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Thinner cortex is associated with psychosis onset in individuals at Clinical High Risk for Developing Psychosis: An ENIGMA Working Group mega-analysis

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  • Mental Health Center Copenhagen - Copenhagen University Hospital
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Abstract

Importance: The ENIGMA clinical high risk for psychosis (CHR) initiative, the largest pooled CHR-neuroimaging sample to date, aims to discover robust neurobiological markers of psychosis risk in a sample with known heterogeneous outcomes. Objective: We investigated baseline structural neuroimaging differences between CHR subjects and healthy controls (HC), and between CHR participants who later developed a psychotic disorder (CHR-PS+) and those who did not (CHR-PS-). We assessed associations with age by group and conversion status, and similarities between the patterns of effect size maps for psychosis conversion and those found in other large-scale psychosis studies. Design, Setting, and Participants. Baseline T1-weighted MRI data were pooled from 31 international sites participating in the ENIGMA CHR Working Group. MRI scans were processed using harmonized protocols and analyzed within a mega- and meta-analysis framework from January-October 2020. Main Outcome(s) and Measure(s): Measures of regional cortical thickness (CT), surface area (SA), and subcortical volumes were extracted from T1-weighted MRI scans. Independent variables were group (CHR, HC) and conversion status (CHR-PS+, CHR-PS-, HC). Results: The final dataset consisted of 3,169 participants (CHR=1,792, HC=1,377, age range: 9.5 to 39.8 years, 45% female). Using longitudinal clinical information, we identified CHR-PS+ (N=253) and CHR-PS- (N=1,234). CHR exhibited widespread thinner cortex compared to HC (average d=-0.125, range: -0.09 to -0.17), but not SA or subcortical volume. Thinner cortex in the fusiform, superior temporal, and paracentral regions was associated with psychosis conversion (average d=-0.22). Age showed a stronger negative association with left fusiform and left paracentral CT in HC, compared to CHR-PS+. Regional CT psychosis conversion effect sizes resembled patterns of CT alterations observed in other ENIGMA studies of psychosis. Conclusions and Relevance: We provide evidence for widespread subtle CT reductions in CHR. The pattern of regions displaying greater CT alterations in CHR-PS+ were similar to those reported in other large-scale investigations of psychosis. Additionally, a subset of these regions displayed abnormal age associations. Widespread CT disruptions coupled with abnormal age associations in CHR may point to disruptions in postnatal brain developmental processes.

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... 87 In particular, if these studies apply pattern recognition or machine-learning methods allowing for individual classifications, 26 the neurobiological refinement of current clinical prediction models could be amplified and ultimately facilitate tailored preventive interventions at the individual level. Future multimodal studies should investigate if enhanced prediction can be obtained using other potential biomarkers beyond FA, such as examined in recent studies on, that is cellular and extracellular WM alterations, 7 fixel-based analyses, 88,89 functional activation 90 and connectivity, 91,92 neural oscillations (EEG), 93 grey matter volume, 94 cortical thickness, 95 and GABA and glutamate levels (MR-spectroscopy). 25 ...
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Background: The neurodevelopmental model of psychosis was established over 30 years ago; however, the developmental influence on psychotic symptom expression - how age affects clinical presentation in first-episode psychosis - has not been thoroughly investigated. Methods: Using generalized additive modeling, which allows for linear and non-linear functional forms of age-related change, we leveraged symptom data from a large sample of antipsychotic-naïve individuals with first-episode psychosis (N = 340, 12-40 years, 1-12 visits), collected at the University of Pittsburgh from 1990 to 2017. We examined relationships between age and severity of perceptual and non-perceptual positive symptoms and negative symptoms. We tested for age-associated effects on change in positive or negative symptom severity following baseline assessment and explored the time-varying relationship between perceptual and non-perceptual positive symptoms across adolescent development. Results: Perceptual positive symptom severity significantly decreased with increasing age (F = 7.0, p = 0.0007; q = 0.003) while non-perceptual positive symptom severity increased with age (F = 4.1, p = 0.01, q = 0.02). Anhedonia severity increased with increasing age (F = 6.7, p = 0.00035; q = 0.0003), while flat affect decreased in severity with increased age (F = 9.8, p = 0.002; q = 0.006). Findings remained significant when parental SES, IQ, and illness duration were included as covariates. There were no developmental effects on change in positive or negative symptom severity (all p > 0.25). Beginning at age 18, there was a statistically significant association between severity of non-perceptual and perceptual symptoms. This relationship increased in strength throughout adulthood. Conclusions: These findings suggest that as maturation proceeds, perceptual symptoms attenuate while non-perceptual symptoms are enhanced. Findings underscore how pathological brain-behavior relationships vary as a function of development.
