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Int J Neurosci. 1993 Jan;68(1-2):53-9.

The relationship of thought disorder to third ventricle width and calcification of the pineal gland in chronic schizophrenia.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY 10461.


Since the early writings of Bleuler in 1908, it has been recognized that schizophrenia is a heterogenous disorder with diversity in symptomatology, course, prognosis, and probably etiology. Over the past 50 years, considerable research has been devoted to the prognosis of schizophrenia and despite variability among findings, certain historical and clinical predictors have been established. A recent study undertaken in 58 DSM-III diagnosed schizophrenic inpatients found that of the various clinical clusters assessed prospectively, thought disorder stood out as the single most salient predictor of poor outcome (Kay & Murrill, 1990). In the present study I have investigated the relationship of thought disorder to CT scan measures of third ventricle width (TVW), prefrontal cortical atrophy, and cortical atrophy in 14 chronic schizophrenic patients. In addition, I have studied the relationship of thought disorder to pineal calcification (PC) and choroid plexus (CP) sizes in 20 chronic schizophrenic patients. TVW and PC size were the only neuroradiological measures found to be associated with the degree of thought disorder. These findings suggest that both diencephalic damage and calcification of the pineal gland may be related to disorganized thinking in schizophrenia and, by inference, to an unfavorable prognosis.

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