Grey-matter abnormalities in clinical high-risk participants for psychosis

Schizophr Res. 2020 Dec;226:120-128. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2019.08.034. Epub 2019 Nov 15.


The current study examined the presence of abnormalities in cortical grey-matter (GM) in a sample of clinical high-risk (CHR) participants and examined relationships with psychosocial functioning and neurocognition. CHR-participants (n = 114), participants who did not fulfil CHR-criteria (CHR-negative) (n = 39) as well as a group of healthy controls (HC) (n = 49) were recruited. CHR-status was assessed using the Comprehensive Assessment of At-Risk Mental State (CAARMS) and the Schizophrenia Proneness Interview, Adult Version (SPI-A). The Brief Assessment of Cognition in Schizophrenia Battery (BACS) as well as tests for emotion recognition, working memory and attention were administered. In addition, role and social functioning as well as premorbid adjustment were assessed. No significant differences in GM-thickness and intensity were observed in CHR-participants compared to CHR-negative and HC. Circumscribed abnormalities in GM-intensity were found in the visual and frontal cortex of CHR-participants. Moreover, small-to-moderate correlations were observed between GM-intensity and neuropsychological deficits in the CHR-group. The current data suggest that CHR-participants may not show comprehensive abnormalities in GM. We discuss the implications of these findings for the pathophysiological theories of early stage-psychosis as well as methodological issues and the impact of different recruitment strategies.

Keywords: Clinical high-risk; Grey matter; Magnetic resonance imaging; Neurocognition; Psychosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cognition
  • Gray Matter
  • Humans
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Psychotic Disorders* / complications
  • Schizophrenia* / complications
  • Social Adjustment