Functional echo planar magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) probably will be
of importance in assessing brain abnormalities in psychiatric disorders.
The authors used functional MRI to measure the relative magnitude of the
change in image signal intensity, reflecting changes in regional neuronal
activity caused by photic stimulation, in eight patients with schizophrenia
and nine normal comparison subjects. The mean signal intensity change in
the primary visual cortex was significantly greater in patients with
schizophrenia (mean = 4.6%, SD = 1.5%) than in normal comparison subjects
(mean = 3.1%, SD = 1.3%). These results may reflect a variety of factors,
including diffuse structural brain changes as well as primary or iatrogenic
impairment of mitochondrial function or energy metabolism.