Neuroanatomy of vulnerability to psychosis: A voxel-based meta-analysis

P. Fusar-Poli, S. Borgwardt, A. Crescini, G. Deste, Matthew J. Kempton, S. Lawrie, P. Mc Guire, E. Sacchetti

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review


Background: Individual structural imaging studies in the pre-psychotic phases deliver contrasting findings and are unable to definitively characterize the neuroanatomical correlates of an increased liability to psychosis and to predict transition to psychosis.

Method: Ninenteen voxel-based morphometry (VBM) studies of subjects at enhanced risk for psychosis and healthy controls were included in an activation likelihood estimation (ALE) meta-analysis.

Results: The overall sample consisted of 701 controls and 896 high risk subjects. Subjects at high risk for psychosis showed reduced gray matter (GM) volume as compared to controls in the right superior temporal gyrus, left precuneus, left medial frontal gyrus, right middle frontal gyrus, bilateral parahippocampal/hippocampal regions and bilateral anterior cingulate. High risk subjects who later developed a psychotic episode showed baseline GM volume reductions in the right inferior frontal gyrus and in the right superior temporal gyrus.

Conclusions: GM volume reductions in temporo-parietal, bilateral prefrontal and limbic cortex are neuroanatomical correlates of an enhanced vulnerability to psychosis. Baseline GM reductions in superior temporal and inferior frontal areas are associated with later transition to psychosis. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1175-1185
Number of pages11
JournalNeuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011


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