Staining intensity of brain iron in patients with schizophrenia: A postmortem study

M. F. Casanova, S. O. Comparini, R. W. Kim, J. E. Kleinman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Evidence derived from both pharmacological and postmortem studies suggests that a disturbance of brain iron metabolism is involved in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia; i.e., the distribution of iron parallels that of dopamine, and variations in its brain concentration selectively modulate the binding affinity of the dopaminergic (D2) receptor. In the present study the authors examined the staining intensity of brain iron in postmortem specimens of 9 schizophrenic (SC) patients and 17 age-matched controls. Coronal sections were stained with the Perls's technique, photographed, and then studied using a computerized image analysis system. Optical density measurements were taken from the caudate nucleus, putamen, globus pallidus, and substantia nigra. This study revealed significant differences between groups only for the staining intensity of iron in the caudate nucleus (P < 0.005). A review of the literature suggests that this finding may be the result of neuroleptic therapy and not a primary pathological feature of schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-41
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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