution magnetic resonance images were used to measure the gray matter volume of the fusiform gyrus in 22 patients with first-episode schizophrenia (first hospitalization), 20 with first-episode affective psychosis (mainly manic), and 24 control subjects.
RESULTS: Patients with first-episode schizophrenia had overall smaller relative volumes (absolute volume/intracranial contents) of fusiform gyrus gray matter compared with controls (9%) and patients with affective psychosis (7%). For the left fusiform gyrus, patients with schizophrenia showed an 11% reduction compared with controls and patients with affective psychosis. Right fusiform gyrus volume differed in patients with schizophrenia only compared with controls (8%).
CONCLUSION: Schizophrenia is associated with a bilateral reduction in fusiform gyrus gray matter volume that is evident at the time of first hospitalization and is different from the presentation of affective psychosis.
Previous magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies have reported various subtle brain abnormalities in schizophrenic patients, including temporal lobe abnormalities, which are of particular interest given the role of this brain region in auditory and language processing, and the characteristic deficits in these processes in schizophrenia. Subjects in this study were 16 male patients diagnosed with chronic schizophrenia and 15 healthy male comparison subjects. These patients were characterized by negative symptoms. High spatial resolution coronal MRI 1.5-mm-thick slices were used to measure the gray matter volume of the superior temporal gyrus, anterior and posterior amygdala/hippocampal complex, and parahippocampal gyrus. Patients, relative to normal comparison subjects, evinced a reduction of gray matter volume in bilateral superior temporal gyri and anterior amygdala/hippocampal complex. The reduction in gray matter of the superior temporal gyrus in patients with schizophrenia is consistent with previous findings, and is noteworthy in that it was found in this group of patients with predominantly negative symptoms. The reduction in the anterior amygdala/hippocampal complex was an additional temporal lobe finding. These results underscore the role of temporal lobe structures in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia.
RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES: The authors performed this study to document the deformations that occur between pretreatment magnetic resonance (MR) imaging and intraoperative MR imaging during brachytherapy.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: MR images obtained at 1.5 and 0.5 T in 10 patients with prostate cancer were analyzed for changes in the shape and substructure of the prostate. Three-dimensional models of the prostate were obtained. The authors measured anteroposterior dimension; total gland, peripheral zone, and central gland volumes; transverse dimension; and superoinferior height.
RESULTS: Gland deformations were seen at visual inspection of the three-dimensional models. The anteroposterior dimension of the total gland, central gland, and peripheral zone increased from 1.5- to 0.5-T imaging (median dimension, 4.9, 1.5, and 1.8 mm, respectively), and the increase was greatest in the peripheral zone (P < .05, all comparisons). There was a decrease in the transverse dimension from 1.5- to 0.5-T imaging (median, 4.5 mm; P < .005). The total gland volume and the superoinferior height did not show a statistically significant change.
CONCLUSION: There were significant deformations in the shape of the prostate, especially in the peripheral zone, between the two imaging studies. The likely causes of the shape change are differences in rectal filling (endorectal coil used in 1.5-T studies vs obturator in 0.5-T studies) and/or changes in patient position (supine vs lithotomy). These findings suggest that pretreatment images alone may not be reliable for accurate therapy planning. It may be useful to integrate pre-and intraoperative data.
Restricted diffusion of water in a highly concentrated w/o emulsion was studied using pulsed field gradient spin echo techniques. The standard two-pulse version of this technique, suitable for analysis in the time domain, fails to investigate the short time-scale for diffusion inside a single emulsion droplet with radius 0.7 microm. With a pulse-train technique, originally introduced by Callaghan and Stepisnik, shorter time-scales are accessible. The latter approach is analyzed in the frequency domain and yields frequency dependent diffusion coefficients. Predictions for the outcome of the experiment were calculated in the time domain using the Gaussian phase distribution and the pore hopping formalism expressions for the echo attenuation. The results of these calculations were transformed to the frequency domain via a numerical inverse integral transform in order to compare with the experimental results.
OBJECTIVE: This study examined whether early or late processes in semantic networks were abnormal in women with a diagnosis of schizotypal personality disorder. The N400 component of the EEG event-related potentials was used as a probe of semantic processes.
METHOD: Word pairs were presented with short and long stimulus-onset asynchronies to investigate, respectively, early and late semantic processes in 16 women with schizotypal personality disorder and 15 normal female comparison subjects. Event-related potentials were recorded in response to the last words in a pair.
RESULTS: With the short stimulus-onset asynchrony, the N400 amplitude was less negative in the schizotypal personality disorder group than in the normal comparison group. No group differences were found with the long stimulus-onset asynchrony.
CONCLUSIONS: The finding of a less negative than normal N400 amplitude with the short stimulus-onset asynchrony in women with schizotypal personality disorder supports the hypothesis that persons with this disorder evince an overactivation of semantic networks. The absence of group differences with the long stimulus-onset asynchrony, which is primarily sensitive to processes involved in context integration, suggests that in this group of schizotypal personality disorder subjects, additional demands on working memory may be necessary to bring out the semantic dysfunction.
In animals, exposure to severe stress can damage the hippocampus. Recent human studies show smaller hippocampal volume in individuals with the stress-related psychiatric condition posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Does this represent the neurotoxic effect of trauma, or is smaller hippocampal volume a pre-existing condition that renders the brain more vulnerable to the development of pathological stress responses? In monozygotic twins discordant for trauma exposure, we found evidence that smaller hippocampi indeed constitute a risk factor for the development of stress-related psychopathology. Disorder severity in PTSD patients who were exposed to trauma was negatively correlated with the hippocampal volume of both the patients and the patients' trauma-unexposed identical co-twin. Furthermore, severe PTSD twin pairs-both the trauma-exposed and unexposed members-had significantly smaller hippocampi than non-PTSD pairs.
