Self-harm in schizophrenia is associated with dorsolateral prefrontal and posterior cingulate activity

Kwang Hyuk Lee, Graham Pluck, Nicoletta Lekka, Andrew Horton, Iain D. Wilkinson, Peter W.R. Woodruff

Producción científica: Contribución a una revistaArtículorevisión exhaustiva

11 Citas (Scopus)


Self-harm, such as self-cutting, self-poisoning or jumping from height, regardless of intentions, is common among people with schizophrenia. We wished to investigate brain activations relating to self-harm, in order to test whether these activations could differentiate between schizophrenia patients with self-harm and those without. We used event-related functional MRI with a go/no-go response inhibition paradigm. Fourteen schizophrenia patients with a history of self-harm were compared with 14 schizophrenia patients without a history of self-harm and 17 healthy control participants. In addition, we used standard clinical measures and neuropsychological tests to assess risk factors associated with self-harm. The right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and the left posterior cingulate cortex differentiated all three groups; brain activation in these regions being greatest in the control group, and the self-harm patient group being greater than in the non-self-harm patient group. In the self-harm patient group, right DLPFC activity was positively correlated with severity of suicidal thinking. In addition, both patient groups showed less activation in the right orbitofrontal cortex, left ventral anterior cingulate cortex and right thalamus. This is the first study to report right DLPFC activation in association with self-harm and suicidal thinking in patients with schizophrenia. This area could be a target for future neuromodulation studies to treat suicidal thinking and self-harm behaviors in patients with schizophrenia.

Idioma originalInglés
Páginas (desde-hasta)18-23
Número de páginas6
PublicaciónProgress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry
EstadoPublicada - 3 ago. 2015
Publicado de forma externa


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