Relationships between verbal memory performance and the cerebral distribution of fluorodeoxyglucose in patients with schizophrenia.
Quantitative resting fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography scans were performed on 42 patients with schizophrenia. Magnetic resonance imaging-based regions of interest were transposed onto the corresponding positron emission tomography images. Region to whole brain ratios were calculated from the mean regional activity per pixel across both hemispheres (left plus right). Laterality scores were calculated from the difference between the mean activity in homotopic regions of the two hemispheres (left minus right). Subjects were tested contemporaneously with the Logical Memory subtest of the Wechsler Memory Scale. The subtest was scored with modified criteria to provide information about verbal recall, perseverations, and other components of verbal memory. Deficits in recall were associated with increased metabolism in selected regions of the left hemisphere that are known to mediate aspects of verbal memory. The findings support hypotheses suggesting that the left hemisphere is functionally overactive in schizophrenia.