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Developmental Brain Abnormalities in Schizophrenia: Contributions of Genetic and Perinatal Factors

Antonio Vita, MD; Emilio Sacchetti, MD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1995;52(2):157. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1995.03950140075013.
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In the progress of their pivotal work on individuals from the Copenhagen Schizophrenia High-risk Project, Cannon et al1 found linearly increasing measures of the cerebral ventricular system to be a function of the level of genetic risk for schizophrenia and the presence of obstetric complications (OCs) in the offspring of normal and schizophrenic parents. They discuss these results as being suggestive of the "neurodevelopmental nature of brain abnormalities in schizophrenia."

However, whether results obtained in a cohort of mainly nonschizophrenic subjects may be transferred tout court to schizophrenia is not obvious.

The controversial literature on the association between family history (FH) of schizophrenia and ventricular size in schizophrenia is more compatible with an inverse rather than a direct relationship between the two variables.2,3

Further, twin studies recognize a genetic control of ventricular size but indicate also a disease effect, with the schizophrenic twins showing consistently larger ventricles than


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