Functional magnetic resonance imaging in schizophrenia: initial methodology and evaluation of the motor cortex
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The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the differential activation of the motor cortex during finger tapping in patients with schizophrenia using the newly available imaging method of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Nine patients with DSMIII-R schizophrenia and 9 well-matched healthy volunteer subjects underwent fMRI examination on a conventional MR unit; activation of the primary motor cortex was evaluated during performance of a finger motion task. Localized activation of the motor cortex was observed in 17 of 18 subjects during fMRI. Patients and controls were, however, indistinguishable with respect to signal intensity or area thereof within the motor cortex. fMRI did not reveal motor cortical dysfunction in schizophrenia. Despite its infancy, fMRI holds considerable promise to advance understanding of the neurodynamics of psychiatric disorders, particularly schizophrenia.
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