Hippocampal volumetrics in treatment-resistant depression and schizophrenia: the devil's in de-tail

Hippocampus. 2012 Jan;22(1):9-16. doi: 10.1002/hipo.20873. Epub 2010 Sep 29.


Studies of patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) and schizophrenia (SCH) have revealed reduced hippocampal volumes, but findings have been inconsistent due to sample and measurement differences. The current study sought to measure this structure in a large sample of MDD, SCH, and healthy subjects, using a strict measurement protocol, to elucidate morphological-specific volumetric differences. Patients with treatment-resistant MDD (N = 182) and treatment-resistant SCH with auditory-verbal hallucinations (N = 52), and healthy controls (N = 76) underwent psychiatric assessments and brain MRI. The findings indicate that (1) MDD and SCH patients have reduced total hippocampal volume which was marked in the tails (more so in patients with MDD), (2) region of interest estimation protocols and sample characteristics may help explain volumetric differences between previous SCH studies.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Atrophy
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / pathology*
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / physiopathology
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / therapy*
  • Depressive Disorder, Treatment-Resistant / pathology*
  • Depressive Disorder, Treatment-Resistant / psychology
  • Depressive Disorder, Treatment-Resistant / therapy*
  • Female
  • Hippocampus / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organ Size / physiology
  • Schizophrenia / pathology*
  • Schizophrenia / physiopathology
  • Schizophrenia / therapy*
  • Young Adult