Normal cerebral volume asymmetries in early onset schizophrenia

Biol Psychiatry. 2004 Jan 15;55(2):148-53. doi: 10.1016/s0006-3223(02)01905-4.


Background: Abnormalities in cerebral lateralization are thought to reflect early neurodevelopmental defects in schizophrenia. The aim of this study was to examine whether there is abnormal brain lateralization in early onset schizophrenia (EOS) and whether it is related to the unusually early onset of the disorder.

Methods: Adolescent patients with recent onset schizophrenia and an equal number of matched control subjects participated in the study. The volumes of the occipitoparietal, sensorimotor, premotor, prefrontal, and temporal regions were measured bilaterally from magnetic resonance images using stereological methods. Asymmetry indexes were calculated for each region using the formula ([R - L]/[R + L]) x 100. A composite index of asymmetry (torque) was computed as the sum of the five index scores.

Results: A total of 40 patients with EOS and 40 age-matched controls were enrolled. There were no group differences in demographic characteristics. No group differences in brain asymmetry measures were seen in any of the brain regions examined.

Conclusions: The unusually early onset of schizophrenia in this population does not appear to be associated with abnormalities in hemispheric lateralization.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age of Onset*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cerebral Cortex / pathology*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Schizophrenia / pathology*
  • Sex Factors