Resonancia Magnetica Funcional con Paradigma Auditivo Emocional en Pacientes con un Primer Episodio Psicótico

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Neuroimaging studies of emotional response in patients with Psychosis have mainly used visual stimuli, i.e., still photographs of emotional faces paradigms and shown globally reduced brain activity. Much less is known about the mechanisms underlying emotion recognition deficits within the auditory modality. Our principal aim is to evaluate the emotional response of First-Episode Psychotic (FEP) patients to neutral and emotional words. An auditory emotional paradigm based on the most frequent words heard by psychotic patients with auditory hallucinations was designed. This paradigm was applied to evaluate cerebral activation with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in 59 FEP patients and 50 healthy subjects. We found a clear enhanced activity of the frontal lobe, temporal cortex, cingulate and mainly hippocampus and amygdala in patients when hearing emotional words in comparison with controls. Our findings are consistent with other studies suggesting a significant role for emotional response, revealing that alterations in limbic system are present in the early stages of psychosis, and these alterations are correlated with the severity of the illness.
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