Evaluation of macular vasculature in schizophrenia compared to healthy subjects

Document Type : Original Article


1 Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

2 Eye Research Center, Mashhad University of medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

3 Retina research center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences

4 Department of Preventive and Community Medicine- Faculty of Medicine- Mashhad University of Medical Sciences

5 Eye Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran


Purpose: This study aims to evaluate the macular thickness and vasculature changes with a readily available method named Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography (OCT-A) in patients with schizophrenia compared to healthy people.
Methods: The present cross-sectional study was conducted in 2019 at the Ibn-e-Sina Psychiatry Hospital of Mashhad. Twenty-Two cases of schizophrenia, treated with risperidone and age-matched 22 healthy individuals, were participated in the study. The disease severity assessment was scaled with the Positive And Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) test. All participants underwent complete ophthalmic examination and OCTA imaging.
Results: There was a statistically significant difference for fovea full-thickness (P=0.021) and parafovea full retinal thickness (P=0.029) between schizophrenic and healthy subjects. Fovea full retinal thickness, parafovea full retinal thickness, Fovea vessel density, and parafovea vessel density in patients with markedly ill schizophrenia, were significantly lower than the moderately ill subgroup (P=0.027, P=0.017, P=0.034, P=0.015).
Conclusion: We proposed that retinal neural and vascular tissues can be used as a research model in schizophrenia. We found a significantly lower foveal and parafoveal thickness in patients with schizophrenia than in healthy subjects, but it does not necessarily mean that there is a degenerative process in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia.


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