MRI SCANS REVEAL SUBTLE BRAIN DIFFERENCES IN PEOPLE WITH SCHIZOPHRENIA, UF RESEARCHERS FIND

dag.stenberg at helsinki.nospam.fi dag.stenberg at helsinki.nospam.fi
Thu Sep 16 06:30:16 EST 1999


Ken Collins <KPaulC at email.msn.com> wrote:
> i'm not saying that these UF folks are deliberately augmenting' the
> 'stereotype, ...
> they don't give a clue to their '10 brain structures', which would've been
> the only thing that would've given me reason to explore further... 'curious'
> that they left such out.

Here is the abstract of the original article:

Biol Psychiatry 1999 Aug 1;46(3):374-82 

Cumulative effect of anatomical risk factors for schizophrenia: an MRI
study.

Leonard CM, Kuldau JM, Breier JI, Zuffante PA, Gautier ER, Heron DC,
Lavery EM, Packing J, Williams SA, DeBose CA

Department of Neuroscience, University of Florida, Gainesville, USA. 

BACKGROUND: Although schizophrenic and control subjects differ on a
variety of neuroanatomical measures, the specificity and
sensitivity of any one measure for differentiating between groups are
low. This study investigated the cumulative effect of deviant
brain structure on diagnosis. METHODS: Hemisphere and third ventricle
volume and the normalized (Talairach) location of three
association cortex sulcal landmarks were measured on high-resolution MRI
scans in 37 male patients with schizophrenia and 33 male
control subjects matched on age, handedness, and parental socioeconomic
status. RESULTS: While there were few group differences
on individual anatomical measures, the 10 variables reliably
discriminated between the two groups when used in concert in a
discriminant function analysis (F[10.59] = 3.6, p < .0009) with 77% of
the subjects correctly classified. Five of the measures (left
posterior cingulate, left inferior frontal sulcus, right sylvian
fissure, and left and right halves of the third ventricle) correlated
significantly with the discriminant function (p < .005). CONCLUSIONS:
This is the first study to demonstrate that schizophrenics can
be distinguished from matched controls on the basis of brain anatomy
alone. The risk of schizophrenia may depend on the total
amount of neural deviance, rather than on anomalies in a single
structure or circuit. 

------- end of abstract
So they actually list five structures in the abstract. 

For comparison, I enclose an abstract by Robert McCarley, summarizing a
number of previous studies by his group and others:
Biol Psychiatry 1999 May 1;45(9):1099-119 

MRI anatomy of schizophrenia.

McCarley RW, Wible CG, Frumin M, Hirayasu Y, Levitt JJ, Fischer IA,
Shenton ME

Harvard Medical School, Department of Psychiatry, VA Medical Center,
Brockton, Massachusetts 02401, USA. 

Structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data have provided much
evidence in support of our current view that schizophrenia is a
brain disorder with altered brain structure, and consequently involving
more than a simple disturbance in neurotransmission. This
review surveys 118 peer-reviewed studies with control group from 1987 to
May 1998. Most studies (81%) do not find abnormalities
of whole brain/intracranial contents, while lateral ventricle
enlargement is reported in 77%, and third ventricle enlargement in 67%.
The
temporal lobe was the brain parenchymal region with the most
consistently documented abnormalities. Volume decreases were found
in 62% of 37 studies of whole temporal lobe, and in 81% of 16 studies of
the superior temporal gyrus (and in 100% with gray matter
separately evaluated). Fully 77% of the 30 studies of the medial
temporal lobe reported volume reduction in one or more of its
constituent structures (hippocampus, amygdala, parahippocampal gyrus).
Despite evidence for frontal lobe functional abnormalities,
structural MRI investigations less consistently found abnormalities,
with 55% describing volume reduction. It may be that frontal lobe
volume changes are small, and near the threshold for MRI detection. The
parietal and occipital lobes were much less studied; about
half of the studies showed positive findings. Most studies of cortical
gray matter (86%) found volume reductions were not diffuse, but
more pronounced in certain areas. About two thirds of the studies of
subcortical structures of thalamus, corpus callosum and basal
ganglia (which tend to increase volume with typical neuroleptics), show
positive findings, as do almost all (91%) studies of cavum
septi pellucidi (CSP). Most data were consistent with a developmental
model, but growing evidence was compatible also with
progressive, neurodegenerative features, suggesting a "two-hit" model of
schizophrenia, for which a cellular hypothesis is discussed.
The relationship of clinical symptoms to MRI findings is reviewed, as is
the growing evidence suggesting structural abnormalities
differ in affective (bipolar) psychosis and schizophrenia. 
--
So there has been a lot of data before the new study, but the authors of
the new study mainitain that theirs is the first to be able to diagnose
schizophrenia from anatomy alone - with statistical methods - correctly
in all of 77% of their material...
--
Dag Stenberg



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