Neural markers of early remission in first-episode schizophrenia: a volumetric neuroimaging study of the parahippocampus

Psychiatry Res. 2012 Jan 30;201(1):40-7. doi: 10.1016/j.pscychresns.2011.07.012. Epub 2012 Jan 27.


Using voxel-based morphometry (VBM), our laboratory recently identified significantly lower grey matter concentration in the parahippocampal gyrus bilaterally in non-remitted patients with a first episode of psychosis (FEP) compared with remitted FEP patients. These results identified a localized difference but did not reveal which cortex (entorhinal, perirhinal, or parahippocampal), if any, was predominantly affected. So, the parahippocampal gyrus was manually segmented and grey matter volumes from the three cortices were compared between 42 non-remitted and 17 remitted patients with a first episode of schizophrenia (FES). Remission was defined as mild or less on eight key symptoms and maintained for 6 consecutive months following the 2005 consensus definition. The non-remitted patients displayed smaller volumes in the parahippocampal cortex - trend-level difference on the left [mm(3), mean (S.D.): non-remitted=2486 (413); remitted=2775 (593)] and significant difference on the right [mm(3), mean (S.D.): non-remitted=2546 (463); remitted=2926 (525)]. No notable differences were found in the entorhinal or perirhinal cortices. This result supported our VBM finding of reduced parahippocampal grey matter bilaterally in non-remitted patients and further suggested differences may be selectively limited to the parahippocampal cortex. A smaller parahippocampal cortex may represent a neural marker in FES patients who do not achieve remission after 1 year of treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Biomarkers
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Neuroimaging
  • Organ Size
  • Parahippocampal Gyrus / pathology*
  • Schizophrenia / pathology*


  • Biomarkers