Publications by authors named "Theo G M van Erp"

156 Publications

Multivariate alterations in insula - Medial prefrontal cortex linked to genetics in 12q24 in schizophrenia.

Psychiatry Res 2021 Oct 10;306:114237. Epub 2021 Oct 10.

Department of Psychology, Georgia State University, United States of America; Tri-institutional Center for Translational Research in Neuroimaging and Data Science (TReNDS), Georgia State University, Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University, United States of America.

The direct effect of genetic variations on clinical phenotypes within schizophrenia (SZ) remains elusive. We examined the previously identified association of reduced gray matter concentration in the insula - medial prefrontal cortex and a quantitative trait locus located in 12q24 in a SZ dataset. The main analysis was performed on 1461 SNPs and 830 participants. The highest contributing SNPs were localized in five genes including TMEM119, which encodes a microglial marker, that is associated with neuroinflammation and Alzheimer's disease. The gene set in 12q4 may partially explain brain alterations in SZ, but they may also relate to other psychiatric and developmental disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2021.114237DOI Listing
October 2021

Converting scores between the PANSS and SAPS/SANS beyond the positive/negative dichotomy.

Psychiatry Res 2021 Sep 1;305:114199. Epub 2021 Sep 1.

Research Center of the Montreal Mental Health University Institute, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Department of Psychiatry and Addictology, University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Electronic address:

Previous work provided conversion equations for overall indices of positive and negative symptomatology between the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) and the Scales for the Assessment of Positive/Negative Symptoms (SAPS/SANS). Our objective was to provide such conversion equations for subdomains of positive and negative symptomatology in order to better account for the diversity of symptom profiles in schizophrenia. Symptoms severity was assessed using both the PANSS and SAPS/SANS in 205 patients with schizophrenia. Two exploratory factor analyses combining items from both scales were first performed separately in the positive and negative symptom domains. Positive factors were termed 'Hallucinations', 'Delusions' and 'Disorganization', while negative factors were associated with 'Expressivity', 'Amotivation' and 'Cognition', consistent with current descriptions of symptom dimensions in schizophrenia. For each factor, linear regression analyses were conducted on 80% of the data to obtain conversion equations from the PANSS to the SAPS/SANS and vice versa. Reliability was then evaluated on the 20% remaining data, with good to excellent intra-class correlation coefficients between the original and predicted scores for all but the cognition factor. These findings show that symptom severity scores can be converted with good accuracy between clinical scales beyond the positive/negative symptom dichotomy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2021.114199DOI Listing
September 2021

A meta-analysis of deep brain structural shape and asymmetry abnormalities in 2,833 individuals with schizophrenia compared with 3,929 healthy volunteers via the ENIGMA Consortium.

Hum Brain Mapp 2021 Sep 8. Epub 2021 Sep 8.

Tri-institutional Center for Translational Research in Neuroimaging and Data Science (TReNDS) [Georgia State University, Georgia Institute of Technology], Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Schizophrenia is associated with widespread alterations in subcortical brain structure. While analytic methods have enabled more detailed morphometric characterization, findings are often equivocal. In this meta-analysis, we employed the harmonized ENIGMA shape analysis protocols to collaboratively investigate subcortical brain structure shape differences between individuals with schizophrenia and healthy control participants. The study analyzed data from 2,833 individuals with schizophrenia and 3,929 healthy control participants contributed by 21 worldwide research groups participating in the ENIGMA Schizophrenia Working Group. Harmonized shape analysis protocols were applied to each site's data independently for bilateral hippocampus, amygdala, caudate, accumbens, putamen, pallidum, and thalamus obtained from T1-weighted structural MRI scans. Mass univariate meta-analyses revealed more-concave-than-convex shape differences in the hippocampus, amygdala, accumbens, and thalamus in individuals with schizophrenia compared with control participants, more-convex-than-concave shape differences in the putamen and pallidum, and both concave and convex shape differences in the caudate. Patterns of exaggerated asymmetry were observed across the hippocampus, amygdala, and thalamus in individuals with schizophrenia compared to control participants, while diminished asymmetry encompassed ventral striatum and ventral and dorsal thalamus. Our analyses also revealed that higher chlorpromazine dose equivalents and increased positive symptom levels were associated with patterns of contiguous convex shape differences across multiple subcortical structures. Findings from our shape meta-analysis suggest that common neurobiological mechanisms may contribute to gray matter reduction across multiple subcortical regions, thus enhancing our understanding of the nature of network disorganization in schizophrenia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hbm.25625DOI Listing
September 2021

Tri-Clustering Dynamic Functional Network Connectivity Identifies Significant Schizophrenia Effects Across Multiple States in Distinct Subgroups of Individuals.

Brain Connect 2021 Jul 30. Epub 2021 Jul 30.