Article
Importance Many psychiatric disorders can be conceptualized as disorders of brain maturation during childhood and adolescence. Discovering the neurobiological underpinnings of brain maturation may elucidate molecular pathways of vulnerability and resilience to such disorders. Objective To investigate the underlying neurobiological mechanisms of age-associated cortical thinning during maturation and their implications for psychiatric disorders. Design, Setting, and Participants This multicohort analysis used data from 3 community-based studies. The Saguenay Youth Study provided data from 1024 adolescents who were recruited at a single site in Quebec, Canada. The IMAGEN cohort provided data from 1823 participants who were recruited in 8 European cities. The Brazil High Risk Cohort Study for the Development of Childhood Psychiatric Disorders provided data from 815 participants who were recruited in 2 Brazilian cities. Cortical thickness was estimated from the results of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, and age-associated cortical thinning was estimated in 34 cortical regions. Gene expression from the Allen Human Brain Atlas was aligned with the same regions. Similarities in the interregional profiles of gene expression and the profiles of age-associated cortical thinning were measured. The involvement of dendrites, dendritic spines, and myelin was tested using 3 gene panels. Enrichment for genes associated with psychiatric disorders was tested among the genes associated with thinning and their coexpression networks. Data analysis was conducted between March and October 2019. Main Outcomes and Measures MRI-derived estimates of age-associated cortical thinning and gene expression in 34 cortical regions. Results A total of 3596 individuals aged 9 to 21 years were included in this study. Of those, 1803 participants (50.1%) were female, and the mean (SD) age was 15.2 (2.6) years. Interregional profiles of age-associated cortical thinning were associated with interregional gradients in the expression of genes associated with dendrites, dendritic spines, and myelin; the variance in thinning explained by the gene panels across different points ranged from 0.45% to 10.55% for the dendrite panel, 0.00% to 9.98% for the spine panel, and 0.19% to 26.39% for the myelin panel. These genes and their coexpression networks were enriched for genes associated with several psychiatric disorders. Conclusions and Relevance In this study, genetic similarity between interregional variation in cortical thinning during maturation and multiple psychiatric disorders suggests overlapping molecular underpinnings. This finding adds to the understanding of the neurodevelopmental mechanisms of psychiatric disorders.
Article
The North American Prodrome Longitudinal Study (NAPLS) is a consortium of nine programs focusing on youth at clinical high risk (CHR) for psychosis. Funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the sites are located at Emory University, Harvard University, University of Calgary, University of California at Los Angeles, at San Diego, and at San Francisco, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Yale University, and Zucker Hillside Hospital. There have been two previous endeavors completed by this consortium, known as NAPLS-1 and NAPLS-2. This paper first offers an overview of the methodology of the third phase of the NAPLS consortium, the second five-year prospective study NAPLS-3, which aims to determine mechanisms of the development of psychosis. In addition, we report on the ascertainment and demographics of the 710 CHR participants in NAPLS-3.
Article
Previous structural magnetic resonance imaging studies of psychotic disorders have demonstrated volumetric alterations in subcortical (ie, the basal ganglia, thalamus) and temporolimbic structures, which are involved in high-order cognition and emotional regulation. However, it remains unclear whether individuals at high risk for psychotic disorders with minimal confounding effects of medication exhibit volumetric changes in these regions. This multicenter magnetic resonance imaging study assessed regional volumes of the thalamus, caudate, putamen, nucleus accumbens, globus pallidus, hippocampus, and amygdala, as well as lateral ventricular volume using FreeSurfer software in 107 individuals with an at-risk mental state (ARMS) (of whom 21 [19.6%] later developed psychosis during clinical follow-up [mean = 4.9 years, SD = 2.6 years]) and 104 age- and gender-matched healthy controls recruited at 4 different sites. ARMS individuals as a whole demonstrated significantly larger volumes for the left caudate and bilateral lateral ventricles as well as a smaller volume for the right accumbens compared with controls. In male subjects only, the left globus pallidus was significantly larger in ARMS individuals. The ARMS group was also characterized by left-greater-than-right asymmetries of the lateral ventricle and caudate nucleus. There was no significant difference in the regional volumes between ARMS groups with and without later psychosis onset. The present study suggested that significant volume expansion of the lateral ventricle, caudate, and globus pallidus, as well as volume reduction of the accumbens, in ARMS subjects, which could not be explained only by medication effects, might be related to general vulnerability to psychopathology.
Article
Objective: 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11DS) is among the strongest known genetic risk factors for schizophrenia. Previous studies have reported variable alterations in subcortical brain structures in 22q11DS. To better characterize subcortical alterations in 22q11DS, including modulating effects of clinical and genetic heterogeneity, the authors studied a large multicenter neuroimaging cohort from the ENIGMA 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome Working Group. Methods: Subcortical structures were measured using harmonized protocols for gross volume and subcortical shape morphometry in 533 individuals with 22q11DS and 330 matched healthy control subjects (age range, 6-56 years; 49% female). Results: Compared with the control group, the 22q11DS group showed lower intracranial volume (ICV) and thalamus, putamen, hippocampus, and amygdala volumes and greater lateral ventricle, caudate, and accumbens volumes (Cohen's d values, -0.90 to 0.93). Shape analysis revealed complex differences in the 22q11DS group across all structures. The larger A-D deletion was associated with more extensive shape alterations compared with the smaller A-B deletion. Participants with 22q11DS with psychosis showed lower ICV and hippocampus, amygdala, and thalamus volumes (Cohen's d values, -0.91 to 0.53) compared with participants with 22q11DS without psychosis. Shape analysis revealed lower thickness and surface area across subregions of these structures. Compared with subcortical findings from other neuropsychiatric disorders studied by the ENIGMA consortium, significant convergence was observed between participants with 22q11DS with psychosis and participants with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Conclusions: In the largest neuroimaging study of 22q11DS to date, the authors found widespread alterations to subcortical brain structures, which were affected by deletion size and psychotic illness. Findings indicate significant overlap between 22q11DS-associated psychosis, idiopathic schizophrenia, and other severe neuropsychiatric illnesses.
