Cortical thinning and caudate abnormalities in first episode psychosis and their association with clinical outcome.
Elliott, Mark A.
Cannon, Dara M.
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Scanlon C, Anderson-Schmidt H, Kilmartin L, McInerney S, Kenney J, McFarland J, Waldron M, Ambati S, Fullard A, Logan S, Hallahan B, Barker GJ, Elliott MA, McCarthy P, Cannon DM, McDonald C (2014) 'Cortical thinning and caudate abnormalities in first episode psychosis and their association with clinical outcome'. Schizophrenia Research, .
First episode psychosis (FEP) has been associated with structural brain changes, largely identified by volumetric analyses. Advances in neuroimaging processing have made it possible to measure geometric properties that may identify subtle structural changes not appreciated by a measure of volume alone. In this study we adopt complementary methods of assessing the structural integrity of grey matter in FEP patients and assess whether these relate to patient clinical and functional outcome at 3year follow-up. 1.5Tesla T1-weighted Magnetic Resonance (MR) images were acquired for 46 patients experiencing their first episode of psychosis and 46 healthy controls. Cerebral cortical thickness and local gyrification index (LGI) were investigated using FreeSurfer software. Volume and shape of the hippocampus, caudate and lateral ventricles were assessed using manual tracing and spherical harmonics applied for shape description. A cluster of cortical thinning was identified in FEP compared to controls; this was located in the right superior temporal gyrus, sulcus, extended into the middle temporal gyrus (lateral temporal cortex - LTC). Bilateral caudate volumes were significantly lower in FEP relative to controls and the right caudate also displayed regions of shape deflation in the FEP group. No significant structural abnormalities were identified in cortical LGI or hippocampal or lateral ventricle volume/shape. Neither LTC nor caudate abnormalities were related to change in symptom severity or global functioning 3years later. LTC and caudate abnormalities are present at the first episode of psychosis but do not appear to directly affect clinical or functional outcome.