A new study has linked chronic auditory hallucinations in schizophrenic patients with both structural and functional abnormalities in specific brain region that is associated with the capacity to processe human voices. The study was conducted by a team of researchers led by Dr. Luis Marti-Bonmati at Dr. Peset University Hospital in Valencia, Spain.
As part of the study, researchers used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and studied 31 right-handed men, 21 with schizophrenia who suffered from persistent auditory hallucinations and 10 healthy controls.
Morphological MR images were acquired to show abnormalities in brain structure while functional MRI was used to gauge brain response to various emotional and neutral stimuli.
The study found that among the schizophrenic patients, functional abnormalities and corresponding grey matter deficits in several brain regions was associated with regulating emotion and processing human voices.
"We hope that by evaluating combined structural and functional abnormalities in the brains of these patients, we may uncover biological markers to find candidates for specific treatments and better monitor patient response to those treatments," Marti-Bonmati said.
The findings of the study were published in the August issue of Radiology.