Childhood onset schizophrenia: cortical brain abnormalities as young adults.
ABSTRACT Childhood onset schizophrenia (COS) is a rare but severe form of the adult onset disorder. While structural brain imaging studies show robust, widespread, and progressive gray matter loss in COS during adolescence, there have been no longitudinal studies of sufficient duration to examine comparability with the more common adult onset illness.
Neuro-anatomic magnetic resonance scans were obtained prospectively from ages 7 through 26 in 70 children diagnosed with COS and age and sex matched healthy controls. Cortical thickness was measured at 40,962 points across the cerebral hemispheres using a novel, fully automated, validated method. Patterns of patient-control differences in cortical development were compared over a 19-year period.
Throughout the age range, the COS group had significantly smaller mean cortical thickness compared to controls. However, the COS brain developmental trajectory appeared to normalize in posterior (parietal) regions, and remained divergent in the anterior regions (frontal and temporal) regions, and the pattern of loss became more like that seen in adults.
Cortical thickness loss in COS appears to localize with age to prefrontal and temporal regions that are seen for both medication naïve and medicated adult onset patients.
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ABSTRACT: There are varying, often conflicting, reports with respect to altered striatal volume and morphometry in the major psychoses due to the influences of antipsychotic medications on striatal volume. Thus, disassociating disease effects from those of medication become exceedingly difficult. For the first time, using a longitudinally studied sample of structural magnetic resonance images from patients with childhood onset schizophrenia (COS; neurobiologically contiguous with the adult onset form of schizophrenia), their nonpsychotic siblings (COSSIBs), and novel shape mapping algorithms that are volume independent, we report the familial contribution of striatal morphology in schizophrenia. The results of our volumetric analyses demonstrate age-related increases in overall striatal volumes specific only to COS. However, both COS and COSSIBs showed overlapping shape differences in the striatal head, which normalized in COSSIBs by late adolescence. These results mirror previous studies from our group, demonstrating cortical thickness deficits in COS and COSSIBs as these deficits normalize in COSSIBs in the same age range as our striatal findings. Finally, there is a single region of nonoverlapping outward displacement in the dorsal aspect of the caudate body, potentially indicative of a response to medication. Striatal shape may be considered complimentary to volume as an endophenotype, and, in some cases may provide information that is not detectable using standard volumetric techniques. Our striatal shape findings demonstrate the striking localization of abnormalities in striatal the head. The neuroanatomical localization of these findings suggest the presence of abnormalities in the striatal-prefrontal circuits in schizophrenia and resilience mechanisms in COSSIBs with age dependent normalization. Hum Brain Mapp, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.Human Brain Mapping 12/2014; DOI:10.1002/hbm.22715 · 6.92 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Patients with childhood onset schizophrenia (COS) display widespread gray matter (GM) structural brain abnormalities. Healthy siblings of COS patients share some of these structural abnormalities, suggesting that GM abnormalities are endophenotypes for schizophrenia. Another possible endophenotype for schizophrenia that has been relatively unexplored is corticostriatal dysfunction. The corticostriatal system plays an important role in skill learning. Our previous studies have demonstrated corticostriatal dysfunction in COS siblings with a profound skill learning deficit and abnormal pattern of brain activation during skill learning. This study investigated whether structural abnormalities measured using volumetric brain morphometry (VBM) were present in siblings of COS patients and whether these were related to deficits in cognitive skill learning. Results revealed smaller GM volume in COS siblings relative to controls in a number of regions, including occipital, parietal, and subcortical regions including the striatum, and greater GM volume relative to controls in several subcortical regions. Volume in the right superior frontal gyrus and cerebellum were related to performance differences between groups on the weather prediction task, a measure of cognitive skill learning. Our results support the idea that corticostriatal and cerebellar impairment in unaffected siblings of COS patients are behaviorally relevant and may reflect genetic risk for schizophrenia.Schizophrenia Research 12/2014; 161(2-3). DOI:10.1016/j.schres.2014.12.006 · 4.43 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Studies on longitudinal brain volume changes in patients with early-onset psychosis (EOP) are particularly valuable for understanding the neurobiological basis of brain abnormalities associated with psychosis. However, findings have not been consistent across studies in this population. We aimed to conduct a meta-analysis on progressive brain volume changes in children and adolescents with EOP. A systematic literature search of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies comparing longitudinal brain volume changes in children and adolescents with EOP and healthy controls was conducted. The annualized rates of relative change in brain volume by region of interest (ROI) were used as raw data for the meta-analysis. The effect of age, sex, duration of illness, and specific diagnosis on volume change was also evaluated. Five original studies with 156 EOP patients (mean age at baseline MRI in the five studies ranged from 13.3 to 16.6years, 67.31% males) and 163 age- and sex-matched healthy controls, with a mean duration of follow-up of 2.46years (range 2.02-3.40), were included. Frontal gray matter (GM) was the only region in which significant differences in volume change over time were found between patients and controls (Hedges' g -0.435, 95% confidence interval (CI): -0.678 to -0.193, p<0.001). Younger age at baseline MRI was associated with greater loss of temporal GM volume over time in patients as compared with controls (p=0.005). Within patients, a diagnosis of schizophrenia was related to greater occipital GM volume loss over time (p=0.001). Compared with healthy individuals, EOP patients show greater progressive frontal GM loss over the first few years after illness onset. Age at baseline MRI and diagnosis of schizophrenia appear to be significant moderators of particular specific brain volume changes. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.Schizophrenia Research 12/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.schres.2014.12.022 · 4.43 Impact Factor