Article
Objective: The 2-year risk of psychosis in persons who meet research criteria for a high-risk syndrome is about 15%-25%; improvements in risk prediction accuracy would benefit the development and implementation of preventive interventions. The authors sought to assess polygenic risk score (PRS) prediction of subsequent psychosis in persons at high risk and to determine the impact of adding the PRS to a previously validated psychosis risk calculator. Methods: Persons meeting research criteria for psychosis high risk (N=764) and unaffected individuals (N=279) were followed for up to 2 years. The PRS was based on the latest schizophrenia and bipolar genome-wide association studies. Variables in the psychosis risk calculator included stressful life events, trauma, disordered thought content, verbal learning, information processing speed, and family history of psychosis. Results: For Europeans, the PRS varied significantly by group and was higher in the psychosis converter group compared with both the nonconverter and unaffected groups, but was similar for the nonconverter group compared with the unaffected group. For non-Europeans, the PRS varied significantly by group; the difference between the converters and nonconverters was not significant, but the PRS was significantly higher in converters than in unaffected individuals, and it did not differ between nonconverters and unaffected individuals. The R2liability (R2 adjusted for the rate of disease risk in the population being studied, here assuming a 2-year psychosis risk between 10% and 30%) for Europeans varied between 9.2% and 12.3% and for non-Europeans between 3.5% and 4.8%. The amount of risk prediction information contributed by the addition of the PRS to the risk calculator was less than severity of disordered thoughts and similar to or greater than for other variables. For Europeans, the PRS was correlated with risk calculator variables of information processing speed and verbal memory. Conclusions: The PRS discriminates psychosis converters from nonconverters and modestly improves individualized psychosis risk prediction when added to a psychosis risk calculator. The schizophrenia PRS shows promise in enhancing risk prediction in persons at high risk for psychosis, although its potential utility is limited by poor performance in persons of non-European ancestry.
Article
Importance Social and occupational impairments contribute to the burden of psychosis and depression. There is a need for risk stratification tools to inform personalized functional-disability preventive strategies for individuals in at-risk and early phases of these illnesses. Objective To determine whether predictors associated with social and role functioning can be identified in patients in clinical high-risk (CHR) states for psychosis or with recent-onset depression (ROD) using clinical, imaging-based, and combined machine learning; assess the geographic, transdiagnostic, and prognostic generalizability of machine learning and compare it with human prognostication; and explore sequential prognosis encompassing clinical and combined machine learning. Design, Setting, and Participants This multisite naturalistic study followed up patients in CHR states, with ROD, and with recent-onset psychosis, and healthy control participants for 18 months in 7 academic early-recognition services in 5 European countries. Participants were recruited between February 2014 and May 2016, and data were analyzed from April 2017 to January 2018. ain Outcomes and Measures Performance and generalizability of prognostic models. Results A total of 116 individuals in CHR states (mean [SD] age, 24.0 [5.1] years; 58 [50.0%] female) and 120 patients with ROD (mean [SD] age, 26.1 [6.1] years; 65 [54.2%] female) were followed up for a mean (SD) of 329 (142) days. Machine learning predicted the 1-year social-functioning outcomes with a balanced accuracy of 76.9% of patients in CHR states and 66.2% of patients with ROD using clinical baseline data. Balanced accuracy in models using structural neuroimaging was 76.2% in patients in CHR states and 65.0% in patients with ROD, and in combined models, it was 82.7% for CHR states and 70.3% for ROD. Lower functioning before study entry was a transdiagnostic predictor. Medial prefrontal and temporo-parieto-occipital gray matter volume (GMV) reductions and cerebellar and dorsolateral prefrontal GMV increments had predictive value in the CHR group; reduced mediotemporal and increased prefrontal-perisylvian GMV had predictive value in patients with ROD. Poor prognoses were associated with increased risk of psychotic, depressive, and anxiety disorders at follow-up in patients in the CHR state but not ones with ROD. Machine learning outperformed expert prognostication. Adding neuroimaging machine learning to clinical machine learning provided a 1.9-fold increase of prognostic certainty in uncertain cases of patients in CHR states, and a 10.5-fold increase of prognostic certainty for patients with ROD. Conclusions and Relevance Precision medicine tools could augment effective therapeutic strategies aiming at the prevention of social functioning impairments in patients with CHR states or with ROD.
