Volume 14, Issue 4 (July & August 2023)                   BCN 2023, 14(4): 463-470 | Back to browse issues page

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Mahdiar M, Mohammadzade N, Homayooni A, Haji Akhoundi F, Kashaninasab F, Zamani B, et al . Raphe Nuclei Echogenicity and Diameter of Third Ventricle in Schizophrenia Measured by Transcranial Sonography. BCN 2023; 14 (4) :463-470
URL: http://bcn.iums.ac.ir/article-1-2113-en.html
1- Department of Psychiatry, Mental Health Research Center, School of Medicine, Psychosocial Health Research Institute (PHRI), Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
2- Department of Neurology, Brown university, Providence, The United States of America.
3- Department of Neurology, Rasool-Akram Hospital, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
4- Department of Neurology, Firoozgar Hospital, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Introduction: Serotonergic system hyperactivity at 5-HT2A receptors on glutamate neurons in the cerebral cortex is one of the pathways that is theoretically linked to psychosis. In addition to neurotransmitter dysfunction, volumetric studies have revealed the loss of cortical gray matter and ventricular enlargement in patients with schizophrenia, although there is no case-control research on patients with schizophrenia to evaluate echogenicity of raphe nuclei (RN) or diameter of the third ventricle (DTV). To address these issues, the present study assessed midbrain RN, as the main source of brain serotonin, and DTV, as an index of atrophy, by transcranial sonography (TCS) in a group of patients with schizophrenia.
Methods: Thirty patients with schizophrenia and 30 controls were assessed by TCS for RN echogenicity and DTV. TCS was done through a temporal bone window via a phased-array ultrasound using a 2.5 MHz transducer in a depth of 14-16 cm. RN echogenicity was assessed by a semi-quantitative visual scale and DTV was measured in the thalamic plane.
Results: Twenty-three patients (76.5%) and 15 controls (50 %) showed hypoechogenicity of RN, which was marginally significant (P=0.06). DTV was on average larger in the experimental group (0.388 cm vs 0.234 cm, P<0.001).
Conclusion: Increased DTV in patients with schizophrenia is consistent with previous neuroimaging findings. However, marginally lower echogenicity of midbrain RN on TCS in schizophrenia is a new finding that supports the serotonin hypothesis of schizophrenia. 
Type of Study: Original | Subject: Clinical Neuroscience
Received: 2021/02/28 | Accepted: 2021/07/5 | Published: 2023/07/1

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