Publications by authors named "Ingrid Agartz"

292 Publications

New insights into the dynamic development of the cerebral cortex in childhood and adolescence: Integrating macro- and microstructural MRI findings.

Prog Neurobiol 2021 Jun 18:102109. Epub 2021 Jun 18.

NORMENT, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo, Norway; PROMENTA Research Center, Department of Psychology, University of Oslo, Norway; Department of Psychiatric Research, Diakonhjemmet Hospital, Oslo, Norway. Electronic address:

Through dynamic transactional processes between genetic and environmental factors, childhood and adolescence involve reorganization and optimization of the cerebral cortex. The cortex and its development plays a crucial role for prototypical human cognitive abilities. At the same time, many common mental disorders appear during these critical phases of neurodevelopment. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can indirectly capture several multifaceted changes of cortical macro- and microstructure, of high relevance to further our understanding of the neural foundation of cognition and mental health. Great progress has been made recently in mapping the typical development of cortical morphology. Moreover, newer less explored MRI signal intensity and specialized quantitative T2 measures have been applied to assess microstructural cortical development. We review recent findings of typical postnatal macro- and microstructural development of the cerebral cortex from early childhood to young adulthood. We cover studies of cortical volume, thickness, area, gyrification, T1-weighted (T1w) tissue contrasts such a grey/white matter contrast, T1w/T2w ratio, magnetization transfer and myelin water fraction. Finally, we integrate imaging studies with cortical gene expression findings to further our understanding of the underlying neurobiology of the developmental changes, bridging the gap between ex vivo histological- and in vivo MRI studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pneurobio.2021.102109DOI Listing
June 2021

Cytomegalovirus infection associated with smaller dentate gyrus in men with severe mental illness.

Brain Behav Immun 2021 May 16. Epub 2021 May 16.

Norwegian Centre for Mental Disorders Research (NORMENT), Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway; Centre for Psychiatry Research, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet & Stockholm Health Care Services, Stockholm County Council, Stockholm, Sweden; Department of Psychiatric Research, Diakonhjemmet Hospital, Oslo, Norway.

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is usually inapparent in healthy adults but persists for life. Neural progenitor/stem cells are main CMV targets, and dentate gyrus (DG) a major neurogenic niche. Smaller DG volume has been repeatedly reported in severe mental illness (SMI). Considering the suggested immune system, blood-brain barrier and DG disturbances in SMI, we hypothesized that CMV exposure is associated with smaller DG volume in patients, but not healthy controls (HC). Due to the differential male and female immune response to CMV, we hypothesized sex-dependent associations. 381 adult patients with SMI (schizophrenia spectrum or bipolar spectrum disorders) and 396 HC were included. MRI scans were obtained with 1.5T Siemens MAGNETOM Sonata scanner or 3T General Electric Signa HDxt scanner, and processed with FreeSurfer v6.0. CMV immunoglobulin G antibody concentrations were measured by solid phase immunoassay. We investigated main and interaction effects of CMV status (antibody positivity/CMV + vs. negativity/CMV-) and sex on DG in patients and HC. Among patients, there was a significant CMV-by-sex interaction on DG (p = 0.009); CMV + male patients had significantly smaller DG volume than CMV- male patients (p = 0.001, 39 mm volume difference) whereas no CMV-DG association was found in female patients. Post-hoc analysis among male patients showed that the CMV-DG association was present in both hemispheres and in both patients with schizophrenia spectrum and bipolar spectrum disorders, and further, that higher CMV antibody titers were associated with smaller DG. No CMV-DG association was found in HC. The results indicate a DG vulnerability to CMV infection in men with SMI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbi.2021.05.009DOI Listing
May 2021

Genome-wide association study of more than 40,000 bipolar disorder cases provides new insights into the underlying biology.

Nat Genet 2021 06 17;53(6):817-829. Epub 2021 May 17.

Department of Neuroscience, Istituto Di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri IRCCS, Milan, Italy.

Bipolar disorder is a heritable mental illness with complex etiology. We performed a genome-wide association study of 41,917 bipolar disorder cases and 371,549 controls of European ancestry, which identified 64 associated genomic loci. Bipolar disorder risk alleles were enriched in genes in synaptic signaling pathways and brain-expressed genes, particularly those with high specificity of expression in neurons of the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. Significant signal enrichment was found in genes encoding targets of antipsychotics, calcium channel blockers, antiepileptics and anesthetics. Integrating expression quantitative trait locus data implicated 15 genes robustly linked to bipolar disorder via gene expression, encoding druggable targets such as HTR6, MCHR1, DCLK3 and FURIN. Analyses of bipolar disorder subtypes indicated high but imperfect genetic correlation between bipolar disorder type I and II and identified additional associated loci. Together, these results advance our understanding of the biological etiology of bipolar disorder, identify novel therapeutic leads and prioritize genes for functional follow-up studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-021-00857-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8192451PMC
June 2021

Cognitive impairment profile in adolescent early-onset psychosis using the MATRICS Battery: Age and sex effects.

Neuropsychology 2021 Mar;35(3):300-309

NORMENT Center of Excellence, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo.

To examine cognitive performance, stratified by age and sex, in adolescents with early-onset psychosis (EOP), relative to the healthy adolescent standardized scores for the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB). Seventy-one EOP patients (12-18 years) were included in the study. Raw scores of nine MCCB tests were converted into age- and sex-corrected scores comprising six domains and global cognition (cognitive composite score). Patient performance, relative to the healthy reference group, was examined using one sample -tests (reference score mean of 50). Age effects were examined using one-way analyses of variance between three age groups (12-14 years, 15-16 years, 17-18 years). Sex differences were examined using independent samples t tests. The patients performed significantly worse than the healthy reference group in all MCCB domains, with a global deficit of -1.6 SD below the reference. Across the domains, the impairments varied from -1.4 SD in speed of processing to -0.6 SD in visual learning and reasoning and problem-solving. Significant age effects were found in speed of processing, attention/vigilance, reasoning and problem-solving, and global cognition. The oldest age group showed largest impairments relative to the age- and sex-corrected reference. Female patients had a significantly higher mean score in verbal learning compared to males. This study provides a MCCB performance profile in EOP, stratified by age and sex, relative to adolescent standardized scores. The results can be used to improve cognitive remediation strategies and subsequent functional outcome, in adolescent EOP and related clinical populations. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/neu0000723DOI Listing
March 2021

Association of Structural Magnetic Resonance Imaging Measures With Psychosis Onset in Individuals at Clinical High Risk for Developing Psychosis: An ENIGMA Working Group Mega-analysis.

