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J Psychiatr Res. 2013 Oct;47(10):1383-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2013.06.010. Epub 2013 Jul 3.

Discrimination between schizophrenia and major depressive disorder by magnetic resonance imaging of the female brain.

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  • 1Department of Mental Disorder Research, National Institute of Neuroscience, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, 4-1-1, Ogawa-Higashi, Kodaira, Tokyo 187-8502, Japan.



Although schizophrenia and major depressive disorder (MDD) differ on a variety of neuroanatomical measures, a diagnostic tool to discriminate these disorders has not yet been established. We tried to identify structural changes of the brain that best discriminate between schizophrenia and MDD on the basis of gray matter volume, ventricle volume, and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI).


The first exploration sample consisted of 25 female patients with schizophrenia and 25 females with MDD. Regional brain volumes and fractional anisotropy (FA) values were entered into a discriminant analysis. The second validation sample consisted of 18 female schizophrenia and 16 female MDD patients.


The stepwise discriminant analysis resulted in correct classification rates of 0.80 in the schizophrenic group and 0.76 in MDD. In the second validation sample, the obtained model yielded correct classification rates of 0.72 in the schizophrenia group and 0.88 in the MDD group.


Our results suggest that schizophrenia and MDD have differential structural changes in the examined brain regions and that the obtained discriminant score may be useful to discriminate the two disorders.


Diffusion tensor imaging; Discriminant analysis; Magnetic resonance imaging; Major depressive disorder; Schizophrenia

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