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Childhood trauma- and cannabis-associated microstructural white matter changes in patients with psychotic disorder: a longitudinal family-based diffusion imaging study

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 May 2018

Patrick Domen*
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology, School for Mental Health and Neuroscience, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands
Stijn Michielse
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology, School for Mental Health and Neuroscience, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands
Sanne Peeters
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology, School for Mental Health and Neuroscience, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Open University of the Netherlands, Heerlen, The Netherlands
Wolfgang Viechtbauer
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology, School for Mental Health and Neuroscience, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands
Jim van Os
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology, School for Mental Health and Neuroscience, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands Department of Psychosis Studies, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, King's Health Partners, London, UK Brain Centre Rudolf Magnus, Utrecht University Medical Centre, Utrecht, The Netherlands
Machteld Marcelis
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology, School for Mental Health and Neuroscience, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands Institute for Mental Health Care Eindhoven (GGzE), Eindhoven, The Netherlands
for Genetic Risk and Outcome of Psychosis (G.R.O.U.P.)
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology, School for Mental Health and Neuroscience, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Open University of the Netherlands, Heerlen, The Netherlands Department of Psychosis Studies, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, King's Health Partners, London, UK Brain Centre Rudolf Magnus, Utrecht University Medical Centre, Utrecht, The Netherlands Institute for Mental Health Care Eindhoven (GGzE), Eindhoven, The Netherlands
*
Author for correspondence: P.A.E. Domen, E-mail: p.domen@maastrichtuniversity.nl

Abstract

Background

Decreased white matter (WM) integrity in patients with psychotic disorder has been a consistent finding in diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) studies. However, the contribution of environmental risk factors to these WM alterations is rarely investigated. The current study examines whether individuals with (increased risk for) psychotic disorder will show increased WM integrity change over time with increasing levels of childhood trauma and cannabis exposure.

Methods

DTI scans were obtained from 85 patients with a psychotic disorder, 93 non-psychotic siblings and 80 healthy controls, of which 60% were rescanned 3 years later. In a whole-brain voxel-based analysis, associations between change in fractional anisotropy (ΔFA) and environmental exposures as well as interactions between group and environmental exposure in the model of FA and ΔFA were investigated. Analyses were adjusted for a priori hypothesized confounding variables: age, sex, and level of education.

Results

At baseline, no significant associations were found between FA and both environmental risk factors. At follow-up as well as over a 3-year interval, significant interactions between group and, respectively, cannabis exposure and childhood trauma exposure in the model of FA and ΔFA were found. Patients showed more FA decrease over time compared with both controls and siblings when exposed to higher levels of cannabis or childhood trauma.

Conclusions

Higher levels of cannabis or childhood trauma may compromise connectivity over the course of the illness in patients, but not in individuals at low or higher than average genetic risk for psychotic disorder, suggesting interactions between the environment and illness-related factors.

Type
Original Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2018 

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