Reciprocal deterioration of visual and auditory hallucinations in schizophrenia presents V-shaped cognition impairment and widespread reduction in brain gray matter-A pilot study

Chuanjun Zhuo, Min Chen, Yong Xu, Deguo Jiang, Ce Chen, Xiaoyan Ma, Ranli Li, Yun Sun, Qianchen Li, Chunhua Zhou, Xiaodong Lin
Journal of Clinical Neuroscience: Official Journal of the Neurosurgical Society of Australasia 2020, 79: 154-159
Schizophrenic patients often experience visual hallucinations (VHs) and auditory hallucinations (AHs); however, brain aberrations associated with combined VH and AH in schizophrenic patients remains poorly documented. Changes to the brain and cognition during the first episode of untreated schizophrenic patients (FUSCH) with both VHs and AHs (FUSCHVA) were evaluated. One-hundred and fifty-seven patients were enrolled that had FUSCH (1) with VHs but not AHs (FUSCHV), and (2) with AHs but not VHs (FUSCHA), plus FUSCHVA and healthy controls (n = 30). Gray matter volume (GMV) and MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB) was measured to reflect impairments to the brain and cognition, respectively. FUSCHVA patients had the severest cognitive impairment for all components of the MCCB, followed by FUSCHV and FUSCHA patients. Compared to healthy patients, FUSCHVA patients had reduced GMV in the occipital, parietal, frontal, and temporal cortex, and increased GMV in the hippocampus and striatum. Compared to FUSCHV patients, FUSCHVA patients had reduced GMV in the occipital cortex and postcentral gyrus, and increased GMV in the posterio-parietal lobe. Compared to patients with FUSCHA, the GMV in patients with FUSCHVV was reduced in the occipital cortex and posterio parietal lobe. In conclusion, visual and auditory hallucinations appear to deteriorate reciprocally in FUSCHVA patients, accompanied with sever cognitive impairments. Compared to AHs, VHs might be accompanied with severe GMV impairment in the brain, especially in the primary visual cortex and higher perception integration cortex (posterio parietal lobe) in patients with FUSCH.

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