Psychological Medicine

Original Articles

Reduction of cortical volume in schizophrenia on magnetic resonance imaging

I. Harveya1, M. A. Rona1 c1, G. Du Boulaya1, D. Wicksa1, S. W. Lewisa1 and R. M. Murraya1

a1 Institute of Neurology; Institute of Psychiatry; and Charing Cross & Westminster Medical School, London


The MRI scans of 48 schizophrenic patients, fulfilling RDC criteria, were compared to those of 34 healthy controls matched for age, ethnicity and parental social class. The volume of the frontal and anterior parietal lobes was significantly reduced in the schizophrenic group as a result of a selective decrease in cortical volume, with a corresponding increase in the volume of sulcal fluid. Reduction in the volume of the temporal grey matter was more marked on the right, but was not in excess of the loss of volume observed in other areas of the cortex. MRI abnormalities correlated poorly with clinical parameters, although both unemployment and poor pre-morbid adjustment predicted reduced cerebral volume and increased sulcal volume. These results question whether the medial temporal lobes are the only site of structural pathology in schizophrenia.


c1 Address for correspondence: Dr M. A. Ron, National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square, London WC1N 3BG.