Lack of an association between delayed memory and hippocampal and temporal lobe size in patients with schizophrenia and healthy controls

Biol Psychiatry. 1997 Dec 15;42(12):1087-96. doi: 10.1016/s0006-3223(97)00024-3.


The purpose of the present study was to investigate putative neural substrates of long-term (delayed) memory in schizophrenia and young healthy controls. Ten "low" and 10 "high" memory patients were selected from a large sample of DSM-III-R diagnosed schizophrenia spectrum patients, based on composite verbal and nonverbal delayed recall memory scores. Ten "low" and 9 "high" memory individuals were also selected from a larger sample of young healthy controls. Magnetic resonance imaging scans were acquired on a 1.5-T GE Signa scanner using a SPGR sequence (repetition time = 24 msec, echo time = 5 msec). Hippocampal volumes were computed from manual tracings (intraclass correlation = .96), and temporal lobe and whole brain tissue volumes were obtained using a semiautomated technique. In both the patient sample and controls, there was no significant relationship between delayed memory ability and hippocampal, temporal lobe, or whole brain volume. The integration of results from this study, and from studies on normal aging and Alzheimer's disease, supports a model suggesting that hippocampal size may be an indicator of long-term memory ability, but only when hippocampal measures reflect aging and degenerative hippocampal atrophy. If the hippocampal measures reflect individual differences in hippocampal size prior to the onset of hippocampal atrophy, then hippocampal size does not appear to predict long-term memory ability.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Hippocampus / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Schizophrenia / pathology*
  • Schizophrenic Psychology
  • Temporal Lobe / pathology*