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Montréal, Canada

Lungu O.,University of Montreal | Stip E.,University of Montreal | Stip E.,Affilie niversite Of Montreal
Frontiers in Psychiatry | Year: 2012

Corpus callosum (CC) is essential in providing the integration of information related to perception and action within a subcortico-cortical network, thus supporting the generation of a unified experience about and reaction to changes in the environment. Its role in schizophrenia is yet to be fully elucidated, but there is accumulating evidence that there could be differences between patients and healthy controls regarding the morphology and function of CC, especially when individuals face emotionally laden information. Here, we report a case study of a patient with partial agenesis of corpus callosum (agCC patient with agenesis of the anterior aspect, above the genu) and we provide a direct comparison with a group of patients with no apparent callosal damage (CC group) regarding the brain activity during the processing of emotionally laden information. We found that although the visual cortex activation in response to visual stimuli regardless of their emotional content was comparable in agCC patient and CC group both in terms of localization and intensity of activation, we observed a very large, non-specific and non-lateralized cerebral activation in the agCC patient, in contrast with the CC group, which showed a more lateralized and spatially localized activation, when the emotional content of the stimuli was considered. Further analysis of brain activity in the regions obtained in the CC group revealed that the agCC patient actually had an opposite activation pattern relative to most participants with no CC agenesis, indicating a dysfunctional response to these kind of stimuli, consistent with the clinical presentation of this particular patient. Our results seem to give support to the disconnection hypothesis which posits that the core symptoms of schizophrenia are related to aberrant connectivity between distinct brain areas, especially when faced with emotional stimuli, a fact consistent with the clinical tableau of this particular patient. © 2012 Lungu and Stip. Source

Lungu O.,University of Montreal | Lungu O.,University of Quebec at Montreal | Anselmo K.,University of Montreal | Anselmo K.,Affilie niversite Of Montreal | And 13 more authors.
European Psychiatry | Year: 2013

Background: Given the undesired metabolic side effects of atypical antipsychotic medication it is important to understand the neuronal basis related to processing of appetite regulation in patients affected by schizophrenia. Methods: Here we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to assess brain activity in response to food cues and neutral stimuli in twenty patients with schizophrenia and eleven healthy individuals. In addition to clinical and dietary habits assessments, we collected, in patients, measurements of fasting glucose, ghrelin, leptin, insulin, prolactin and lipids blood concentration and we correlated the cerebral activity with clinical and metabolic measures. Results: Both groups engaged a common neuronal network while processing food cues, which included the left insula, primary sensorimotor areas, and inferior temporal and parietal cortices. Cerebral responses to appetitive stimuli in thalamus, parahippocampus and middle frontal gyri were specific only to schizophrenic patients, with parahippocampal activity related to hunger state and increasing linearly over time. Antipsychotic medication dosage correlated positively with a cognitive measure reflecting food cravings, whereas the severity of the disease correlated negatively with a cognitive measure indicating dietary restraint in eating habits. These cognitive variables correlated, in turn, with parahippocampal and thalamic neuronal activities, respectively. Conclusions: We identified a specific neural substrate underlying cognitive processing of appetitive stimuli in schizophrenia, which may contribute to appetite dysfunction via perturbations in processing of homeostatic signals in relation to external stimuli. Our results also suggest that both antipsychotic medication and the disease severity per se could amplify these effects, via different mechanisms and neuronal networks. © 2012 Elsevier Masson SAS. Source

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