Structural Abnormalities in Gyrification across Psychotic Disorders

Nicole Rychagov, BA Candidate

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center – Research Assistant

Scientific Abstract

Background: The profiles of cortical gyrification (LGI) abnormalities in schizophrenia (SZ), bipolar disorder type-1 (BP), and schizoaffective disorder (SAD) have been studied to a limited extent and mostly in separate studies. Nonetheless, all of these disorders are characterized by the presence of psychosis and share in genetic risk. The purpose of our study is (i) to identify and compare changes in LGI associated with psychosis across disorders; (ii) to investigate LGI patterns specific to each disorder; and (iii) determine the effect of factors such as the age of onset of psychosis on LGI.

Methods: Participants were recruited within the Bipolar-Schizophrenia Network of Intermediate Phenotypes (BSNIP) consortium. All participants received MRI and clinical assessment. A total of 1860 subjects (SZ = 440, BP = 343, SAD = 350, Healthy Controls = 727) were examined. Gyrification was measured using Freesurfer 7.1.0. Statistical Analysis was conducted on R. Outliers greater than 3 standard deviations from the group means for the LGI of each hemisphere’s lobes were removed through winsorization. Data were covaried by age, sex, race, site of data acquisition, and estimated total intracranial volume. Significance was set at a probability < 0.05, after False Discovery rate (FDR) correction.

Results: Group comparisons indicated significant hypogyria in the whole probands’ sample compared to controls. Hypergyria was found in between proband comparisons for BP compared to SAD. Significant positive correlations were found in probands between BACS scores and LGI. Group comparisons of gyrification across lobes by age of onset revealed that patients with later ages of onset of psychotic illness > 35 years of age, exhibit increased hypogyria compared to patients with onset before 18 years of age or between the ages of 18 and 35.

Conclusions: Our results demonstrate novel differences in gyrification between probands with psychosis and healthy controls. Furthermore, our findings suggest differential patterns of gyrification based on the age of onset of the psychotic disorder beyond changes related to the effect of aging.

Live Zoom Session – March 9th

research Areas


Nicole Rychagov, Elisabetta C. del Re, PhD, Victor Zeng, BS, Ney Alliey-Rodriguez, MD, Carol Tamminga, MD, Brett Clementz, PhD, Godfrey Pearlson, MD, John A. Sweeney, PhD, Elliot S. Gershon, MD, Matcheri Keshavan, MD

Principal Investigator

Elisabetta C. del Re, PhD