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

Terry L. Jernigan, PhD; Sidney Zisook, MD; Robert K. Heaton, PhD; John T. Moranville, MD; John R. Hesselink, MD; David L. Braff, MD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1991;48(10):881-890. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1991.01810340013002.
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• 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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