Hundreds of structural and functional neuroimaging studies to date have revealed modest reductions in whole-brain volumes, as well as volume and task activation reductions, across a diverse array of localized neocortical and subcortical sites, including, frontal, temporal, and parietal regions. On structural MRI scans, the largest differences between people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia and healthy controls have been evident in the volume of the lateral ventricles, but on an individual-subject level over 70% of scan results measuring the size of this structure in schizophrenia still overlap with scans of healthy controls. Studies of individuals with schizophrenia without exposure to antipsychotic medications show these effects are not simply artifacts of drug treatment. There is no evidence of a signature pattern of volumetric loss or dysfunctional neural activation patterns specific to schizophrenia and distinct from other closely related, chronic psychiatric illnesses. Functional connectivity studies are a promising area of future research.
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