JAMA Psychiatry 2021 Jul;78(7):753-766

Department of Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York.

Importance: The ENIGMA clinical high risk (CHR) for psychosis initiative, the largest pooled neuroimaging sample of individuals at CHR to date, aims to discover robust neurobiological markers of psychosis risk.

Objective: To investigate baseline structural neuroimaging differences between individuals at CHR and healthy controls as well as between participants at CHR who later developed a psychotic disorder (CHR-PS+) and those who did not (CHR-PS-).

Design, Setting, And Participants: In this case-control study, baseline T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data were pooled from 31 international sites participating in the ENIGMA Clinical High Risk for Psychosis Working Group. CHR status was assessed using the Comprehensive Assessment of At-Risk Mental States or Structured Interview for Prodromal Syndromes. MRI scans were processed using harmonized protocols and analyzed within a mega-analysis and meta-analysis framework from January to October 2020.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Measures of regional cortical thickness (CT), surface area, and subcortical volumes were extracted from T1-weighted MRI scans. Independent variables were group (CHR group vs control group) and conversion status (CHR-PS+ group vs CHR-PS- group vs control group).

Results: Of the 3169 included participants, 1428 (45.1%) were female, and the mean (SD; range) age was 21.1 (4.9; 9.5-39.9) years. This study included 1792 individuals at CHR and 1377 healthy controls. Using longitudinal clinical information, 253 in the CHR-PS+ group, 1234 in the CHR-PS- group, and 305 at CHR without follow-up data were identified. Compared with healthy controls, individuals at CHR exhibited widespread lower CT measures (mean [range] Cohen d = -0.13 [-0.17 to -0.09]), but not surface area or subcortical volume. Lower CT measures in the fusiform, superior temporal, and paracentral regions were associated with psychosis conversion (mean Cohen d = -0.22; 95% CI, -0.35 to 0.10). Among healthy controls, compared with those in the CHR-PS+ group, age showed a stronger negative association with left fusiform CT measures (F = 9.8; P < .001; q < .001) and left paracentral CT measures (F = 5.9; P = .005; q = .02). Effect sizes representing lower CT associated with psychosis conversion resembled patterns of CT differences observed in ENIGMA studies of schizophrenia (ρ = 0.35; 95% CI, 0.12 to 0.55; P = .004) and individuals with 22q11.2 microdeletion syndrome and a psychotic disorder diagnosis (ρ = 0.43; 95% CI, 0.20 to 0.61; P = .001).

Conclusions And Relevance: This study provides evidence for widespread subtle, lower CT measures in individuals at CHR. The pattern of CT measure differences in those in the CHR-PS+ group was similar to those reported in other large-scale investigations of psychosis. Additionally, a subset of these regions displayed abnormal age associations. Widespread disruptions in CT coupled with abnormal age associations in those at CHR may point to disruptions in postnatal brain developmental processes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2021.0638DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8100913PMC
July 2021

Swedish Universities Scales of Personality: Relation to Other Personality Instruments.

Psychiatry Investig 2021 May 30;18(5):373-384. Epub 2021 Apr 30.

Human Brain Informatics (HUBIN), Centre for Psychiatric Research, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet & Stockholm Health Care Services, Stockholm Region, Stockholm, Sweden.

Objective: To investigate associations between Swedish universities Scales of Personality (SSP) and scales of the following personality instruments: Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-III-R axis II screening questionnaire (SCID-II screen), revised NEO personality inventory (NEO-PI-R), revised Chapman scales (Chapman) and the psychotic traits questionnaire (STQ).

Methods: Healthy individuals (n=406) completed self-report personality questionnaires including SSP and at least one more personality inventory. Correlations were calculated between the 13 different SSP subscales as well as SSP's three factors and factors and scales/subscales in SCID-II screen, NEO-PI-R, Chapman and STQ. The main factors of the various instruments were factor analysed. ICC were calculated.

Results: SSP Neuroticism factor correlated with SCID-II cluster C (r=0.71), NEO Neuroticism (r=0.80) and Chapman Social anhedonia (r=0.62). SSP Extraversion factor correlated with NEO Extraversion (r=0.63) and SSP Aggressiveness factor with NEO Agreeableness (r=-0.62). Strong correlations between SSP factors and scales and scales of the other instruments were sparse, although weaker correlations were common.

Conclusion: SSP is a useful investigation tool when measuring personality traits related to temperament-like features. SSP partly correlates well to especially three of the NEO-PI-R factors. The different personality inventories are not completely comparable to each other. Instead, they measure personality aspects in partly different ways.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.30773/pi.2020.0052DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8169328PMC
May 2021

Cytomegalovirus infection and IQ in patients with severe mental illness and healthy individuals.

Psychiatry Res 2021 Jun 7;300:113929. Epub 2021 Apr 7.

Norwegian Centre for Mental Disorders Research (NORMENT), Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway; Centre for Psychiatry Research, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet & Stockholm Health Care Services, Stockholm County Council, Stockholm, Sweden; Department of Psychiatric Research, Diakonhjemmet Hospital, Oslo, Norway.

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection in immunocompetent adults is usually asymptomatic, but results in lifelong latency. Infection occurring congenitally or in immunodeficiency can lead to cognitive impairment. We aimed to investigate the associations between CMV exposure and intelligence quotient (IQ) in patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SZS), bipolar spectrum disorders (BDS) and healthy controls (HC). CMV immunoglobulin G antibody concentrations were measured by immunoassay and expressed as dichotomous measures (seropositive/CMV+ vs. seronegative/CMV-). Based on a significant CMV-by-diagnosis-by-sex interaction on IQ, we investigated main and interaction effects of CMV and sex on IQ in each diagnostic category. Significant CMV-by-sex interactions were found in patient groups. In SZS, CMV+ female patients (n = 50) had significantly lower IQ than CMV- female patients (n = 33), whereas CMV+ (n = 48) and CMV- (n = 45) male patients did not differ in IQ. In BDS, CMV+ (n = 49) and CMV- (n = 37) female patients did not differ in IQ, whereas CMV+ male patients (n = 33) had significantly higher IQ than CMV- male patients (n = 32). Among HC, CMV+ (n = 138) and CMV- (n = 118) male participants as well as CMV+ (n = 125) and CMV- (n = 93) female participants did not differ in IQ. Our findings suggest that CMV exposure may affect IQ in patients with severe mental illness but not HC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2021.113929DOI Listing
June 2021

Physical activity and childhood trauma experiences in patients with schizophrenia or bipolar disorders.

