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Am J Psychiatry. 2003 Dec;160(12):2169-80.

Increases in regional subarachnoid CSF without apparent cortical gray matter deficits in schizophrenia: modulating effects of sex and age.

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Laboratory of Neuro Imaging, Department of Neurology, Division of Brain Mapping, UCLA School of Medicine, 710 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1769, USA.



The authors investigated the modulating effects of biological sex and age on regional decreases in cortical gray matter and increases in subarachnoid CSF in 25 patients with chronic schizophrenia and 28 group-matched healthy comparison subjects.


Computational cortical pattern-matching methods were employed to measure the local proportions of gray matter and subarachnoid CSF at thousands of homologous cortical surface locations in each subject using high-resolution magnetic resonance images. Principal-component analysis reduced tissue proportion values obtained at each cortical surface point into component scores for each subject. Principal-component analysis scores were used as dependent variables in statistical analyses that included diagnosis, age, and sex as predictor variables. To reveal more regional changes in tissue proportions, statistical differences in gray matter and CSF were compared at each cortical surface location and mapped in three dimensions.


Principal-component analyses revealed main effects of diagnosis, sex, and age for the CSF increases seen in the schizophrenia patients, in male subjects, and in association with age. Significant diagnosis-by-age, diagnosis-by-sex, and diagnosis-by-sex-by-age interactions were also observed, revealing CSF increases in male patients at younger ages. Statistical maps showed regional increases in subarachnoid CSF in association with the above effects. For cortical gray matter measurements, only main effects of age were observed.


Regionally specific increases in sulcal and subarachnoid CSF occur during adulthood and appear prematurely in male schizophrenia patients. Cortical gray matter reductions show aging effects but are below the threshold of significance in schizophrenia.

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