Preliminary evidence suggests that plasma Na+ level/osmolality may have effects on brain morphology; thus we investigated the link between plasma osmolality and ventricle size in healthy controls and patients with first episode schizophrenia. A total of 16 patients and 28 healthy controls were examined with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and gave blood samples. High-resolution 3D SPGR images were obtained on a 1.5 Tesla scanner. Scalp-edited MRI volumes were used for estimates of intracranial gray, white matter and CSF. Regional changes in CSF concentration and ventricular morphology were measured. The groups did not differ in plasma osmolality, but patients had higher plasma Na+. There were no differences in ventricle size. Controlling for plasma osmolality did not change the results. A mixed model procedure indicated a significant group effect and a significant osmolality by group interaction in ventricle measures. Healthy control group showed a significant relationship between osmolality and ventricle measures; this relationship was absent in the patients. Significant correlations between osmolality and lateral ventricle surface deformations were observed along the superior horn of the lateral ventricles in the healthy controls. These results suggest that plasma osmolality is related to ventricle size in healthy volunteers and that this physiological link is impaired in patients with first episode schizophrenia.
- Healthy control
- Lateral ventricle