No effect of obstetric complications on basal ganglia volumes in schizophrenia

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Background: Heterogeneous findings have been reported in studies of basal ganglia volumes in schizophrenia patients as compared to healthy controls. The basal ganglia contain dopamine receptors that are known to be involved in schizophrenia pathology and to be vulnerable to pre- and perinatal hypoxic insults. Altered volumes of other brain structures (e.g. hippocampus and lateral ventricles) have been reported in schizophrenia patients with a history of obstetric complications (005). This is the first study to explore if there is a relationship between OCs and basal ganglia volume in schizophrenia. Methods: Thorough clinical investigation (including information on medication) of 54 schizophrenia patients and 54 healthy control subjects was undertaken. MR images were obtained on a 1.5T scanner, and volumes of nucleus caudatus, globus pallidum, putamen, and nucleus accumbens were quantified automatically. Information on OCs was blindly collected from original birth records. Results: Unadjusted estimates demonstrated a relationship between increasing number of OCs and larger volume of nucleus accumbens in schizophrenia patients and healthy controls. No statistically significant relationships were found between OCs and the basal ganglia volumes when controlled for intracranial volume, age, and multiple comparisons. There were no effects of typical versus atypical medication on the basal ganglia volumes. The patients with schizophrenia had larger globus pallidum volumes as compared to healthy controls, but there were no case-control differences for accumbens, putamen, or caudate volumes. Conclusion: The present results do not support the hypothesis that OCs are related to alterations in basal ganglia volume in chronic schizophrenia. (C) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Unn Kristin Haukvik
  • Thomas McNeil
  • Ragnar Nesvag
  • Erik Soderman
  • Erik Jonsson
  • Ingrid Agartz
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Environmental Health and Occupational Health


  • Schizophrenia, complications, Obstetric, Neurodevelopment, MRI, Basal ganglia, Dopamine
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)619-623
JournalProgress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Publication categoryResearch