Book
This book describes an array of power tools for data analysis that are based on nonparametric regression and smoothing techniques. These methods relax the linear assumption of many standard models and allow analysts to uncover structure in the data that might otherwise have been missed. While McCullagh and Nelder's Generalized Linear Models shows how to extend the usual linear methodology to cover analysis of a range of data types, Generalized Additive Models enhances this methodology even further by incorporating the flexibility of nonparametric regression. Clear prose, exercises in each chapter, and case studies enhance this popular text.
Article
Abstract Objective: Brain imaging studies of structural abnormalities in OCD have yielded inconsistent results, partly because of limited statistical power, clinical heterogeneity, and methodological differences. The authors conducted meta- and mega-analyses comprising the largest study of cortical morphometry in OCD ever undertaken. Method: T1-weighted MRI scans of 1,905 OCD patients and 1,760 healthy controls from 27 sites worldwide were processed locally using FreeSurfer to assess cortical thickness and surface area. Effect sizes for differences between patients and controls, and associations with clinical characteristics, were calculated using linear regression models controlling for age, sex, site, and intracranial volume. Results: In adult OCD patients versus controls, we found a significantly lower surface area for the transverse temporal cortex and a thinner inferior parietal cortex. Medicated adult OCD patients also showed thinner cortices throughout the brain. In pediatric OCD patients compared with controls, we found significantly thinner inferior and superior parietal cortices, but none of the regions analyzed showed significant differences in surface area. However, medicated pediatric OCD patients had lower surface area in frontal regions. Cohen’s d effect sizes varied from −0.10 to −0.33. Conclusions: The parietal cortex was consistently implicated in both adults and children with OCD. More widespread cortical thickness abnormalities were found in medicated adult OCD patients, and more pronounced surface area deficits (mainly in frontal regions) were found in medicated pediatric OCD patients. These cortical measures represent distinct morphological features and may be differentially affected during different stages of development and illness, and possibly moderated by disease profile and medication.
Article
Higher frequencies of perceptual and lesser clinical significance of non-perceptual attenuated psychotic symptoms (APS) have been reported by 8- to 15-year-old of the general population compared to 16- to 40-year-old. We examined if such an age-effect can also be detected in a clinical never-psychotic sample (N = 133) referred to a specialized service for clinical suspicion of developing psychosis. APS and brief intermittent psychotic symptoms (BIPS) were assessed using items P1-P3 and P5 (non-perceptual), and P4 (perceptual) of the Structured Interview for Psychosis-Risk Syndromes, current axis-I disorders with the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview, and psychosocial functioning with the Social and Occupational Functioning Assessment Scale. In the sample, 64% reported APS (61%) or BIPS (7%); any perceptual APS/BIPS was reported by 43% and any non-perceptual APS/BIPS by 44%. In correspondence to the results in the general population sample, perceptual but not non-perceptual APS/BIPS were significantly more frequent in younger age groups below the age of 16 (8-12 years: odds ratio (OR) = 4.7 (1.1-19.5); 13-15 years: OR = 2.7 (0.9-7.7); 20-24-year-old as reference group). An age-effect of APS/BIPS on the presence of any current axis-I disorder (59%) or functional difficulties (67%) was not detected. However, when onset requirements of APS criteria (onset/worsening in past year) were met, the likelihood of a psychiatric diagnosis increased significantly with advancing age. Overall, the replicated age-effect on perceptual APS/BIPS in this clinical sample highlights the need to examine ways to distinguish clinically relevant perceptual APS/BIPS from perceptual aberrations likely remitting over the course of adolescence.
Article
Before we can assess and interpret how developmental changes in human brain structure relate to cognition, affect, and motivation, and how these processes are perturbed in clinical or at-risk populations, we must first precisely understand typical brain development and how changes in different structural components relate to each other. We conducted a multisample magnetic resonance imaging study to investigate the development of cortical volume, surface area, and thickness, as well as their inter-relationships, from late childhood to early adulthood (7–29 years) using four separate longitudinal samples including 388 participants and 854 total scans. These independent datasets were processed and quality-controlled using the same methods, but analyzed separately to study the replicability of the results across sample and image-acquisition characteristics. The results consistently showed widespread and regionally variable nonlinear decreases in cortical volume and thickness and comparably smaller steady decreases in surface area. Further, the dominant contributor to cortical volume reductions during adolescence was thinning. Finally, complex regional and topological patterns of associations between changes in surface area and thickness were observed. Positive relationships were seen in sulcal regions in prefrontal and temporal cortices, while negative relationships were seen mainly in gyral regions in more posterior cortices. Collectively, these results help resolve previous inconsistencies regarding the structural development of the cerebral cortex from childhood to adulthood, and provide novel insight into how changes in the different dimensions of the cortex in this period of life are inter-related. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Different measures of brain anatomy develop differently across adolescence. Their precise trajectories and how they relate to each other throughout development are important to know if we are to fully understand both typical development and disorders involving aberrant brain development. However, our understanding of such trajectories and relationships is still incomplete. To provide accurate characterizations of how different measures of cortical structure develop, we performed an MRI investigation across four independent datasets. The most profound anatomical change in the cortex during adolescence was thinning, with the largest decreases observed in the parietal lobe. There were complex regional patterns of associations between changes in surface area and thickness, with positive relationships seen in sulcal regions in prefrontal and temporal cortices, and negative relationships seen mainly in gyral regions in more posterior cortices.
