The timing of brain morphological changes in schizophrenia and their relationship to clinical outcome

Biol Psychiatry. 1992 Feb 1;31(3):241-54. doi: 10.1016/0006-3223(92)90047-4.


The present study is an examination of ventricular and temporal lobe size in 50 DSM-III-R first-episode schizophreniform or schizoaffective patients who were ill for less than 6 months. Two-year clinical follow-up and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan analyses are also reported from data collected on an initial group of 30 first-episode schizophrenic patients and controls. Left ventricular enlargement, which was present in our previously published report of first-episode cases of schizophrenia, is not present to the same extent in this larger group of schizophreniform patients closer to the onset of their illness, and no temporal lobe volume reduction was detected. However, lateral ventricular size at the time of the first-episode was generally correlated with outcome--the larger the ventricles, the poorer the outcome. No mean change in ventricular or temporal lobe size was found at rescanning 2 years later, but the degree of ventricular change was inversely correlated with the number of hospitalizations and the amount of time spent in hospital; it did not correlate with temporal lobe size. When rescanned, some patients showed change greater than 20% in ventricular size and 10% in temporal lobe size. Thus, these findings need further evaluation by serial scans over a longer time period before it can be determined that no progression of brain structural abnormalities is occurring as part of the pathology of schizophrenia, even in a subgroup of patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cerebral Ventricles / pathology
  • Dominance, Cerebral / physiology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Neurocognitive Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Neurocognitive Disorders / psychology
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Psychotic Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Psychotic Disorders / psychology
  • Schizophrenia / diagnosis*
  • Schizophrenic Psychology*
  • Temporal Lobe / pathology