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Schizophr Res. 2001 May 30;50(1-2):9-17.

Corpus callosum area and functioning in schizophrenic patients with auditory--verbal hallucinations.

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Section of Cognitive Neuropsychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry and GKT School of Medicine, London SE5 8AF, UK.


Auditory--verbal hallucinations (AVH) are a characteristic feature of schizophrenia. Patients with AVHs have been found to differ from non-hallucinating patients in volumes of certain asymmetrical brain structures on MRI, and on certain neuropsychological measures. There is also evidence of corpus callosum (CC) abnormalities in schizophrenia, and it has been proposed that abnormalities of inter-hemispheric transmission may underlie hallucinations and other symptoms. The aim of this study was to examine whether patients with AVHs have smaller corpora callosa than those without AVH, and whether CC size is related to performance on neuropsychological tests of functional cerebral asymmetry. Seventy-one DSM-IV male schizophrenics were recruited on the basis of their hallucination history plus 33 matched normal controls. Twenty-nine patients had no history of AVH, and 42 had a strong history of AVH. The mid-sagittal surface area and longitudinal length of the CC were measured from T(1)-weighted spin echo images. Callosal area was divided into four sections. There were no significant differences in any of the measurements between the two patient groups, or between patients with schizophrenia and controls. There was no association between CC measures and handedness, or performance on dichotic listening or finger tapping tasks. The results of this study do not lend support for there being a major morphological abnormality of the corpus callosum in schizophrenic patients, or for a specific relationship to AVH. However, a significant association between CC area and overall grey and white matter volumes was noted in the hallucinating patients and, to a lesser extent, in the non-hallucinators, which may point to differing influences on brain development or degeneration in such patients compared with normal controls.

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