The purpose of this pilot study was to: (1) determine if regional brain volume change occurs in schizophrenia patients during very short periods of withdrawal from, or stable treatment with, antipsychotics, and; (2) compare results of region-of-interest (ROI) to voxel-based morphometry (VBM) methods. In two small groups of schizophrenic inpatients, magnetic resonance imaging was performed before and after antipsychotic withdrawal, and at two time points during stable chronic antipsychotic treatment. Regional brain volumes were measured using ROI methods. Grey matter volume was measured with VBM. The medication withdrawal group showed no effect of treatment state or antipsychotic type on regional brain volumes with ROI analysis, but effects of both treatment state and antipsychotic type on grey matter volume were observed with VBM in right middle frontal, right medial frontal, right and left superior frontal, right cingulate, and right superior temporal gyrii as well as in the right and left hippocampal gyrii. The chronic stable treatment group showed an effect of time on right caudate, left hippocampal, and total cerebrospinal fluid volumes with ROI analysis, while effects of both time and antipsychotic type were observed with VBM on grey matter volume in the left superior temporal lobe. No findings survived correction for multiple comparisons. A positive correlation between regional volume change and emerging psychopathology was demonstrated using ROI methods in the medication withdrawal group. Treatment state and emergent symptoms in schizophrenia patients were associated with regional volume change over very short time periods. Longitudinal regional brain volume change in schizophrenia patients is likely physiologic and therefore potentially reversible.
- Longitudinal volume change
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Psychiatry and Mental health