Neuroanatomical explanations of Schizophrenia

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  • Created by: Shelley
  • Created on: 22-02-13 16:31

It has been confirmed by MRI scans that some schizophrenics suffer from structural abnormalities such as a proportion of schizophrenics- particularly males- suffer an enlargement of the ventricles, the cerebro-spinal fluid filled cavities in the brain. These ventricles enlarge as there is not enough brain to fill the skull. This indicates that in many cases of schizophrenia, there is either a dramatic loss of brain tissue or a deficiency that existed from the start.


Other abnormalities have been reported, including parts of the basal ganglia and cerebellum. But the most persuasive findings involve the frontal and temporal lobes. When these areas are dissected, schizophrenics show various irregularities e.g. cell derangement and missing or abnormally sized neurons. These neuronal defects would affect brain functions and so PET and MRI scans of brain metabolism, as well as cerebral blood-flow studies, suggest atypical patterns of functioning in schizophrenics in these areas.

Brown et al 1986 found decreased brain weight and enlarged ventricles. Flaum et al 1995 found enlarged ventricles, along with smaller thalamic, hippocampal, and superior temporal volumes. Bauchsbaum 1990 found abnormalities in the frontal and pre-frontal cortex, the basal ganglia, the hippocampus, and the amygdala. As more


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