Schizophrenia is a disease with heterogeneous features and often a disabling longitudinal outcome. In order to achieve a better understanding of the disease, a detailed characterization and definition of symptomatology, social functioning and cognitive performance of patients is required. Imaging techniques may allow to identify measurable markers of different subgroups of patients, who share common clinical course and, probably, a similar hereditary pathway. The review offers a description of cross-sectional, predictive and longitudinal studies on the relationship between biological, clinical and psychosocial features of patients with schizophrenia. Patients with a more severe and disabling course of illness present larger ventricles, smaller prefrontal, temporal and occipital cortices and smaller subcortical regions such as basal ganglia, the thalamus and limbic areas. These alterations are predictive of a worse prognosis, as observed in predictive and longitudinal studies, both on chronic and first episode patients. The detection of more homogenous groups of patients with schizophrenia will help neurobiological research progress in this field. Furthermore, patients with similar clinical and biological features could undergo more tailored therapeutic and rehabilitative strategies.
|Translated title of the contribution||Searching for psychosocial endophenotypes in schizophrenia: The innovative role of brain imaging|
|Number of pages||13|
|Journal||Rivista di Psichiatria|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 2012|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health