Schizophrenia and the frontal lobes: post-mortem stereological study of tissue volume.
Highley JR., Walker MA., Esiri MM., McDonald B., Harrison PJ., Crow TJ.
BACKGROUND: It has been suggested that there is frontal lobe involvement in schizophrenia, and that it may be lateralised and gender-specific. AIMS: To clarify the structure of the frontal lobes in schizophrenia in a post-mortem series. METHOD: The volume of white matter and cortical components of the frontal lobes was measured in brains of controls and patients with schizophrenia using planimetry and the Cavalieri principle. The components measured were: superior frontal gyrus, middle frontal gyrus, a composite of inferior frontal gyrus and orbito-frontal cortex, as well as total frontal lobe cortex and white matter. In addition, the anterior cingulate gyrus was measured. RESULTS: No diagnosis, gender, diagnosis x side, diagnosis x gender or diagnosis x gender x side interactions were observed in the volume of any of the components, the grey matter as a whole or the white matter. No evidence for volumetric inter-group differences was found for the anterior cingulate gyrus. CONCLUSIONS: Such structural abnormalities as are present in the frontal lobes are more subtle than straightforward alterations in tissue volume; they may include changes in shape and the pattern of gyral folding.