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Neuroimage. 2001 Sep;14(3):531-45.

Statistical analysis of hippocampal asymmetry in schizophrenia.

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Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA.


The asymmetry of brain structures has been studied in schizophrenia to better understand its underlying neurobiology. Brain regions of interest have previously been characterized by volumes, cross-sectional and surface areas, and lengths. Using high-dimensional brain mapping, we have developed a statistical method for analyzing patterns of left-right asymmetry of the human hippocampus taken from high-resolution MR scans. We introduce asymmetry measures that capture differences in the patterns of high-dimensional vector fields between the left and right hippocampus surfaces. In 15 pairs of subjects previously studied (J. G. Csernansky et al., 1998, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 95, 11406-11411). we define the difference in hippocampal asymmetry patterns between the groups. Volume analysis indicated a large normative asymmetry between left and right hippocampus (R > L), and shape analysis allowed us to visualize the normative asymmetry pattern of the hippocampal surfaces. We observed that the right hippocampus was wider along its lateral side in both schizophrenia and control subjects. Also, while patterns of hippocampal asymmetry were generally similar in the schizophrenia and control groups, a principal component analysis based on left-right asymmetry vector fields detected a statistically significant difference between the two groups, specifically related to the subiculum.

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