Although schizophrenia and control subjects differ on a variety of neuroanatomical measures, the specificity and sensitivity of any one measure for differentiating between the two groups are low. To identify the correlative pattern of brain changes that best discriminate schizophrenia patients from healthy subjects, discriminant analysis techniques using voxel-based morphometry were applied.
The first analysis was conducted to obtain a statistical model that classified 105 female healthy subjects and 38 female schizophrenia patients. First, the differences in gray matter and cerebrospinal fluid volume between the patients and healthy subjects were evaluated using optimized voxel-based morphometry. Then, a discriminant analysis reflecting the results of this evaluation was adopted. The second analysis was performed to prospectively validate the statistical model by successfully classifying a new group that consisted of 23 female healthy subjects and 23 female schizophrenia patients.
The use of these variables resulted in correct classification rates of 0.72 in the control subjects and 0.76 in the schizophrenia patients. In the second validation analysis using these variables, correct classification rates of 0.70 in the control subjects and 0.74 in the schizophrenia patients were achieved.
Schizophrenia patients have structural deviations in multiple brain areas, and a combination of structural brain measures can distinguish between patients and controls.