Quantitative volumetric MRI study of the cerebellum and vermis in schizophrenia: clinical and cognitive correlates

Levitt JJ, McCarley RW, Nestor PG, Petrescu C, Donnino R, Hirayasu Y, Kikinis R, Jolesz FA, Shenton ME

Am J Psychiatry 1999 Jul;156(7):1105-7

PMID: 10401463


OBJECTIVE: Recent evidence suggests that the cerebellum may play a role in higher cognitive functions and, therefore, may play an important role in schizophrenia.

METHOD: The authors used magnetic resonance imaging to measure cerebellum and vermis volume in 15 patients with schizophrenia and 15 normal comparison subjects.

RESULTS: They found that 1) vermis volume was greater in patients with schizophrenia than in normal subjects, 2) greater vermis white matter volume in the patients with schizophrenia significantly correlated with severity of positive symptoms and thought disorder and with impairment in verbal logical memory, and 3) patients with schizophrenia showed a trend for more cerebellar hemispheric volume asymmetry (left greater than right).

CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that an abnormality in the vermis may contribute to the pathophysiology of schizophrenia.