Department of Computational Science and Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Brain imaging data collected from individuals are highly complex with unique variation; however, such variation is typically ignored in approaches that focus on group averages or even supervised prediction. State-of-the-art methods for analyzing dynamic functional network connectivity (dFNC) subdivide the entire time course into several (possibly overlapping) connectivity states (i.e., sliding window clusters). However, such an approach does not factor in the homogeneity of underlying data and may result in a less meaningful subgrouping of the data set. Dynamic-N-way tri-clustering (dNTiC) incorporates a homogeneity benchmark to approximate clusters that provide a more "apples-to-apples" comparison between groups within analogous subsets of time-space and subjects. dNTiC sorts the dFNC states by maximizing similarity across individuals and minimizing variance among the pairs of components within a state. Resulting tri-clusters show significant differences between schizophrenia (SZ) and healthy control (HC) in distinct brain regions. Compared with HC subjects, SZ show hypoconnectivity (low positive) among subcortical, default mode, cognitive control, but hyperconnectivity (high positive) between sensory networks in most tri-clusters. In tri-cluster 3, HC subjects show significantly stronger connectivity among sensory networks and anticorrelation between subcortical and sensory networks than SZ. Results also provide a statistically significant difference in SZ and HC subject's reoccurrence time for two distinct dFNC states. Outcomes emphasize the utility of the proposed method for characterizing and leveraging variance within high-dimensional data to enhance the interpretability and sensitivity of measurements in studying a heterogeneous disorder such as SZ and unconstrained experimental conditions as resting functional magnetic resonance imaging. Impact statement The current methods for analyzing dynamic functional network connectivity (dFNC) run -means on a collection of dFNC windows, and each window includes all the pairs of independent component analysis networks. As such, it depicts a short-time connectivity pattern of the entire brain, and the -means clusters fixed-length signatures that have an extent throughout the neural system. Consequently, there is a chance of missing connectivity signatures that span across a smaller subset of pairs. Dynamic-N-way tri-clustering further sorts the dFNC states by maximizing similarity across individuals, minimizing variance among the pairs of components within a state, and reporting more complex and transient patterns.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/brain.2020.0896DOI Listing
July 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

Aberrant Dynamic Functional Connectivity of Default Mode Network in Schizophrenia and Links to Symptom Severity.

Front Neural Circuits 2021 18;15:649417. Epub 2021 Mar 18.

Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, United States.

Schizophrenia affects around 1% of the global population. Functional connectivity extracted from resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) has previously been used to study schizophrenia and has great potential to provide novel insights into the disorder. Some studies have shown abnormal functional connectivity in the default mode network (DMN) of individuals with schizophrenia, and more recent studies have shown abnormal dynamic functional connectivity (dFC) in individuals with schizophrenia. However, DMN dFC and the link between abnormal DMN dFC and symptom severity have not been well-characterized. Resting-state fMRI data from subjects with schizophrenia (SZ) and healthy controls (HC) across two datasets were analyzed independently. We captured seven maximally independent subnodes in the DMN by applying group independent component analysis and estimated dFC between subnode time courses using a sliding window approach. A clustering method separated the dFCs into five reoccurring brain states. A feature selection method modeled the difference between SZs and HCs using the state-specific FC features. Finally, we used the transition probability of a hidden Markov model to characterize the link between symptom severity and dFC in SZ subjects. We found decreases in the connectivity of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and increases in the connectivity between the precuneus (PCu) and the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) (i.e., PCu/PCC) of SZ subjects. In SZ, the transition probability from a state with weaker PCu/PCC and stronger ACC connectivity to a state with stronger PCu/PCC and weaker ACC connectivity increased with symptom severity. To our knowledge, this was the first study to investigate DMN dFC and its link to schizophrenia symptom severity. We identified reproducible neural states in a data-driven manner and demonstrated that the strength of connectivity within those states differed between SZs and HCs. Additionally, we identified a relationship between SZ symptom severity and the dynamics of DMN functional connectivity. We validated our results across two datasets. These results support the potential of dFC for use as a biomarker of schizophrenia and shed new light upon the relationship between schizophrenia and DMN dynamics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fncir.2021.649417DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8013735PMC
March 2021

Analysis of structural brain asymmetries in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in 39 datasets.

J Child Psychol Psychiatry 2021 10 22;62(10):1202-1219. Epub 2021 Mar 22.

Department of Behavioral Neuroscience, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR, USA.

Objective: Some studies have suggested alterations of structural brain asymmetry in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but findings have been contradictory and based on small samples. Here, we performed the largest ever analysis of brain left-right asymmetry in ADHD, using 39 datasets of the ENIGMA consortium.

Methods: We analyzed asymmetry of subcortical and cerebral cortical structures in up to 1,933 people with ADHD and 1,829 unaffected controls. Asymmetry Indexes (AIs) were calculated per participant for each bilaterally paired measure, and linear mixed effects modeling was applied separately in children, adolescents, adults, and the total sample, to test exhaustively for potential associations of ADHD with structural brain asymmetries.

Results: There was no evidence for altered caudate nucleus asymmetry in ADHD, in contrast to prior literature. In children, there was less rightward asymmetry of the total hemispheric surface area compared to controls (t = 2.1, p = .04). Lower rightward asymmetry of medial orbitofrontal cortex surface area in ADHD (t = 2.7, p = .01) was similar to a recent finding for autism spectrum disorder. There were also some differences in cortical thickness asymmetry across age groups. In adults with ADHD, globus pallidus asymmetry was altered compared to those without ADHD. However, all effects were small (Cohen's d from -0.18 to 0.18) and would not survive study-wide correction for multiple testing.

Conclusion: Prior studies of altered structural brain asymmetry in ADHD were likely underpowered to detect the small effects reported here. Altered structural asymmetry is unlikely to provide a useful biomarker for ADHD, but may provide neurobiological insights into the trait.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jcpp.13396DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8455726PMC
October 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

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

Structural brain imaging studies offer clues about the effects of the shared genetic etiology among neuropsychiatric disorders.

