Outcome of schizophrenia in relation to brain abnormalities

Wouter G. Staal, Hilleke E. Hulshoff Pol, René S. Kahn

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27 Scopus citations


This article reviews the 21 studies that investigated possible relationships between structural brain abnormalities and outcome in schizophrenia. Fifteen studies used computer tomography to visualize brain morphology. In these studies, images were obtained of the ventricles but not of specific brain regions. The remaining six studies used magnetic resonance imaging, examining possible relationships between outcome, ventricular size, and specific brain regions. One out of two studies found relationships between brain structure and outcome. The data suggest that the extent of ventricular enlargement in patients with schizophrenia may be related to outcome. No clear relationship between outcome and changes in specific brain regions was found. Apart from considerations about the methodology of measuring different brain regions, the procedure used to measure outcome is important. Outcome, as it is assessed at various points during the course of illness, may be variable and seems to fluctuate during the first 10 to 15 years of disease. Significantly, to date no studies relating outcome to brain structure have used patient samples with a duration of illness longer than 15 years.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-348
Number of pages12
JournalSchizophrenia Bulletin
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Course
  • Neuroimaging
  • Outcome


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