Structural brain abnormalities have been described in individuals with an
at-risk mental state for psychosis. However, the neuroanatomical
underpinnings of the early and late at-risk mental state relative to
clinical outcome remain unclear.
To investigate grey matter volume abnormalities in participants in a
putatively early or late at-risk mental state relative to their
prospective clinical outcome.
Voxel-based morphometry of magnetic resonance imaging data from 20 people
with a putatively early at-risk mental state (ARMS–E group) and 26 people
with a late at-risk mental state (ARMS–L group) as well as from 15
participants with at-risk mental states with subsequent disease
transition (ARMS–T group) and 18 participants without subsequent disease
transition (ARMS–NT group) were compared with 75 healthy volunteers.
Compared with healthy controls, ARMS–L participants had grey matter
volume losses in frontotemporolimbic structures. Participants in the
ARMS–E group showed bilateral temporolimbic alterations and subtle
prefrontal abnormalities. Participants in the ARMS–T group had prefrontal
alterations relative to those in the ARMS–NT group and in the healthy
controls that overlapped with the findings in the ARMS–L group.
Brain alterations associated with the early at-risk mental state may
relate to an elevated susceptibility to psychosis, whereas alterations
underlying the late at-risk mental state may indicate a subsequent
transition to psychosis.