Mol Psychiatry 2021 06 17;26(6):2101-2110. Epub 2021 Jan 17.

Departments of Psychiatry and of Neuroscience and Physiology, SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY, USA.

Genomewide association studies have found significant genetic correlations among many neuropsychiatric disorders. In contrast, we know much less about the degree to which structural brain alterations are similar among disorders and, if so, the degree to which such similarities have a genetic etiology. From the Enhancing Neuroimaging Genetics through Meta-Analysis (ENIGMA) consortium, we acquired standardized mean differences (SMDs) in regional brain volume and cortical thickness between cases and controls. We had data on 41 brain regions for: attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), bipolar disorder (BD), epilepsy, major depressive disorder (MDD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and schizophrenia (SCZ). These data had been derived from 24,360 patients and 37,425 controls. The SMDs were significantly correlated between SCZ and BD, OCD, MDD, and ASD. MDD was positively correlated with BD and OCD. BD was positively correlated with OCD and negatively correlated with ADHD. These pairwise correlations among disorders were correlated with the corresponding pairwise correlations among disorders derived from genomewide association studies (r = 0.494). Our results show substantial similarities in sMRI phenotypes among neuropsychiatric disorders and suggest that these similarities are accounted for, in part, by corresponding similarities in common genetic variant architectures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41380-020-01002-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8440178PMC
June 2021

Multiple overlapping dynamic patterns of the visual sensory network in schizophrenia.

Schizophr Res 2021 02 9;228:103-111. Epub 2021 Jan 9.

Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University, Atlanta, GA, United States of America; Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, United States of America; Tri-institutional Center for Translational Research in Neuroimaging and Data Science, Georgia State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, United States of America. Electronic address:

Although visual processing impairments have been explored in schizophrenia (SZ), their underlying neurobiology of the visual processing impairments has not been widely studied. Also, while some research has hinted at differences in information transfer and flow in SZ, there are few investigations of the dynamics of functional connectivity within visual networks. In this study, we analyzed resting-state fMRI data of the visual sensory network (VSN) in 160 healthy control (HC) subjects and 151 SZ subjects. We estimated 9 independent components within the VSN. Then, we calculated the dynamic functional network connectivity (dFNC) using the Pearson correlation. Next, using k-means clustering, we partitioned the dFNCs into five distinct states, and then we calculated the portion of time each subject spent in each state, which we termed the occupancy rate (OCR). Using OCR, we compared HC with SZ subjects and investigated the link between OCR and visual learning in SZ subjects. Besides, we compared the VSN functional connectivity of SZ and HC subjects in each state. We found that this network is indeed highly dynamic. Each state represents a unique connectivity pattern of fluctuations in VSN FNC, and all states showed significant disruption in SZ. Overall, HC showed stronger connectivity within the VSN in states. SZ subjects spent more time in a state in which the connectivity between the middle temporal gyrus and other regions of VNS is highly negative. Besides, OCR in a state with strong positive connectivity between the middle temporal gyrus and other regions correlated significantly with visual learning scores in SZ.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.schres.2020.11.055DOI Listing
February 2021

FreeSurfer-based segmentation of hippocampal subfields: A review of methods and applications, with a novel quality control procedure for ENIGMA studies and other collaborative efforts.

Hum Brain Mapp 2020 Dec 27. Epub 2020 Dec 27.

Orygen, Parkville, Australia.

Structural hippocampal abnormalities are common in many neurological and psychiatric disorders, and variation in hippocampal measures is related to cognitive performance and other complex phenotypes such as stress sensitivity. Hippocampal subregions are increasingly studied, as automated algorithms have become available for mapping and volume quantification. In the context of the Enhancing Neuro Imaging Genetics through Meta Analysis Consortium, several Disease Working Groups are using the FreeSurfer software to analyze hippocampal subregion (subfield) volumes in patients with neurological and psychiatric conditions along with data from matched controls. In this overview, we explain the algorithm's principles, summarize measurement reliability studies, and demonstrate two additional aspects (subfield autocorrelation and volume/reliability correlation) with illustrative data. We then explain the rationale for a standardized hippocampal subfield segmentation quality control (QC) procedure for improved pipeline harmonization. To guide researchers to make optimal use of the algorithm, we discuss how global size and age effects can be modeled, how QC steps can be incorporated and how subfields may be aggregated into composite volumes. This discussion is based on a synopsis of 162 published neuroimaging studies (01/2013-12/2019) that applied the FreeSurfer hippocampal subfield segmentation in a broad range of domains including cognition and healthy aging, brain development and neurodegeneration, affective disorders, psychosis, stress regulation, neurotoxicity, epilepsy, inflammatory disease, childhood adversity and posttraumatic stress disorder, and candidate and whole genome (epi-)genetics. Finally, we highlight points where FreeSurfer-based hippocampal subfield studies may be optimized.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hbm.25326DOI Listing
December 2020

Cortical volume abnormalities in posttraumatic stress disorder: an ENIGMA-psychiatric genomics consortium PTSD workgroup mega-analysis.

Mol Psychiatry 2020 Dec 7. Epub 2020 Dec 7.

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey, PA, USA.

