Hippocampus and amygdala in schizophrenia: Assessment of the relationship of neuroanatomy to psychopathology

Rajaprabhakaran Rajarethinam, John R. DeQuardo, John Miedler, Stephan Arndt, Ravi Kirbat, James A Brunberg, Rajiv Tandon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

90 Scopus citations

Abstract

The hippocampus and amygdala are believed to be involved in the pathology of schizophrenia. In this study, we attempted to replicate the reported bilateral volume reduction of the hippocampus and amygdala and to study the relationship of the volumes of these structures to the symptoms of schizophrenia. The hippocampus-amygdala complex (HAC) was manually traced on 3-mm coronal T1-weighted MRIs, resampled into 1-mm coronal slices, from 20 male patients with schizophrenia and 20 age-matched male controls. The complex was divided into three parts: anterior one-third representing the amygdala and middle and posterior thirds representing the anterior and posterior halves of the hippocampus. Positive and negative symptoms and severity of hallucinations and thought disorder (conceptual disorganization) were quantified using the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS). None of the above structures, controlled for brain volume, differed significantly in patients compared with normal controls. When the relationship between volumes and symptoms was examined, the left HAC was found to inversely correlate with thought disorder and negative symptoms. Specifically, significant inverse correlations were found between (i) left amygdala and thought disorder, (ii) left hippocampus and negative symptoms, and (iii) left anterior and posterior hippocampus volumes and positive and negative symptoms, respectively. Our findings further support the role of the HAC in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia and suggest unique associations between individual structures and specific symptoms of the illness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-87
Number of pages9
JournalPsychiatry Research - Neuroimaging
Volume108
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 30 2001

Keywords

  • Amygdala
  • Hallucinations
  • Hippocampus
  • MRI
  • Negative symptoms
  • Positive symptoms
  • Schizophrenia
  • Thought disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Psychology(all)

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