Another twist in the debate over whether schizophrenia and bipolar are actually the same disorder: Colm McDonald and colleagues from the National University of Ireland in Galway used MRI technology to compare brain structures of those with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and found differences in the ventricular and hippocampal regions.

The study included 243 subjects: 42 patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, 57 of their unaffected first-degree relatives, 38 patients with psychotic bipolar disorder, 52 of their unaffected first-degree relatives, and 54 healthy comparison subjects. Researchers found that “Patients with schizophrenia had increased volume of the lateral and third ventricles and reduced hippocampal volume. None of these volumetric abnormalities was present in psychotic bipolar disorder. ” See summaries in March’s American Journal of Psychiatry and Psychiatry Source for more on the study.

Comments or thoughts? Is imaging technology is a useful way to fine-tune what seem to be the differences between schizophrenia and bipolar?