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Br J Psychiatry. 2009 Oct;195(4):346-53. doi: 10.1192/bjp.bp.108.055376.

Effect of age at onset of schizophrenia on white matter abnormalities.

Author information

1
Section of Neurobiology of Psychosis, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, UK.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The pattern of brain morphological changes at the early stages of schizophrenia may depend on the age at onset of illness; in children and adolescents with schizophrenia, grey matter deficits are seen in the parietal lobe whereas in individuals with adult onset these are more widespread.

AIMS:

To examine whether white matter is similarly affected.

METHOD:

Diffusion tensor imaging was used to compare fractional anisotropy measures in individuals with adolescent-onset (n = 17) and adult-onset schizophrenia (n = 17) with those in age- and gender-matched controls.

RESULTS:

Compared with their respective controls, individuals with adolescent-onset schizophrenia showed fractional anisotropy decrease in parietal regions; individuals with adult onset showed additional fractional anisotropy reductions in frontal, temporal and cerebellar regions. A differential effect of age at onset (adolescent v. adult) was noted bilaterally in medial prefrontal white matter.

CONCLUSIONS:

White matter abnormalities in frontal regions in schizophrenia may depend on developmental stage at the time of illness onset.

PMID:
19794204
DOI:
10.1192/bjp.bp.108.055376
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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