The relationship between grey matter volume and clinical and functional outcomes in people at clinical high risk for psychosis

Stefania Tognin, Matthew Kempton , Gemma Modinos, Mathilde Antoniades, Matilda Azis, Paul Allen, Matthijs G. Bossong, Jesus Perez, Lucia R. Valmaggia, Philip McGuire, EU-GEI High Risk Study Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To examine the association between baseline alterations in grey matter volume (GMV)
and clinical and functional outcomes in people at clinical high risk (CHR) for psychosis.
Methods: 265 CHR individuals and 92 healthy controls were recruited as part of a prospective multi- centre study. After a baseline assessment using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), participants were followed for at least two years to determine clinical and functional outcomes, including transition to psychosis (according to the Comprehensive Assessment of an At Risk Mental State, CAARMS), level of functioning (according to the Global Assessment of Functioning), and symptomatic remission (according to the CAARMS). GMV was measured in selected cortical and subcortical regions of interest (ROI) based on previous studies (i.e. orbitofrontal gyrus, cingulate gyrus, gyrus rectus, inferior temporal gyrus, parahippocampal gyrus, striatum, and hippocampus). Using voxel-based morphometry, we analysed the relationship between GMV and clinical and functional outcomes.
Results: Within the CHR sample, a poor functional outcome (GAF<65) was associated with relatively lower GMV in the right striatum at baseline (p<0.047 after Family Wise Error correction). There were no significant associations between baseline GMV and either subsequent remission or transition to psychosis.
Conclusions: In CHR individuals, lower striatal GMV was associated with a poor level of overall functioning at follow-up. This finding was not related to effects of antipsychotic or antidepressant medication. The failure to replicate previous associations between GMV and later psychosis onset, despite studying a relatively large sample, is consistent with the findings of recent large-scale multi- centre studies.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jun 2022

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