An increased prevalence of duplicated Heschl's gyrus (HG) has been repeatedly demonstrated in various stages of schizophrenia as a potential neurodevelopmental marker, but it remains unknown whether other neuropsychiatric disorders also exhibit this macroscopic brain feature. The present magnetic resonance imaging study aimed to examine the disease specificity of the established finding of altered HG patterns in schizophrenia by examining independent cohorts of bipolar disorder (BD) and major depressive disorder (MDD). Twenty-six BD patients had a significantly higher prevalence of HG duplication bilaterally compared to 24 age- and sex-matched controls, while their clinical characteristics (e.g., onset age, number of episodes, and medication) did not relate to HG patterns. No significant difference was found for the HG patterns between 56 MDD patients and 33 age- and sex-matched controls, but the patients with a single HG were characterized by more severe depressive/anxiety symptoms compared to those with a duplicated HG. Thus, in keeping with previous findings, the present study suggests that neurodevelopmental pathology associated with gyral formation of the HG during the late gestation period partly overlaps between schizophrenia and BD, but that HG patterns may make a somewhat distinct contribution to the phenomenology of MDD.
Keywords: Heschl’s gyrus; bipolar disorder; gyrification; major depressive disorder; superior temporal gyrus.
Copyright © 2022 Takahashi, Sasabayashi, Yücel, Whittle, Lorenzetti, Walterfang, Suzuki, Pantelis, Malhi and Allen.