Cortical Thickness and Subcortical Volumes in Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder

Department of Psychiatry, Section Vinderen, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.
Biological psychiatry (Impact Factor: 9.47). 07/2010; 68(1):41-50. DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2010.03.036
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are severe psychiatric diseases with overlapping symptomatology. Widespread brain morphologic abnormalities, including cortical thinning and subcortical volume reductions, have been demonstrated in schizophrenia but it is unclear whether similar abnormalities are present in bipolar disorder. The purpose of this study was to compare cortical thickness and subcortical volumes in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, to assess differences and similarities in cortical and subcortical brain structure.
We analyzed magnetic resonance images from a sample of 173 patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorder, 139 patients with bipolar disorder, and 207 healthy control subjects. Cortical thickness was compared between the groups in multiple locations across the continuous cortical surface. Subcortical volumes were compared on a structure-by-structure basis.
There was widespread cortical thinning in schizophrenia compared with control subjects, in frontal, temporal, occipital, and smaller parietal regions. There was no cortical thinning in bipolar disorder compared with control subjects or in schizophrenia compared with bipolar disorder. However, the subgroup of patients with bipolar disorder Type 1 showed cortical thinning, primarily in the frontal lobes and superior temporal and temporoparietal regions. Both patient groups showed substantial subcortical volume reductions bilaterally in the hippocampus, the left thalamus, the right nucleus accumbens, the left cerebellar cortex, and the brainstem, along with substantial ventricular enlargements.
We found substantial overlap in the underlying brain morphologic abnormalities in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder in subcortical structures, and between schizophrenia and bipolar disorder Type 1 in the cerebral cortex.

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Available from: Lars M Rimol, Jul 28, 2015
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    • "In addition, reduced cortical thickness has been observed in the frontal, temporal, occipital and parietal regions (Kuperberg et al., 2003; Rimol et al., 2010). This evidence, together with imaging studies in high-risk populations (Koutsouleris et al., 2009; Rimol et al., 2010) and relatives (Boos et al., 2007), supports the hypothesis of an early disruption of brain development in schizophrenia (Murray and Lewis, 1987; Weinberger, 1987). "
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    ABSTRACT: Previous evidence indicates that structural brain alterations are already present in the early phases of psychosis. In this study we aim to investigate the relationships among the different diagnoses in the spectrum of non-affective psychosis. A hundred-and-one first-episode psychosis patients (FEP) and 69 healthy volunteers, matched for age, gender, handedness and educational level were analyzed by structural MRI and high-dimensional voxel-based morphometry as implemented in SPM8 software. We obtained three main results: (1) FEP patients showed reduction of grey matter volume (GMV) in the frontal, temporal and occipital lobes, left insula and cerebellum. (2) Age of disease onset was an important factor revealing a gradual decrease of GMV (healthy controls>late onset>intermediate onset>early onset) in the frontal, temporal and occipital lobes, insula and cerebellum. (3) A gradual reduction of GMV related to diagnosis spectrum in the frontal, temporal, parietal and occipital lobes of schizophrenia patients being the most affected. These results suggest that an earlier onset of psychosis is linked to an earlier disease-related disruption of structural brain development, which may be most pronounced in schizophrenia compared to other psychoses. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    Schizophrenia Research 02/2015; 164(1-3). DOI:10.1016/j.schres.2015.01.032 · 4.43 Impact Factor
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    • "We only found decreased volume of left Pop (P ¼0.031) before FDR correction. Yet, our results revealed a significant decrease in cortical thickness in both the SMg and Pop, consistent with several studies that have reported cortical thinning in frontal and parietal regions in patients with schizophrenia (Goldman et al., 2009; Rimol et al., 2010; Zugman et al., 2013). One recent study demonstrated cortical thinning over the bilateral frontal and parietal regions in subjects with a high genetic risk for schizophrenia (Byun et al., 2012), implying that the neurodevelopmental alterations at frontal and parietal gray matter may result from a genetic susceptibility to schizophrenia. "
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    ABSTRACT: The mirror neuron system (MNS) may be implicated in schizophrenia. This study investigated MNS structures, including the pars opercularis (Pop), the supramarginal gyrus (SMg), the third branch of the superior longitudinal fasciculus, and callosal fibers interconnecting bilateral Pop (CC-Pop) and SMg (CC-SMg), and clarified their relationships with positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia. Participants comprised 32 schizophrenia patients and 32 matched controls who received T1-weighted structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI, T1WI) and diffusion spectrum imaging (DSI). The cortical measures were computed from the T1WI data. Tract integrity was assessed using a tractography-based analysis of the generalized fractional anisotropy (GFA) derived from the DSI data. Pearson׳s correlations and multiple linear regression analysis were used to investigate the associations between MNS structures and positive and negative symptom scores of schizophrenia. Cortical thickness in bilateral Pop and SMg were significantly thinner and mean GFA of CC-Pop was significantly decreased in patients. Negative symptoms were significantly correlated with left SMg volume, and positive symptoms were significantly correlated with right SMg thickness. Multiple linear regression analysis showed left SMg volume to be the strongest contributor to the negative symptoms. The association between left SMg volume and negative symptoms may reflect the degree of social cognition impairment in schizophrenia. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Psychiatry Research Neuroimaging 01/2015; 231(3). DOI:10.1016/j.pscychresns.2015.01.010 · 2.83 Impact Factor
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    • "Recent findings of overlapping genetic (Purcell et al., 2009), cognitive (Simonsen et al., 2011) and brain morphologic factors (Rimol et al., 2010) in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder make it feasible to study potential mechanisms across the traditional diagnostic categories of psychotic disorders. Patients with these disorders show reduced BDNF levels in the brain (Durany et al., 2001), serum and plasma (Buckley et al., 2007; Durany et al., 2001; Ikeda et al., 2008). "
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