Studies of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) report volume abnormalities in multiple regions of the cerebral cortex. However, findings for many regions, particularly regions outside commonly studied emotion-related prefrontal, insular, and limbic regions, are inconsistent and tentative. Also, few studies address the possibility that PTSD abnormalities may be confounded by comorbid depression. A mega-analysis investigating all cortical regions in a large sample of PTSD and control subjects can potentially provide new insight into these issues. Given this perspective, our group aggregated regional volumes data of 68 cortical regions across both hemispheres from 1379 PTSD patients to 2192 controls without PTSD after data were processed by 32 international laboratories using ENIGMA standardized procedures. We examined whether regional cortical volumes were different in PTSD vs. controls, were associated with posttraumatic stress symptom (PTSS) severity, or were affected by comorbid depression. Volumes of left and right lateral orbitofrontal gyri (LOFG), left superior temporal gyrus, and right insular, lingual and superior parietal gyri were significantly smaller, on average, in PTSD patients than controls (standardized coefficients = -0.111 to -0.068, FDR corrected P values < 0.039) and were significantly negatively correlated with PTSS severity. After adjusting for depression symptoms, the PTSD findings in left and right LOFG remained significant. These findings indicate that cortical volumes in PTSD patients are smaller in prefrontal regulatory regions, as well as in broader emotion and sensory processing cortical regions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41380-020-00967-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8180531PMC
December 2020

Brain amyloid and the transition to dementia in Down syndrome.

Alzheimers Dement (Amst) 2020 11;12(1):e12126. Epub 2020 Nov 11.

Department of Pediatrics Irvine Medical Center University of California Orange California USA.

Introduction: Down syndrome (DS) is associated with elevated risk for Alzheimer's disease (AD) due to amyloid beta (Aβ) lifelong accumulation. We hypothesized that the spatial distribution of brain Aβ predicts future dementia conversion in individuals with DS.

Methods: We acquired F-florbetapir positron emission tomography scans from 19 nondemented individuals with DS at baseline and monitored them for 4 years, with five individuals transitioning to dementia. Machine learning classification using an independent test set determined features on F-florbetapir standardized uptake value ratio maps that predicted transition.

Results: In addition to "AD signature" regions including the inferior parietal cortex, temporal lobes, and the cingulum, we found that Aβ cortical binding in the prefrontal and superior frontal cortices distinguished subjects who transitioned to dementia. Classification did well in predicting transitioners.

Discussion: Our study suggests that specific regional profiles of brain amyloid in older adults with DS may predict cognitive decline and are informative in evaluating the risk for dementia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/dad2.12126DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7656170PMC
November 2020

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

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

Virtual Histology of Cortical Thickness and Shared Neurobiology in 6 Psychiatric Disorders.

JAMA Psychiatry 2021 Jan;78(1):47-63

Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology, School of Mental Health and Neuroscience, Maastricht University, the Netherlands.

Importance: Large-scale neuroimaging studies have revealed group differences in cortical thickness across many psychiatric disorders. The underlying neurobiology behind these differences is not well understood.

Objective: To determine neurobiologic correlates of group differences in cortical thickness between cases and controls in 6 disorders: attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), bipolar disorder (BD), major depressive disorder (MDD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and schizophrenia.

Design, Setting, And Participants: Profiles of group differences in cortical thickness between cases and controls were generated using T1-weighted magnetic resonance images. Similarity between interregional profiles of cell-specific gene expression and those in the group differences in cortical thickness were investigated in each disorder. Next, principal component analysis was used to reveal a shared profile of group difference in thickness across the disorders. Analysis for gene coexpression, clustering, and enrichment for genes associated with these disorders were conducted. Data analysis was conducted between June and December 2019. The analysis included 145 cohorts across 6 psychiatric disorders drawn from the ENIGMA consortium. The numbers of cases and controls in each of the 6 disorders were as follows: ADHD: 1814 and 1602; ASD: 1748 and 1770; BD: 1547 and 3405; MDD: 2658 and 3572; OCD: 2266 and 2007; and schizophrenia: 2688 and 3244.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Interregional profiles of group difference in cortical thickness between cases and controls.

Results: A total of 12 721 cases and 15 600 controls, ranging from ages 2 to 89 years, were included in this study. Interregional profiles of group differences in cortical thickness for each of the 6 psychiatric disorders were associated with profiles of gene expression specific to pyramidal (CA1) cells, astrocytes (except for BD), and microglia (except for OCD); collectively, gene-expression profiles of the 3 cell types explain between 25% and 54% of variance in interregional profiles of group differences in cortical thickness. Principal component analysis revealed a shared profile of difference in cortical thickness across the 6 disorders (48% variance explained); interregional profile of this principal component 1 was associated with that of the pyramidal-cell gene expression (explaining 56% of interregional variation). Coexpression analyses of these genes revealed 2 clusters: (1) a prenatal cluster enriched with genes involved in neurodevelopmental (axon guidance) processes and (2) a postnatal cluster enriched with genes involved in synaptic activity and plasticity-related processes. These clusters were enriched with genes associated with all 6 psychiatric disorders.

Conclusions And Relevance: In this study, shared neurobiologic processes were associated with differences in cortical thickness across multiple psychiatric disorders. These processes implicate a common role of prenatal development and postnatal functioning of the cerebral cortex in these disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2020.2694DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7450410PMC
January 2021

Subcortical Brain Volume, Regional Cortical Thickness, and Cortical Surface Area Across Disorders: Findings From the ENIGMA ADHD, ASD, and OCD Working Groups.