World J Biol Psychiatry 2021 Apr 26:1-9. Epub 2021 Apr 26.

NORMENT, Division of Mental Health and Addiction, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway.

Background: Physical activity promotes resilience and reduces stress. Here we aimed to clarify the impact of physical activity and childhood trauma experiences on current mood and cognitive function in patients with schizophrenia (SZ) or bipolar disorders (BD).

Methods: Three-hundred-and-six patients with DSM-IV schizophrenia (SZ) or bipolar disorder (BD) were included in the study. Diagnoses were assessed using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I disorders (SCID-I). Physical activity was measured as hours spent on any regular physical activity per week. All patients underwent a neuropsychological test battery. History of Childhood trauma was assessed using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire and mood symptoms were assessed with the Inventory of Depressive Symptoms.

Results: Patients with childhood trauma who were physically inactive (˂90 min per week) had the most severe clinical profile, characterised by the highest depressive symptoms ( ˂ 0.001) and lowest performance on working memory tasks ( ˂ 0.001). Among patients with childhood trauma, those who were physically active (≥90 min per week) had better working memory performance than physically inactive patients ( 0.02).

Discussion: A history of childhood trauma was associated with poorer working memory and more depressive symptoms only in patients who were physically inactive, suggesting a possible protective factor of physical activity in severe mental disorder.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15622975.2021.1907707DOI Listing
April 2021

1q21.1 distal copy number variants are associated with cerebral and cognitive alterations in humans.

Transl Psychiatry 2021 03 22;11(1):182. Epub 2021 Mar 22.

Department of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, London, United Kingdom.

Low-frequency 1q21.1 distal deletion and duplication copy number variant (CNV) carriers are predisposed to multiple neurodevelopmental disorders, including schizophrenia, autism and intellectual disability. Human carriers display a high prevalence of micro- and macrocephaly in deletion and duplication carriers, respectively. The underlying brain structural diversity remains largely unknown. We systematically called CNVs in 38 cohorts from the large-scale ENIGMA-CNV collaboration and the UK Biobank and identified 28 1q21.1 distal deletion and 22 duplication carriers and 37,088 non-carriers (48% male) derived from 15 distinct magnetic resonance imaging scanner sites. With standardized methods, we compared subcortical and cortical brain measures (all) and cognitive performance (UK Biobank only) between carrier groups also testing for mediation of brain structure on cognition. We identified positive dosage effects of copy number on intracranial volume (ICV) and total cortical surface area, with the largest effects in frontal and cingulate cortices, and negative dosage effects on caudate and hippocampal volumes. The carriers displayed distinct cognitive deficit profiles in cognitive tasks from the UK Biobank with intermediate decreases in duplication carriers and somewhat larger in deletion carriers-the latter potentially mediated by ICV or cortical surface area. These results shed light on pathobiological mechanisms of neurodevelopmental disorders, by demonstrating gene dose effect on specific brain structures and effect on cognitive function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41398-021-01213-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7985307PMC
March 2021

Significant association between intracranial volume and verbal intellectual abilities in patients with schizophrenia and a history of birth asphyxia.

Psychol Med 2021 Mar 10:1-10. Epub 2021 Mar 10.

Department of Psychiatric Research, Diakonhjemmet Hospital, Oslo, Norway.

Background: The etiology of schizophrenia (SZ) is proposed to include an interplay between a genetic risk for disease development and the biological environment of pregnancy and birth, where early adversities may contribute to the poorer developmental outcome. We investigated whether a history of birth asphyxia (ASP) moderates the relationship between intracranial volume (ICV) and intelligence in SZ, bipolar disorder (BD) and healthy controls (HC).

Methods: Two hundred seventy-nine adult patients (18-42 years) on the SZ and BD spectrums and 216 HC were evaluated for ASP based on information from the Medical Birth Registry of Norway. Participants underwent structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to estimate ICV and intelligence quotient (IQ) assessment using the Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence (WASI). Multiple linear regressions were used for analyses.

Results: We found a significant three-way interaction (ICV × ASP × diagnosis) on the outcome variable, IQ, indicating that the correlation between ICV and IQ was stronger in patients with SZ who experienced ASP compared to SZ patients without ASP. This moderation by ASP was not found in BD or HC groups. In patients with SZ, the interaction between ICV and a history of the ASP was specifically related to the verbal subcomponent of IQ as measured by WASI.

Conclusions: The significant positive association between ICV and IQ in patients with SZ who had experienced ASP might indicate abnormal neurodevelopment. Our findings give support for ICV together with verbal intellectual abilities as clinically relevant markers that can be added to prediction tools to enhance evaluations of SZ risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0033291721000489DOI Listing
March 2021

Sparse deep neural networks on imaging genetics for schizophrenia case-control classification.

Hum Brain Mapp 2021 Jun 16;42(8):2556-2568. Epub 2021 Mar 16.

