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Psychiatry Res. 2008 Dec 30;164(3):265-73. doi: 10.1016/j.pscychresns.2007.12.007.

The volumes of the fornix in schizophrenia and affective disorders: a post-mortem study.

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Department of Psychiatry, Otto-von-Guericke-University of Magdeburg, Leipziger Str. 44, D-39120 Magdeburg, Germany.


Structural and functional pathology of limbic structures including the hippocampus are frequently replicated in schizophrenia. Although the fornix is the main afferent system of the hippocampus to the septal nuclei and the hypothalamus (especially the mammillary bodies), relatively few studies have investigated structural changes of the fornix in schizophrenia. We measured the volume of the fornix in post-mortem brains in 19 patients with schizophrenia, 9 patients with bipolar disorder, 7 patients with unipolar depression, and 14 control subjects by planimetry of serial sections. The volumes, the mean cross-sectional areas, and the anterior to posterior distances of the fornix did not differ among patients with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, unipolar depression, and control subjects. No lateralization existed between the right and the left fornices in among patients in the diagnostic groups and the control subjects. The fornix does not show morphometrical abnormalities in patients with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and unipolar depression compared with control subjects, which might indicate that the fornix is not a primary focus of structural changes in these diseases.

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