Cortical Alpha Activity in Schizoaffective Patients
Objective: Electrophysiological studies have identified abnormal oscillatory activities in the cerebral cortex in schizophrenia and mood disorders. Biological and pathophysiological evidence suggests specific deficits in serotonin (5-HT) receptor function in schizoaffective disorder (SA), a clinical syndrome with characteristics of both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. This study investigated alpha oscillations in patients with SA.
Method: Electroencephalography was used to measure ongoing and evoked alpha oscillations in 38 adults meeting Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders–Fourth Edition (DSM–IV) criteria for SA, and in 39 healthy controls.
Results: Spontaneous alpha power of the participants with SA was significantly lower than that of healthy participants [F (1, 75) = 8.81, P < 0.01]. Evoked alpha activity was also decreased in SA compared to controls [F (1, 75) = 5.67, P = 0.025].
Conclusion: A strong reduction of alpha power in the posterior regions may reflect abnormality in the thalamocortical circuits. It is shown that hypoxia and reduced cerebral blood flow is associated with reduced alpha activity among different regions of the brain. Therefore, it can be concluded that greatly decreased alpha activity, particularly in centro-parietal and occipital regions, is related to SA symptoms such as hallucinations.
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