OBJECTIVE: Individuals with schizophrenia spectrum disorders evince similar genetic, neurotransmitter, neuropsychological, electrophysiological, and structural abnormalities. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies have shown smaller gray matter volume in patients with schizotypal personality disorder than in matched comparison subjects in the left superior temporal gyrus, an area important for language processing. In a further exploration, the authors studied two components of the superior temporal gyrus: Heschl's gyrus and the planum temporale.
METHOD: MRI scans were acquired from 21 male, neuroleptic-naive subjects recruited from the community who met DSM-IV criteria for schizotypal personality disorder and 22 male comparison subjects similar in age. Eighteen of the 21 subjects with schizotypal personality disorder had additional comorbid, nonpsychotic diagnoses. The superior temporal gyrus was manually delineated on coronal images with subsequent identification of Heschl's gyrus and the planum temporale. Exploratory correlations between region of interest volumes and neuropsychological measures were also performed.
RESULTS: Left Heschl's gyrus gray matter volume was 21% smaller in the schizotypal personality disorder subjects than in the comparison subjects, a difference that was not associated with the presence of comorbid axis I disorders. There were no between-group volume differences in right Heschl's gyrus or in the right or left planum temporale. Exploratory analyses also showed a correlation between poor logical memory and smaller left Heschl's gyrus volume.
CONCLUSIONS: Smaller left Heschl's gyrus gray matter volume in subjects with schizotypal personality disorder may help to explain the previously reported abnormality in the left superior temporal gyrus and may be a vulnerability marker for schizophrenia spectrum disorders.
Obstructive sleep apnea is an important disorder because of both its prevalence and its cardiovascular and neurocognitive sequelae. Despite the fact that male sex is a major risk factor for this disorder, the mechanisms underlying this predisposition are unclear. To understand the pathophysiologic basis of the male predisposition for pharyngeal collapse, we performed a detailed analysis of the anatomic and physiologic features of the upper airway in a cohort of normal and near-normal subjects (equal number of men and women). Although no important physiologic (genioglossal electromyogram, airflow resistance) differences were observed between sexes, a number of anatomic differences were apparent. The pharyngeal airway length was substantially longer in men compared with women. There was also an increased cross-sectional area of the soft palate and an increased airway volume in men compared with women. Using signal-averaged anatomic data from male and female subjects, we developed representative male and female finite element airway models. This model demonstrated the male airway to be substantially more collapsible than the female airway, solely on the basis of anatomic differences. This study suggests that the male predisposition to pharyngeal collapse is anatomically based, primarily as the result of an increased length of vulnerable airway as well as increased soft palate size.
We present a method for accurate image registration and motion compensation in multidimensional signals, such as two-dimensional (2-D) X-ray images and three-dimensional (3-D) computed tomography/magnetic resonance imaging volumes. The method is based on phase from quadrature filters, which makes it robust to noise and temporal intensity variations. The method is equally applicable to signals of two, three or higher number of dimensions. We use parametric models, e.g., affine models, finite elements or local affine models with global regularization. Experimental results show high accuracy for 2-D and 3-D motion compensation.
Water is an integral part of the structure in biological porous materials such as wood and starch. A problem often encountered in the preparation of samples for, e.g., electron microscopy is that removal of water leads to a decreasing distance between supermolecular structural elements and a distortion of the structure. It is, therefore, of interest to find methods to investigate these materials in the native water-swollen state. We present a method to study water-swollen biological porous structures using NMR to determine the amount and self-diffusion of water within the porous objects. The contribution of bulk water to the NMR signal is eliminated by performing experiments below the bulk freezing temperature. Further decrease of the temperature leads to a gradual freezing of water within the porous objects. The contribution of the freezing water fraction to the migration of water through the porous network is, thus, estimated. The results are rationalized in terms of the ultrastructure of the samples studied, namely, wood pulp fibers and potato starch granules.
The increased use of image-guided surgery systems during neurosurgery has brought to prominence the inaccuracies of conventional intraoperative navigation systems caused by shape changes such as those due to brain shift. We propose a method to track the deformation of the brain and update preoperative images using intraoperative MR images acquired at different crucial time points during surgery. We use a deformable surface matching algorithm to capture the deformation of boundaries of key structures (cortical surface, ventricles and tumor) throughout the neurosurgical procedure, and a linear finite element elastic model to infer a volumetric deformation. The boundary data are extracted from intraoperative MR images using a real-time intraoperative segmentation algorithm. The algorithm has been applied to a sequence of intraoperative MR images of the brain exhibiting brain shift and tumor resection. Our results characterize the brain shift after opening of the dura and at the different stages of tumor resection, and brain swelling afterwards. Analysis of the average deformation capture was assessed by comparing landmarks identified manually and the results indicate an accuracy of 0.7+/-0.6 mm (mean+/-S.D.) for boundary surface landmarks, of 0.9+/-0.6 mm for landmarks inside the boundary surfaces, and 1.6+/-0.9 mm for landmarks in the vicinity of the tumor.
Pathways within the visual system can be distinguished on the basis of selectivity for low or high spatial frequencies. Spatial frequency discrimination was evaluated in 17 medicated male patients with schizophrenia and 19 male control subjects. Subjects were required to discriminate whether pairs of high contrast, sinusoidally modulated gratings were the same or different in spatial frequency. Accuracy performance was compared at high, medium, and low spatial frequencies on tasks matched for control performance. Patients showed a greater performance decrement of 12% on low as compared with 4% on high spatial frequencies. These findings suggest a disturbance of right hemisphere mechanisms involved in spatial perception and attention in schizophrenia.