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21-06-2012 | Mental health | Article

Superior temporal sulcus perfusion linked to QoL in schizophrenia

Abstract

Free abstract

MedWire News: Schizophrenia patients with a relatively high quality of life (QoL) show hypoperfusion in the superior temporal sulcus compared with those with a relatively low quality of life.

"This study shows that perfusion of the superior temporal sulcus, a brain area thought to contribute to self/other awareness and metacognition, is involved in the functional substrate underlying QoL [in schizophrenia patients]," say Laurent Boyer (La Timone University, Marseille, France) and team.

The team studied 31 right-handed schizophrenia patients who were assessed for QoL using the 18-item Schizophrenia Quality of life questionnaire (S-QoL 18).

The S-QoL 18 comprises eight dimensions (psychological wellbeing, self-esteem, family relationships, relationships with friends, resilience, physical wellbeing, autonomy, and sentimental life) as well as a global index score, with dimension and index scores ranging from 0, indicating the lowest QoL, to 100, indicating highest QoL.

All of the participants underwent whole-brain single photon emission computed tomography to measure regional cerebral blood flow.

Regional perfusion rates were then compared between those with relatively high QoL (n=19, mean S-QoL 18 score 69.4) and those with a relatively low QoL (n=12, mean S-QoL 18 score 42.4).

The researchers note that there were no significant differences between patients with a high and low QoL regarding demographic and clinical characteristics.

However, patients with a high QoL showed significant bilateral temporal hypoperfusion, primarily in the superior temporal sulcus, compared with those with a low QoL.

Among the group as a whole, perfusion in the left superior temporal sulcus was negatively correlated with S-QoL 18 scores for psychologic wellbeing, self-esteem, and sentimental life, as well as with the global index score.

Boyer et al conclude in Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging: "Our findings contribute to clarifying the scientific foundation required for a better clinical use of QoL questionnaires, by suggesting that recognition of illness-related impairment is associated with alteration of QoL."

MedWire (www.medwire-news.md) is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2012

By Mark Cowen

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