Pharmacopsychiatry 2003; 36 - 44
DOI: 10.1055/s-2003-825295

The medial geniculate nucleus and schizophrenia: A volumetric post-mortem study

P Danos 1, HG Bernstein 1, D Krell 1, R Stauch 1, P Falkai 2, B Bogerts 1
  • 1Dept. of Psychiatry, University of Magdeburg, Germany
  • 2Dept. of Psychiatry, University of Homburg/Saar, Germany

The medial geniculate nucleus (MGN) represents the specific thalamic nucleus of the auditory pathway. Recent fMRI studies suggest an involvement of the MGN in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia (1).

The volumes of the right and left MGN were assessed in 10 patients with schizophrenia (4 females, 6 males) und 16 normal controls (6 females, 10 males). The MGN volumes in the both groups were compared using an analysis of variance with the whole brain volume, the post-mortem interval and the fixation period as covariates. The Galaburda-Index was calculated in both groups for analysis of laterality effects.

There were no significant differences in the right and left MGN volumes between the schizophrenia group and the normal control group. However, there was a significant difference in the Galaburda-Index between the two groups. A near-significant positive correlation (r=0,60; p=0.06) was found between the volume of the left MGN and the length of illness.

1. Braus, et al. Arch Gen Psychiatry 59 (2002) 696–701