Background. Evidence suggests that schizophrenia may be
disorder with origins in early
intrauterine mal-development. We have constructed a comprehensive
anthropometric scale for the
evaluation of dysmorphic features as an index of the nature and timing
Method. A detailed set of craniofacial and bodily measures
compiled and applied to 174
patients with schizophrenia and 80 matched control subjects.
Results. Patients had significantly higher scores on this
scale and displayed multiple anomalies of
the craniofacial region with an overall narrowing and elongation of the
mid-face and lower face.
Twelve craniofacial anomalies independently distinguished patients from
controls and these
variables correctly classified 95% of patients and 80% of control subjects.
Conclusions. This new scale, while procedurally more exacting
than the Waldrop scale, more clearly
defines the topography of anomalies previously suspected in individuals
with schizophrenia. These
findings constitute direct evidence for disturbed craniofacial development
in schizophrenia and
indicate origins in the foetal period during which the characteristic human
facial pattern evolves in
close association with brain differentiation.