Brain Connectomics in Early Course Psychosis

Dung Hoang, BS

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Scientific Abstract

Background: Multiple studies have reported alterations in brain structural connectivity in schizophrenia, but few studies have examined these connectomes in patients with early course psychosis. Here, we examined global and nodal network brain topology differences in early psychosis.

Methods: Two independent studies were used. Eighty-four early course schizophrenia (ESZ) and 24 healthy controls (HCs) were recruited from the BICEPS study. Sixty-one first-episode psychosis (FEP) and 47 HCs were recruited from the Pittsburgh FEP study. The mean duration of illness for the ESZ and FEP groups is 3.9 and 3.7 years, respectively. Gray matter thicknesses and subcortical volume were extracted using FreeSurfer 6.0 and analyzed using BRAPH (Brain analysis using graph theory) for global and nodal network measures.

Results: There were no global network differences across all group comparisons. Regarding regional network topology, ESZ patients demonstrated greater centrality metrics in the left caudate, left middle temporal, left inferior parietal, right pars triangularis, and bilateral pallidum, in addition to lower nodal efficiency in the left medial orbitofrontal and right inferior temporal compared to HCs. FEP patients demonstrated greater centrality metrics in the left caudal middle frontal and right banks of the superior temporal sulcus, as well as lower nodal efficiency in the left thalamus and right putamen compared to HCs.

Conclusions: ESZ and FEP individuals exhibit altered connectomes but in different brain regions, suggesting that different cortical regions could be influenced by disease prognosis. Future studies are warranted to strengthen these findings and to determine longitudinal connectome changes as they relate to psychosis pathophysiology.

Live Zoom Session – April 21st

research Areas


Dung Hoang, Candidate for BS 2021, Victor Zeng, BS, Rachal Hedge, MA, Nicolas Raymond, BS, Olivia Lutz, BS, Kiranpreet Dhaliwal, MS, Sean Eack, MD, Matcheri Keshavan, MD, Paulo Lizano, MD, PhD

Principal Investigator

Matcheri Keshavan, MD

Affiliated Website