Reduced cortical thickness in right Heschl's gyrus associated with auditory verbal hallucinations severity in first-episode schizophrenia

Xudong Chen, Shengxiang Liang, Weidan Pu, Yinnan Song, Tumbwene E. Mwansisya, Qing Yang, Haihong Liu, Zhening Liu, Baoci Shan, Zhimin Xue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Auditory verbal hallucinations (AVHs) represent one of the most intriguing phenomena in schizophrenia, however, brain abnormalities underlying AVHs remain unclear. The present study examined the association between cortical thickness and AVHs in first-episode schizophrenia. Method: High-resolution MR images were obtained in 49 first-episode schizophrenia (FES) patients and 50 well-matched healthy controls (HCs). Among the FES patients, 18 suffered persistent AVHs ("auditory hallucination" AH group), and 31 never experienced AVHs ("no hallucination" NH group). The severity of AVHs was rated by the Auditory Hallucinations Rating Scale (AHRS). Cortical thickness differences among the three groups and their association with AVHs severity were examined. Results: Compared to both HCs and NH patients, AH patients showed lower cortical thickness in the right Heschl's gyrus. The degree of reduction in the cortical thickness was correlated with AVH severity in the AH patients. Conclusions: Abnormalities of cortical thickness in the Heschl's gyrus may be a physiological factor underlying auditory verbal hallucinations in schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish
Article number152
JournalBMC Psychiatry
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jul 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Auditory hallucination
  • Cortical thickness
  • Heschl's gyrus
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Schizophrenia

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