A Prospective Longitudinal Investigation of Cortical Thickness and Gyrification in Schizophrenia

Academic Article


  • Background: Cortical thickness (CT) and gyrification are complementary indices that assess different aspects of gray matter structural integrity. Both neurodevelopment insults and acute tissue response to antipsychotic medication could underlie the known heterogeneity of treatment response and are well-suited for interrogation into the relationship between gray matter morphometry and clinical outcomes in schizophrenia (SZ). Methods: Using a prospective design, we enrolled 34 unmedicated patients with SZ and 23 healthy controls. Patients were scanned at baseline and after a 6-week trial with risperidone. CT and local gyrification index (LGI) values were quantified from structural MRI scans using FreeSurfer 5.3. Results: We found reduced CT and LGI in patients compared to controls. Vertex-wise analyses demonstrated that hypogyrification was most prominent in the inferior frontal cortex, temporal cortex, insula, pre/postcentral gyri, temporoparietal junction, and the supramarginal gyrus. Baseline CT was predictive of subsequent response to antipsychotic treatment, and increase in CT after 6 weeks was correlated with greater symptom reductions. Conclusions: In summary, we report evidence of reduced CT and LGI in unmedicated patients compared to controls, suggesting involvement of different aspects of gray matter morphometry in the pathophysiology of SZ. Importantly, we found that lower CT at baseline and greater increase of CT following 6 weeks of treatment with risperidone were associated with better clinical response. Our results suggest that cortical thinning may normalize as a result of a good response to antipsychotic medication, possibly by alleviating potential neurotoxic processes underlying gray matter deterioration.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 25265035
  • Author List

  • Nelson EA; Kraguljac NV; White DM; Jindal RD; Shin AL; Lahti AC
  • Start Page

  • 381
  • End Page

  • 391
  • Volume

  • 65
  • Issue

  • 6