Computational brain-imaging studies of individuals at familial high risk for psychosis have provided interesting results, but interpreting these findings can be a challenge due to a number of factors. We searched the literature for studies reporting whole brain voxel-based morphometry (VBM) or functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) findings in people at familial high risk for schizophrenia compared with a control group. A voxel-wise meta-analysis with the effect-size version of Signed Differential Mapping (ES-SDM) identified regional abnormalities of functional brain response. Similarly, an ES-SDM meta-analysis was conducted on VBM studies. A multi-modal imaging meta-analysis was used to highlight brain regions with both structural and functional abnormalities. Nineteen studies met the inclusion criteria, in which a total of 815 familial high-risk individuals were compared to 685 controls. Our fMRI results revealed a number of regions of altered activation. VBM findings demonstrated both increases and decreases in grey matter density of relatives in a variety of brain regions. The multimodal analysis revealed relatives had decreased grey matter with hyper-activation in the left inferior frontal gyrus/amygdala, and decreased grey matter with hypo-activation in the thalamus. We found several regions of altered activation or structure in familial high-risk individuals. Reliable fMRI findings in the right posterior superior temporal gyrus further confirm that alteration in this area is a potential marker of risk.
Keywords: Functional MRI; Genetic; Multimodal; Relatives; Schizophrenia; Voxel based morphometry.
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