Structural magnetic resonance imaging markers of susceptibility and transition to schizophrenia: A review of familial and clinical high risk population studies

C Bois, Hc Whalley, Am McIntosh, Sm Lawrie, Andrew McIntosh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

There is a growing consensus that a symptomatology as complex and heterogeneous as schizophrenia is likely to be produced by widespread perturbations of brain structure, as opposed to isolated deficits in specific brain regions. Structural brain-imaging studies have shown that several features of the brain, such as grey matter, white matter integrity and the morphology of the cortex differ in individuals at high risk of the disorder compared to controls, but to a lesser extent than in patients, suggesting that structural abnormalities may form markers of vulnerability to the disorder. Research has had some success in delineating abnormalities specific to those individuals that transition to psychosis, compared to those at high risk that do not, suggesting that a general risk for the disorder can be distinguished from alterations specific to frank psychosis. In this paper, we review cross-sectional and longitudinal studies of individuals at familial or clinical high risk of the disorder. We conclude that the search for reliable markers of schizophrenia is likely to be enhanced by methods which amalgamate structural neuroimaging data into a coherent framework that takes into account the widespread distribution of brain alterations, and relates this to leading hypotheses of schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Psychopharmacology
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jul 2014

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