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Pituitary enlargement has been reported in individuals with schizophrenic psychosis or an at-risk mental state for psychosis (ARMS). In a previous study, our group could show pituitary volume increase in first episode and ARMS patients with later transition to psychosis (ARMS-T). However, there are no longitudinal studies on this issue so far. We therefore examined longitudinally whether transition to psychosis would be accompanied by a further increase of pituitary volume in antipsychotic-naïve ARMS patients.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data were acquired from 23 antipsychotic-naïve individuals with an ARMS. Ten subjects developed psychosis (ARMS-T) and 13 did not (ARMS-NT). ARMS-T were re-scanned after the onset of psychosis, and ARMS-NT were re-scanned at the end of the study period.
There was no significant difference of the pituitary volume between ARMS-T and ARMS-NT in our sample, and there were no significant pituitary volume changes over time.
Longitudinally, we could not detect any further volumetric changes in the pituitary volume with transition to psychosis.
This, together with the result of our previous study, could indicate that the perceived level of stress in ARMS patients is constantly high from very early onward.
Neuroanatomical abnormalities are a well-established feature of
schizophrenia. However, the timing of their emergence and the extent to
which they are related to vulnerability to the disorder as opposed to
psychotic illness itself is unclear
To assess regional grey matter volume in the at-risk individuals who
subsequently developed psychosis
Magnetic resonance imaging data from at-risk individuals who developed
psychosis (n = 12) within the following 25 months were
compared with data from healthy volunteers (n=22) and
people with first-episode psychosis (n=25)
Compared with healthy volunteers, individuals who subsequently developed
psychosis had smaller grey matter volume in the posterior cingulate
gyrus, precuneus, and paracentral lobule bilaterally and in the left
superior parietal lobule, and greater grey matter volume in a left
parietal/posterior temporal region. Compared with first-episode patients,
they had relatively greater grey matter volume in the temporal gyrus
bilaterally and smaller grey matter volume in the right lentiform
Some of the structural brain abnormalities in individuals with an at-risk
mental state may be related to an increased vulnerability to psychosis,
while others are associated with the development of a psychotic
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