The pineal gland and the mode of onset of schizophrenia.
Int J Neurosci. 1992 Nov-Dec;67(1-4):9-17. PMID: 1305641
Department of Psychiatry, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY 10461.
Recent studies suggest that abnormal melatonin functions may be implicated in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Since there is evidence that the presence of pineal calcification (PC) may relate, among other factors, to disturbances in melatonin secretion, I investigated in 23 chronic institutionalized schizophrenic patients the relationship of PC size on CT scan to the mode of onset of schizophrenia which carries both developmental and prognostic significance. Patients with gradual onset schizophrenia had PC size that was significantly larger than those with sudden onset (8.94 +/- 3.96 mm vs. 4.80 +/- 1.75 mm p<.025). These findings suggest that the nature of onset of schizophrenia may be influenced by the activity of the pineal gland, which may exert a role in the development and prognosis of the illness.