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Clinical correlates of postmortem brain changes in schizophrenia: decreased brain weight and length correlate with indices of early impairment.
  1. E C Johnstone,
  2. C J Bruton,
  3. T J Crow,
  4. C D Frith,
  5. D G Owens
  1. University Department of Psychiatry, Royal Edinburgh Hospital, UK.


    From a postmortem study of the brains of 56 patients with schizophrenia and 56 controls, 38 cases whose clinical state had been objectively documented in life were examined to determine whether relations existed between features of the illness and postmortem findings. Decreased brain weight was significantly related (p < 0.05) to poor premorbid global function and to poor academic record, and decreased brain length was related to poorer premorbid global function (p < 0.05) and more severe negative symptoms. These relations are consistent with the view that morphological changes in the brain occur early in the course of the disease--that is, they are in some sense "developmental." An excess of "focal damage" in the patient group relative to controls was unrelated to the presence of morphological change or to features of illness, but was more common in female schizophrenic patients and was also correlated with evidence of cerebrovascular disease. This may possibly be due to a discrepancy between the groups in mode and cause of death.

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