Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies of schizophrenia reveal temporal lobe structural brain abnormalities in the superior temporal gyrus and the amygdala-hippocampal complex. However, the middle and inferior temporal gyri have received little investigation, especially in first-episode schizophrenia.
High-spatial-resolution MRI was used to measure gray matter volume in the inferior, middle, and superior temporal gyri in 20 patients with first-episode schizophrenia, 20 patients with first-episode affective psychosis, and 23 healthy comparison subjects.
Gray matter volume in the middle temporal gyrus was smaller bilaterally in patients with first-episode schizophrenia than in comparison subjects and in patients with first-episode affective psychosis. Posterior gray matter volume in the inferior temporal gyrus was smaller bilaterally in both patient groups than in comparison subjects. Among the superior, middle, and inferior temporal gyri, the left posterior superior temporal gyrus gray matter in the schizophrenia group had the smallest volume, the greatest percentage difference, and the largest effect size in comparisons with healthy comparison subjects and with affective psychosis patients.
Smaller gray matter volumes in the left and right middle temporal gyri and left posterior superior temporal gyrus were present in schizophrenia but not in affective psychosis at first hospitalization. In contrast, smaller bilateral posterior inferior temporal gyrus gray matter volume is present in both schizophrenia and affective psychosis at first hospitalization. These findings suggest that smaller gray matter volumes in the dorsal temporal lobe (superior and middle temporal gyri) may be specific to schizophrenia, whereas smaller posterior inferior temporal gyrus gray matter volumes may be related to pathology common to both schizophrenia and affective psychosis.