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Schizophr Res. 2001 May 30;50(1-2):19-26.

Cerebral gray and white matter reductions and clinical correlates in patients with early onset schizophrenia.

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  • 1Service Hospitalier Frédéric Joliot, DSV-CEA, and INSERM U.334, 4 place du général Leclerc, 91406 Orsay, France.


Few magnetic resonance imaging studies of schizophrenia have investigated brain tissue volumes and their relation to clinical symptoms in patients with an early age at illness onset. The twofold purpose of the study was to investigate both gray and white matter volumes in schizophrenic men with an early age at illness onset, and to determine whether clinical features correlated with tissue volume changes, using an automated voxel-by-voxel image analysis procedure. Twenty male patients with DSM-IV diagnoses of schizophrenia, and an early age at onset (m+/-SD=19+/-2) were compared with 20 age-matched health men. Magnetic resonance (1.5-T) scans were obtained with an Inversion-Recovery prepared fast gradient echo sequence enhancing gray and white matter contrast. Statistical Parametric Mapping was used for image segmentation and comparison. Patients had significant gray matter reductions in medial frontal gyri, left insula, left parahippocampus, and left fusiform gyrus; bilateral white matter reductions in frontal lobes, and increased total cerebrospinal fluid volume were also observed. Negative symptom scores were negatively related to white matter volumes in cingulate regions, and in the right internal capsule. These findings emphasize a pattern of left-hemisphere gray matter abnormalities, and suggest that fronto-paralimbic connectivity may be altered in men with early onset schizophrenia.

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