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Negative symptoms and longitudinal gray matter tissue loss in adolescents at risk of psychosis. Preliminary findings from a 6-year follow-up study.

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)565-570
JournalThe British Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number6
Early online date3 Dec 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016


Negative symptoms are perhaps the most disabling feature of schizophrenia. Their pathogenesis remains poorly understood and it has been difficult to assess their development over time with imaging techniques.
To examine, using tensor-based structural imaging techniques, whether there are regions of progressive gray matter volume change associated with the development of negative symptoms.
43 adolescents at risk of psychosis were examined using magnetic resonance imaging and whole-brain tensor-based morphometry at two time points, 6 years apart.
When comparing the individuals with significant negative symptoms with the remaining participants, we identified 5 regions of significant gray matter tissue loss over the 6-year period. These regions included the left temporal lobe, the left cerebellum, the left posterior cingulate and the left inferior parietal sulcus.
Negative symptoms are associated with longitudinal gray matter tissue loss. The regions identified include areas associated with all psychotic symptoms, but also include regions uniquely associated negative symptoms.

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