The corpus callosum in first episode schizophrenia: A diffusion tensor imaging study

G. Price, M. S. Bagary, M. Cercignani, D. R. Altmann, M. A. Ron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Neuropathological and imaging studies suggest that corpus callosum abnormalities (CC) are present in schizophrenia, but it remains to be determined whether these abnormalities are present at illness onset. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), which is more sensitive than conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in detecting subtle structural changes in the organisation and integrity of white matter tracts, is an ideal tool to investigate this question. Objective: To determine whether CC abnormalities are present at illness onset in schizophrenia. Methods: Twenty patients (14 men, six women) with first episode schizophrenia and 29 controls (11 men, 18 women) were studied. Both high resolution volumetric T1-weighted images and DTI were acquired. Regions of interest (ROI) were placed in the splenium and genu of the CC and fractional anisotropy (FA) and diffusivity (D) measured. Results: No differences in FA or D were detected in these regions between patients and controls. In women, irrespective of group membership, FA was significantly lower and there was a trend for D to be higher than in men, indicating less barriers to diffusion in females. Conclusion: The negative findings of this study suggest that in the early stages of schizophrenia there is no disruption to the integrity of the CC and raise the possibility that the neuropathological abnormalities may appear later and be progressive, at least in some patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)585-587
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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