Depression, auditory-verbal hallucinations, and delusions in patients with schizophrenia: Different patterns of association with prefrontal gray and white matter volume

Sara Siddi, Christian Nuñez, Carl Senior, Antonio Preti, Jorge Cuevas-esteban, Susana Ochoa, Gildas Brébion, Christian Stephan-otto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Structural brain abnormalities, including decreased gray matter (GM) and white matter (WM) volume, have been observed in patients with schizophrenia. These decrements were found to be associated with positive and negative symptoms, but affective symptoms (depression and anxiety) were poorly explored. We hypothesized that abnormalities in GM and WM volume might also be related to affective symptoms. GM and WM volumes were calculated from high-resolution T1 structural images acquired from 24 patients with schizophrenia and 26 healthy controls, and the associations of positive, negative, and affective symptoms with the brain volumes that showed significant reduction in patients were investigated. Patients demonstrated GM volume reductions in the bilateral prefrontal cortex, and WM volume reductions in the right frontal and left corpus callosum. Prefrontal cortex volume was significantly and inversely associated with both auditory-verbal hallucinations and depression severity. WM volume alterations, in contrast, were related to alogia, anhedonia, and delusions. The combined impact of auditory-verbal hallucinations and depression on similar sub-regions of the prefrontal cortex suggests that depression is involved in hearing voices. Further, this adverse impact of depression on prefrontal GM volume may underlie the impairment demonstrated by these patients in cognitive tasks that rely on executive processes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-63
Number of pages9
JournalPsychiatry Research : Neuroimaging
Early online date4 Dec 2018
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2019


Bibliographical note

© 2019, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International


  • Auditory-verbal hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Depressive symptoms
  • Prefrontal cortex

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