Basal ganglia volume in unmedicated patients with schizophrenia is associated with treatment response to antipsychotic medication

Academic Article


  • We investigated the relationship between basal ganglia volume and treatment response to the atypical antipsychotic medication risperidone in unmedicated patients with schizophrenia. Basal ganglia volumes included the bilateral caudate, putamen, and pallidum and were measured using the Freesurfer automated segmentation pipeline in 23 subjects. Also, baseline symptom severity, duration of illness, age, gender, time off medication, and exposure to previous antipsychotic were measured. Treatment response was significantly correlated with all three regions of the bilateral basal ganglia (caudate, putamen, and pallidum), baseline symptom severity, duration of illness, and age but not gender, time off antipsychotic medication, or exposure to previous antipsychotic medication. The caudate volume was the basal ganglia region that demonstrated the strongest correlation with treatment response and was significantly negatively correlated with patient age. Caudate volume was not significantly correlated with any other measure. We demonstrated a novel finding that the caudate volume explains a significant amount of the variance in treatment response over the course of 6 weeks of risperidone pharmacotherapy even when controlling for baseline symptom severity and duration of illness. © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Hutcheson NL; Clark DG; Bolding MS; White DM; Lahti AC
  • Start Page

  • 6
  • End Page

  • 12
  • Volume

  • 221
  • Issue

  • 1