MRI changes in schizophrenia in late life: a preliminary controlled study.
The aim of this pilot study was to compare cerebral changes on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans in elderly schizophrenic subjects with those in psychiatric and normal control subjects. We compared the MRIs of 19 subjects with schizophrenia, 19 age- and gender-matched subjects with recurrent major depression, and 19 age- and gender-matched nonpsychiatric control subjects. Deep white matter hyperintensities (DWMH) in right posterior regions were significantly more prominent in the schizophrenic group than in the two comparison groups. Total ratings of MRI abnormalities were significantly related to age in both the normal control and schizophrenic groups, but not in the depressive group. Age of onset was positively associated with total ratings in the depressive group, but not in the schizophrenic group. Thus, a subset of elderly patients with schizophrenia appear to have cerebral white matter abnormalities; such abnormalities may not be confined to late-onset schizophrenia. Systematic MRI studies of early- and late-onset schizophrenia in late life are needed to resolve this question.
Keshavan, MS; Mulsant, BH; Sweet, RA; Pasternak, R; Zubenko, GS; Krishnan, RR
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