Measurements of the cerebellar vermis in 125 normal individuals and 102 patients with a variety of neurogenetic abnormalities were compared, using quantitative MRI analysis in a study at the Universities of Nebraska, Omaha; Oklahoma, Norman; West Virginia, Morgantown; and Texas, San Antonio. The average size of cerebellar vermal lobules (CBL) VI and VII in patients with infantile autism was not significantly different from that in age-matched normal subjects. Relative CBL VI-VII hypoplasia occurred in patients with Rett syndrome and Sotos’ syndrome, both having autistic behaviors, but the same was true for conditions without autistic behaviors. CBL VI-VII hypoplasia is not limited to disorders with autistic behavior and is not a specific neuroanatomical marker for autism. [1]

COMMENT. Several neurogenetic disorders have relative CBL VI-VII hypoplasia, and cerebellar vermal hypoplasia is not specific for autism.

Temporal lobe morphology in childhood-onset schizophrenia was studied by MRI in 21 patients examined at the NIMH, the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, and Northwestern University School of Medicine, Chicago [2]. These schizophrenic patients had smaller cerebral volumes, but larger volume of the superior temporal gyrus. They lacked the normal (right-greater-than-left) hippocampal asymmetry. Early onset schizophrenia was not associated with a severe medial temporal lobe lesion in these patients.