Department of Computer Science, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Deep learning methods hold strong promise for identifying biomarkers for clinical application. However, current approaches for psychiatric classification or prediction do not allow direct interpretation of original features. In the present study, we introduce a sparse deep neural network (DNN) approach to identify sparse and interpretable features for schizophrenia (SZ) case-control classification. An L -norm regularization is implemented on the input layer of the network for sparse feature selection, which can later be interpreted based on importance weights. We applied the proposed approach on a large multi-study cohort with gray matter volume (GMV) and single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data for SZ classification. A total of 634 individuals served as training samples, and the classification model was evaluated for generalizability on three independent datasets of different scanning protocols (N = 394, 255, and 160, respectively). We examined the classification power of pure GMV features, as well as combined GMV and SNP features. Empirical experiments demonstrated that sparse DNN slightly outperformed independent component analysis + support vector machine (ICA + SVM) framework, and more effectively fused GMV and SNP features for SZ discrimination, with an average error rate of 28.98% on external data. The importance weights suggested that the DNN model prioritized to select frontal and superior temporal gyrus for SZ classification with high sparsity, with parietal regions further included with lower sparsity, echoing previous literature. The results validate the application of the proposed approach to SZ classification, and promise extended utility on other data modalities and traits which ultimately may result in clinically useful tools.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hbm.25387DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8090768PMC
June 2021

Replicating extensive brain structural heterogeneity in individuals with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Hum Brain Mapp 2021 Jun 27;42(8):2546-2555. Epub 2021 Feb 27.

Department of Psychology, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.

Identifying brain processes involved in the risk and development of mental disorders is a major aim. We recently reported substantial interindividual heterogeneity in brain structural aberrations among patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Estimating the normative range of voxel-based morphometry (VBM) data among healthy individuals using a Gaussian process regression (GPR) enables us to map individual deviations from the healthy range in unseen datasets. Here, we aim to replicate our previous results in two independent samples of patients with schizophrenia (n1 = 94; n2 = 105), bipolar disorder (n1 = 116; n2 = 61), and healthy individuals (n1 = 400; n2 = 312). In line with previous findings with exception of the cerebellum our results revealed robust group level differences between patients and healthy individuals, yet only a small proportion of patients with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder exhibited extreme negative deviations from normality in the same brain regions. These direct replications support that group level-differences in brain structure disguise considerable individual differences in brain aberrations, with important implications for the interpretation and generalization of group-level brain imaging findings to the individual with a mental disorder.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hbm.25386DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8090780PMC
June 2021

Effects of copy number variations on brain structure and risk for psychiatric illness: Large-scale studies from the ENIGMA working groups on CNVs.

Hum Brain Mapp 2021 Feb 21. Epub 2021 Feb 21.

Center for Neuroimaging, Genetics and Genomics, School of Psychology, NUI Galway, Galway, Ireland.

The Enhancing NeuroImaging Genetics through Meta-Analysis copy number variant (ENIGMA-CNV) and 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome Working Groups (22q-ENIGMA WGs) were created to gain insight into the involvement of genetic factors in human brain development and related cognitive, psychiatric and behavioral manifestations. To that end, the ENIGMA-CNV WG has collated CNV and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data from ~49,000 individuals across 38 global research sites, yielding one of the largest studies to date on the effects of CNVs on brain structures in the general population. The 22q-ENIGMA WG includes 12 international research centers that assessed over 533 individuals with a confirmed 22q11.2 deletion syndrome, 40 with 22q11.2 duplications, and 333 typically developing controls, creating the largest-ever 22q11.2 CNV neuroimaging data set. In this review, we outline the ENIGMA infrastructure and procedures for multi-site analysis of CNVs and MRI data. So far, ENIGMA has identified effects of the 22q11.2, 16p11.2 distal, 15q11.2, and 1q21.1 distal CNVs on subcortical and cortical brain structures. Each CNV is associated with differences in cognitive, neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric traits, with characteristic patterns of brain structural abnormalities. Evidence of gene-dosage effects on distinct brain regions also emerged, providing further insight into genotype-phenotype relationships. Taken together, these results offer a more comprehensive picture of molecular mechanisms involved in typical and atypical brain development. This "genotype-first" approach also contributes to our understanding of the etiopathogenesis of brain disorders. Finally, we outline future directions to better understand effects of CNVs on brain structure and behavior.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hbm.25354DOI Listing
February 2021

Cortical thickness across the lifespan: Data from 17,075 healthy individuals aged 3-90 years.

Hum Brain Mapp 2021 Feb 17. Epub 2021 Feb 17.

Laboratory of Psychiatric Neuroimaging, Departamento e Instituto de Psiquiatria, Hospital das Clinicas HCFMUSP, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.

Delineating the association of age and cortical thickness in healthy individuals is critical given the association of cortical thickness with cognition and behavior. Previous research has shown that robust estimates of the association between age and brain morphometry require large-scale studies. In response, we used cross-sectional data from 17,075 individuals aged 3-90 years from the Enhancing Neuroimaging Genetics through Meta-Analysis (ENIGMA) Consortium to infer age-related changes in cortical thickness. We used fractional polynomial (FP) regression to quantify the association between age and cortical thickness, and we computed normalized growth centiles using the parametric Lambda, Mu, and Sigma method. Interindividual variability was estimated using meta-analysis and one-way analysis of variance. For most regions, their highest cortical thickness value was observed in childhood. Age and cortical thickness showed a negative association; the slope was steeper up to the third decade of life and more gradual thereafter; notable exceptions to this general pattern were entorhinal, temporopolar, and anterior cingulate cortices. Interindividual variability was largest in temporal and frontal regions across the lifespan. Age and its FP combinations explained up to 59% variance in cortical thickness. These results may form the basis of further investigation on normative deviation in cortical thickness and its significance for behavioral and cognitive outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hbm.25364DOI Listing
February 2021

Subcortical volumes across the lifespan: Data from 18,605 healthy individuals aged 3-90 years.

Hum Brain Mapp 2021 Feb 11. Epub 2021 Feb 11.

Department of Psychology, Center for Brain Science, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.

Age has a major effect on brain volume. However, the normative studies available are constrained by small sample sizes, restricted age coverage and significant methodological variability. These limitations introduce inconsistencies and may obscure or distort the lifespan trajectories of brain morphometry. In response, we capitalized on the resources of the Enhancing Neuroimaging Genetics through Meta-Analysis (ENIGMA) Consortium to examine age-related trajectories inferred from cross-sectional measures of the ventricles, the basal ganglia (caudate, putamen, pallidum, and nucleus accumbens), the thalamus, hippocampus and amygdala using magnetic resonance imaging data obtained from 18,605 individuals aged 3-90 years. All subcortical structure volumes were at their maximum value early in life. The volume of the basal ganglia showed a monotonic negative association with age thereafter; there was no significant association between age and the volumes of the thalamus, amygdala and the hippocampus (with some degree of decline in thalamus) until the sixth decade of life after which they also showed a steep negative association with age. The lateral ventricles showed continuous enlargement throughout the lifespan. Age was positively associated with inter-individual variability in the hippocampus and amygdala and the lateral ventricles. These results were robust to potential confounders and could be used to examine the functional significance of deviations from typical age-related morphometric patterns.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hbm.25320DOI Listing
February 2021

Inhibition of emotions in healthy aging: age-related differences in brain network connectivity.

