A twin study of genetic contributions to hippocampal morphology in schizophrenia.

TitleA twin study of genetic contributions to hippocampal morphology in schizophrenia.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsNarr, KL, van Erp TGM, Cannon TD, Woods RP, Thompson PM, Jang S, Blanton R, Poutanen V-P, Huttunen M, Lönnqvist J, Standerksjöld-Nordenstam C-G, Kaprio J, Mazziotta JC, Toga AW
JournalNeurobiology of disease
Date Published2002 Oct
KeywordsAdult, Female, Hippocampus, Humans, Image Processing, Computer-Assisted, Male, Middle Aged, Schizophrenia, Twins, Dizygotic, Twins, Monozygotic

Our goal was to establish whether altered hippocampal morphology represents a trait marker for genetic vulnerability in schizophrenia. We outlined the hippocampi on high-resolution MR images obtained from matched samples of control and discordant monozygotic and dizygotic co-twins (N = 40 pairs). Hippocampal measures were used in statistical tests specifically designed to identify disease-associated genetic and nongenetic influences on morphology. 3D surface average maps of the hippocampus were additionally compared in biological risk groups. Smaller hippocampal volumes were confirmed in schizophrenia. Dizygotic affected co-twins showed smaller left hippocampi compared to their healthy siblings. Disease-associated effects were not present between monozygotic discordant co-twins. Monozygotic, but not dizygotic, unaffected co-twins exhibited smaller left hippocampi compared to control twins, supporting genetic influences. Surface areas and posterior volumes similarly revealed schizophrenia and genetic liability effects. Results suggest that hippocampal volume reduction may be a trait marker for identifying individuals possessing a genetic predisposition for schizophrenia.

Alternate JournalNeurobiol. Dis.