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November 1990

Limbic Structures and Lateral Ventricle in SchizophreniaA Quantitative Postmortem Study

Author Affiliations

From Morphological Brain Research (Drs Heckers, H. Heinsen, and Y. Heinsen) and the Department of Psychiatry (Drs Heckers, H. Heinsen, Y. Heinsen, and Beckmann), University of Würzburg, Federal Republic of Germany.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1990;47(11):1016-1022. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1990.01810230032006

• Volume reduction of limbic structures in the medial temporal lobe of schizophrenics has been described in postmortem analyses of two brain collections. A total of 30 hemispheres of schizophrenics and 30 hemispheres of controls taken from a new collection of brains and closely matched for sex and age were examined. We applied computer-assisted stereologic methods to serial coronal sections of complete hemispheres. Volumetric measurement of amygdala, hippocampal formation, and lateral ventricle was performed. We found no significant volume reduction of amygdala and hippocampal formation in schizophrenics. Bilateral enlargement of the lateral ventricle was found in the schizophrenic group, but mean differences were not significant, and no correlation with limbic structure volumes was found. We postulate methodologic issues of postmortem volumetric measurements and matching of samples as possible reasons for the failure to replicate previous findings.