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Am J Psychiatry. 2000 Jan;157(1):34-9.

Disturbed gyrification of the prefrontal region in male schizophrenic patients: A morphometric postmortem study.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Freidrich Wilhelms University of Bonn, Germany.



The goal was to test the hypothesis that abnormalities of gyrification are present in the prefrontal region of postmortem brains from schizophrenic patients.


The authors compared the prefrontal regions in brains from 24 schizophrenic patients and 24 normal comparison subjects. The gyrification index, the ratio of inner and outer surface contours, was measured bilaterally in three different slices from each brain. Area measurements of gray and white matter were studied separately by planimetric analysis in the same sections. In addition, a gray-to-white-matter ratio and an asymmetry coefficient were computed.


The mean gyrification index on the right side was significantly higher in the male schizophrenic patients than in the comparison men. The gyrification index of the female patients was not significantly different from that of the female comparison subjects. Analysis of area measurements revealed no significant differences.


As gyrification is an ontogenetic stable feature unaffected by atrophic processes during aging, the gyrification abnormalities of the prefrontal region provide further evidence of the importance of a neurodevelopmental mechanism in the etiology of schizophrenia, at least in males.

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