Cortical Thickness Reduction in Individuals at Ultra-High-Risk for Psychosis
Although schizophrenia is characterized by gray matter (GM) abnormalities, particularly in the prefrontal and temporal cortices, it is unclear whether cerebral cortical GM is abnormal in individuals at ultra-high-risk (UHR) for psychosis. We addressed this issue by studying cortical thickness in this group with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). We measured cortical thickness of 29 individuals with no family history of psychosis at UHR, 31 patients with schizophrenia, and 29 healthy matched
... ol subjects using automated surface-based analysis of structural MRI data. Hemispheric mean and regional cortical thickness were significantly different according to the stage of the disease. Significant cortical differences across these 3 groups were found in the distributed area of cerebral cortices. UHR group showed significant cortical thinning in the prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex, inferior parietal cortex, parahippocampal cortex, and superior temporal gyrus compared with healthy control subjects. Significant cortical thinning in schizophrenia group relative to UHR group was found in all the regions described above in addition with posterior cingulate cortex, insular cortex, and precentral cortex. These changes were more pronounced in the schizophrenia group compared with the control subjects. These findings suggest that UHR is associated with cortical thinning in regions that correspond to the structural abnormalities found in schizophrenia. These structural abnormalities might reflect functional decline at the prodromal stage of schizophrenia, and there may be progressive thinning of GM cortex over time.