Am J Psychiatry 2020 09 16;177(9):834-843. Epub 2020 Jun 16.

The full list of authors in the ENIGMA working groups, author affiliations, author disclosures, and acknowledgments are provided in online supplements.

Objective: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) are common neurodevelopmental disorders that frequently co-occur. The authors sought to directly compare these disorders using structural brain imaging data from ENIGMA consortium data.

Methods: Structural T-weighted whole-brain MRI data from healthy control subjects (N=5,827) and from patients with ADHD (N=2,271), ASD (N=1,777), and OCD (N=2,323) from 151 cohorts worldwide were analyzed using standardized processing protocols. The authors examined subcortical volume, cortical thickness, and cortical surface area differences within a mega-analytical framework, pooling measures extracted from each cohort. Analyses were performed separately for children, adolescents, and adults, using linear mixed-effects models adjusting for age, sex, and site (and intracranial volume for subcortical and surface area measures).

Results: No shared differences were found among all three disorders, and shared differences between any two disorders did not survive correction for multiple comparisons. Children with ADHD compared with those with OCD had smaller hippocampal volumes, possibly influenced by IQ. Children and adolescents with ADHD also had smaller intracranial volume than control subjects and those with OCD or ASD. Adults with ASD showed thicker frontal cortices compared with adult control subjects and other clinical groups. No OCD-specific differences were observed across different age groups and surface area differences among all disorders in childhood and adulthood.

Conclusions: The study findings suggest robust but subtle differences across different age groups among ADHD, ASD, and OCD. ADHD-specific intracranial volume and hippocampal differences in children and adolescents, and ASD-specific cortical thickness differences in the frontal cortex in adults, support previous work emphasizing structural brain differences in these disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1176/appi.ajp.2020.19030331DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8296070PMC
September 2020

Translating ENIGMA schizophrenia findings using the regional vulnerability index: Association with cognition, symptoms, and disease trajectory.

Hum Brain Mapp 2020 May 28. Epub 2020 May 28.

Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, Department of Psychiatry, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Patients with schizophrenia have patterns of brain deficits including reduced cortical thickness, subcortical gray matter volumes, and cerebral white matter integrity. We proposed the regional vulnerability index (RVI) to translate the results of Enhancing Neuro Imaging Genetics Meta-Analysis studies to the individual level. We calculated RVIs for cortical, subcortical, and white matter measurements and a multimodality RVI. We evaluated RVI as a measure sensitive to schizophrenia-specific neuroanatomical deficits and symptoms and studied the timeline of deficit formations in: early (≤5 years since diagnosis, N = 45, age = 28.8 ± 8.5); intermediate (6-20 years, N = 30, age 43.3 ± 8.6); and chronic (21+ years, N = 44, age = 52.5 ± 5.2) patients and healthy controls (N = 76, age = 38.6 ± 12.4). All RVIs were significantly elevated in patients compared to controls, with the multimodal RVI showing the largest effect size, followed by cortical, white matter and subcortical RVIs (d = 1.57, 1.23, 1.09, and 0.61, all p < 10 ). Multimodal RVI was significantly correlated with multiple cognitive variables including measures of visual learning, working memory and the total score of the MATRICS consensus cognitive battery, and with negative symptoms. The multimodality and white matter RVIs were significantly elevated in the intermediate and chronic versus early diagnosis group, consistent with ongoing progression. Cortical RVI was stable in the three disease-duration groups, suggesting neurodevelopmental origins of cortical deficits. In summary, neuroanatomical deficits in schizophrenia affect the entire brain; the heterochronicity of their appearance indicates both the neurodevelopmental and progressive nature of this illness. These deficit patterns may be useful for early diagnosis and as quantitative targets for more effective treatment strategies aiming to alter these neuroanatomical deficit patterns.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hbm.25045DOI Listing
May 2020

Mapping brain asymmetry in health and disease through the ENIGMA consortium.

Hum Brain Mapp 2020 May 18. Epub 2020 May 18.

Language and Genetics Department, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

Left-right asymmetry of the human brain is one of its cardinal features, and also a complex, multivariate trait. Decades of research have suggested that brain asymmetry may be altered in psychiatric disorders. However, findings have been inconsistent and often based on small sample sizes. There are also open questions surrounding which structures are asymmetrical on average in the healthy population, and how variability in brain asymmetry relates to basic biological variables such as age and sex. Over the last 4 years, the ENIGMA-Laterality Working Group has published six studies of gray matter morphological asymmetry based on total sample sizes from roughly 3,500 to 17,000 individuals, which were between one and two orders of magnitude larger than those published in previous decades. A population-level mapping of average asymmetry was achieved, including an intriguing fronto-occipital gradient of cortical thickness asymmetry in healthy brains. ENIGMA's multi-dataset approach also supported an empirical illustration of reproducibility of hemispheric differences across datasets. Effect sizes were estimated for gray matter asymmetry based on large, international, samples in relation to age, sex, handedness, and brain volume, as well as for three psychiatric disorders: autism spectrum disorder was associated with subtly reduced asymmetry of cortical thickness at regions spread widely over the cortex; pediatric obsessive-compulsive disorder was associated with altered subcortical asymmetry; major depressive disorder was not significantly associated with changes of asymmetry. Ongoing studies are examining brain asymmetry in other disorders. Moreover, a groundwork has been laid for possibly identifying shared genetic contributions to brain asymmetry and disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hbm.25033DOI Listing
May 2020

Cross-paradigm connectivity: reliability, stability, and utility.

