Jefferson Journal of Psychiatry


Frontal lobe dysfunction in schizophrenic pa tients has been highly suspected for many years. Many psychiatrists and patients, however, are awaiting solid proof of a biological manifestation of this disease. While positron emission tomography does not uniformly demonstrate such a manifestation, it does demonstrate a prefrontal cortex deficit in most reported studies. Further, a localization of the attention deficit of schizophrenia, in the prefrontal cortex, is strongly suggested by some studies.


Positron emission tomography (PET) has enabled investigators in modern clinical psychiatry to demonstrate that schizophrenia is, at least in part, a frontal lobe disorder. PET studies of many patients with schizophrenia exhibit a decreased level of metabolism in the frontal cortex. Other brain areas have also been in vestigated for their role in schizophrenia. These regions include the hippocampus (I), basal ganglia, limbic system, and other brainstem areas (2). This review , however, is limited to the deficit most consistently reported with PET brain metabolism studies-hypofrontality.

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