[Brain structural differences of schizophrenia patients with and without family histories].
ABSTRACT To identify the brain structural differences of schizophrenia patients and their parents between those with family history and those sporadic cases.
High resolution T1 weighted images were obtained using 3T MR from 10 familial patients and 10 sporadic patients matched with age, sex, years of education and duration of disease. All patients were in their first episode of care. Twenty unaffected parents of the patients (8 for familial cases, 12 for sporadic cases) and 20 normal controls were also examined. The images were preprocessed according to the optimized VBM protocol. Student t test was performed to test the differences of the gray matter density (GMD) of the patients and their parents between the groups with and without family histories, and between the patient groups and the normal controls.
Compared with the sporadic group, significant reduce of GMD was observed in bilateral thalamus in both familial schizophrenia patients and their parents. Compared with normal controls, both familial and sporadic schizophrenia patients showed lower GMD in many areas including bilateral insula, right temporal lobe, right occipital lobe, left lenticula, right cerebellum and left rectal gyrus extending to anterior cingulated gyrus. Only familial patients showed lower GMD in the right thalamus. Familial parents also showed lower GMD in several areas including right insula extending to right temporal lobe and right parietal lobule.
Familial schizophrenia is associated with genetically related structural abnormalities, especially in the bilateral thalamus. The brain structural differences can explain, at least in part, the symptom differences between familial and sporadic schizophrenia.