A quantitative MR measure of the fornix in schizophrenia

Zahajszky J, Dickey CC, McCarley RW, Fischer IA, Nestor P, Kikinis R, Shenton ME

Schizophr. Res. 2001 Jan;47(1):87-97

PMID: 11163548


Some cognitive disturbances accompanying schizophrenia may be due to abnormalities in the thalamus and components of the limbic system. The fornix is an important white-matter relay pathway connecting these structures and is likely to be affected in schizophrenia as well.Magnetic resonance images of the fornix were analyzed in 15 schizophrenic patients and 15 matched comparison group subjects. Fornix volume was compared between the two groups and was also correlated with the volumes of other neuroanatomical structures, as well as with illness presentation, clinical status, and cognitive/psychological measures. There was no significant difference in fornix volume between the two groups. Of note, fornix volume correlated significantly with the volumes of the hippocampus, parahippocampus, and the superior temporal gyrus in the schizophrenic subjects, but not in the controls. Moreover, the correlation between fornix and parahippocampal gyrus volumes differed significantly between the two groups. No association was found between fornix volume and illness presentation or between fornix and cognitive/clinical measures.Results suggest that there are no marked changes in fornix volume in schizophrenia by MRI. The fornix, however, may be part of a network of structures affected in schizophrenia, as indicated by correlated volumetric changes.