Surface-based brain morphometry in schizophrenia vs. cannabis-induced psychosis: A controlled comparison

J Psychiatr Res. 2022 Nov:155:286-294. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2022.09.034. Epub 2022 Sep 21.


Background & aim: We examined group differences in cortical thickness and surface-parameters among age and handedness--matched persons with cannabis-induced psychosis (CIP), schizophrenia with heavy cannabis use (SZC), and healthy controls (HC).

Methods: We recruited 31 men with SZC, 28 with CIP, and 30 with HC. We used the Psychiatric Research Interview for Substance and Mental Disorders to differentiate between CIP and SZC. We processed and analyzed T1 MR images using the Surface-based Brain Morphometry (SBM) pipeline of the CAT-12 toolbox within the statistical parametric mapping. After pre-processing, volumes were segmented using surface and thickness estimation for the analysis of the region of interest. We used the projection-based thickness method to assess the cortical thickness and Desikan-Killiany atlas for cortical parcellation.

Results: We observed the lowest cortical thickness, depth, and gyrification in the SZC, followed by CIP and the control groups. The differences were predominantly seen in frontal cortices, with limited parietal and temporal regions involvement. After False Discovery Rate (FDR) corrections and post-hoc analysis, SZC had reduced cortical thickness than HC in the middle and inferior frontal, right entorhinal, and left postcentral regions. Cortical thickness of SZC was also significantly lower than CIP in bilateral postcentral and right middle frontal regions. We found negative correlations (after FDR corrections) between the duration of cannabis use and cortical thickness in loci of parietal and occipital cortices.

Conclusion: Our study suggested cortical structural abnormalities in schizophrenia, in reference to healthy controls and cannabis-induced psychosis, indicating different pathophysiology of SZC and CIP.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Cannabis* / adverse effects
  • Cerebral Cortex
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Marijuana Abuse* / complications
  • Marijuana Abuse* / diagnostic imaging
  • Psychotic Disorders* / diagnostic imaging
  • Schizophrenia* / diagnostic imaging