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Psychiatry Res. 2011 Sep 30;193(3):131-7. doi: 10.1016/j.pscychresns.2011.02.010. Epub 2011 Jul 30.

Cerebellar development in childhood onset schizophrenia and non-psychotic siblings.

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Child Psychiatry Branch, NIMH/NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA.


We explored regional and total volumetric cerebellar differences in probands and their unaffected full siblings relative to typically developing participants. Participants included 94 (51 males) patients diagnosed with childhood onset schizophrenia (COS), 80 related non-psychotic siblings (37 males) and 110 (64 males) typically developing participants scanned longitudinally. The sample mean age was 16.87(S.D.=4.7; range 6.5 to 29). We performed mixed model regressions to examine group differences in trajectory and volume. The COS group had smaller bilateral anterior lobes and anterior and total vermis volumes than controls. The COS group diverged from controls over time in total, left, right, and bilateral posterior inferior cerebellum. Siblings did not have any fixed volumetric differences relative to controls but differed from controls in developmental trajectories of total and right cerebellum, left inferior posterior, left superior posterior, and superior vermis. Results are consistent with previous COS findings and several reports of decreased cerebellar volume in adult onset schizophrenia. Sibling trajectories may represent a trait marker, although the effect size for volumetric differences in early adulthood may be small.

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