Folding of the prefrontal cortex in schizophrenia: regional differences in gyrification

Lena Palaniyappan, Pavan Mallikarjun, Verghese Joseph, Thomas P White, Peter F Liddle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Anatomy of prefrontal cortex in schizophrenia has been studied previously by quantifying the degree of gyrification. Conflicting results exist, with some studies showing hypergyria and others showing hypogyria. It is likely that regional variations in cortical folding exist within the prefrontal cortex that could be explored by studying the anatomical subdivisions formed by the sulci and gyri. With surface reconstructions from magnetic resonance imaging, we studied the gyrification within anatomically meaningful subdivisions of prefrontal cortex in schizophrenia.

METHODS: Prefrontal cortex was studied with an automated method to obtain Local Gyrification Index, reflecting the degree of cortical folding in 57 patients with schizophrenia and 42 control subjects. Regional differences within prefrontal cortex were compared between the two groups with a sulcogyral atlas. Effects of hemisphere and age were subsequently assessed.

RESULTS: Patients with schizophrenia had significant hypogyria in most prefrontal regions except the frontomarginal region, which showed hypergyria. The normal left > right pattern of prefrontal gyrification was reversed in schizophrenia. Patients with schizophrenia also showed significant age-related reduction in gyrification at the hypogyric regions.

CONCLUSIONS: The differences between reported findings regarding prefrontal gyrification might reflect regional variation in the nature of the abnormal process of gyrification in schizophrenia. Prefrontal gyrification is significantly influenced by age in schizophrenia, in addition to the influence of neurodevelopmental factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)974-9
Number of pages6
JournalBiological Psychiatry
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2011


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuronal Plasticity
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Prefrontal Cortex
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Schizophrenia
  • Young Adult
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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