Article
Background: Neuroimaging studies have shown structural alterations in several brain regions in children and adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Through the formation of the international ENIGMA ADHD Working Group, we aimed to address weaknesses of previous imaging studies and meta-analyses, namely inadequate sample size and methodological heterogeneity. We aimed to investigate whether there are structural differences in children and adults with ADHD compared with those without this diagnosis. Methods: In this cross-sectional mega-analysis, we used the data from the international ENIGMA Working Group collaboration, which in the present analysis was frozen at Feb 8, 2015. Individual sites analysed structural T1-weighted MRI brain scans with harmonised protocols of individuals with ADHD compared with those who do not have this diagnosis. Our primary outcome was to assess case-control differences in subcortical structures and intracranial volume through pooling of all individual data from all cohorts in this collaboration. For this analysis, p values were significant at the false discovery rate corrected threshold of p=0·0156. Findings: Our sample comprised 1713 participants with ADHD and 1529 controls from 23 sites with a median age of 14 years (range 4-63 years). The volumes of the accumbens (Cohen's d=-0·15), amygdala (d=-0·19), caudate (d=-0·11), hippocampus (d=-0·11), putamen (d=-0·14), and intracranial volume (d=-0·10) were smaller in individuals with ADHD compared with controls in the mega-analysis. There was no difference in volume size in the pallidum (p=0·95) and thalamus (p=0·39) between people with ADHD and controls. Exploratory lifespan modelling suggested a delay of maturation and a delay of degeneration, as effect sizes were highest in most subgroups of children (<15 years) versus adults (>21 years): in the accumbens (Cohen's d=-0·19 vs -0·10), amygdala (d=-0·18 vs -0·14), caudate (d=-0·13 vs -0·07), hippocampus (d=-0·12 vs -0·06), putamen (d=-0·18 vs -0·08), and intracranial volume (d=-0·14 vs 0·01). There was no difference between children and adults for the pallidum (p=0·79) or thalamus (p=0·89). Case-control differences in adults were non-significant (all p>0·03). Psychostimulant medication use (all p>0·15) or symptom scores (all p>0·02) did not influence results, nor did the presence of comorbid psychiatric disorders (all p>0·5). Interpretation: With the largest dataset to date, we add new knowledge about bilateral amygdala, accumbens, and hippocampus reductions in ADHD. We extend the brain maturation delay theory for ADHD to include subcortical structures and refute medication effects on brain volume suggested by earlier meta-analyses. Lifespan analyses suggest that, in the absence of well powered longitudinal studies, the ENIGMA cross-sectional sample across six decades of ages provides a means to generate hypotheses about lifespan trajectories in brain phenotypes. Funding: National Institutes of Health.
Article
Background: Connectivity between the amygdala and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) is compromised in multiple psychiatric disorders, many of which emerge during adolescence. To identify to what extent the deviations in amygdala-vmPFC maturation contribute to the onset of psychiatric disorders, it is essential to characterize amygdala-vmPFC connectivity changes during typical development. Methods: Using an accelerated cohort longitudinal design (1-3 time points, 10-25 years old, n = 246), we characterized developmental changes of the amygdala-vmPFC subregion functional and structural connectivity using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging and diffusion-weighted imaging. Results: Functional connectivity between the centromedial amygdala and rostral anterior cingulate cortex (rACC), anterior vmPFC, and subgenual cingulate significantly decreased from late childhood to early adulthood in male and female subjects. Age-associated decreases were also observed between the basolateral amygdala and the rACC. Importantly, these findings were replicated in a separate cohort (10-22 years old, n = 327). Similarly, structural connectivity, as measured by quantitative anisotropy, significantly decreased with age in the same regions. Functional connectivity between the centromedial amygdala and the rACC was associated with structural connectivity in these same regions during early adulthood (22-25 years old). Finally, a novel time-varying coefficient analysis showed that increased centromedial amygdala-rACC functional connectivity was associated with greater anxiety and depression symptoms during early adulthood, while increased structural connectivity in centromedial amygdala-anterior vmPFC white matter was associated with greater anxiety/depression during late childhood. Conclusions: Specific developmental periods of functional and structural connectivity between the amygdala and the prefrontal systems may contribute to the emergence of anxiety and depressive symptoms and may play a critical role in the emergence of psychiatric disorders in adolescence.
