PurposePsychosis is a symptom common to several mental illnesses and a defining feature of schizophrenia spectrum disorders, whose onset typically occurs in adolescence. Neuroradiological studies have reported evidence of brain structural abnormalities in patients with overt psychosis. However, early identification of brain structural changes in young subjects at risk for developing psychosis (such as those with Attenuated Psychosis Syndrome -APS) is currently lacking.MethodsBrain 3D T-1-weighted and 64 directions diffusion-weighted images were acquired on 55 help-seeking adolescents (12-17 years old) with psychiatric disorders who referred to our Institute. Patients were divided into three groups: non-APS (n = 20), APS (n = 20), and Early-Onset Psychosis (n = 15). Cortical thickness was calculated from T(1)w images, and Tract-Based Spatial Statistics analysis was performed to study the distribution of white matter fractional anisotropy and all diffusivity metrics. A thorough neuropsychological test battery was adopted to investigate cognitive performance in several domains.ResultsIn patients with Attenuated Psychotic Syndrome, the left superior frontal gyrus was significantly thinner compared to patients with non-APS (p = 0.048), and their right medial orbitofrontal cortex thickness was associated with lower working memory scores (p = 0.0025, r = -0.668 for the working memory index and p = 0.001, r = -0.738 for the digit span). Early-Onset Psychosis patients showed thinner left pars triangularis compared to non-APS individuals (p = 0.024), and their left pars orbitalis was associated with impaired performance at the symbol search test (p = 0.005, r = -0.726). No differences in diffusivity along main tracts were found between sub-groups (p > 0.05).ConclusionThis study showed specific associations between structural imaging features and cognitive performance in patients with APS. Characterizing this disorder using neuroimaging could reveal useful information that may aid in the development and evaluation of preventive strategies in these individuals.

Magnetic resonance advanced imaging analysis in adolescents: cortical thickness study to identify attenuated psychosis syndrome

Melazzini, Luca;Mazzocchi, Laura;Paredes, Alexandra;Mensi, Martina M;Ballante, Elena;Paoletti, Matteo;Bastianello, Stefano;Balottin, Umberto;Borgatti, Renato;Pichiecchio, Anna
2023-01-01

Abstract

PurposePsychosis is a symptom common to several mental illnesses and a defining feature of schizophrenia spectrum disorders, whose onset typically occurs in adolescence. Neuroradiological studies have reported evidence of brain structural abnormalities in patients with overt psychosis. However, early identification of brain structural changes in young subjects at risk for developing psychosis (such as those with Attenuated Psychosis Syndrome -APS) is currently lacking.MethodsBrain 3D T-1-weighted and 64 directions diffusion-weighted images were acquired on 55 help-seeking adolescents (12-17 years old) with psychiatric disorders who referred to our Institute. Patients were divided into three groups: non-APS (n = 20), APS (n = 20), and Early-Onset Psychosis (n = 15). Cortical thickness was calculated from T(1)w images, and Tract-Based Spatial Statistics analysis was performed to study the distribution of white matter fractional anisotropy and all diffusivity metrics. A thorough neuropsychological test battery was adopted to investigate cognitive performance in several domains.ResultsIn patients with Attenuated Psychotic Syndrome, the left superior frontal gyrus was significantly thinner compared to patients with non-APS (p = 0.048), and their right medial orbitofrontal cortex thickness was associated with lower working memory scores (p = 0.0025, r = -0.668 for the working memory index and p = 0.001, r = -0.738 for the digit span). Early-Onset Psychosis patients showed thinner left pars triangularis compared to non-APS individuals (p = 0.024), and their left pars orbitalis was associated with impaired performance at the symbol search test (p = 0.005, r = -0.726). No differences in diffusivity along main tracts were found between sub-groups (p > 0.05).ConclusionThis study showed specific associations between structural imaging features and cognitive performance in patients with APS. Characterizing this disorder using neuroimaging could reveal useful information that may aid in the development and evaluation of preventive strategies in these individuals.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11571/1482171
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