Brain Behav 2021 05 4;11(5):e02052. Epub 2021 Feb 4.

Department of Old Age Psychiatry, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway.

Introduction: Successful inhibition of distracting emotions is important for preserving well-being and daily functioning. There is conflicting evidence regarding the impact of healthy aging on emotional inhibition, and possible age-related alterations in the neuronal underpinnings of emotional interference processing are unexplored.

Methods: Thirty younger (mean age 26 years; 15 women) and 30 older (mean age 71 years; 13 women) healthy adults performed a face-word emotional Stroop task while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging of the brain. A resting-state scan was acquired for calculating the amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations as an estimate of vascular reactivity. Comparisons of brain activation during the task were assessed in a whole-brain, voxel-wise analysis, contrasting congruent, and incongruent conditions. The canonical regions of the frontoparietal, salience, dorsal attention, and default mode networks were used as seed regions for assessing functional connectivity within and between large-scale brain networks. Task performance was evaluated using response accuracy and response time.

Results: The older adults had longer response times and lower task accuracy than the younger adults, but the emotional interference effect was not significantly different between the groups. Whole-brain analysis revealed no significant age-related differences in brain activation patterns. Rescaling the data for estimated variability in vascular reactivity did not affect the results. In older adults, there was relatively stronger functional connectivity with the default mode network, the sensorimotor network, and the dorsal attention network for the frontoparietal and salience network seeds during the task. Conversely, younger adults had relatively stronger connections within and between the frontoparietal and salience networks.

Conclusion: In this first fMRI study of emotional Stroop interference in older and younger adults, we found that the emotional interference effect was unchanged in healthy aging and replicated the finding from non-emotional task studies that older adults have greater between-network and less within-network connectivity compared to younger adults.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/brb3.2052DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8119855PMC
May 2021

In Vivo Amygdala Nuclei Volumes in Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorders.

Schizophr Bull 2021 Jan 22. Epub 2021 Jan 22.

Norwegian Centre for Mental Disorders Research, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo, Section Vinderen, Oslo, Norway.

Abnormalities in amygdala volume are well-established in schizophrenia and commonly reported in bipolar disorders. However, the specificity of volumetric differences in individual amygdala nuclei is largely unknown. Patients with schizophrenia disorders (SCZ, N = 452, mean age 30.7 ± 9.2 [SD] years, females 44.4%), bipolar disorders (BP, N = 316, 33.7 ± 11.4, 58.5%), and healthy controls (N = 753, 34.1 ± 9.1, 40.9%) underwent T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging. Total amygdala, nuclei, and intracranial volume (ICV) were estimated with Freesurfer (v6.0.0). Analysis of covariance and multiple linear regression models, adjusting for age, age2, ICV, and sex, were fitted to examine diagnostic group and subgroup differences in volume, respectively. Bilateral total amygdala and all nuclei volumes, except the medial and central nuclei, were significantly smaller in patients relative to controls. The largest effect sizes were found for the basal nucleus, accessory basal nucleus, and cortico-amygdaloid transition area (partial η2 > 0.02). The diagnostic subgroup analysis showed that reductions in amygdala nuclei volume were most widespread in schizophrenia, with the lateral, cortical, paralaminar, and central nuclei being solely reduced in this disorder. The right accessory basal nucleus was marginally smaller in SCZ relative to BP (t = 2.32, P = .05). Our study is the first to demonstrate distinct patterns of amygdala nuclei volume reductions in a well-powered sample of patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorders. Volume differences in the basolateral complex (lateral, basal, and accessory basal nuclei), an integral part of the threat processing circuitry, were most prominent in schizophrenia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/schbul/sbaa192DOI Listing
January 2021

Divergent relationship between brain structure and cognitive functioning in patients with prominent negative symptomatology.

Psychiatry Res Neuroimaging 2021 01 3;307:111233. Epub 2020 Dec 3.

NORMENT, Division of Mental Health and Addiction, Oslo University Hospital & Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.

Investigating commonalities in underlying pathology of cognitive dysfunction and negative symptoms in schizophrenia is important, as both are core features of the disorder and linked to brain structure abnormalities. We aimed to explore the relationship between cognition, negative symptoms and brain structure in schizophrenia. A total of 225 patients with Schizophrenia spectrum disorder and 283 healthy controls from the Norwegian Thematically Organized Psychosis (TOP) cohort were included in this study. Patients were categorized into four patient subgroups based on severity of negative symptoms: no-negative- (NNS), threshold-negative- (TNS), moderate-negative- (MNS), and prominent-negative (PNS) subgroups. MRI measures of brain volume, mean cortical thickness and surface area from pre-selected brain regions were tested for relationships with general cognitive ability and negative symptom subgroups. Positive associations were found between brain volume, thickness, surface area and cognition in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), fusiform gyrus (FG) and the left anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), but with no differences between subgroups. In the PNS subgroup, cognition was conversely negatively associated with brain volume in the left ACC. These results indicate that patients with prominent negative symptoms have different associations between cognition and brain structure in the left ACC, which may point to abnormal neurodevelopment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pscychresns.2020.111233DOI Listing
January 2021

Multimodal imaging improves brain age prediction and reveals distinct abnormalities in patients with psychiatric and neurological disorders.

Hum Brain Mapp 2021 Apr 19;42(6):1714-1726. Epub 2020 Dec 19.

Norwegian Centre for Mental Disorders Research (NORMENT), Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo & Division of Mental Health and Addiction, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway.

