A cross-sectional and longitudinal magnetic resonance imaging study of cingulate gyrus gray matter volume abnormalities in first-episode schizophrenia and first-episode affective psychosis.

Department of Psychiatry, Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System, Brockton Division, Harvard Medical School, Brockton, MA 02301, USA.
Archives of general psychiatry (Impact Factor: 12.26). 08/2008; 65(7):746-60. DOI: 10.1001/archpsyc.65.7.746
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Previous magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings have demonstrated psychopathological symptom-related smaller gray matter volumes in various cingulate gyrus subregions in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. However, it is unclear whether these gray matter abnormalities show a subregional specificity to either disorder and whether they show postonset progression.
To determine whether there are initial and progressive gray matter volume deficits in cingulate gyrus subregions in patients with first-episode schizophrenia (FESZ) and patients with first-episode affective psychosis (FEAFF, mainly manic) and their specificity to FESZ or FEAFF.
A naturalistic cross-sectional study at first hospitalization for psychosis and a longitudinal follow-up approximately 1(1/2) years later. Setting and
Patients were from a private psychiatric hospital. Thirty-nine patients with FESZ and 41 with FEAFF at first hospitalization for psychosis and 40 healthy control subjects (HCs) recruited from the community underwent high-spatial-resolution MRI, with follow-up scans in 17 FESZ patients, 18 FEAFF patients, and 18 HCs. Individual subjects were matched for age, sex, parental socioeconomic status, and handedness.
Cingulate gyrus gray matter volumes in 3 anterior subregions (subgenual, affective, and cognitive) and 1 posterior subregion, and whether there was a paracingulate sulcus.
At first hospitalization, patients with FESZ showed significantly smaller left subgenual (P = .03), left (P = .03) and right (P = .005) affective, right cognitive (P = .04), and right posterior (P = .003) cingulate gyrus gray matter subregions compared with HCs. Moreover, at the 1(1/2)-year follow-up, patients with FESZ showed progressive gray matter volume decreases in the subgenual (P = .002), affective (P < .001), cognitive (P < .001), and posterior (P = .02) cingulate subregions compared with HCs. In contrast, patients with FEAFF showed only initial (left, P < .001; right, P = .002) and progressive subgenual subregion abnormalities (P < .001). Finally, patients with FESZ showed a less asymmetric paracingulate pattern than HCs (P = .02).
Patients with FEAFF and FESZ showed differences in initial gray matter volumes and in their progression. Initial and progressive changes in patients with FEAFF were confined to the subgenual cingulate, a region strongly associated with affective disorder, whereas patients with FESZ evinced widespread initial and progressively smaller volumes.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The cingulum bundle (CB) connects gray matter structures of the limbic system and as such has been implicated in the etiology of schizophrenia. There is growing evidence to suggest that the CB is actually comprised of a conglomeration of discrete sub-connections. The present study aimed to use Diffusion Tensor tractography to subdivide the CB into its constituent sub-connections, and to investigate the structural integrity of these sub-connections in patients with schizophrenia and matched healthy controls. Diffusion Tensor Imaging scans were acquired from 24 patients diagnosed with chronic schizophrenia and 26 matched healthy controls. Deterministic tractography was used in conjunction with FreeSurfer-based regions-of-interest to subdivide the CB into 5 sub-connections (I1 to I5). The patients with schizophrenia exhibited subnormal levels of FA in two cingulum sub-connections, specifically the fibers connecting the rostral and caudal anterior cingulate gyrus (I1) and the fibers connecting the isthmus of the cingulate with the parrahippocampal cortex (I4). Furthermore, while FA in the I1 sub-connection was correlated with the severity of patients' positive symptoms (specifically hallucinations and delusions), FA in the I4 sub-connection was correlated with the severity of patients' negative symptoms (specifically affective flattening and anhedonia/asociality). These results support the notion that the CB is a conglomeration of structurally interconnected yet functionally distinct sub-connections, of which only a subset are abnormal in patients with schizophrenia. Furthermore, while acknowledging the fact that the present study only investigated the CB, these results suggest that the positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia may have distinct neurobiological underpinnings.
    NeuroImage: Clinical. 01/2014; 5.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A potential clinical and etiological overlap between schizophrenia (SZ) and bipolar disorder (BD) has long been subject of discussion. Imaging studies imply functional and structural alterations of the hippocampus in both diseases. Thus, imaging this core memory region could provide insight into the pathophysiology of these disorders and the associated cognitive deficits. To examine possible shared alterations in the hippocampus, we conducted a multi-modal assessment, including functional and structural imaging as well as neurobehavioral measures of memory performance in BD and SZ patients compared with healthy controls. We assessed episodic memory onal and str using tests of verbal and visual learning (HVLT, BVMT) in three groups of participants: BD patients (n = 21), SZ patients (n = 21) and matched (age, gender, education) healthy control subjects (n = 21). In addition, we examined hippocampal resting state functional connectivity, hippocampal volume using voxel-based morphometry (VBM) and fibre integrity of hippocampal connections using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). We found memory deficits, changes in functional connectivity within the hippocampal network as well as volumetric reductions and altered white matter fibre integrity across patient groups in comparison with controls. However, SZ patients when directly compared with BD patients were more severely affected in several of the assessed parameters (verbal learning, left hippocampal volumes, mean diffusivity of bilateral cingulum and right uncinated fasciculus). The results of our study suggest a graded expression of verbal learning deficits accompanied by structural alterations within the hippocampus in BD patients and SZ patients, with SZ patients being more strongly affected. Our findings imply that these two disorders may share some common pathophysiological mechanisms. The results could thus help to further advance and integrate current pathophysiological models of SZ and BD.
    NeuroImage: Clinical. 01/2014; 6.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background. Whether there are differential effects of first-generation antipsychotics (FGAs) and second-generation anti-psychotics (SGAs) on the brain is currently debated. Although some studies report that FGAs reduce grey matter more than SGAs, others do not, and research to date is limited by a focus on schizophrenia spectrum disorders. To address this limitation, this study investigated the effects of medication in patients being treated for first-episode schizophrenia or affective psychoses. Method. Cortical thickness was compared between 52 first-episode psychosis patients separated into diagnostic (i.e. schizophrenia or affective psychosis) and medication (i.e. FGA and SGA) subgroups. Patients in each group were also compared to age-and sex-matched healthy controls (n = 28). A whole-brain cortical thickness interaction analysis of medication and diagnosis was then performed. Correlations between cortical thickness with antipsychotic dose and psychotic symptoms were examined. Results. The effects of medication and diagnosis did not interact, suggesting independent effects. Compared with con-trols, diagnostic differences were found in frontal, parietal and temporal regions. Decreased thickness in FGA-treated versus SGA-treated groups was found in a large frontoparietal region (p < 0.001, corrected). Comparisons with healthy controls revealed decreased cortical thickness in the FGA group whereas the SGA group showed increases in addition to decreases. In FGA-treated patients cortical thinning was associated with higher negative symptoms whereas increased cortical thickness in the SGA-treated group was associated with lower positive symptoms. Conclusions. Our results suggest that FGA and SGA treatments have divergent effects on cortical thickness during the first episode of psychosis that are independent from changes due to illness.
    Psychological Medicine 02/2014; · 5.43 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
May 31, 2014