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BACKGROUND: Claims that schizophrenia is a disease of the limbic system have been strengthened by meta-analyses of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies finding reduced hippocampus and amygdala volumes. Some post-mortem studies do not find these abnormalities. AIMS: To assess the volume of the amygdala in a series of brains post-mortem. METHOD: Amygdala volume was estimated using point-counting in both hemispheres of the brains of 10 male and 8 female patients with schizophrenia, and a comparison group of 9 males and 9 females. RESULTS: No significant reduction of amygdala volume was found. CONCLUSIONS: Significant volume reduction of the amygdala is not a consistent feature of schizophrenia; findings from early MRI studies using coarse delineation methods may introduce bias to subsequent meta-analyses.

Type

Journal article

Journal

Br J Psychiatry

Publication Date

04/2002

Volume

180

Pages

331 - 338

Keywords

Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Amygdala, Analysis of Variance, Autopsy, Bias, Female, Humans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Middle Aged, Pilot Projects, Reproducibility of Results, Schizophrenia