Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Volume 93, Number 18; Pages: 9985-9990

Schizophrenia and cognitive dysmetria: A positron-emission tomography study of dysfunctional prefrontal-thalamic-cerebellar circuitry

Nancy C. Andreasen, Daniel S. O'Leary, Ted Cizadlo, Stephan Arndt, Karim
Rezai, Laura L. Boles Ponto, G. Leonard Watkins, Richard D. Hichwa
(c) 1996 by the National Academy of Sciences
ABSTRACT Patients suffering from schizophrenia display subtle cognitive
abnormalities that may reflect a difficulty in rapidly coordinating the
steps that occur in a variety of mental activities. Working interactively
with the prefrontal cortex, the cerebellum may play a role in coordinating
both motor and cognitive performance. This positron-emission tomography
study suggests the presence of a prefrontal-thalamic-cerebellar network
that is activated when normal subjects recall complex narrative material,
but is dysfunctional in schizophrenic patients when they perform the same
task. These results support a role for the cerebellum in cognitive
functions and suggest that patients with schizophrenia may suffer from a
"cognitive dysmetria" due to dysfunctional prefrontal-thalamic-cerebellar

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