Document Detail

Pituitary volume in unaffected relatives of patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18640787     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis hyperactivity has been demonstrated in both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, but the mechanisms underlying this abnormality are still unclear. Enlarged pituitary volume has been recently reported in patients with first episode psychosis and been interpreted as a consequence of an increased activation of the HPA axis. The aim of this study was to assess the contribution of familial liability to pituitary volume in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Pituitary volume may be an indirect measure of HPA axis activity.
METHODS: MRI brain scans and measurements of pituitary volumes were obtained for 183 subjects: 26 patients with established schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, 44 of their unaffected first-degree relatives (22 familial schizophrenia, 22 non-familial schizophrenia), 29 patients with established bipolar disorder, 38 of their unaffected first-degree relatives, and 46 healthy comparison subjects.
RESULTS: We found a significantly larger pituitary volume (effect size=0.7) in unaffected relatives of patients with schizophrenia compared with controls (p=0.002); the pituitary was even larger in relatives of patients with familial schizophrenia (effect size=0.8, p=0.005). We did not find a significant difference in pituitary volume when comparing the relatives of bipolar patients with controls. Among patients, those with schizophrenia who were receiving prolactin-elevating antipsychotics had an increased pituitary volume compared with controls (effect size=1.0, p=0.006).
CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that the larger pituitary volume previously reported in first episode schizophrenia could be partly due to a genetic susceptibility to over-activate the HPA axis.
Valeria Mondelli; Paola Dazzan; Andrea Gabilondo; Kalliopi Tournikioti; Muriel Walshe; Nicolette Marshall; Katja K Schulze; Robin M Murray; Colm McDonald; Carmine M Pariante
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2008-07-21
Journal Detail:
Title:  Psychoneuroendocrinology     Volume:  33     ISSN:  0306-4530     ISO Abbreviation:  Psychoneuroendocrinology     Publication Date:  2008 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-08-04     Completed Date:  2008-11-13     Revised Date:  2014-02-19    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7612148     Medline TA:  Psychoneuroendocrinology     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1004-12     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Bipolar Disorder / pathology*
Brain / pathology
Case-Control Studies
Middle Aged
Organ Size
Pituitary Gland / pathology*
Schizophrenia / pathology*
Grant Support
G108/603//Medical Research Council; //Medical Research Council

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