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Reduction of Caudate Nucleus Volumes in Neuroleptic-Naïve Female Subjects with Schizotypal Personality Disorder

  • Min-Seong Koo
    Affiliations
    Clinical Neuroscience Division, Laboratory of Neuroscience, Department of Psychiatry, Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System, Brockton Division, Brockton, and Harvard Medical School, Boston
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  • James J. Levitt
    Affiliations
    Clinical Neuroscience Division, Laboratory of Neuroscience, Department of Psychiatry, Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System, Brockton Division, Brockton, and Harvard Medical School, Boston
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  • Robert W. McCarley
    Affiliations
    Clinical Neuroscience Division, Laboratory of Neuroscience, Department of Psychiatry, Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System, Brockton Division, Brockton, and Harvard Medical School, Boston
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  • Larry J. Seidman
    Affiliations
    Commonwealth Research Center, Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts Mental Health Center Public Psychiatric Division, Department of Psychiatry, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston
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  • Chandlee C. Dickey
    Affiliations
    Clinical Neuroscience Division, Laboratory of Neuroscience, Department of Psychiatry, Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System, Brockton Division, Brockton, and Harvard Medical School, Boston
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  • Margaret A. Niznikiewicz
    Affiliations
    Clinical Neuroscience Division, Laboratory of Neuroscience, Department of Psychiatry, Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System, Brockton Division, Brockton, and Harvard Medical School, Boston
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  • Martina M. Voglmaier
    Affiliations
    Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School at Cambridge Hospital, Cambridge Health Alliance, Cambridge
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  • Payman Zamani
    Affiliations
    Surgical Planning Laboratory, Magnetic Resonance Imaging Division, Department of Radiology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.
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  • Katherine R. Long
    Affiliations
    Surgical Planning Laboratory, Magnetic Resonance Imaging Division, Department of Radiology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.
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  • Sunnie S. Kim
    Affiliations
    Clinical Neuroscience Division, Laboratory of Neuroscience, Department of Psychiatry, Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System, Brockton Division, Brockton, and Harvard Medical School, Boston
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  • Martha E. Shenton
    Correspondence
    Address reprint requests to Martha E. Shenton, Ph.D., Brockton Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Department of Psychiatry 116A, 940 Belmont Street, Brockton, MA 02401
    Affiliations
    Clinical Neuroscience Division, Laboratory of Neuroscience, Department of Psychiatry, Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System, Brockton Division, Brockton, and Harvard Medical School, Boston

    Surgical Planning Laboratory, Magnetic Resonance Imaging Division, Department of Radiology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.
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Published:February 06, 2006DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2005.09.028

      Background

      The caudate nucleus might contribute to the psychopathological and cognitive deficits observed in schizotypal personality disorder (SPD), a schizophrenia spectrum disorder. Here we focused on female patients, because this group is underrepresented in studies of SPD and schizophrenia, and we might learn more about the caudate and clinical and cognitive impairments that are unique to female patients diagnosed with SPD.

      Methods

      Magnetic resonance imaging scans, obtained on a 1.5-T magnet with 1.5-mm contiguous slices, were used to measure the caudate in 32 neuroleptic-naïve women with SPD and in 29 female normal comparison subjects. Subjects were group-matched for age, parental socioeconomic status, and intelligence quotient.

      Results

      We found significantly reduced left and right caudate relative volume (8.3%, 7.7%) in female SPD subjects compared with normal comparison subjects. In female SPD subjects, we found significant correlations between smaller total caudate relative volume and worse performance on the Wisconsin Card Sorting test (nonperseverative errors) and on the California Verbal Learning Test (verbal memory and learning), and significant correlations between smaller total caudate relative volume and both positive and negative symptoms on the Structured Interview for Schizotypy.

      Conclusions

      These findings demonstrate that, for female SPD subjects, smaller caudate volume is associated with poorer cognitive performance and more schizotypal symptomatology.

      Key Words

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