Recent MRI studies have shown that schizophrenia is characterized by reductions in brain gray matter, which progress in the acute state of the disease. Cortical circuitry abnormalities in gamma oscillations, such as deficits in the auditory steady state response (ASSR) to gamma frequency (> 30-Hz) stimulation, have also been reported in schizophrenia patients. In the current study, we investigated neural responses during click stimulation by BOLD signals. We acquired BOLD responses elicited by click trains of 20, 30, 40 and 80-Hz frequencies from 15 patients with acute episode schizophrenia (AESZ), 14 symptom-severity-matched patients with non-acute episode schizophrenia (NASZ), and 24 healthy controls (HC), assessed via a standard general linear-model-based analysis. The AESZ group showed significantly increased ASSR-BOLD signals to 80-Hz stimuli in the left auditory cortex compared with the HC and NASZ groups. In addition, enhanced 80-Hz ASSR-BOLD signals were associated with more severe auditory hallucination experiences in AESZ participants. The present results indicate that neural over activation occurs during 80-Hz auditory stimulation of the left auditory cortex in individuals with acute state schizophrenia. Given the possible association between abnormal gamma activity and increased glutamate levels, our data may reflect glutamate toxicity in the auditory cortex in the acute state of schizophrenia, which might lead to progressive changes in the left transverse temporal gyrus.
Kuga, H., Onitsuka, T., Hirano, Y., Nakamura, I., Oribe, N., Mizuhara, H., … Ueno, T. (2016). Increased BOLD Signals Elicited by High Gamma Auditory Stimulation of the Left Auditory Cortex in Acute State Schizophrenia. EBioMedicine, 12, 143–149. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ebiom.2016.09.008