Article
Background: Patients at ultra-high risk for psychosis (UHR) are a highly heterogeneous group in terms of clinical and functional outcomes. Several non-psychotic mental disorders co-occur together with the UHR state. Little is known about the impact of non-psychotic comorbid mental disorders on clinical and functional outcomes of UHR patients. Methods: The sample included 154 UHR help-seeking patients (identified with the CAARMS, comprehensive assessment of the at-risk mental state), evaluated at baseline on the Ham-D, Ham-A (Hamilton depression/anxiety rating scale), and PANSS (positive and negative syndrome scale). 74 patients completed the 6-year follow-up assessment (mean=6.19, SD=1.87). Comorbid disorders at follow-up were assessed with the SCID I and II. Global functioning was rated on the global assessment of functioning (GAF) scale. Results: In the present sample, 6-year risk of psychosis transition was 28.4%. Among non-transitioned UHR patients, 28.3% reported attenuated psychotic symptoms (APS) and 45.3% remained functionally impaired at follow-up (GAF<60). 56.8% patients were affected by at least one comorbid disorder at follow-up. Among UHR patients who presented with some comorbid disorder at baseline, 61.5% had persistent or recurrent course. Incident comorbid disorders emerged in 45.4% of baseline UHR patients. The persistence or recurrence of non-psychotic comorbid mental disorders was associated with poorer global functional outcomes at follow-up. Limitations: A substantial proportion of the initial sample was not available for follow-up interviews and some groups in the analyses had small sample size. Predictors of longitudinal outcomes were not explored. Conclusions: Among UHR patients, persistence or recurrence of non-psychotic comorbid mental disorders, mostly affective disorders, is associated with 6-year poor functional outcomes.
Article
What we know about cortical development during adolescence largely stems from analyses of cross-sectional or cohort-sequential samples, with few studies investigating brain development using a longitudinal design. Further, cortical volume is a product of two evolutionarily and genetically distinct features of the cortex - thickness and surface area, and few studies have investigated development of these three characteristics within the same sample. The current study examined maturation of cortical thickness, surface area and volume during adolescence, as well as sex differences in development, using a mixed longitudinal design. 192 MRI scans were obtained from 90 healthy (i.e., free from lifetime psychopathology) adolescents (11-20 years) at three time points (with different MRI scanners used at time 1 compared to 2 and 3). Developmental trajectories were estimated using linear mixed models. Non-linear increases were present across most of the cortex for surface area. In comparison, thickness and volume were both characterised by a combination of non-linear decreasing and increasing trajectories. While sex differences in volume and surface area were observed across time, no differences in thickness were identified. Furthermore, few regions exhibited sex differences in the cortical development. Our findings clearly illustrate that volume is a product of surface area and thickness, with each exhibiting differential patterns of development during adolescence, particularly in regions known to contribute to the development of social-cognition and behavioral regulation. These findings suggest that thickness and surface area may be driven by different underlying mechanisms, with each measure potentially providing independent information about brain development. Hum Brain Mapp, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Article
Background: The attenuated positive symptoms syndrome (APSS) is considered an at-risk indicator for psychosis. However, the characteristics and developmental aspects of the combined or enriched risk criteria of APSS and basic symptom (BS) criteria, including self-experienced cognitive disturbances (COGDIS) remain under-researched. Method: Based on the Structured Interview of Prodromal Syndromes (SIPS), the prevalence of APSS in 13- to 35-year-old individuals seeking help in an early recognition program for schizophrenia and bipolar-spectrum disorders was examined. BS criteria and COGDIS were rated using the Schizophrenia Proneness Instrument for Adults/Children and Youth. Participants meeting APSS criteria were compared with participants meeting only BS criteria across multiple characteristics. Co-occurrence (APSS+/BS+, APSS+/COGDIS+) was compared across 13-17, 18-22 and 23-35 years age groups. Results: Of 175 individuals (age = 20.6 ± 5.8, female = 38.3%), 94 (53.7%) met APSS criteria. Compared to BS, APSS status was associated with suicidality, higher illness severity, lower functioning, higher SIPS positive, negative, disorganized and general symptoms scores, depression scores and younger age (18.3 ± 5.0 v. 23.2 ± 5.6 years, p < 0.0001) with age-related differences in the prevalence of APSS (ranging from 80.3% in 13- to 17-year-olds to 33.3% in 23- to 35-year-olds (odds ratio 0.21, 95% confidence interval 0.11-0.37). Within APSS+ individuals, fewer adolescents fulfilled combined risk criteria of APSS+/BS+ or APSS+/COGDIS+ compared to the older age groups. Conclusions: APSS status was associated with greater suicidality and illness/psychophathology severity in this help-seeking cohort, emphasizing the need for clinical care. The age-related differences in the prevalence of APSS and the increasing proportion of APSS+/COGDIS+ may point to a higher proportion of non-specific/transient, rather than risk-specific attenuated positive symptoms in adolescents.
