Apathy in Schizophrenia: Reduced Frontal Lobe Volume and Neuropsychological Deficits

Robert M. Roth, Laura A. Flashman, Andrew J. Saykin, Thomas W. McAllister, Robert Vidaver

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Abstract

Objective: Apathy is a common negative symptom in schizophrenia. The authors investigated neuropsychological performance and regional brain volumes in schizophrenia patients with high versus low levels of apathy. Method: Schizophrenia patients with low apathy levels (N=18) and high apathy levels (N=20) and 12 healthy comparison subjects completed neuropsychological testing as well as magnetic resonance imaging scanning to obtain lobar volumes after total intracranial volume was controlled. Results: The high apathy group scored lower than comparison subjects on rapid visuomotor sequencing and verbal learning/recall. The high apathy group had lower performance IQ scores than the low apathy and comparison groups. Only the high apathy group showed significantly reduced bilateral frontal lobe volumes relative to comparison subjects; both schizophrenia patient groups showed bilateral temporal lobe volume reductions. Conclusions: The present findings are consistent with studies in other disorders showing frontal lobe involvement in apathy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-159
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychiatry
Volume161
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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