Evidence that hippocampal-parahippocampal dysfunction is related to genetic risk for schizophrenia.

A. Di Giorgio, B. Gelao, G. Caforio, R. Romano, I. Andriola, E. D'Ambrosio, A. Papazacharias, F. Elifani, L. L. Bianco, P. Taurisano, L. Fazio, T. Popolizio, G. Blasi, A. Bertolino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Abnormalities in hippocampal-parahippocampal (H-PH) function are prominent features of schizophrenia and have been associated with deficits in episodic memory. However, it remains unclear whether these abnormalities represent a phenotype related to genetic risk for schizophrenia or whether they are related to disease state. We investigated H-PH-mediated behavior and physiology, using blood oxygenation level-dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging (BOLD fMRI), during episodic memory in a sample of patients with schizophrenia, clinically unaffected siblings and healthy subjects. Patients with schizophrenia and unaffected siblings displayed abnormalities in episodic memory performance. During an fMRI memory encoding task, both patients and siblings demonstrated a similar pattern of reduced H-PH engagement compared with healthy subjects. Our findings suggest that the pathophysiological mechanism underlying the inability of patients with schizophrenia to properly engage the H-PH during episodic memory is related to genetic risk for the disorder. Therefore, H-PH dysfunction can be assumed as a schizophrenia susceptibility-related phenotype.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1661-1671
Number of pages11
JournalPsychological Medicine
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Applied Psychology
  • Medicine(all)


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