Functional lateralization of the sensorimotor cortex in patients with schizophrenia: Effects of treatment with olanzapine

Alessandro Bertolino, Giuseppe Blasi, Grazia Caforio, Valeria Latorre, Mariapia De Candia, Valeria Rubino, Joseph H. Callicott, Venkata S. Mattay, Antonello Bellomo, Tommaso Scarabino, Daniel R. Weinberger, Marcello Nardini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Background Earlier cross-sectional studies with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in treated patients with schizophrenia have reported abnormalities of cortical motor processing, including reduced lateralization of primary sensory motor cortex. The objective of the present longitudinal study was to evaluate whether such cortical abnormalities represent state or trait phenomena of the disorder. Methods Seventeen acutely ill, previously untreated patients were studied after 4 weeks and after 8 weeks of olanzapine therapy. Seventeen matched healthy subjects served as control subjects. All subjects underwent two fMRI scans 4 weeks apart during a visually paced motor task using a simple periodic block design. Functional magnetic resonance imaging data were analyzed in Statistical Parametric Mapping (SPM99). Region of interest analyses were used to determine a laterality quotient (an index of lateralization) of motor cortical regions. Results The fMRI data indicated that patients had reduced activation of the primary sensory motor cortex at 4 weeks but not at 8 weeks; however, the laterality quotient in the primary sensory motor cortex was reduced in patients at both time points. Conclusions These results suggest that some cortical abnormalities during motor processing represent state phenomena, whereas reduced functional lateralization of the primary sensory motor cortex represents an enduring trait of schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)190-197
Number of pages8
JournalBiological psychiatry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Schizophrenia
  • fMRI
  • lateralization
  • motor processing
  • olanzapine
  • sensorimotor cortex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biological Psychiatry


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