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Psychiatry Res. 1999 Oct 11;91(3):155-62.

A magnetic resonance imaging study of thalamic area in adolescent patients with either schizophrenia or bipolar disorder as compared to healthy controls.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA.


The purpose of this study was to compare thalamic size in adolescent patients with either schizophrenia or bipolar disorder and healthy controls. T2-weighted axial magnetic resonance images were used to manually define the area of the thalamus for 20 schizophrenia patients, 15 bipolar patients and 16 normal control subjects, all of whom were adolescents. Two orthogonal planned contrasts were tested: Contrast 1, patients with schizophrenia vs. patients with bipolar disorder; and Contrast 2, both patient groups taken as a single group compared to controls. Contrast 1 was not statistically significant for right or left thalamic area. Contrast 2 was statistically significant and indicated reductions in thalamic area in the patients as compared to controls. The same pattern of results emerged after adjustment for total brain volume. Our results indicate that thalamic abnormalities reported in adult schizophrenic and bipolar patients are also observed in adolescent patients. Our findings also add to the evidence implicating the thalamus in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

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