Etiopathogenetic mechanisms in long-term course of schizophrenia

Peter Falkai, R. Tepest, T. G. Schulze, D. J. Müller, M. Rietschel, W. Maier, F. Träber, W. Block, H. H. Schild, H. Steinmetz, W. Gaebel, W. G. Honer, T. Schneider-Axmann, M. Wagner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder with a relapsing long-term course in 80 % of the sufferers. The underlying neurobiological principles of the long-term course are widely unknown. Therefore an attempt is made to evaluate data from structural imaging and neuropsychology to shed some light on these mechanisms. Interestingly there was a significant correlation between length of illness and volume reduction in the prefrontal grey matter in schizophrenia. There was a lack of such a correlation for the whole brain volume, white matter volume or the grey matter volume outside the prefrontal lobe. Furthermore none of the neuropsychological measures correlated with length of illness. Both findings are supported by data from prospective studies up to five years demonstrating a significant loss of frontal grey matter volume, but no change of cognitive dysfunction in the course of time. The attempt is made to connect prefrontal grey matter loss with post-mortem findings of reduced neuropil but preserved cytoarchitecture leading to recently described candidate genes and their function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Issue numberSUPPL. 2
StatePublished - Nov 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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