Brain Imaging Behav 2021 Apr;15(2):614-629

Department of Psychology, Yale University, 2 Hillhouse Avenue, New Haven, CT, USA.

While functional neuroimaging studies typically focus on a particular paradigm to investigate network connectivity, the human brain appears to possess an intrinsic "trait" architecture that is independent of any given paradigm. We have previously proposed the use of "cross-paradigm connectivity (CPC)" to quantify shared connectivity patterns across multiple paradigms and have demonstrated the utility of such measures in clinical studies. Here, using generalizability theory and connectome fingerprinting, we examined the reliability, stability, and individual identifiability of CPC in a group of highly-sampled healthy traveling subjects who received fMRI scans with a battery of five paradigms across multiple sites and days. Compared with single-paradigm connectivity matrices, the CPC matrices showed higher reliability in connectivity diversity, lower reliability in connectivity strength, higher stability, and higher individual identification accuracy. All of these assessments increased as a function of number of paradigms included in the CPC analysis. In comparisons involving different paradigm combinations and different brain atlases, we observed significantly higher reliability, stability, and identifiability for CPC matrices constructed from task-only data (versus those from both task and rest data), and higher identifiability but lower stability for CPC matrices constructed from the Power atlas (versus those from the AAL atlas). Moreover, we showed that multi-paradigm CPC matrices likely reflect the brain's "trait" structure that cannot be fully achieved from single-paradigm data, even with multiple runs. The present results provide evidence for the feasibility and utility of CPC in the study of functional "trait" networks and offer some methodological implications for future CPC studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11682-020-00272-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8378905PMC
April 2021

ENIGMA-DTI: Translating reproducible white matter deficits into personalized vulnerability metrics in cross-diagnostic psychiatric research.

Hum Brain Mapp 2020 Apr 16. Epub 2020 Apr 16.

Department of Psychiatry, Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

The ENIGMA-DTI (diffusion tensor imaging) workgroup supports analyses that examine the effects of psychiatric, neurological, and developmental disorders on the white matter pathways of the human brain, as well as the effects of normal variation and its genetic associations. The seven ENIGMA disorder-oriented working groups used the ENIGMA-DTI workflow to derive patterns of deficits using coherent and coordinated analyses that model the disease effects across cohorts worldwide. This yielded the largest studies detailing patterns of white matter deficits in schizophrenia spectrum disorder (SSD), bipolar disorder (BD), major depressive disorder (MDD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), and 22q11 deletion syndrome. These deficit patterns are informative of the underlying neurobiology and reproducible in independent cohorts. We reviewed these findings, demonstrated their reproducibility in independent cohorts, and compared the deficit patterns across illnesses. We discussed translating ENIGMA-defined deficit patterns on the level of individual subjects using a metric called the regional vulnerability index (RVI), a correlation of an individual's brain metrics with the expected pattern for a disorder. We discussed the similarity in white matter deficit patterns among SSD, BD, MDD, and OCD and provided a rationale for using this index in cross-diagnostic neuropsychiatric research. We also discussed the difference in deficit patterns between idiopathic schizophrenia and 22q11 deletion syndrome, which is used as a developmental and genetic model of schizophrenia. Together, these findings highlight the importance of collaborative large-scale research to provide robust and reproducible effects that offer insights into individual vulnerability and cross-diagnosis features.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hbm.24998DOI Listing
April 2020

The Relationship Between White Matter Microstructure and General Cognitive Ability in Patients With Schizophrenia and Healthy Participants in the ENIGMA Consortium.

Am J Psychiatry 2020 06 26;177(6):537-547. Epub 2020 Mar 26.

School of Psychology, Centre for Neuroimaging and Cognitive Genomics, National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science and Galway Neuroscience Centre, National University of Ireland Galway, Galway (Holleran, Cannon, McDonald, Morris, Mothersill, Donohoe); Imaging Genetics Center, Mark and Mary Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Marina del Rey (Kelly, Thompson, Jahanshad); Department of Psychiatry, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh (Alloza, Lawrie); Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria Gregorio Marañón, IiSGM, Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón, School of Medicine, CIBERSAM, Universidad Complutense, Madrid (Alloza, Arango, Janssen, Martinez); NORMENT, K.G. Jebsen Center for Psychosis Research, Division of Mental Health and Addiction, Oslo University Hospital and Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo, Oslo (Agartz); Department of Psychiatry, Ullevål University Hospital and Institute of Psychiatry, University of Oslo, Oslo (Andreassen); Laboratory of Neuropsychiatry, Department of Clinical and Behavioral Neurology, IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation, Rome (Banaj, Piras, Spalletta); Mind Research Network and Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque (Calhoun); Neuroscience Research Australia and School of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales, Sydney (Carr); Neuropsychiatric Genetics Research Group, Department of Psychiatry, Trinity College Dublin (Corvin); Olin Neuropsychiatric Research Center, Institute of Living, Hartford Hospital and Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn. (Glahn); Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (Gur, Roalf, Satterthwaite); Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, Department of Psychiatry, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore (Hong, Kochunov, Rowland); National Institute of Mental Health, Klecany, Czech Republic (Hoschl, Spaniel); Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health (Howells, Stein, Uhlmann) and Neuroscience Institute (Howells, Stein), University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa; Highfield Unit, Warneford Hospital, Oxford, U.K. (James); Mind Research Network, Lovelace Biomedical and Environmental Research Institute, Albuquerque, N.Mex. (Liu); Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre, Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne and Melbourne Health, Carlton South, Australia (Pantelis, Zalesky); Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, School of Medicine, University of California, Irvine (Potkin); Priority Centre for Brain and Mental Health Research (Schall, Rasser) and Priority Research Centre for Stroke and Brain Injury, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, Australia (Rasser); Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston (Spalletta); Kimel Family Translational Imaging-Genetics Research Laboratory, Campbell Family Mental Health Research Institute, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Toronto (Voineskos); Department of Biomedical Engineering and Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia (Zalesky); Clinical Translational Neuroscience Laboratory, Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, and Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, University of California Irvine, Irvine (van Erp); Department of Psychology, Georgia State University, Atlanta (Turner); and Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology, Department of Psychology, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh (Deary).