The deviation between chronological age and age predicted using brain MRI is a putative marker of overall brain health. Age prediction based on structural MRI data shows high accuracy in common brain disorders. However, brain aging is complex and heterogenous, both in terms of individual differences and the underlying biological processes. Here, we implemented a multimodal model to estimate brain age using different combinations of cortical area, thickness and sub-cortical volumes, cortical and subcortical T1/T2-weighted ratios, and cerebral blood flow (CBF) based on arterial spin labeling. For each of the 11 models we assessed the age prediction accuracy in healthy controls (HC, n = 750) and compared the obtained brain age gaps (BAGs) between age-matched subsets of HC and patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD, n = 54), mild (MCI, n = 90) and subjective (SCI, n = 56) cognitive impairment, schizophrenia spectrum (SZ, n = 159) and bipolar disorder (BD, n = 135). We found highest age prediction accuracy in HC when integrating all modalities. Furthermore, two-group case-control classifications revealed highest accuracy for AD using global T1-weighted BAG, while MCI, SCI, BD and SZ showed strongest effects in CBF-based BAGs. Combining multiple MRI modalities improves brain age prediction and reveals distinct deviations in patients with psychiatric and neurological disorders. The multimodal BAG was most accurate in predicting age in HC, while group differences between patients and HC were often larger for BAGs based on single modalities. These findings indicate that multidimensional neuroimaging of patients may provide a brain-based mapping of overlapping and distinct pathophysiology in common disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hbm.25323DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7978139PMC
April 2021

In vivo hippocampal subfield volumes in bipolar disorder-A mega-analysis from The Enhancing Neuro Imaging Genetics through Meta-Analysis Bipolar Disorder Working Group.

Hum Brain Mapp 2020 Oct 19. Epub 2020 Oct 19.

Department of Psychiatry, University of Münster, Münster, Germany.

The hippocampus consists of anatomically and functionally distinct subfields that may be differentially involved in the pathophysiology of bipolar disorder (BD). Here we, the Enhancing NeuroImaging Genetics through Meta-Analysis Bipolar Disorder workinggroup, study hippocampal subfield volumetry in BD. T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging scans from 4,698 individuals (BD = 1,472, healthy controls [HC] = 3,226) from 23 sites worldwide were processed with FreeSurfer. We used linear mixed-effects models and mega-analysis to investigate differences in hippocampal subfield volumes between BD and HC, followed by analyses of clinical characteristics and medication use. BD showed significantly smaller volumes of the whole hippocampus (Cohen's d = -0.20), cornu ammonis (CA)1 (d = -0.18), CA2/3 (d = -0.11), CA4 (d = -0.19), molecular layer (d = -0.21), granule cell layer of dentate gyrus (d = -0.21), hippocampal tail (d = -0.10), subiculum (d = -0.15), presubiculum (d = -0.18), and hippocampal amygdala transition area (d = -0.17) compared to HC. Lithium users did not show volume differences compared to HC, while non-users did. Antipsychotics or antiepileptic use was associated with smaller volumes. In this largest study of hippocampal subfields in BD to date, we show widespread reductions in nine of 12 subfields studied. The associations were modulated by medication use and specifically the lack of differences between lithium users and HC supports a possible protective role of lithium in BD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hbm.25249DOI Listing
October 2020

Greater male than female variability in regional brain structure across the lifespan.

Hum Brain Mapp 2020 Oct 12. Epub 2020 Oct 12.

FIDMAG Germanes Hospitalàries Research Foundation, Barcelona, Spain.

For many traits, males show greater variability than females, with possible implications for understanding sex differences in health and disease. Here, the ENIGMA (Enhancing Neuro Imaging Genetics through Meta-Analysis) Consortium presents the largest-ever mega-analysis of sex differences in variability of brain structure, based on international data spanning nine decades of life. Subcortical volumes, cortical surface area and cortical thickness were assessed in MRI data of 16,683 healthy individuals 1-90 years old (47% females). We observed significant patterns of greater male than female between-subject variance for all subcortical volumetric measures, all cortical surface area measures, and 60% of cortical thickness measures. This pattern was stable across the lifespan for 50% of the subcortical structures, 70% of the regional area measures, and nearly all regions for thickness. Our findings that these sex differences are present in childhood implicate early life genetic or gene-environment interaction mechanisms. The findings highlight the importance of individual differences within the sexes, that may underpin sex-specific vulnerability to disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hbm.25204DOI Listing
October 2020

Cortical thickness and resting-state cardiac function across the lifespan: A cross-sectional pooled mega-analysis.

Psychophysiology 2021 Jul 10;58(7):e13688. Epub 2020 Oct 10.

Norwegian Centre for Mental Disorders Research (NORMENT), Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.

Understanding the association between autonomic nervous system [ANS] function and brain morphology across the lifespan provides important insights into neurovisceral mechanisms underlying health and disease. Resting-state ANS activity, indexed by measures of heart rate [HR] and its variability [HRV] has been associated with brain morphology, particularly cortical thickness [CT]. While findings have been mixed regarding the anatomical distribution and direction of the associations, these inconsistencies may be due to sex and age differences in HR/HRV and CT. Previous studies have been limited by small sample sizes, which impede the assessment of sex differences and aging effects on the association between ANS function and CT. To overcome these limitations, 20 groups worldwide contributed data collected under similar protocols of CT assessment and HR/HRV recording to be pooled in a mega-analysis (N = 1,218 (50.5% female), mean age 36.7 years (range: 12-87)). Findings suggest a decline in HRV as well as CT with increasing age. CT, particularly in the orbitofrontal cortex, explained additional variance in HRV, beyond the effects of aging. This pattern of results may suggest that the decline in HRV with increasing age is related to a decline in orbitofrontal CT. These effects were independent of sex and specific to HRV; with no significant association between CT and HR. Greater CT across the adult lifespan may be vital for the maintenance of healthy cardiac regulation via the ANS-or greater cardiac vagal activity as indirectly reflected in HRV may slow brain atrophy. Findings reveal an important association between CT and cardiac parasympathetic activity with implications for healthy aging and longevity that should be studied further in longitudinal research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/psyp.13688DOI Listing
July 2021

Intelligence, educational attainment, and brain structure in those at familial high-risk for schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

Hum Brain Mapp 2020 Oct 7. Epub 2020 Oct 7.

Neuroscience Research Australia, Sydney, Australia.

