Patients with schizophrenia show progressive clinical deterioration. Brain abnormalities have been suggested in these patients, including enlargement of the lateral ventricles, increased cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) volume and reductions in the frontal and temporal lobes. CSF flow pathology is a central factor in the development of many neurological disorders, but much less is known about the role of CSF flow dynamics in schizophrenia. In this study, parameters of CSF flow dynamics at the aqueduct level of 50 schizophrenic patients were compared to those of 50 controls using phase-contrast cine magnetic resonance imaging. Patients had lower peak velocity, lower net forward volume, and lower average flow over the range studied than controls. The average velocity was significantly lower in patients exhibiting violent behavior compared to non-violent patients. The aqueduct tendedto be larger in schizophrenic patients with earlier age of onset of the disorder. Furthermore, as the number of hospitalizations increased, the average velocity and flow over the range studied decreased commensurately. This study demonstrated that CSF flow dynamics are altered in patients with schizophrenia. The results indicated that additional studies of CSF flow dynamics in schizophrenia are needed, along with volumetric examinations of the brain, to elucidate the pathophysiology of the disease.
Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier B.V.