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October 1991

Magnetic Resonance Imaging Abnormalities in Lenticular Nuclei and Cerebral Cortex in Schizophrenia

Author Affiliations

From the Psychology Service, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San Diego, Calif (Dr Jernigan); the Departments of Psychiatry (Drs Jernigan, Zisook, Heaton, Moranville, and Braff), Radiology (Drs Jernigan and Hesselink), and Neurosciences (Dr Hesselink), the Outpatient Psychiatric Service (Dr Zisook), and the UCSD/AMI Magnetic Resonance Institute (Dr Hesselink), the University of California at San Diego, La Jolla. Dr Moranville is now with the Department of Psychiatry, University of California at Davis, and the Martinez (Calif) Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1991;48(10):881-890. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1991.01810340013002

• Neuropathologic and brain imaging studies have produced evidence of brain abnormalities in schizophrenic patients, often within the cerebrum's limbic lobe, and, less frequently, within basal ganglia. In the present study we used magnetic resonance imaging morphometric techniques to estimate volumes of specific cerebral structures in schizophrenic patients and age- and sex-matched normal controls. Estimates of the volume of mesial temporal lobe structures were reduced and estimates of the volume of the lenticular nucleus were increased in the schizophrenic patients. There was also evidence of reduced cranial volume in some schizophrenics. The magnitude of the lenticular abnormality, but not the temporal lobe abnormality, was associated with age at first psychiatric contact; earlier onset was associated with larger lenticular nuclei. The possible relevance of these results to neurodevelopmental hypotheses about the pathogenesis of schizophrenia is discussed.

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