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Schizophr Res. 1996 Jul 5;20(3):275-85.

VBR in schizophrenia: relationship to family history of psychosis and season of birth.

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Schizophrenia Program, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor 48109-0116, USA.

Erratum in

  • Schizophr Res 1997 May 24;25(2):167.


Ventricular enlargement has been consistently demonstrated in schizophrenia using both CT and MRI. Despite this, the structural changes that underlie increased ventricle-brain ratio (VBR) and its relationship to environmental factors (intrauterine viral exposure, obstetric complications, etc.) and family history of schizophrenia remain poorly defined. Increased VBR has been shown in some studies to correlate with an absence of family history of schizophrenia and with Winter-Spring birth. In an attempt to obtain a clearer picture of the contribution of environmental and genetic factors to VBR, we studied 54 patients with DSM III-R schizophrenia. VBR was determined from head CT scans via computerized planimetry. Family history of psychosis and non-psychotic mood disorder was determined with the family informant method. Season of birth was encoded in several ways, including season, trimester and dichotomously. Patients without a family history of psychosis had significantly larger VBR than patients with such a history; family history of mood disorder was not related to VBR. Season of birth was not predictive of VBR. Family history of psychosis and season of birth were not related to each other. These results are in line with prior work demonstrating an association between increased VBR and sporadic (non-familial) schizophrenia. We did not find a relationship between VBR and season of birth, which suggests that risk of perinatal viral exposure and other seasonal environmental factors may not account for the ventricular enlargement in non-familial schizophrenia observed in our sample.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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