Inferior frontal white matter volume and suicidality in schizophrenia

Nicolas Rüsch, Ilaria Spoletini, Marko Wilke, Giovanni Martinotti, Pietro Bria, Alberto Trequattrini, Giuseppina Bonaviri, Carlo Caltagirone, Gianfranco Spalletta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The neurobiology of suicidality in schizophrenia is largely unknown. We therefore assessed gray and white matter volumes associated with past suicidality and current self-aggression in schizophrenia. Fifty-five outpatients with schizophrenia (n=55) and healthy controls (n=55), matched for age, gender and handedness, were recruited. Ten patients had a life-time history of one or more suicide attempts. Current self-aggression was assessed using the Modified Overt Aggression Scale. High resolution structural magnetic resonance images were analyzed by voxel-based morphometry. We found significantly larger inferior frontal white matter volumes bilaterally in patients with a previous suicide attempt as compared with those patients without a history of suicidality. No other significant white or gray matter volume differences were observed. White matter volume in these regions did not differ between healthy controls and those patients without a previous suicide attempt. Furthermore, among patients, the level of current self-aggression showed a significant positive correlation with white matter volume in the same regions. Inferior frontal white matter alterations in fronto-temporo-limbic circuits may be associated with suicidality and self-aggression in schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-214
Number of pages9
JournalPsychiatry Research - Neuroimaging
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 30 2008


  • Self-aggression
  • Suicide
  • Volumetry
  • Voxel-based morphometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Inferior frontal white matter volume and suicidality in schizophrenia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this