If patients with schizophrenia have small brains, why don't they have small heads?

Lee Friedman, Ilse R. Wiechers, Cathleen A. Cerny, S. Charles Schulz, Peter Buckley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although patients with schizophrenia have reduced brain size, there is no conclusive evidence that they have reduced head size. This begs the question: What is the precise relationship between head size and brain size? We used a unique osteological collection to explore the relationship between external head measures and cranial capacity. The external measures accounted for, at most, 60% of the variance in cranial capacity · a value low enough to question the oft-assumed tight relationship between head measures and brain size. Obviously, various tissues and spaces [skull, sinus, muscle (frontalis, temporalis and occipitalis), subcutaneous fat and epidermal layers] contribute to head size without contributing to brain volume. The contribution of these other tissues and spaces tends to decrease the signal and increase the noise in the estimation of brain volume. Thus, it is understandable that patients with schizophrenia can have reduced cranial capacity and not reduced head size. 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Volume42
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 16 2000

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Keywords

  • Cranial capacity
  • Head size
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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