Fornix integrity and hippocampal volume in male schizophrenic patients

N. Kuroki, M. Kubicki, P. G. Nestor, D. F. Salisbury, H. Park, J. J. Levitt, S. Woolston, M. Frumin, M. Niznikiewicz, C. F. Westin, S. Maier, R. McCarley, M. E. Shenton
Biol Psychiatry
Volume 60, Pages 22-31

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Background: The hippocampus has been shown to be abnormal in schizophrenia. The fornix is one of the main fiber tracts connecting the hippocampus with other brain regions. Few studies have evaluated the fornix in schizophrenia, however. A focus on fornix abnormalities and their association with hippocampal abnormalities might figure importantly in our understanding of the pathophysiology of schizophrenia.

Methods: Line-scan diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) was used to evaluate diffusion in the fornix in 24 male patients with chronic schizophrenia and 31 male control subjects. Maps of fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (Dm), which are indices sensitive to white-matter integrity, were generated to quantify diffusion within the fornix. We used high spatial resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to measure hippocampal volume.

Results: FA and cross-sectional area of the fornix were significantly reduced in patients compared with control subjects. Dm was significantly increased, whereas hippocampal volume was bilaterally reduced in patients. Reduced hippocampal volume was correlated with increased mean Dm and reduced cross-sectional area of the fornix for patients. Patients also showed a significant correlation between reduced scores on neuropsychologic measures of declarative-episodic memory and reduced hippocampal volumes.

Conclusions: These findings demonstrate a disruption in fornix integrity in patients with schizophrenia.


Kuroki N, Kubicki M, Nestor PG, Salisbury DF, Park H, Levitt JJ, Woolston S, Frumin M, Niznikiewicz M, Westin CF, Maier S, McCarley R, Shenton ME. Fornix integrity and hippocampal volume in male schizophrenic patients. Biol Psychiatry 2006;60:22-31.


VA Merit Award(RWM), VA Merit Award(MES), REAP, Middleton Award, NIH K02 MH 01110, NIH RO1 MH 5074, NIH/NIMH 2RO1 MH 40799, NIH/NIMH RO3 MHO68464, MIND Foundation, NARSAD, U54 EB005149, U54 GM 72977, Welfide Foundation

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© 2013 Psychiatry Neuroimaging Laboratory | Last updated 04.15.2013