DataSheet_2_Volumetric Abnormalities in Violent Schizophrenia Patients on the General Psychiatric Ward.pdf (1.42 MB)
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DataSheet_2_Volumetric Abnormalities in Violent Schizophrenia Patients on the General Psychiatric Ward.pdf

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posted on 28.08.2020, 11:07 authored by FengJu Liu, Yang Shao, Xin Li, Li Liu, Rong Zhao, Bin Xie, Yi Qiao

In recent years, neuroimaging has been used increasingly to explore the biological underpinnings of violence carried out by schizophrenia patients (SPs). Studies have focused mostly on patients with a history of carrying out severe physical assaults, or comorbid with substance abuse/personality disorder (SA/PD). As a result, participants were unrepresentative and the interpretation of brain-structure changes was confusing. Here, we concentrated on SPs on a general psychiatric ward with a history of relatively lower violence, and individuals comorbid with SA or PD were excluded. We expected to identify the characteristics of brain morphometry in this population, and to explore whether the morphometric changes were universal.


Forty-eight violent schizophrenia patients (VSPs), twenty-seven non-VSPs (nVSPs) and 28 nonviolent healthy controls (HCs) were investigated. Voxel-based morphometry was used to evaluate the gray matter volume (GMV) of all study participants. Whole-brain analyses were used to reveal group effects and differences between any two groups. Correlation analyses were undertaken between significant brain regions and behavioral measurements in the VSP group.


Patients showed a significantly smaller GMV in widespread frontal, temporal, and limbic regions compared with HCs. No region was found in which the two patient groups had significantly larger volumes compared with that in HCs. A significant decrease in the GMV of the right fusiform gyrus was found in the VSP group compared with that in the nVSP group (p = 0.004), where the GMV of this region had a negative correlation with the Physical Aggression [subscale of the Modified Overt Aggression Scale (MOAS)] or Hostility score. The VSP group showed a trend of GMV decrease in the left middle temporal cortex compared with that in the nVSP group (p = 0.077). Negative correlation was also found between the GMV of left inferior temporal gyrus/left Superior frontal gyrus, medial and the Hostility score.


Our results provide initial evidence demonstrating the generalizability of GMV abnormalities in SPs engaged in varying levels of violence, even when SA or PD have not been implicated. GMV reduction was correlated with only the Physical Aggression subscale score of the MOAS, suggesting that this change in brain morphology may be dependent upon different types of violent actions.