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Schizophrenia as an Anomaly of Development of Cerebral Asymmetry:  A Postmortem Study and a Proposal Concerning the Genetic Basis of the Disease

Timothy J. Crow, PhD, FRCP, FRCPsych; Joanna Ball, MD, MRCP; Steven R. Bloom, MD, FRCP; Rosemary Brown; Clive J. Bruton, MD; Nigel Colter; Christopher D. Frith, PhD; Eve C. Johnstone, MD, FRCP, FRCPsych; David G. C. Owens, MD, FRCP, FRCPych; Gareth W. Roberts, PhD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1989;46(12):1145-1150. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1989.01810120087013.
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• Schizophrenia is associated with structural changes (eg, a mild degree of ventricular enlargement) in the brain, although whether these precede onset of illness or progress with episodes is not established. In a postmortem study, we find that ventricular enlargement affects the posterior and particularly the temporal horn of the lateral cerebral ventricle. By comparison with controls and with patients suffering from Alzheimer-type dementia (in which there is also temporal horn enlargement), the change is highly significantly selective to the left hemisphere. This deviation was not accompanied by an increase in glial cell number (examined chemically by assay of diazepam-binding inhibitor immunoreactivity and microscopically by density of staining with the Holzer' technique). The findings are consistent with the view that schizophrenia is a disorder of the genetic mechanisms that control the development of cerebral asymmetry.


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