Cortical structures and their clinical correlates in antipsychotic-naïve schizophrenia patients before and after 6 weeks of dopamine D 2/3 receptor antagonist treatment

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Kasper Jessen, Egill Rostrup, Rene C.W. Mandl, Mette O. Nielsen, Nikolaj Bak, Birgitte Fagerlund, Birte Y. Glenthoj, Bjorn H. Ebdrup

Background Schizophrenia has been associated with changes in both cortical thickness and surface area, but antipsychotic exposure, illness progression and substance use may confound observations. In antipsychotic-naïve schizophrenia patients, we investigated cortical thickness and surface area as well as mean curvature before and after monotherapy with amisulpride, a relatively selective dopamine D2/3 receptor antagonist.Methods Fifty-six patients and 59 matched healthy controls (HCs) underwent T1-weighted 3T magnetic resonance imaging. Forty-one patients and 51 HCs were re-scanned. FreeSurfer-processed baseline, follow-up values and symmetrized percentage changes (SPC) in cortical structures were analysed using univariate analysis of variance. Clinical measures comprised psychopathology ratings, assessment of functioning and tests of premorbid and current intelligence. We applied false discovery rate correction to account for multiple comparisons.Results At baseline, groups did not differ in cortical thickness or surface area; however, curvature in the left hemisphere was higher in patients (p = 0.015). In both patients and HCs, higher curvature was associated with lower premorbid (p = 0.009) and current intelligence (p < 0.001). Lower surface area was associated with lower premorbid intelligence (p = 0.017). After 6 weeks, the cortical structures did not differ between groups. Amisulpride dose (275.0 mg/day) did not correlate with any cortical structures (p > 0.43). Cortical thickness SPC was negatively associated with symptom improvement (p = 0.002).Conclusions Schizophrenia appears associated with subtle, yet clinically relevant aberrations in cortical structures. Mean curvature holds promise as a sensitive supplement to cortical thickness and surface area to detect complex structural brain abnormalities.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychological Medicine
Volume49
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)754-763
Number of pages10
ISSN0033-2917
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

ID: 215518612