OBJECTIVE: A previous cross-sectional study of brain morphology in childhood-onset schizophrenia indicated sparing of the temporal lobes from processes reducing total cerebral volume in this population. In the present study, subjects with childhood-onset schizophrenia and healthy subjects were rescanned at 2-year follow-up to determine whether this pattern of temporal lobe sparing persists with ongoing illness. METHOD: Anatomic brain magnetic resonance imaging scans were acquired for 10 adolescent patients with average onset of schizophrenia at 10.4 years (SD = 1.7) and 17 healthy adolescents. Scans were obtained on initial admission and at 2-year follow-up by using identical equipment and measurement methodology. RESULTS: Schizophrenic subjects showed significantly greater decreases than healthy subjects in right temporal lobe, bilateral superior temporal gyrus and posterior superior temporal gyrus, right anterior superior temporal gyrus, and left hippocampal volumes during the follow-up interval. Decline in right posterior superior temporal gyrus was associated with high total scores on the Scale for the Assessment of Positive Symptoms at baseline and at follow-up. CONCLUSIONS: Progressive reduction of temporal lobe structures occurs with ongoing illness in childhood-onset schizophrenia.
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