Decreased entorhinal cortex volumes in schizophrenia

Monica Baiano, Cinzia Perlini, Gianluca Rambaldelli, Roberto Cerini, Nicola Dusi, Marcella Bellani, Giorgia Spezzapria, Amelia Versace, Matteo Balestrieri, Roberto Pozzi Mucelli, Michele Tansella, Paolo Brambilla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The entorhinal cortex is located in the medial temporal lobe and is involved in memory and learning. Previous MRI studies reported conflicting findings in schizophrenia, showing normal or reduced entorhinal size. Objectives: To explore entorhinal cortex volumes in a large sample of patients with schizophrenia recruited from the geographically defined catchment area of South Verona (i.e. 100,000 inhabitants). We also investigated the size of hippocampus as part of the medial temporal lobe. Methods: 70 patients with schizophrenia and 77 normal controls underwent a session of MRI (TR = 2060 ms, TE = 3.9 ms, slice thickness = 1.25 mm). Entorhinal and hippocampal volumes were explored using the Brains2 software. Results: A significant group effect was found for total entorhinal cortex but not for hippocampus, with patients suffering from schizophrenia having smaller entorhinal volumes compared to normal subjects (F = 6.24, p = 0.01), particularly on the right side (F = 9.76, p = 0.002). Also, the laterality index for entorhinal cortex was higher in normal individuals than in patients with schizophrenia (F = 5.45, p = 0.02). Conclusions: Consistent with some of the previous reports, our study confirmed the presence of abnormally decreased entorhinal volumes, particularly on the right side, in a large number of patients with schizophrenia and also found altered asymmetry. This may play a major role in the psychopathology and cognitive disturbances of the disease. Future longitudinal MRI studies including high-risk subjects and drug-free, first-episode patients are crucial to further understand whether entorhinal cortex shrinkage is already present at the onset of the illness or appears as a consequence of the illness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-180
Number of pages10
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2008


  • Brain imaging
  • Hippocampus
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Neuroimaging
  • Psychosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Neurology
  • Psychology(all)

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