Article
Early detection of psychosis is an important topic in psychiatry. Yet, there is limited information on the prevalence and clinical significance of high-risk symptoms in children and adolescents as compared to adults. We examined ultra-high-risk (UHR) symptoms and criteria in a sample of individuals aged 8-40 years from the general population of Canton Bern, Switzerland, enrolled from June 2011 to May 2014. The current presence of attenuated psychotic symptoms (APS) and brief intermittent psychotic symptoms (BLIPS) and the fulfillment of onset/worsening and frequency requirements for these symptoms in UHR criteria were assessed using the Structured Interview for Psychosis Risk Syndromes. Additionally, perceptive and non-perceptive APS were differentiated. Psychosocial functioning and current non-psychotic DSM-IV axis I disorders were also surveyed. Well-trained psychologists performed assessments. Altogether, 9.9% of subjects reported APS and none BLIPS, and 1.3% met all the UHR requirements for APS. APS were related to more current axis I disorders and impaired psychosocial functioning, indicating some clinical significance. A strong age effect was detected around age 16: compared to older individuals, 8-15-year olds reported more perceptive APS, that is, unusual perceptual experiences and attenuated hallucinations. Perceptive APS were generally less related to functional impairment, regardless of age. Conversely, non-perceptive APS were related to low functioning, although this relationship was weaker in those below age 16. Future studies should address the differential effects of perceptive and non-perceptive APS, and their interaction with age, also in terms of conversion to psychosis. © 2015 World Psychiatric Association.
Article
Background: Individuals at clinical high risk (CHR) who progress to fully psychotic symptoms have been observed to show a steeper rate of cortical gray matter reduction compared with individuals without symptomatic progression and with healthy control subjects. Whether such changes reflect processes associated with the pathophysiology of schizophrenia or exposure to antipsychotic drugs is unknown. Methods: In this multisite study, 274 CHR cases, including 35 individuals who converted to psychosis, and 135 healthy comparison subjects were scanned with magnetic resonance imaging at baseline, 12-month follow-up, or the point of conversion for the subjects who developed fully psychotic symptoms. Results: In a traveling subjects substudy, excellent reliability was observed for measures of cortical thickness and subcortical volumes. Controlling for multiple comparisons throughout the brain, CHR subjects who converted to psychosis showed a steeper rate of gray matter loss in the right superior frontal, middle frontal, and medial orbitofrontal cortical regions as well as a greater rate of expansion of the third ventricle compared with CHR subjects who did not convert to psychosis and healthy control subjects. Differential tissue loss was present in subjects who had not received antipsychotic medications during the interscan interval and was predicted by baseline levels of an aggregate measure of proinflammatory cytokines in plasma. Conclusions: These findings demonstrate that the brain changes are not explained by exposure to antipsychotic drugs but likely play a role in psychosis pathophysiology. Given that the cortical changes were more pronounced in subjects with briefer durations of prodromal symptoms, contributing factors may predominantly play a role in acute-onset forms of psychosis.
Article
Recent evidence suggests that transition risks from initial clinical high risk (CHR) status to psychosis are decreasing. The role played by remission in this context is mostly unknown. The present study addresses this issue by means of a meta-analysis including eight relevant studies published up to January 2012 that reported remission rates from an initial CHR status. The primary effect size measure was the longitudinal proportion of remissions compared to non-remission in subjects with a baseline CHR state. Random effect models were employed to address the high heterogeneity across studies included. To assess the robustness of the results, we performed sensitivity analyses by sequentially removing each study and rerunning the analysis. Of 773 subjects who met initial CHR criteria, 73% did not convert to psychosis along a 2-year follow. Of these, about 46% fully remitted from the baseline attenuated psychotic symptoms, as evaluated on the psychometric measures usually employed by prodromal services. The corresponding clinical remission was estimated as high as 35% of the baseline CHR sample. The CHR state is associated with a significant proportion of remitting subjects that can be accounted by the effective treatments received, a lead time bias, a dilution effect, a comorbid effect of other psychiatric diagnoses.
Article
Introduction: The hippocampal formation has been studied extensively in schizophrenic psychoses and alterations in hippocampal anatomy have been consistently reported. Chronic schizophrenia seems to be associated with bilateral hippocampal volume (HV) reduction, while in patients with an at-risk mental state (ARMS) there are contradictory results. This is the first region of interest (ROI) based follow-up MRI study of hippocampal volume comparing ARMS individuals with and without transition to psychosis. The aim was to investigate the timing of HV changes in ARMS in the early phase of psychosis. Methods: Magnetic resonance imaging data from 18 antipsychotic-naïve individuals with an ARMS were collected within the FePsy-clinic for early detection of psychoses. During follow-up 8 subjects transitioned to psychosis (ARMS-T) and 10 did not (ARMS-NT). Subjects were re-scanned after the onset of psychosis or at the end of the follow-up if they did not develop psychosis. Results: Across both groups there was a significant decrease in HV over time (p<0.05). There was no significant difference in progression between ARMS-T and ARMS-NT. Antipsychotic medication at follow up was associated with increased HV (p<0.05). Conclusions: We found a decrease of HV over time in subjects with an ARMS, independently of clinical outcome. We may speculate that the decrease of HV over time might reflect brain degeneration processes.