First-degree relatives of patients diagnosed with schizophrenia (SZ-FDRs) show similar patterns of brain abnormalities and cognitive alterations to patients, albeit with smaller effect sizes. First-degree relatives of patients diagnosed with bipolar disorder (BD-FDRs) show divergent patterns; on average, intracranial volume is larger compared to controls, and findings on cognitive alterations in BD-FDRs are inconsistent. Here, we performed a meta-analysis of global and regional brain measures (cortical and subcortical), current IQ, and educational attainment in 5,795 individuals (1,103 SZ-FDRs, 867 BD-FDRs, 2,190 controls, 942 schizophrenia patients, 693 bipolar patients) from 36 schizophrenia and/or bipolar disorder family cohorts, with standardized methods. Compared to controls, SZ-FDRs showed a pattern of widespread thinner cortex, while BD-FDRs had widespread larger cortical surface area. IQ was lower in SZ-FDRs (d = -0.42, p = 3 × 10 ), with weak evidence of IQ reductions among BD-FDRs (d = -0.23, p = .045). Both relative groups had similar educational attainment compared to controls. When adjusting for IQ or educational attainment, the group-effects on brain measures changed, albeit modestly. Changes were in the expected direction, with less pronounced brain abnormalities in SZ-FDRs and more pronounced effects in BD-FDRs. To conclude, SZ-FDRs and BD-FDRs show a differential pattern of structural brain abnormalities. In contrast, both had lower IQ scores and similar school achievements compared to controls. Given that brain differences between SZ-FDRs and BD-FDRs remain after adjusting for IQ or educational attainment, we suggest that differential brain developmental processes underlying predisposition for schizophrenia or bipolar disorder are likely independent of general cognitive impairment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hbm.25206DOI Listing
October 2020

Intracranial and subcortical volumes in adolescents with early-onset psychosis: A multisite mega-analysis from the ENIGMA consortium.

Hum Brain Mapp 2020 Oct 5. Epub 2020 Oct 5.

Hurvitz Brain Sciences, Sunnybrook Research Institute, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Early-onset psychosis disorders are serious mental disorders arising before the age of 18 years. Here, we investigate the largest neuroimaging dataset, to date, of patients with early-onset psychosis and healthy controls for differences in intracranial and subcortical brain volumes. The sample included 263 patients with early-onset psychosis (mean age: 16.4 ± 1.4 years, mean illness duration: 1.5 ± 1.4 years, 39.2% female) and 359 healthy controls (mean age: 15.9 ± 1.7 years, 45.4% female) with magnetic resonance imaging data, pooled from 11 clinical cohorts. Patients were diagnosed with early-onset schizophrenia (n = 183), affective psychosis (n = 39), or other psychotic disorders (n = 41). We used linear mixed-effects models to investigate differences in intracranial and subcortical volumes across the patient sample, diagnostic subgroup and antipsychotic medication, relative to controls. We observed significantly lower intracranial (Cohen's d = -0.39) and hippocampal (d = -0.25) volumes, and higher caudate (d = 0.25) and pallidum (d = 0.24) volumes in patients relative to controls. Intracranial volume was lower in both early-onset schizophrenia (d = -0.34) and affective psychosis (d = -0.42), and early-onset schizophrenia showed lower hippocampal (d = -0.24) and higher pallidum (d = 0.29) volumes. Patients who were currently treated with antipsychotic medication (n = 193) had significantly lower intracranial volume (d = -0.42). The findings demonstrate a similar pattern of brain alterations in early-onset psychosis as previously reported in adult psychosis, but with notably low intracranial volume. The low intracranial volume suggests disrupted neurodevelopment in adolescent early-onset psychosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hbm.25212DOI Listing
October 2020

Preclinical atherosclerosis in adolescents with psychotic or bipolar disorders investigated with carotid high-frequency ultrasound.

Brain Behav 2020 12 30;10(12):e01862. Epub 2020 Sep 30.

Department of Clinical Science and Education Södersjukhuset, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

Objective: Early-onset psychosis (EOP) and bipolar disorder (EOBP) (at <18 years of age), are associated with an increased future risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and premature death. Yet it is unknown whether the arteries show visible signs of atherosclerosis in EOP and EOBP. This study investigated whether having EOP or EOBP was associated with detectable signs of preclinical atherosclerosis.

Method: By using 22 MHz high-frequency ultrasound, different layers of the arterial wall of the left common carotid artery (LCCA) were assessed in 77 individuals with EOP (n = 25), EOBP (n = 22), and in age-matched healthy controls (n = 30). Conventional CVD confounders were included in the analyses.

Results: Adolescents with EOP and EOBP, compared to controls, had a significantly thicker LCCA intima thickness (0.132 vs. 0.095 mm, p < .001) and intima/media ratio (0.24 vs. 0.17 p < .001). There was a nonsignificant intima difference between EOP and EOBP. Conventional CVD risk factors did not explain the association between EOP/EOBP and intima thickness. In the group of EOP/EOBP, there was a significant correlation between the dose of current antipsychotic medication and intima thickness; however, the correlation was attenuated to a nonsignificant level when adjusted for global function.

Conclusions: Adolescents with EOP or EOBP had an increased LCCA intima thickness, interpreted as a sign of preclinical atherosclerosis. Global function of the disorders was the strongest determinant of intima thickness. The findings, if replicated, might have implications for long-term treatment of EOP and EOBP in order to reduce a future risk of CVD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/brb3.1862DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7749529PMC
December 2020

Brain Age Prediction Reveals Aberrant Brain White Matter in Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder: A Multisample Diffusion Tensor Imaging Study.

Biol Psychiatry Cogn Neurosci Neuroimaging 2020 12 8;5(12):1095-1103. Epub 2020 Jul 8.

Catosenteret Rehabilitation Center, Son, Norway.

Background: Schizophrenia (SZ) and bipolar disorder (BD) share substantial neurodevelopmental components affecting brain maturation and architecture. This necessitates a dynamic lifespan perspective in which brain aberrations are inferred from deviations from expected lifespan trajectories. We applied machine learning to diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) indices of white matter structure and organization to estimate and compare brain age between patients with SZ, patients with BD, and healthy control (HC) subjects across 10 cohorts.

