[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A novel magnetic resonance imaging method was used to determine whether it is feasible to detect early signs of cortical atrophy among individuals who are at high risk for developing schizophrenia. Fifteen individuals at high-risk for schizophrenia and 15 of their first degree relatives diagnosed with schizophrenia were compared with controls (n=25) who did not have a family history of psychiatric illness or psychiatric hospitalizations. On the basis of a voxelwise analysis of apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) maps derived from diffusion weighted magnetic resonance imaging, these individuals showed evidence of deficits in four separate regions of the brain, all on the left side only: parahippocampal gyrus, lingual gyrus, superior frontal gyrus, and middle frontal gyrus. However, conventional volumetric quantification of ventricular space to detect atrophy failed to reveal differences between high-risk subjects and controls. It is concluded that ADC may be a more sensitive measure than ventricular volume assessments for use in future studies of early prediction of schizophrenia.
Psychiatry Research 12/2006; 148(1):61-6. · 2.46 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Analyses were performed on brain MRI scans from individuals who were frequent cannabis users (N = 10; 9 males, 1 female, mean age 21.1 +/- 2.9, range: 18-27) in adolescence and similar age and sex matched young adults who never used cannabis (N = 10; 9 males, 1 female, mean age of 23.0 +/- 4.4, range: 17-30). Cerebral atrophy and white matter integrity were determined using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to quantify the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) and the fractional anisotropy (FA). Whole brain volumes, lateral ventricular volumes, and gray matter volumes of the amygdala-hippocampal complex, superior temporal gyrus, and entire temporal lobes (excluding the amygdala-hippocampal complex) were also measured. While differences existed between groups, no pattern consistent with evidence of cerebral atrophy or loss of white matter integrity was detected. It is concluded that frequent cannabis use is unlikely to be neurotoxic to the normal developing adolescent brain.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Loss of cortical gray matter is accompanied by a commensurate increase in the sulcal and intraventricular cerebrospinal fluid volume. On diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging, this would be reflected as a higher apparent diffusion coefficient in affected brain regions. On the basis of the above premise, we suggest that the apparent diffusion coefficient may be used as a surrogate marker for the assessment of regional brain volume deficits. We demonstrate this approach by voxelwise analysis of registered apparent diffusion coefficient images from a group of 15 patients with schizophrenia and 15 age-matched healthy controls. We found widespread regional apparent diffusion coefficient increases in patients. Affected areas included the bilateral insular cortex, hippocampus, temporal lobe, and occipital areas. These results largely concur with previous findings of cortical volume deficits in schizophrenia.