Volumetric Evaluation of the Thalamus in Schizophrenic Male Patients Using Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Biological Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 10.26). 06/1998; 43(9):649-59. DOI: 10.1016/S0006-3223(97)00339-9
Source: PubMed


The thalamus, an important subcortical brain region connecting limbic and prefrontal cortices, has a significant role in sensory and cortical processing. Although inconsistently, previous studies have demonstrated neuroanatomical abnormalities in the thalamus of schizophrenic patients.
This structural magnetic resonance imaging study, based on segmentation of contiguous coronal 1.5-mm images, compared thalamic brain volumes of 15 chronic, male schizophrenic patients with 15 normal controls matched on age, sex, handedness, and parental socioeconomic status.
There were no significant differences between patients and controls in thalamic volumes, right or left, adjusted for total brain volume; however, there were significantly different correlations of thalamic volumes with prefrontal white matter and lateral ventricles among patients, but not among controls. Thalamic volumes among patients were also significantly correlated with bizarre behavior, hallucinations, and thought disorder.
Findings suggest that connectivity between thalamic nuclei and prefrontal cortical areas are abnormal in chronic male schizophrenic patients. In addition, ventricular enlargement may be, in part, due to subtle reduction in thalamic volume and/or in volume of thalamocortical and corticothalamic fibers secondary to thalamic abnormalities. Finally, correlations with positive symptomatology underscore the role of the thalamus in gating or filtering of sensory information and coordination of cortical processing.

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Available from: Cynthia G Wible, Nov 09, 2012
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    • "1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 2010; Byne et al., 2009; Csernansky et al., 2004; Gaser et al., 2004; Haukvik et al., 2013; Horga et al., 2011; Jaaro-Peled et al., 2010; Portas et al., 1998; Qiu et al., 2009; Smith et al., 2011 "
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    ABSTRACT: Genes of the Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) have recently been shown to have neuronal functions in the thalamus and hippocampus. Common genetic variants in the Human Leukocyte Antigens (HLA) region, human homologue of the MHC locus, are associated with small effects on susceptibility to schizophrenia, while volumetric changes of the thalamus and hippocampus have also been linked to schizophrenia. We therefore investigated whether common variants of the HLA would affect volumetric variation of the thalamus and hippocampus. We analyzed thalamus and hippocampus volumes, as measured using structural magnetic resonance imaging, in 1.265 healthy participants. These participants had also been genotyped using genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) arrays. We imputed genotypes for single nucleotide polymorphisms at high density across the HLA locus, as well as HLA allotypes and HLA amino acids, by use of a reference population dataset that was specifically targeted to the HLA region. We detected a significant association of the SNP rs17194174 with thalamus volume (nominal P=0.0000017, corrected P=0.0039), as well as additional SNPs within the same region of linkage disequilibrium. This effect was largely lateralized to the left thalamus and is localized within a genomic region previously associated with schizophrenia. The associated SNPs are also clustered within a potential regulatory element, and a region of linkage disequilibrium that spans genes expressed in the thalamus, including HLA-A. Our data indicate that genetic variation within the HLA region influences the volume and asymmetry of the human thalamus. The molecular mechanisms underlying this association may relate to HLA influences on susceptibility to schizophrenia. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2015 · Brain Behavior and Immunity
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    • "Another example of finer psychopathological characterizations in SZ come from studies assessing neuroanatomical correlates of neurocognitive functions. Rush and colleagues [38] aimed to detect volumetric networks throughout the brain related to poor executive functioning in SZ patients, because intra-individual association between different brain areas is likely to reflect interregional structural connectivity [39]. These authors [38] described executive dysfunction in SZ related to reduced grey matter volume in the dorsolateral prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortices. "
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    • "Dysfunctional cortico-striato-thalamic connections and abnormal thalamocortical connections associated with schizophrenia were widely demonstrated (Carlsson and Carlsson, 1990; Andreasen, 1997; Jones, 1997; Woodward et al., 2012). Furthermore, schizophrenic patients show anatomic (Andreasen et al., 1994; Gur et al., 1998; Portas et al., 1998; Staal et al., 1998; Hazlett et al., 1999; Ettinger et al., 2007) and metabolic (Szechtman et al., 1988; Siegel et al., 1993; Buchsbaum et al., 1996; Holcomb et al., 1996; Kim et al., 2000) thalamic alterations . In contrast to this, no abnormalities in thalamic size have been found in persons with bipolar or unipolar affective disorders (Caetano et al., 2001; Mamah et al., 2010). "
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