Volumes of brain, grey and white matter and cerebrospinal fluid in schizophrenia in the Northern Finland 1966 Birth Cohort: an epidemiological approach to analysis

Psychiatry Res. 2009 Nov 30;174(2):116-20. doi: 10.1016/j.pscychresns.2009.04.009. Epub 2009 Oct 22.


Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies in schizophrenia have seldom involved a general population birth cohort or other epidemiological samples. We studied the Northern Finland 1966 Birth Cohort and identified all people with psychotic disorders. Along with an unaffected age-matched control sample (n = 100) from the cohort, 54 subjects with schizophrenia underwent MRI brain scan at age 33-35 years from which we defined volumes of whole brain, grey and white matter and intracranial cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Whole brain, grey and white matter volumes were 2-3% smaller in the schizophrenia subjects, who showed a 7% increase in CSF volume. These volume changes were independent of the effects of gender, family history of psychosis, perinatal risks or age at onset of illness. Moreover, there was no evidence that the effects were due to particular subgroups of cases having very low or high values. Rather, there were linear trends in the associations between whole brain and grey matter volume measures and schizophrenia. Our study replicates the previous findings of brain volume differences in schizophrenia on a general population level.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age of Onset
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cohort Studies
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Female
  • Finland / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Odds Ratio
  • Schizophrenia / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Schizophrenia / epidemiology*
  • Schizophrenia / etiology
  • Schizophrenia / pathology*