Schizophrenia imaging signatures tied to cognition, psychopathology, genetics
Researchers have recently reproduced two neuroanatomical signatures of schizophrenia, as well as shown their prevalence in youths and adults from the general population, reports a study.
Furthermore, they have established the associations of these signatures with psychosis symptoms, cognitive, and genetic risk, which possibly reveal inherent neurobiological vulnerability.
In this cross-sectional study, researchers determined whether two neuroanatomical signatures of schizophrenia (signature 1, with widespread reduction of gray matter volume; signature 2, with increased striatal volume) could be replicated in an independent schizophrenia-control sample (n=347; aged 16‒57 years).
Subsequently, two independent population-level data sets were evaluated: typically developing youths and youths with psychosis spectrum symptoms in the Philadelphia Neurodevelopmental Cohort (n=359; aged 16–23 years) and adults in the UK Biobank study (n=836; aged 44–50 years).
Signature expression was quantified using support-vector machine learning. Finally, cognition, psychopathology, and polygenic risk were compared between signatures.
Two neuroanatomical schizophrenia signatures were successfully duplicated. Signature 1, but not signature 2, was more prevalent in youths with psychosis spectrum symptoms than in typically developing youths. On the other hand, signature 2 frequency was comparable in the two groups.
Moreover, signature 1 correlated with worse cognitive performance compared with signature 2 in both youths and adults. Adults with signature 1 had increased schizophrenia polygenic risk scores compared with those with neither signature, but this was not observed for adults expressing signature 2.