Many patients with schizophrenia manifest clinical signs and symptoms suggestive of prefrontal cortex dysfunction, such as blunted affect, poor insight, and deficient performance on problem solving tasks. The development of in-vivo regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) and brain metabolism techniques has made it possible to investigate directly frontal lobe function in patients with this disorder. In some recent clinical studies, prefrontal cortex hypometabolism has been found, particularly under conditions of cognitive activation. Preliminary efforts to correlate this finding with signs of structural brain pathology that have been reported with CT scanning have suggested that prefrontal hypometabolism is a physiological effect of pathology in the limbic system.
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