Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

Investigating structural cerebellar differences associated with schizophrenia pathophysiology

Chambers, Tom William 2021. Investigating structural cerebellar differences associated with schizophrenia pathophysiology. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
Item availability restricted.

[thumbnail of PhD Thesis] PDF (PhD Thesis) - Accepted Post-Print Version
Download (9MB)
[thumbnail of Additional Tables] PDF (Additional Tables) - Supplemental Material
Download (2MB)
[thumbnail of Publication form] PDF (Publication form) - Supplemental Material
Restricted to Repository staff only

Download (114kB)


While historically overlooked, there is growing interest in the possible pathophysiological roles played by the cerebellum in various psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders, including schizophrenia. While structural cerebellar differences have been noted in individuals with psychiatric diagnoses compared to normative controls, whether these effects reflect true underlying neuropathology, confounding (spurious associations caused by uncontrolled for demographic, medical or imaging factors) or reverse causation (i.e. arising following principal symptom onset) is still to be established. The use of large datasets of homogeneously collected Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), with genetic and health record data will help advance our knowledge in this regard. Chapter 1 provides an overview of the relevant literature around schizophrenia, its genetic aetiology, pathophysiology, genetic neuroimaging techniques, the cerebellum and its relevance to schizophrenia. In Chapter 2 I investigate whether psychiatric disorders are associated with reduced cerebellar volume in a large population-based cohort, when taking into account any shared medical comorbidities, sub-clinical comorbidities and other imaging and non-imaging based confounding measures. In Chapter 3, to circumvent the problem of reverse causation, in a cohort of non-psychiatric participants, I use genetic imaging analyses to investigate whether an individual’s increased common and rare genetic risk burden for schizophrenia is similarly associated with cerebellar reductions. In Chapter 4, I identify the common genetic variants important for cerebellar structure volume and use these results to ascertain the genetic correlation between the cerebellum and schizophrenia liability. Finally, in Chapter 5, I use these introduced cerebellar-associated variants to explore their significance in a clinical cohort, investigating whether those individuals with treatment-resistant schizophrenia, a feature associated with impairment brain development, showed a lower genetic predisposition for cerebellar growth. Chapter 6 provides a summary of the findings presented in this thesis, their relevance to the wider scientific literature and avenues for future research.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Medicine
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Funders: Wellcome Trust
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 8 September 2021
Date of Acceptance: 8 September 2021
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2021 14:28

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics