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Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2011 Aug 1;35(6):1525-9. doi: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2011.04.012. Epub 2011 May 3.

Maternal-fetal blood incompatibility and neuromorphologic anomalies in schizophrenia: Preliminary findings.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health of Columbia University, New York, NY, USA.


Prior research has shown that maternal-fetal Rhesus (Rh) and ABO blood incompatibility increase the risk for schizophrenia. In the present study, the relationship between blood incompatibility and volumes of brain structures previously implicated in schizophrenia was assessed in schizophrenia cases and controls from a large birth cohort. Rh/ABO incompatible cases had significantly reduced cortical gray matter volume compared to compatible cases, a finding which appears to be driven by significant volume reductions in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and inferior frontal cortex. Larger hippocampal and putamen volumes were also observed in exposed controls compared to unexposed controls. Although the sample size is small and replications are required, these data suggest that maternal-fetal blood incompatibility may increase the risk for altered brain morphology in both schizophrenia and in controls. The findings also suggest that the larger hippocampal volume in exposed controls may indicate a mechanism of adaptive resilience which diminishes the risk that controls will develop schizophrenia.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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