Gray matter alterations in schizophrenia high-risk youth and early-onset schizophrenia: a review of structural MRI findings

Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am. 2013 Oct;22(4):689-714. doi: 10.1016/j.chc.2013.06.003. Epub 2013 Jul 23.


This article reviews the literature on structural magnetic resonance imaging findings in pediatric and young adult populations at clinical or genetic high-risk for schizophrenia and early-onset schizophrenia. The implications of this research are discussed for understanding the pathophysiology of schizophrenia and for early intervention strategies. The evidence linking brain structural changes in prepsychosis development and early-onset schizophrenia with disruptions of normal neurodevelopmental processes during childhood or adolescence is described. Future directions are outlined for research to address knowledge gaps regarding the neurobiological basis of brain structural abnormalities in schizophrenia and to improve the usefulness of these abnormalities for preventative interventions.

Keywords: Childhood-onset schizophrenia; Early-onset schizophrenia; Genetic high-risk; Prodrome; Schizophrenia; Structural MRI.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Development / physiology
  • Age of Onset
  • Brain / abnormalities
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Brain / physiopathology
  • Child Development / physiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Disease Progression*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Prodromal Symptoms*
  • Schizophrenia / genetics
  • Schizophrenia / pathology*
  • Schizophrenia / physiopathology
  • Schizophrenic Psychology*