Methods: We trained 6 cross-validated models using different combinations of DTI data from 927 HC subjects (18-94 years of age) and applied the models to the test sets including 648 patients with SZ (18-66 years of age), 185 patients with BD (18-64 years of age), and 990 HC subjects (17-68 years of age), estimating the brain age for each participant. Group differences were assessed using linear models, accounting for age, sex, and scanner. A meta-analytic framework was applied to assess the heterogeneity and generalizability of the results.

Results: Tenfold cross-validation revealed high accuracy for all models. Compared with HC subjects, the model including all feature sets significantly overestimated the age of patients with SZ (Cohen's d = -0.29) and patients with BD (Cohen's d = 0.18), with similar effects for the other models. The meta-analysis converged on the same findings. Fractional anisotropy-based models showed larger group differences than the models based on other DTI-derived metrics.

Conclusions: Brain age prediction based on DTI provides informative and robust proxies for brain white matter integrity. Our results further suggest that white matter aberrations in SZ and BD primarily consist of anatomically distributed deviations from expected lifespan trajectories that generalize across cohorts and scanners.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bpsc.2020.06.014DOI Listing
December 2020

Women's brain aging: Effects of sex-hormone exposure, pregnancies, and genetic risk for Alzheimer's disease.

Hum Brain Mapp 2020 12 28;41(18):5141-5150. Epub 2020 Aug 28.

Department of Psychology, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.

Sex hormones such as estrogen fluctuate across the female lifespan, with high levels during reproductive years and natural decline during the transition to menopause. Women's exposure to estrogen may influence their heightened risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD) relative to men, but little is known about how it affects normal brain aging. Recent findings from the UK Biobank demonstrate less apparent brain aging in women with a history of multiple childbirths, highlighting a potential link between sex-hormone exposure and brain aging. We investigated endogenous and exogenous sex-hormone exposure, genetic risk for AD, and neuroimaging-derived biomarkers for brain aging in 16,854 middle to older-aged women. The results showed that as opposed to parity, higher cumulative sex-hormone exposure was associated with more evident brain aging, indicating that i) high levels of cumulative exposure to sex-hormones may have adverse effects on the brain, and ii) beneficial effects of pregnancies on the female brain are not solely attributable to modulations in sex-hormone exposure. In addition, for women using hormonal replacement therapy (HRT), starting treatment earlier was associated with less evident brain aging, but only in women with a genetic risk for AD. Genetic factors may thus contribute to how timing of HRT initiation influences women's brain aging trajectories.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hbm.25180DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7670641PMC
December 2020

Reduced levels of circulating adhesion molecules in adolescents with early-onset psychosis.

NPJ Schizophr 2020 Aug 18;6(1):20. Epub 2020 Aug 18.

NORMENT Center of Excellence, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.

It is suggested that neurodevelopmental abnormalities are involved in the disease mechanisms of psychotic disorders. Although cellular adhesion molecules (CAMs) participate in neurodevelopment, modulate blood-brain barrier permeability, and facilitate leukocyte migration, findings concerning their systemic levels in adults with psychosis are inconsistent. We examined plasma levels and mRNA expression in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of selected CAMs in adolescents with early-onset psychosis (EOP) aged 12-18 years (n = 37) and age-matched healthy controls (HC) (n = 68). EOP patients exhibited significantly lower circulating levels of soluble platelet selectin (~-22%) and soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (~-14%) than HC. We found no significant associations with symptom severity. PSEL mRNA expression was increased in PBMCs of patients and significantly negatively correlated to duration of illness. These findings suggest a role for CAMs in the pathophysiology of psychotic disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41537-020-00112-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7434772PMC
August 2020

The genetic architecture of human brainstem structures and their involvement in common brain disorders.

Nat Commun 2020 08 11;11(1):4016. Epub 2020 Aug 11.

Department of Neuromedicine and Movement Science, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway.

Brainstem regions support vital bodily functions, yet their genetic architectures and involvement in common brain disorders remain understudied. Here, using imaging-genetics data from a discovery sample of 27,034 individuals, we identify 45 brainstem-associated genetic loci, including the first linked to midbrain, pons, and medulla oblongata volumes, and map them to 305 genes. In a replication sample of 7432 participants most of the loci show the same effect direction and are significant at a nominal threshold. We detect genetic overlap between brainstem volumes and eight psychiatric and neurological disorders. In additional clinical data from 5062 individuals with common brain disorders and 11,257 healthy controls, we observe differential volume alterations in schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, multiple sclerosis, mild cognitive impairment, dementia, and Parkinson's disease, supporting the relevance of brainstem regions and their genetic architectures in common brain disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-17376-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7421944PMC
August 2020

Asphyxia at birth affects brain structure in patients on the schizophrenia-bipolar disorder spectrum and healthy participants.

Psychol Med 2020 Aug 10:1-10. Epub 2020 Aug 10.

Department of Psychiatric Research, Diakonhjemmet Hospital, Oslo, Norway.

Background: Uncertainty exists about what causes brain structure alterations associated with schizophrenia (SZ) and bipolar disorder (BD). Whether a history of asphyxia-related obstetric complication (ASP) - a common but harmful condition for neural tissue - contributes to variations in adult brain structure is unclear. We investigated ASP and its relationship to intracranial (ICV), global brain volumes and regional cortical and subcortical structures.

Methods: A total of 311 patients on the SZ - BD spectrum and 218 healthy control (HC) participants underwent structural magnetic resonance imaging. They were evaluated for ASP using prospective information obtained from the Medical Birth Registry of Norway.

Results: In all groups, ASP was related to smaller ICV, total brain, white and gray matter volumes and total surface area, but not to cortical thickness. Smaller cortical surface areas were found across frontal, parietal, occipital, temporal and insular regions. Smaller hippocampal, amygdala, thalamus, caudate and putamen volumes were reported for all ASP subgroups. ASP effects did not survive ICV correction, except in the caudate, which remained significantly smaller in both patient ASP subgroups, but not in the HC.

Conclusions: Since ASP was associated with smaller brain volumes in all groups, the genetic risk of developing a severe mental illness, alone, cannot easily explain the smaller ICV. Only the smaller caudate volumes of ASP patients specifically suggest that injury from ASP can be related to disease development. Our findings give support for the ICV as a marker of aberrant neurodevelopment and ASP in the etiology of brain development in BD and SZ.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0033291720002779DOI Listing
August 2020