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Schizophrenia is a severely debilitating psychiatric disorder with high heritability and polygenic architecture. A higher polygenic risk score for schizophrenia (SzPRS) has been associated with smaller gray matter volume, lower activation, and decreased functional connectivity (FC). However, the effect of polygenic inheritance on the brain white matter microstructure has only been sparsely reported.
Eighty-four patients with first-episode schizophrenia (FES) patients and ninety-three healthy controls (HC) with genetics, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) data were included in our study. We investigated impaired white matter integrity as measured by fractional anisotropy (FA) in the FES group, further examined the effect of SzPRS on white matter FA and FC in the regions connected by SzPRS-related white matter tracts.
Decreased FA was observed in FES in many commonly identified regions. Among these regions, we observed that in the FES group, but not the HC group, SzPRS was negatively associated with the mean FA in the genu and body of corpus callosum, right anterior corona radiata, and right superior corona radiata. Higher SzPRS was also associated with lower FCs between the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG)–left inferior temporal gyrus (ITG), right IFG–left ITG, right IFG–left middle frontal gyrus (MFG), and right IFG–right MFG in the FES group.
Higher polygenic risks are linked with disrupted white matter integrity and FC in patients with schizophrenia. These correlations are strongly driven by the interhemispheric callosal fibers and the connections between frontotemporal regions.
Antipsychotics are widely used for treating patients with psychosis, and target threshold psychotic symptoms. Individuals at clinical high risk (CHR) for psychosis are characterized by subthreshold psychotic symptoms. It is currently unclear who might benefit from antipsychotic treatment. Our objective was to apply a risk calculator (RC) to identify people that would benefit from antipsychotics.
Drawing on 400 CHR individuals recruited between 2011 and 2016, 208 individuals who received antipsychotic treatment were included. Clinical and cognitive variables were entered into an individualized RC for psychosis; personal risk was estimated and 4 risk components (negative symptoms-RC-NS, general function-RC-GF, cognitive performance-RC-CP, and positive symptoms-RC-PS) were constructed. The sample was further stratified according to the risk level. Higher risk was defined based on the estimated risk score (20% or higher).
In total, 208 CHR individuals received daily antipsychotic treatment of an olanzapine-equivalent dose of 8.7 mg with a mean administration duration of 58.4 weeks. Of these, 39 (18.8%) developed psychosis within 2 years. A new index of factors ratio (FR), which was derived from the ratio of RC-PS plus RC-GF to RC-NS plus RC-CP, was generated. In the higher-risk group, as FR increased, the conversion rate decreased. A small group (15%) of CHR individuals at higher-risk and an FR >1 benefitted from the antipsychotic treatment.
Through applying a personal risk assessment, the administration of antipsychotics should be limited to CHR individuals with predominantly positive symptoms and related function decline. A strict antipsychotic prescription strategy should be introduced to reduce inappropriate use.
Age effects may be important for improving models for the prediction of conversion to psychosis for individuals in the clinical high risk (CHR) state. This study aimed to explore whether adolescent CHR individuals (ages 9–17 years) differ significantly from adult CHR individuals (ages 18–45 years) in terms of conversion rates and predictors.
Consecutive CHR individuals (N = 517) were assessed for demographic and clinical characteristics and followed up for 3 years. Individuals with CHR were classified as adolescent (n = 244) or adult (n = 273) groups. Age-specific prediction models of psychosis were generated separately using Cox regression.
Similar conversion rates were found between age groups; 52 out of 216 (24.1%) adolescent CHR individuals and 55 out of 219 (25.1%) CHR adults converted to psychosis. The conversion outcome was best predicted by negative symptoms compared to other clinical variables in CHR adolescents (χ2 = 7.410, p = 0.006). In contrast, positive symptoms better predicted conversion in CHR adults (χ2 = 6.585, p = 0.01).
Adolescent and adult CHR individuals may require a different approach to early identification and prediction. These results can inform the development of more precise prediction models based on age-specific approaches.
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