Quantified magnetic resonance measurements were made of superior temporal gyrus, parahippocampal gyrus, hippocampal, frontal and temporal lobe volumes and of the planar area of the thalamus and basal ganglia structures in 47 late paraphrenic patients and 33 healthy elderly controls. The late paraphrenics were divided into 31 schizophrenics and 16 patients with delusional disorder according to ICD-10 guidelines. Patients with delusional disorder tended to have smaller left temporal volumes compared with control subjects and patients with schizophrenia, but this difference failed to reach accepted levels of statistical significance after correction for the effects of multiple statistical comparisons, age and total brain size. Physiological right–left asymmetry, reported for temporal and frontal lobe volumes, was present in control, schizophrenic and delusional disorder subjects but delusional disorder patients had a significantly greater degree of temporal lobe asymmetry. The results add to the evidence for heterogeneity among late-onset psychoses and emphasize the subtle nature of any structural brain abnormalities in these patients.