Intracranial and subcortical volumes in adolescents with early-onset psychosis: A multisite mega-analysis from the ENIGMA consortium

For the ENIGMA-EOP Working Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Early-onset psychosis disorders are serious mental disorders arising before the age of 18 years. Here, we investigate the largest neuroimaging dataset, to date, of patients with early-onset psychosis and healthy controls for differences in intracranial and subcortical brain volumes. The sample included 263 patients with early-onset psychosis (mean age: 16.4 ± 1.4 years, mean illness duration: 1.5 ± 1.4 years, 39.2% female) and 359 healthy controls (mean age: 15.9 ± 1.7 years, 45.4% female) with magnetic resonance imaging data, pooled from 11 clinical cohorts. Patients were diagnosed with early-onset schizophrenia (n = 183), affective psychosis (n = 39), or other psychotic disorders (n = 41). We used linear mixed-effects models to investigate differences in intracranial and subcortical volumes across the patient sample, diagnostic subgroup and antipsychotic medication, relative to controls. We observed significantly lower intracranial (Cohen's d = −0.39) and hippocampal (d = −0.25) volumes, and higher caudate (d = 0.25) and pallidum (d = 0.24) volumes in patients relative to controls. Intracranial volume was lower in both early-onset schizophrenia (d = −0.34) and affective psychosis (d = −0.42), and early-onset schizophrenia showed lower hippocampal (d = −0.24) and higher pallidum (d = 0.29) volumes. Patients who were currently treated with antipsychotic medication (n = 193) had significantly lower intracranial volume (d = −0.42). The findings demonstrate a similar pattern of brain alterations in early-onset psychosis as previously reported in adult psychosis, but with notably low intracranial volume. The low intracranial volume suggests disrupted neurodevelopment in adolescent early-onset psychosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-384
Number of pages12
JournalHuman Brain Mapping
Volume43
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2022

Keywords

  • adolescence
  • antipsychotics
  • brain structure
  • early-onset
  • intracranial volume
  • psychosis spectrum

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