Objective: Schizophrenia has recently been associated with widespread white matter microstructural abnormalities, but the functional effects of these abnormalities remain unclear. Widespread heterogeneity of results from studies published to date preclude any definitive characterization of the relationship between white matter and cognitive performance in schizophrenia. Given the relevance of deficits in cognitive function to predicting social and functional outcomes in schizophrenia, the authors carried out a meta-analysis of available data through the ENIGMA Consortium, using a common analysis pipeline, to elucidate the relationship between white matter microstructure and a measure of general cognitive performance, IQ, in patients with schizophrenia and healthy participants.

Methods: The meta-analysis included 760 patients with schizophrenia and 957 healthy participants from 11 participating ENIGMA Consortium sites. For each site, principal component analysis was used to calculate both a global fractional anisotropy component (gFA) and a fractional anisotropy component for six long association tracts (LA-gFA) previously associated with cognition.

Results: Meta-analyses of regression results indicated that gFA accounted for a significant amount of variation in cognition in the full sample (effect size [Hedges' g]=0.27, CI=0.17-0.36), with similar effects sizes observed for both the patient (effect size=0.20, CI=0.05-0.35) and healthy participant groups (effect size=0.32, CI=0.18-0.45). Comparable patterns of association were also observed between LA-gFA and cognition for the full sample (effect size=0.28, CI=0.18-0.37), the patient group (effect size=0.23, CI=0.09-0.38), and the healthy participant group (effect size=0.31, CI=0.18-0.44).

Conclusions: This study provides robust evidence that cognitive ability is associated with global structural connectivity, with higher fractional anisotropy associated with higher IQ. This association was independent of diagnosis; while schizophrenia patients tended to have lower fractional anisotropy and lower IQ than healthy participants, the comparable size of effect in each group suggested a more general, rather than disease-specific, pattern of association.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1176/appi.ajp.2019.19030225DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7938666PMC
June 2020

Covarying structural alterations in laterality of the temporal lobe in schizophrenia: A case for source-based laterality.

NMR Biomed 2020 06 23;33(6):e4294. Epub 2020 Mar 23.

Tri-institutional Center for Translational Research in Neuroimaging and Data Science (TReNDS), Georgia State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

The human brain is asymmetrically lateralized for certain functions (such as language processing) to regions in one hemisphere relative to the other. Asymmetries are measured with a laterality index (LI). However, traditional LI measures are limited by a lack of consensus on metrics used for its calculation. To address this limitation, source-based laterality (SBL) leverages an independent component analysis for the identification of laterality-specific alterations, identifying covarying components between hemispheres across subjects. SBL is successfully implemented with simulated data with inherent differences in laterality. SBL is then compared with a voxel-wise analysis utilizing structural data from a sample of patients with schizophrenia and controls without schizophrenia. SBL group comparisons identified three distinct temporal regions and one cerebellar region with significantly altered laterality in patients with schizophrenia relative to controls. Previous work highlights reductions in laterality (ie, reduced left gray matter volume) in patients with schizophrenia compared with controls without schizophrenia. Results from this pilot SBL project are the first, to our knowledge, to identify covarying laterality differences within discrete temporal brain regions. The authors argue SBL provides a unique focus to detect covarying laterality differences in patients with schizophrenia, facilitating the discovery of laterality aspects undetected in previous work.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/nbm.4294DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8311554PMC
June 2020

ENIGMA and global neuroscience: A decade of large-scale studies of the brain in health and disease across more than 40 countries.

Transl Psychiatry 2020 03 20;10(1):100. Epub 2020 Mar 20.

Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA.