Article
The North American Prodrome Longitudinal Study (NAPLS) is a consortium of eight programs focusing on the psychosis prodrome. Funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the sites are located at Emory University, Harvard University, University of Calgary, UCLA, UCSD, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Yale University, and Zucker Hillside Hospital. Although the programs initially developed independently, they previously collaborated to combine their historical datasets and to produce a series of analyses on predictors of psychosis in one of the largest samples of longitudinally followed prodromal subjects worldwide. This led to the development of a five year prospective study "Predictors and Mechanisms of Conversion to Psychosis", (also known as NAPLS-2) with three major aims: (1) to prospectively test the prediction algorithm developed in NAPLS-1, (2) to investigate the neuroanatomical, neurophysiological, neurocognitive, and neurohormonal factors that may contribute to the development of psychosis, and (3) to develop a repository of DNA, RNA, and plasma from participants meeting diagnostic criteria for a clinical high risk (CHR) state and from demographically similar healthy subjects. Funded by NIMH in 2008, NAPLS-2 will generate the largest CHR for psychosis sample with 720 CHR and 240 healthy comparison subjects, and thus will provide statistical power and scientific scope that cannot be duplicated by any single site study. This paper describes the overall methodology of the NAPLS-2 project and reports on the ascertainment and demographics at the midway point of the study with (360 CHR) and 180 controls.
Article
This article describes flexible statistical methods that may be used to identify and characterize nonlinear regression effects. These methods are called "generalized additive models". For example, a commonly used statistical model in medical research is the logistic regression model for binary data. Here we relate the mean of the binary response ¯ = P (y = 1) to the predictors via a linear regression model and the logit link function: log
Article
It remains unclear whether brain structural abnormalities observed before the onset of psychosis are specific to schizophrenia or are common to all psychotic disorders. This study aimed to measure regional gray matter volume prior to the onset of schizophreniform and of affective psychoses. We investigated 102 subjects at ultrahigh risk (UHR) of developing psychosis recruited from the Personal Assessment and Crisis Evaluation Clinic in Melbourne, Australia. Twenty-eight of these subjects developed psychosis subsequent to scanning: 19 schizophrenia, 7 affective psychoses, and 2 other psychoses. We examined regional gray matter volume using 1.5 mm thick, coronal, 1.5 Tesla magnetic resonance imaging and voxel-based morphometry methods of image analysis. Subjects were scanned at presentation and were followed up clinically for a minimum of 12 months, to detect later transition to psychosis. We found that both groups of subjects who subsequently developed psychosis (schizophrenia and affective psychosis) showed reductions in the frontal cortex relative to UHR subjects who did not develop psychosis. The subgroup that subsequently developed schizophrenia also showed smaller volumes in the parietal cortex and, at trend level, in the temporal cortex, whereas those who developed an affective psychosis had significantly smaller subgenual cingulate volumes. These preliminary findings suggest that volumetric abnormalities in UHR individuals developing schizophrenia vs affective psychoses comprise a combination of features that predate both disorders and others that may be specific to the nature of the subsequent disorder.
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Identification of individuals at high risk of developing psychosis has relied on prodromal symptomatology. Recently, machine learning algorithms have been successfully used for magnetic resonance imaging-based diagnostic classification of neuropsychiatric patient populations. To determine whether multivariate neuroanatomical pattern classification facilitates identification of individuals in different at-risk mental states (ARMS) of psychosis and enables the prediction of disease transition at the individual level. Multivariate neuroanatomical pattern classification was performed on the structural magnetic resonance imaging data of individuals in early or late ARMS vs healthy controls (HCs). The predictive power of the method was then evaluated by categorizing the baseline imaging data of individuals with transition to psychosis vs those without transition vs HCs after 4 years of clinical follow-up. Classification generalizability was estimated by cross-validation and by categorizing an independent cohort of 45 new HCs. Departments of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany. The first classification analysis included 20 early and 25 late at-risk individuals and 25 matched HCs. The second analysis consisted of 15 individuals with transition, 18 without transition, and 17 matched HCs. Specificity, sensitivity, and accuracy of classification. The 3-group, cross-validated classification accuracies of the first analysis were 86% (HCs vs the rest), 91% (early at-risk individuals vs the rest), and 86% (late at-risk individuals vs the rest). The accuracies in the second analysis were 90% (HCs vs the rest), 88% (individuals with transition vs the rest), and 86% (individuals without transition vs the rest). Independent HCs were correctly classified in 96% (first analysis) and 93% (second analysis) of cases. Different ARMSs and their clinical outcomes may be reliably identified on an individual basis by assessing patterns of whole-brain neuroanatomical abnormalities. These patterns may serve as valuable biomarkers for the clinician to guide early detection in the prodromal phase of psychosis.
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The onset of psychosis is thought to be preceded by neurodevelopmental changes in the brain. However, the timing of these changes has not been established. We investigated structural brain changes in a sample of young adolescents (12-18 years) at ultra high-risk for psychosis (UHR). Structural MRI data from young UHR subjects (n=54) and typically developing, matched controls (n=54) were acquired with a 1.5 Tesla scanner and compared. None of the measures differed between UHR subjects and controls. Our results do not support the presence of gross neuroanatomical changes in young UHR subjects. This suggests that early changes are too subtle to detect with conventional imaging techniques. Therefore, changes observed in older cohorts may only onset later developmentally or occur secondary to prodromal symptoms.