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Total nerve cell number in neocortex in chronic schizophrenics and controls estimated using optical disectors

  • B. Pakkenberg
    Correspondence
    Address reprint requests to Bente Pakkenberg, MD, Neurological Research Laboratory, Bartholin Instituttet, Kommunehospitalet, Øster Farimagsgade 5, 1399 Copenhagen K, Denmark.
    Affiliations
    Neurological Research Laboratory, Bartholin Instituttet, Kommunehospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark
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      Abstract

      The total number of neurons was estimated in eight brains from chronic schizophrenic men and compared with 16 gender- and age-matched controls. The average total neocortical nerve cell number was 22.12·109 in schizophrenics and 22.06·109 in controls.
      The estimate of total cell numbers can not demonstrate more subtle neuronal losses of specific cell types or cell loss in specific regions, but the result does not indicate that a major cell loss in the neocortex of schizophrenics is part of the disease.
      The sampling scheme was based on a uniform sampling design, the counting was performed using new stereological principles and the majority of the cerebral cortex was left intact providing the possibility for resampling and further analysis.

      Keywords

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