Neuroanatomic predictors to prodromal psychosis in velocardiofacial syndrome (22q11.2 deletion syndrome): a longitudinal study

Biol Psychiatry. 2011 May 15;69(10):945-52. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2010.10.027. Epub 2010 Dec 31.


Background: Up to 30% of young adults with velocardiofacial syndrome (VCFS; 22q11.2 deletion syndrome) develop schizophrenia or psychosis. Identifying the neuroanatomic trajectories that increase risk for psychosis in youth with this genetic disorder is of great interest.

Methods: We acquired high-resolution anatomic magnetic resonance images and measures of psychiatric function on 72 youth with VCFS, 26 unaffected siblings, and 24 age-matched community control subjects at two time points: between late childhood (mean age 11.9 years) and mid-adolescence (mean age 15.1 years).

Results: With the exception of cranial gray matter and orbitofrontal prefrontal cortex, neuroanatomic trajectories in youth with VCFS were comparable to unaffected siblings and community control subjects during this developmental window. However, in youth with VCFS, longitudinal decreases in the volumes of cranial gray and white matter, prefrontal cortex, mesial temporal lobe, and cerebellum were associated with increased combined prodromal symptoms at Time 2. In contrast, only decreases in temporal lobe gray matter volumes (p < .002) and verbal IQ (p < .002) predicted specifically to positive prodromal symptoms of psychosis at Time 2.

Conclusions: These findings are in line with studies of non-VCFS individuals at risk for schizophrenia and suggest that early decrements in temporal lobe gray matter may be predictive of increased risk of prodromal psychotic symptoms in youth with VCFS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Brain / growth & development
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • DiGeorge Syndrome / complications*
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Neuroanatomy / methods*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Psychological Tests
  • Psychotic Disorders / etiology*
  • Psychotic Disorders / pathology*
  • Psychotic Disorders / psychology
  • Regression Analysis
  • Time Factors