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Perspectives
May 2003

White Matter Changes in Schizophrenia: Evidence for Myelin-Related Dysfunction

Author Affiliations
 

Copyright 2003 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2003

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2003;60(5):443-456. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.60.5.443
Abstract

  Numerous lines of inquiry implicate connectivity as a central abnormality in schizophrenia. Myelination and factors that affect myelination, such as the function of oligodendroglia, are critical processes that could profoundly affect neuronal connectivity, especially given the diffuse distribution of oligodendrocytes and the widespread distribution of brain regions that have been implicated in schizophrenia. Multiple lines of evidence now converge to implicate oligodendroglia and myelin in schizophrenia. Imaging and neurocytochemical evidence, similarities with demyelinating diseases, age-related changes in white matter, myelin-related gene abnormalities, and morphologic abnormalities in the oligodendroglia demonstrated in schizophrenic brains are all examined in light of the hypothesis that oligodendroglial dysfunction and even death, with subsequent abnormalities in myelin maintenance and repair, contribute to the schizophrenic syndrome.

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