Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

OBJECTIVE: Structural and functional studies implicate multiple brain lesions as a basis for a functional dysconnectivity underlying the cognitive and symptom profiles in schizophrenia. The aim of this study was to examine the hypothesis that early-onset schizophrenia is associated with structural abnormalities in the prefrontal cortex, thalamus, and cerebellum, compatible with a dysconnectivity syndrome. METHOD: Two magnetic resonance imaging scans of 16 patients and 16 normal comparison subjects were undertaken on average 2 to 3 years apart. The participants were all from a defined geographic area in the United Kingdom with a population of 2.5 million. RESULTS: In comparison to the normal adolescents, the schizophrenic subjects demonstrated low prefrontal cortex and thalamic volumes. The relatively large difference in prefrontal and thalamic volumes in these adolescents with schizophrenia implies a more severe disease process than in adult subjects. CONCLUSIONS: The thalamic and frontal lobe findings provide preliminary, supportive structural evidence for a neurodevelopmental basis for a dysconnectivity syndrome, although the cerebellar findings were inconclusive.

Original publication




Journal article


Am J Psychiatry

Publication Date





1023 - 1029


Adolescent, Adult, Age Factors, Age of Onset, Cerebellum, Female, Functional Laterality, Humans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Prefrontal Cortex, Psychiatric Status Rating Scales, Reproducibility of Results, Schizophrenia, Schizophrenic Psychology, Severity of Illness Index, Thalamus, United Kingdom