Neuroanatomic substrates of sex differences in language dysfunction in schizophrenia: a pilot study

Walder DJ, Seidman LJ, Makris N, Tsuang MT, Kennedy DN, Goldstein JM

Schizophr. Res. 2007 Feb;90(1-3):295-301

PMID: 17150336


OBJECTIVE: This pilot study investigated whether our previous findings of disrupted normal sexual brain dimorphisms in language-associated regions in schizophrenia were linked with our previously reported sex differences in language dysfunction in schizophrenia.

METHOD: Nineteen adults with schizophrenia and 15 normal comparisons were tested on phonology, semantics and grammar and underwent structural MRI.

RESULTS: Among males, left hippocampal and left planum temporale (PT) abnormalities were associated with phonological, semantic and grammar deficits, accounting for 17-52% and 27-33%, respectively, of variance in diagnostic group differences. Anterior cingulate gyrus was significantly associated with semantics. Among females, right Heschl’s Gyrus (HG) and left PT were significantly associated with phonology, right HG with semantics and grammar and right hippocampus with semantics.

CONCLUSIONS: These preliminary findings suggest disrupted sexual brain dimorphisms in schizophrenia are associated with sex-specific language deficits, and left hippocampal abnormalities, in particular, contribute to language dysfunction among men. Abnormalities in right cortical temporal regions showed stronger associations with language dysfunction among females.