Psychiatry Res Neuroimaging 2017 Sep 14;267:36-44. Epub 2017 Jul 14.
Department of Psychiatry, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, 75 Fenwood Rd, Boston, MA 02115, USA; Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, 75 Fenwood Rd, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
Abnormalities in the subcortical brain regions that support cognitive functions have been reported in schizophrenia. Relatives of those with schizophrenia often present with psychosis-like traits (schizotypy) and similar cognition as those with schizophrenia. To evaluate the relationships between subcortical structure, schizotypy, and cognitive function, we assessed shape and volume of the hippocampus, amygdala and thalamus in untreated youth at familial high risk for schizophrenia (HRSZ). The sample consisted of 66 HRSZ and 69 age-matched healthy controls (HC). Subjects' cognitive functions and schizotypy were assessed, and T1-weighted brain MRI were analyzed using the FSL software FIRST. The right hippocampus and right amygdala showed significantly increased concavity (inward displacement) in HRSZ compared to HC. While regional subcortical shape displacements were significantly correlated with sustained attention and executive function scores in HC, fewer correlations were seen in HRSZ. This suggests a possible alteration of the local structure-function relationship in subcortical brain regions of HRSZ for these cognitive domains, which could be related to anomalous plasticity.