[Skip to Navigation]
[Skip to Navigation Landing]
April 1995

Prefrontal Cortex and Schizophrenia: A Quantitative Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Boston, the Brockton (Mass) Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Massachusetts Mental Health Center, Boston, and McLean Hospital, Belmont, Mass (Drs Wible, Shenton, Hokama, and McCarley); and the Department of Radiology, Harvard Medical School, and MRI Division, Surgical Planning Laboratory, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston (Drs Kikinis and Jolesz and Mr Metcalf).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1995;52(4):279-288. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1995.03950160029007

Objective:  To measure prefrontal cortical volume in a group of schizophrenic subjects who presented with mainly positive symptoms and who were previously shown to have volume reductions in left temporal lobe structures.

Method:  Fourteen men with chronic schizophrenia and 15 male control subjects were matched for age, IQ, handedness, and parental socioeconomic status. Magnetic resonance images were obtained by means of a 1.5-T magnet, and contiguous 1.5-mm slices of the entire brain were obtained.

Results:  No significant differences were found between schizophrenic and control subjects in mean values for prefrontal white or gray matter on either the right or the left side. However, within the schizophrenic group, there was evidence of a relationship between the volumes of left prefrontal gray matter and left temporal lobe structures that was not present in the control group.

Conclusions:  At least in this group of schizophrenic subjects with mainly positive symptoms, temporal lobe abnormalities can exist in conjunction with no gross volumetric abnormalities of the prefrontal cortex.