Mapping common grey matter volume deviation across child and adolescent psychiatric disorders

Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2020 Aug;115:273-284. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2020.05.015. Epub 2020 May 30.


Childhood and adolescence represent a time notable for the emergence of many psychiatric disorders, where comorbidity and co-occurrence of symptoms are well-documented. However, it remains unclear whether there exists common brain structural disturbance across psychiatric disorders in youth. Here, we conduct a transdiagnostic meta-analysis of 132 structural neuroimaging experiments in youth consisting of multiple psychiatric diagnoses. Compared to healthy peers, youth psychiatric disorders are characterized by reduced grey matter volume (GMV) of amygdala and lateral orbitofrontal cortex and enhanced GMV of ventromedial prefrontal cortex and precuneus. These four regions were then subjected to functional connectivity and decoding analyses based on healthy participant datasets, allowing for a data-driven quantitative inference on psychophysiological functions. These regions and their networks mapped onto systems implicated in negative valence, positive valence, as well as social and cognitive functioning. Together, our findings are consistent with transdiagnostic models of psychopathology, uncovering common structural disturbance across youth psychiatric disorders, potentially reflecting an intermediate transdiagnostic phenotype in association with broad dimensions of youth psychopathology.

Keywords: children and adolescents; functional decoding; grey matter volume; meta-analysis; meta-analytic connectivity modeling (MACM); psychiatric disorders; resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC).

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Amygdala / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cerebral Cortex
  • Child
  • Gray Matter* / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Mental Disorders* / diagnostic imaging