This review summarizes the last decade of work by the ENIGMA (Enhancing NeuroImaging Genetics through Meta Analysis) Consortium, a global alliance of over 1400 scientists across 43 countries, studying the human brain in health and disease. Building on large-scale genetic studies that discovered the first robustly replicated genetic loci associated with brain metrics, ENIGMA has diversified into over 50 working groups (WGs), pooling worldwide data and expertise to answer fundamental questions in neuroscience, psychiatry, neurology, and genetics. Most ENIGMA WGs focus on specific psychiatric and neurological conditions, other WGs study normal variation due to sex and gender differences, or development and aging; still other WGs develop methodological pipelines and tools to facilitate harmonized analyses of "big data" (i.e., genetic and epigenetic data, multimodal MRI, and electroencephalography data). These international efforts have yielded the largest neuroimaging studies to date in schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance use disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorders, epilepsy, and 22q11.2 deletion syndrome. More recent ENIGMA WGs have formed to study anxiety disorders, suicidal thoughts and behavior, sleep and insomnia, eating disorders, irritability, brain injury, antisocial personality and conduct disorder, and dissociative identity disorder. Here, we summarize the first decade of ENIGMA's activities and ongoing projects, and describe the successes and challenges encountered along the way. We highlight the advantages of collaborative large-scale coordinated data analyses for testing reproducibility and robustness of findings, offering the opportunity to identify brain systems involved in clinical syndromes across diverse samples and associated genetic, environmental, demographic, cognitive, and psychosocial factors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41398-020-0705-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7083923PMC
March 2020

The genetic architecture of the human cerebral cortex.

Science 2020 03;367(6484)

The cerebral cortex underlies our complex cognitive capabilities, yet little is known about the specific genetic loci that influence human cortical structure. To identify genetic variants that affect cortical structure, we conducted a genome-wide association meta-analysis of brain magnetic resonance imaging data from 51,665 individuals. We analyzed the surface area and average thickness of the whole cortex and 34 regions with known functional specializations. We identified 199 significant loci and found significant enrichment for loci influencing total surface area within regulatory elements that are active during prenatal cortical development, supporting the radial unit hypothesis. Loci that affect regional surface area cluster near genes in Wnt signaling pathways, which influence progenitor expansion and areal identity. Variation in cortical structure is genetically correlated with cognitive function, Parkinson's disease, insomnia, depression, neuroticism, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aay6690DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7295264PMC
March 2020

Weighted average of shared trajectory: A new estimator for dynamic functional connectivity efficiently estimates both rapid and slow changes over time.

J Neurosci Methods 2020 Jan 21;334:108600. Epub 2020 Jan 21.

The Mind Research Network, 1101 Yale Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM, 87106, USA; Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, USA; Department of Psychology, Georgia State University, GA, USA; Department of ECE, University of New Mexico, NM, USA.

Background: Dynamic functional network connectivity (dFNC) of the brain has attracted considerable attention recently. Many approaches have been suggested to study dFNC with sliding window Pearson correlation (SWPC) being the most well-known. SWPC needs a relatively large sample size to reach a robust estimation but using large window sizes prevents us to detect rapid changes in dFNC.

New Method: Here we first calculate the gradients of each time series pair and use the magnitude of these gradients to calculate weighted average of shared trajectory (WAST) as a new estimator for dFNC.

Results: Using WAST to compare healthy control and schizophrenia patients using a large dataset, we show disconnectivity between different regions associated with schizophrenia. In addition, WAST results reveals patients with schizophrenia stay longer in a connectivity state with negative connectivity between motor and sensory regions than do healthy controls.

Comparison With Existing Methods: We compare WAST with SWPC and multiplication of temporal derivatives (MTD) using different simulation scenarios. We show that WAST enables us to detect very rapid changes in dFNC (undetected by SWPC) while MTD performance is generally lower.

Conclusions: As large window sizes are unable to detect short states, using shorter window size is desirable if the estimator is robust enough. We provide evidence that WAST requires fewer samples (compared to SWPC) to reach a robust estimation. As a result, we were able to identify rapidly varying dFNC patterns undetected by SWPC while still being able to robustly estimate slower dFNC patterns.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jneumeth.2020.108600DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7371494PMC
January 2020

White matter microstructural alterations across four major psychiatric disorders: mega-analysis study in 2937 individuals.

Mol Psychiatry 2020 04 29;25(4):883-895. Epub 2019 Nov 29.

Department of Psychiatry, Tokushima University Hospital, Tokushima, Japan.

Identifying both the commonalities and differences in brain structures among psychiatric disorders is important for understanding the pathophysiology. Recently, the ENIGMA-Schizophrenia DTI Working Group performed a large-scale meta-analysis and reported widespread white matter microstructural alterations in schizophrenia; however, no similar cross-disorder study has been carried out to date. Here, we conducted mega-analyses comparing white matter microstructural differences between healthy comparison subjects (HCS; N = 1506) and patients with schizophrenia (N = 696), bipolar disorder (N = 211), autism spectrum disorder (N = 126), or major depressive disorder (N = 398; total N = 2937 from 12 sites). In comparison with HCS, we found that schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and autism spectrum disorder share similar white matter microstructural differences in the body of the corpus callosum; schizophrenia and bipolar disorder featured comparable changes in the limbic system, such as the fornix and cingulum. By comparison, alterations in tracts connecting neocortical areas, such as the uncinate fasciculus, were observed only in schizophrenia. No significant difference was found in major depressive disorder. In a direct comparison between schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, there were no significant differences. Significant differences between schizophrenia/bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder were found in the limbic system, which were similar to the differences in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder relative to HCS. While schizophrenia and bipolar disorder may have similar pathological characteristics, the biological characteristics of major depressive disorder may be close to those of HCS. Our findings provide insights into nosology and encourage further investigations of shared and unique pathophysiology of psychiatric disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41380-019-0553-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7156346PMC
April 2020
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