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The European Journal of Psychiatry

Print version ISSN 0213-6163


MOLINA, Vicente. Structural effects of atypical antipsychotics: Implications for the meaning of cortical volume deficit in schizophrenia. Eur. J. Psychiat. [online]. 2005, vol.19, n.4, pp.231-242. ISSN 0213-6163.

Patients with schizophrenia have a smaller volume of cortex than healthy controls. Nevertheless, the substrate of such deficit is not well understood A progressive loss of cortical GM in schizophrenia seemed supported by early studies with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in which patients received typical drugs between the baseline and final scans. However, recent MRI results challenge this notion and suggest that structural changes may depend, at least in part, on the type of treatment received. These data may be relevant for a correct interpretation of the substrate of cortical volume deficit in schizophrenia. If that deficit can be even reversed by treatment, as suggested by recent studies, a neuronal substrate seems unlikely. Several lines of evidence instead support that glia cells may have a role in cortical structural and functional deficits in schizophrenia, which would be also in agreement with recent longitudinal results with MRI in patients treated with atypical antipsychotics. These evidences are reviewed in this paper.

Keywords : SZ; Atypicals; Glia; MRI; Atrophy.

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