Structural brain abnormalities in chronic schizophrenia at the extremes of the outcome spectrum

W. G. Staal, H. E. Hulshoff Pol, H. G. Schnack, N. E.M. Van Haren, N. Seifert, R. S. Kahn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Objective: This study investigated the relationship between outcome and structural brain abnormalities in schizophrenia. Method: Intracranial volume and volumes of the cerebrum, gray and white matter, lateral and third ventricles, frontal lobes, thalamus, and cerebellum were measured in 20 patients with a poor outcome, 25 with a favorable outcome, and 23 healthy comparison subjects with magnetic resonance imaging. Results: Thalamic volume was significantly smaller both in poor-outcome patients and good-outcome patients. In contrast, only poor-outcome patients displayed significantly smaller cerebral gray matter, particularly prefrontal, and enlargement of the lateral and third ventricles. No significant differences were found for intracranial, cerebellar, or cortical CSF volumes. Conclusions: Smaller thalamic volumes in schizophrenia may reflect a greater susceptibility for the disorder and seem unrelated to outcome. In contrast, gray matter volume loss of the cerebrum, particularly in the frontal lobes, and lateral and third ventricular enlargement appear related to outcome in schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1140-1142
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


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