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Global and regional cortical thinning in first-episode psychosis patients: relationships with clinical and cognitive features

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 October 2010

B. Crespo-Facorro
Affiliation:
University Hospital Marqués de Valdecilla, CIBERSAM, IFIMAV, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of Cantabria, Santander, Spain
R. Roiz-Santiáñez
Affiliation:
University Hospital Marqués de Valdecilla, CIBERSAM, IFIMAV, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of Cantabria, Santander, Spain
R. Pérez-Iglesias
Affiliation:
University Hospital Marqués de Valdecilla, CIBERSAM, IFIMAV, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of Cantabria, Santander, Spain
J. M. Rodriguez-Sanchez
Affiliation:
University Hospital Marqués de Valdecilla, CIBERSAM, IFIMAV, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of Cantabria, Santander, Spain
I. Mata
Affiliation:
University Hospital Marqués de Valdecilla, CIBERSAM, IFIMAV, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of Cantabria, Santander, Spain
D. Tordesillas-Gutierrez
Affiliation:
University Hospital Marqués de Valdecilla, CIBERSAM, IFIMAV, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of Cantabria, Santander, Spain
E. Sanchez
Affiliation:
University Hospital Marqués de Valdecilla, Department of Neuroradiology, Santander, Spain
R. Tabarés-Seisdedos
Affiliation:
Teaching Unit of Psychiatry and Psychological Medicine, CIBERSAM, Department of Medicine, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain
N. Andreasen
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, University of Iowa, Iowa City, USA
V. Magnotta
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, University of Iowa, Iowa City, USA Department of Radiology, Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, University of Iowa, Iowa City, USA Department of Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Iowa, Iowa City, USA
J. L. Vázquez-Barquero
Affiliation:
University Hospital Marqués de Valdecilla, CIBERSAM, IFIMAV, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of Cantabria, Santander, Spain
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

Background

The thickness of the cortical mantle is a sensitive measure for identifying alterations in cortical structure. We aimed to explore whether first episode schizophrenia patients already show a significant cortical thinning and whether cortical thickness anomalies may significantly influence clinical and cognitive features.

Method

We investigated regional changes in cortical thickness in a large and heterogeneous sample of schizophrenia spectrum patients (n=142) at their first break of the illness and healthy controls (n=83). Magnetic resonance imaging brain scans (1.5 T) were obtained and images were analyzed by using brains2. The contribution of sociodemographic, cognitive and clinical characterictics was investigated.

Results

Patients showed a significant total cortical thinning (F=17.55, d=−0.62, p<0.001) and there was a diffuse pattern of reduced thickness (encompassing frontal, temporal and parietal cortices) (all p's<0.001, d's>0.53). No significant group×gender interactions were observed (all p's>0.15). There were no significant associations between the clinical and pre-morbid variables and cortical thickness measurements (all r's<0.12). A weak significant negative correlation between attention and total (r=−0.24, p=0.021) and parietal cortical thickness (r=−0.27, p=0.009) was found in patients (thicker cortex was associated with lower attention). Our data revealed a similar pattern of cortical thickness changes related to age in patients and controls.

Conclusions

Cortical thinning is independent of gender, age, age of onset and duration of the illness and does not seem to significantly influence clinical and functional symptomatology. These findings support a primary neurodevelopment disorder affecting the normal cerebral cortex development in schizophrenia.

Type
Original Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2010

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