Association between Psychotic Symptoms and Cortical Thickness Reduction across the Schizophrenia Spectrum.
ABSTRACT The current study provides a complete magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) analysis of thickness throughout the cerebral cortical mantle in patients with schizophrenia (SZ) and rigorously screened and matched unaffected relatives and controls and an assessment of its relation to psychopathology and subjective cognitive function. We analyzed 3D-anatomical MRI data sets, obtained at 3 T, from 3 different subject groups: 25 SZ patients, 29 first-degree relatives, and 37 healthy control subjects. We computed whole-brain cortical thickness using the Freesurfer software and assessed group differences. We also acquired clinical and psychometric data. The results showed markedly reduced cortical thickness in SZ patients compared with controls, most notably in the frontal and temporal lobes, in the superior parietal lobe and several limbic areas, with intermediate levels of cortical thickness in relatives. In both patients and relatives, we found an association between subjective cognitive dysfunction and reduced thickness of frontal cortex, and predisposition toward hallucinations and reduced thickness of the superior temporal gyrus. Our findings suggest that changes in specific cortical areas may predispose to specific symptoms, as exemplified by the association between temporal cortex thinning and hallucinations.
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ABSTRACT: Anhedonia is an enduring trait accounting for the reduced capacity to experience pleasure. Few studies have investigated the brain structural features associated with trait anhedonia. In this study, the relationships between cortical thickness, volume of subcortical structures and scores on the Chapman physical and social anhedonia scales were examined in a non-clinical sample (n=72, 35 males). FreeSurfer was used to examine the cortical thickness and the volume of six identified subcortical structures related to trait anhedonia. We found that the cortical thickness of the superior frontal gyrus and the volume of the pallidum in the left hemisphere were correlated with anhedonia scores in both physical and social aspects. Specifically, positive correlations were found between levels of social anhedonia and the thickness of the postcentral and the inferior parietal gyri. Cortico-subcortical inter-correlations between these clusters were also observed. Our findings revealed distinct correlation patterns of neural substrates with trait physical and social anhedonia in a non-clinical sample. These findings contribute to the understanding of the pathologies underlying the anhedonia phenotype in schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders.Psychiatry Research Neuroimaging 09/2014; · 2.83 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Introduction: Structural alterations may correlate with symptom severity in psychotic disorders, but the existing literature on this issue is heterogeneous. In addition, it is not known how cortical thickness and cortical surface area correlate with symptom dimensions of psychosis. Methods: Subjects included 455 individuals with schizophrenia, schizoaffective, or bipolar I disorders. Data were obtained as part of the Bipolar Schizophrenia Network for Intermediate Phenotypes study. Diagnosis was made through the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV. Positive and negative symptom subscales were assessed using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale. Structural brain measurements were extracted from T1-weight structural MRIs using FreeSurfer v5.1 and were correlated with symptom subscales using partial correlations. Exploratory factor analysis was also used to identify factors among those regions correlating with symptom subscales. Results: The positive symptom subscale correlated inversely with gray matter volume (GMV) and cortical thickness in frontal and temporal regions, whereas the negative symptom subscale correlated inversely with right frontal cortical surface area. Among regions correlating with the positive subscale, factor analysis identified four factors, including a temporal cortical thickness factor and frontal GMV factor. Among regions correlating with the negative subscale, factor analysis identified a frontal GMV-cortical surface area factor. There was no significant diagnosis by structure interactions with symptom severity. Conclusions: Structural measures correlate with positive and negative symptom severity in psychotic disorders. Cortical thickness demonstrated more associations with psychopathology than cortical surface area.Schizophrenia Bulletin 06/2014; · 8.61 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Approximately 30% of schizophrenia patients do not respond adequately to the therapy. Previous MRI studies have suggested that drug treatment resistance is associated with brain morphological abnormalities, although region-of-interest analysis of MR studies from nonresponder and responder patients failed to demonstrate a statistically significant difference between these two schizophrenia subgroups. We have used a voxel-based analysis of segmented MR studies to assess structural cerebral differences in 20 nonresponder and 15 responder patients and 16 age-matched normal volunteers. Differences between the three groups emerged bilaterally mainly at the level of the superior and middle frontal gyri, primarily due to reduced grey matter volumes in nonresponders, as compared to both normal volunteers and responder patients. Post hoc direct comparison between the two schizophrenia subgroups demonstrated significantly reduced grey matter volumes in middle frontal gyrus bilaterally, in the dorsolateral aspects of left superior frontal gyrus extending into postcentral gyrus and in the right medial temporal cortex. Our results extend and integrate previous findings suggesting a more severe atrophy in nonresponder schizophrenia patients, compared to responder patients, mainly at the level of the superior and middle frontal gyri. Longitudinal studies in drug-naïve patients are needed to assess the role of these associations.BioMed Research International 01/2014; 2014:325052. · 2.71 Impact Factor