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Psychiatry Res. 1997 Nov 28;76(1):1-13.

Brain abnormalities in schizophrenia-spectrum children: implications for a neurodevelopmental perspective.

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Department of Psychology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque 87131-1161, USA.


Children with symptoms of schizophrenia-spectrum disorder (N = 20) were compared to controls (N = 20) matched for age and socioeconomic status. Structural brain abnormalities were assessed with magnetic resonance imaging and functional brain abnormalities with neuropsychological tests. Children with schizophrenia-spectrum disorder had smaller amygdala and temporal cortex volumes, along with reduced callosal areas and an unusual pattern of neuroanatomic asymmetries. No differences were noted in overall brain volume, ventricular volume, hippocampal volume, or frontal area. Schizophrenia-spectrum children were also characterized by deficits in all neuropsychological functions examined. Some types of verbal memory and frontal lobe skills were especially deficient. These results support the hypothesis that children with schizophrenia-spectrum disorder have significant brain abnormalities, similar in some ways to those seen in adult schizophrenics. In conjunction with recent primate studies, the current results draw attention to the role of the amygdala as one relevant factor in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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