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Schizophr Res. 1992 Apr;7(1):23-32.

Loss of sylvian fissure asymmetry in schizophrenia. A quantitative post mortem study.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Düsseldorf, Germany.


The sylvian fissure is known to be one of the most asymmetric structures of the human brain. Sylvian fissure length was measured in post-mortem brains of 35 schizophrenic patients and 33 matched non psychiatric control subjects. The schizophrenics showed a significantly reduced length of the left sylvian fissure (-16%, p less than 0.0001) compared to the control subjects, while the right sylvian fissure length was unchanged. Sylvian fissure asymmetry (left/right ratio) was more reduced in male schizophrenics (-24%, p less than 0.001) than in female patients (-16%, p less than 0.03). This finding is consistent with several post-mortem and MRI studies showing left temporal lobe pathology in a significant proportion of patients and may indicate that schizophrenia is a disorder of early neurodevelopment causing impaired cerebral lateralization.

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