Psychological Medicine

Original Articles

A computerized magnetic resonance imaging study of corpus callosum morphology in schizophrenia

P. W. R. Woodruffa1 c1, G. D. Pearlsona1, M. J. Geera1, P. E. Bartaa1 and H. D. Chilcoata1

a1 Division of Psychiatric Neuro-Imaging, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Abstract

The hypothesis tested was that, in schizophrenia, corpus callosum size would be reduced, particularly in the region responsible for communication between both temporal lobes. This is supported by knowledge of: (a) anatomical homotopicity and functional specialization of fibres within the corpus callosum; (b) evidence linking structural and functional deficits of the corpus callosum and left temporal lobe with schizophrenia; and (c) that temporal lobe neuronal fibres pass through the middle region of the corpus callosum. Brain area and corpus callosum areas, widths and length were measured on mid-sagittal MRI scans using a computer outlining method. Scans from 30 schizophrenics and 44 normal subjects were compared. Mid-sagittal brain area, corpus callosum area, length and anterior widths were reduced in the schizophrenic group compared with controls. A significant area difference between schizophrenics and controls was seen in the mid-corpus callosum which communicates between the temporal lobes, including the superior temporal gyri. In schizophrenics, corpus callosum area reduction was not accounted for by brain area shrinkage alone. Differences between the two groups were accounted for by comparisons between males only. These findings support the hypothesis and the possibility that localized abnormalities of bilaterally connected brain regions might have secondary effects on their homotopically distributed fibres within the corpus callosum.

Correspondence:

c1 Address for correspondence: Dr P. W. R. Woodruff, Institute of Psychiatry, Dc Crespigny Park, Denmark Hill, London SE5 8AF.

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