Scientists in a wide study of subcortical brain abnormalities from the ENIGMA Consortium, Schizophrenia Working Group, published in Molecular Psychiatry, analyzed the brain scans of more than 2,000 people diagnosed with schizophrenia.

I doubt diagnosis is 100% accurate, so I'm thinking a percentage of those diagnosed didn't have abnormalities. What is that percentage? (There is a table in the Molecular Psychiatry article, with information which might or might not be related to my question, but I don't know how to read it).

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    $\begingroup$ The question is reasonable, but even after you get a number (which could well be 0), it might not mean all that much because detecting an abnormality (of the 9 in their model) doesn't mean you can use it for [differential] diagnostic purposes, i.e. the same abnormality can show up in dozens or even hundreds of other pshychiatric disorders. A more useful question is what is the predictive power of their model (i.e. by combining abnormalities). $\endgroup$ Dec 1, 2017 at 15:27
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    $\begingroup$ Furthermore, it's not entirely clear that all the changes are due to the illness. Apparently the medication contributes some as well ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3476840 $\endgroup$ Dec 1, 2017 at 16:03
  • $\begingroup$ @fizz I added information and a link to the study itself, plus a link to a table with, apparently, differences between medicated and not medicated patients. No idea how to read it, if you can shed some light would be good. $\endgroup$ Dec 1, 2017 at 23:52

1 Answer 1


This ENIGMA study did not assess brain abnormalities at an individual level. Rather, it examined if the volumes of a range of subcortical brain structures differed between patients with schizophrenia and healthy control subjects at the group level, using a meta-analytic approach. The term "brain abnormalities" might be misleading in this context: The study was not about the type of brain abnormalities that would be detectable by a neuroradiological exam (for a study focusing on this, see Sommer et al, 2013, Schizophrenia Bulletin, doi: 10.1093.schbul.sbs037). It is therefore not possible to determine the percentage of patients who had brain abnormalities from the study.


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