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Lack of progression of brain abnormalities in first-episode psychosis: a longitudinal magnetic resonance imaging study

  • M. S. Schaufelberger (a1), J. M. Lappin (a1), F. L. S. Duran (a1), P. G. P. Rosa (a1), R. R. Uchida (a1), L. C. Santos (a1), R. M. Murray (a1), P. K. McGuire (a1), M. Scazufca (a1), P. R. Menezes (a1) and G. F. Busatto (a1)...

Abstract

Background

Some neuroimaging studies have supported the hypothesis of progressive brain changes after a first episode of psychosis. We aimed to determine whether (i) first-episode psychosis patients would exhibit more pronounced brain volumetric changes than controls over time and (ii) illness course/treatment would relate to those changes.

Method

Longitudinal regional grey matter volume and ventricle:brain ratio differences between 39 patients with first-episode psychosis (including schizophrenia and schizophreniform disorder) and 52 non-psychotic controls enrolled in a population-based case-control study.

Results

While there was no longitudinal difference in ventricle:brain ratios between first-episode psychosis subjects and controls, patients exhibited grey matter volume changes, indicating a reversible course in the superior temporal cortex and hippocampus compared with controls. A remitting course was related to reversal of baseline temporal grey matter deficits.

Conclusions

Our findings do not support the hypothesis of brain changes indicating a progressive course in the initial phase of psychosis. Rather, some brain volume abnormalities may be reversible, possibly associated with a better illness course.

Copyright

Corresponding author

*Address for correspondence: Dr M. S. Schaufelberger, Laboratory of Psychiatric Neuroimaging (LIM 21), Department and Institute of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of São Paulo, Centro de Medicina Nuclear, Hospital das Clínicas da FMUSP, Rua Dr Ovídio Pires de Campos, s/n, 3 andar, 05403-010, São Paulo, SP, Brazil. (Email: maristela-ss@usp.br)

References

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