Download Full Text (336 KB)

Publication Date



Schizophrenic patients have been found to have altered brain structures with many regions having reduced volumes when compared to their healthy counterparts. A recent paper suggests that schizophrenic individuals have reduced grey matter volumes in the frontal lobes, subcortical regions and limbic region (Birur et al., 2017). However, the hippocampal responsibility for memory and spatial recognition make it the current focus for schizophrenia research. Present research suggests a negative correlation between hippocampal volume and severity of negative symptoms as well as a significant overall decrease in hippocampal volume in individuals with schizophrenia (Bartholomeusz et al., 2017; Birur et al., 2017; Kalmady et al., 2017; Walter et al., 2016). It is believed that there are regional differences in hippocampal reductions because each region projections to various other neuroanatomical structures, suggesting different functionality (Kalmady et al., 2017). In the present study 28 participants were recruited from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, Canada. Participants belonged to one of three groups, healthy control, clinical high risk or un-medicated first episode psychosis patients with schizophrenia. Anatomical Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) data was acquired for each study participant (following informed consent). The hippocampus from each scan was segmented using Freesurfer’s hippocampal automatic segmentation program into eleven subfields. A repeated measures ANOVA was used to compare the gray matter of each subfield between patient group and control group controlling for age and sex to determine if any regional volume reductions are present. Initial findings indicate a significant difference of size between groups in the presubiculum and CA1; however, the analyses are ongoing. These findings are consistent with current literature (Haukvik et al,2015; Ho et al., 2017; Mathew et al., 2014; Ota et al., 2017). Results of this study will help to understand what anatomical changes in the schizophrenic brain are due to the disorder and what changes are due to treatments. Further work is needed correlate regional volume differences to negative symptoms.

Hippocampal regional volumes of un-medicated first episode psychosis schizophrenic patients