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04-01-2011 | Mental health | Article

Schizophrenia linked to cavum septum pellucidum abnormalities


Free abstract

MedWire News: Results from a systematic review and meta-analysis suggest that patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSDs) are more likely to show evidence of large, but not small, cavum septum pellucidum (CSP) than mentally healthy individuals.

A number of previous post-mortem and neuroimaging studies have demonstrated brain developmental alterations, such as agenesis of the corpus callosum, arachnoid cysts, and other abnormalities in patients with schizophrenia, explain Jaime Hallak (University of São Paulo, Brazil) and team.

To investigate whether CSP abnormalities are also more prevalent in SSD patients than healthy individuals, the researchers searched the literature for relevant magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies.

In total, 15 studies published between 1992 and 2008 and involving 1054 patients with SSDs and 866 healthy controls met criteria for inclusion in the final analysis.

The researchers found that just six of the studies indicated a higher prevalence of CSP of any size in SSD patients than healthy controls, of which five indicated a greater occurrence of large, compared with small, CSP in SSD patients versus controls.

Further analysis revealed that only the risk for a large CSP was elevated in patients with SSD, at an odds ratio of 1.59, compared with controls, while there was no significant difference in the risk for a small CSP between the groups.

Hallak and team conclude in the journal Schizophrenia Research: "Overall our results suggest that only a large CSP is associated with SSD while a small CSP may be considered a normal neuroanatomical variation."

However, they add that there was a large degree of variability in the methods employed across the MRI studies, as well as evidence of publication bias, and suggest that "studies in large, community-based samples with greater standardization of methods should clarify the true significance of CSP in SSD."

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2011

By Mark Cowen

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