Journal Article

Neuropathology of Schizophrenia: Cortex, Thalamus, Basal Ganglia, and Neurotransmitter-specific Projection Systems

Stephan Heckers

in Schizophrenia Bulletin

Published on behalf of Maryland Psychiatric Research Center

Volume 23, issue 3, pages 403-421
Published in print January 1997 | ISSN: 0586-7614
Published online January 1997 | e-ISSN: 1745-1701 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/schbul/23.3.403
Neuropathology of Schizophrenia: Cortex, Thalamus, Basal Ganglia, and Neurotransmitter-specific Projection Systems

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This article reviews neuropathological studies in the search for an anatomical correlate of schizophrenia. Replication of many results has proven to be difficult. A consistent finding is the lack of significant gliosis in the neocortex. Intriguing findings that need further corroboration include decreased volume and cell number of the mediodorsal thalamic nucleus, cytoarchitectural alterations of the prefrontal cortex and upper layers of the anterior cingulate gyrus, and superior temporal gyrus abnormalities. Most neuropathological studies investigate regional brain volume and cell density. Highly variable shrinkage of brain tissue postmortem makes these estimates prone to bias and often not comparable across studies. So far, no strong clinicopathological correlations and no pathological criteria to diagnose schizophrenia have been established.

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Subjects: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

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