Pineal calcification plays a possible role in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Abnormal EEG and calcification of the pineal gland in schizophrenia.
Int J Neurosci. 1992 Jan;62(1-2):107-11. PMID: 1342008
Department of Psychiatry, Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, NY 10461.
Computed tomographic (CT) studies of the brain in schizophrenic patients have demonstrated a variety of structural abnormalities. We reported recently an association between pineal calcification (PC) and cortical and prefrontal cortical atrophy, and third ventricular size on CT scan in chronic schizophrenic patients. These findings indicate that in schizophrenia PC is associated with the morphological brain abnormalities associated with the disease. If PC is, indeed, related to organic cerebral pathology, then one would expect a higher prevalence of pineal gland pathology among patients with electroencephalographic (EEG) abnormalities by comparison to those with a normal EEG. To investigate this hypothesis, we studied the prevalence of PC on CT scan in a sample of 52 neuroleptic-treated schizophrenic patients (29 men, 23 women, mean age: 51.3 years SD = 9.1), of whom 10 (19.2%) had an abnormal EEG. The prevalence of PC in patients with EEG abnormalities was significantly greater by comparison to those with a normal EEG (90.0% vs. 54.8%, X2 = 4.24, p<.05). Since both groups did not differ on any of the historical and demographic data, and since PC was unrelated to neuroleptic exposure, these findings suggest that in schizophrenia PC may be related to the disease process and that it may be a marker of subcortical pathology.