Volumetric and morphological characteristics of the hippocampus are associated with progression to schizophrenia in patients with first-episode psychosis

R. Sauras, A. Keymer, A. Alonso-Solis, A. Díaz, C. Molins, F. Nuñez, M. Rabella, A. Roldán, E. Grasa, E. Alvarez, M. J. Portella, I. Corripio

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12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

© 2017 Elsevier Masson SAS Background Abnormalities in the hippocampus have been implicated in the pathophysiology of psychosis. However, it is still unclear whether certain abnormalities are a pre-existing vulnerability factor, a sign of disease progression or a consequence of environmental factors. We hypothesized that first-episode psychosis patients who progress to schizophrenia after one year of follow up will display greater volumetric and morphological changes from the very beginning of the disorder. Methods We studied the hippocampus of 41 patients with a first-episode psychosis and 41 matched healthy controls. MRI was performed at the time of the inclusion in the study. After one year, the whole sample was reevaluated and divided in two groups depending on the diagnoses (schizophrenia vs. non-schizophrenia). Results Patients who progressed to schizophrenia showed a significantly smaller left hippocampus volume than control group and no-schizophrenia group (F = 3.54; df = 2, 77; P = 0.03). We also found significant differences in the morphology of the anterior hippocampus (CA1) of patients with first-episode psychosis who developed schizophrenia compared with patients who did not. Conclusions These results are consistent with the assumption of hyperfunctioning dopaminergic cortico-subcortical circuits in schizophrenia, which might be related with an alteration of subcortical structures, such as the hippocampus, along the course of the disease. According with these results, hippocampus abnormalities may serve as a prognostic marker of clinical outcome in patients with a first-episode psychosis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-5
JournalEuropean Psychiatry
Volume45
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2017

Keywords

  • First-episode of psychosis
  • Hippocampus
  • Schizophrenia
  • Shape analysis

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