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We examined 20 actively psychotic unmedicated schizophrenic patients and 20 matched control subjects by using single-photon emission, computed tomography (SPECT) with 99mtechnetium-exametazime. Patients showed a hyperfrontal pattern of tracer uptake with significant relative increases in superior prefrontal cortex. This abnormality was less pronounced in patients with higher symptom scores for psychomotor poverty. In addition, patients showed associations between certain schizophrenic syndrome scores, such as psychomotor poverty, disorganization, and reality distortion, and tracer uptake to a number of cortical and subcortical brain regions. This syndrome-related pattern of tracer uptake was, at least in part, consistent with similar associations previously reported in chronically medicated schizophrenic patients. SPECT therefore provides a readily available method to examine the relationship between symptom pattern and regional brain metabolism in psychotic patients. Any observed patterns of association will depend on the current mental and medication status of the patients examined.

Original publication




Journal article


Biol Psychiatry

Publication Date





487 - 495


Adult, Arousal, Cerebral Cortex, Dominance, Cerebral, Female, Frontal Lobe, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Organotechnetium Compounds, Oximes, Psychiatric Status Rating Scales, Regional Blood Flow, Schizophrenia, Schizophrenic Psychology, Technetium Tc 99m Exametazime, Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon