Background: With regard to the high prevalence of schizophrenia, research on brain structural changes in this disease has been one of the interesting issues among the medical scientists. In this research, brain MRI findings of schizophrenic patients have been compared with non-schizophrenic ones.
Methods: This study was an analytic-comparative one in which two groups of schizophrenic and non-schizophrenic patients were compared with regards to variables in brain MRI such as mean volume of lateral ventricles, and cerebrospinal fluid (qualitative variables), temporal lobes, thalami, hippocampi and unci(quantitative variables). For qualitative variables analysis Chi-square test has been used and for quantitative ones applied independent T-test was employed. In this study following equalization of age and sex 22 schizophrenic patients were compared with 54 non-schizophrenic ones.
Results: Statistical analysis demonstrated that the changes were independent from age and sex and followed natural and equal distribution pattern. Lateral ventricles volume had no statistically meaningful changes (p>0.05). Cerebrospinal fluid volume in schizophrenic group increased considerably comparing to non-schizophrenic ones (p<0.001) while mean volume of bilateral temporal lobes decreased from 219000 in control group to 160000 cubic millimeter in case group, for thalami from 24000 to 15900, for hippocampi from 8586 to 3513 and for unci from 27900 to 16000 respectively (p<0.001).
Conclusion: This study demonstrates that particular structural changes are seen in schizophrenic patients’ brain (such as increase in cerebrospinal fluid volume and decrease in temporal, thalami, hippocampi and unci volume) and MRI is a suitable modality to show these changes.
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