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Schizophr Res. 1999 Oct 19;39(3):183-96.

A lack of cerebral lateralization in schizophrenia is within the normal variation in brain maturation but indicates late, slow maturation.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Oslo, Norway.


The planum temporale (PT) bias, PT leftward, PT symmetry, and PT rightward reversal and sidedness preference, consistent right-handedness, ambilaterality, and consistent left-handedness are placed on a continuum mirroring the normal variation in rate of brain maturation. Maturational rate declines as we pass from PT leftward bias and consistent right-handedness to PT reversal and consistent left-handedness. Concomitantly, we expect an increased prevalence of males due to their pubertal age being about 2 years later than that of females, and a shift in cognitive profile from higher verbal scores than performance scores on the WAIS to higher performance than verbal scores. Three disorders fulfilling the criteria of late CNS maturation apart from the corresponding cognitive profile were studied: infantile autism (IA), schizophrenia (S), and developmental dyslexia (DD). These disorders have in common deficits in cognition, perception, and somatomotor function. The deficits range from an arrest in brain development (which is evident in infancy superimposed on late maturation in IA) to overall delayed brain and somatic development in S (culminating in postpubertal psychotic episodes and persistent and generalized residual deficits). Finally, reading inability, problems in perception (vision and hearing) and in motor coordination, particularly between the two hemispheres, characterize DD. Enhancing brain maturation and the prevalence of 'normal' cerebral asymmetry--laterality is preferable if we want to reduce the risk of developing the above-mentioned disorders. It is suggested that in the past environmental challenges have favored early maturation, with its abundant neuronal population, arborization and excessive density of synapses and cerebral excitability which has powered evolution through the mechanism of natural selection. Early maturation is obtainable through optimal nutrition, including a satisfactory amount of marine fat (PUFA), before and during pregnancy and later in life.

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