A transdiagnostic network for psychiatric illness derived from atrophy and lesions

Nat Hum Behav. 2023 Mar;7(3):420-429. doi: 10.1038/s41562-022-01501-9. Epub 2023 Jan 12.


Psychiatric disorders share neurobiology and frequently co-occur. This neurobiological and clinical overlap highlights opportunities for transdiagnostic treatments. In this study, we used coordinate and lesion network mapping to test for a shared brain network across psychiatric disorders. In our meta-analysis of 193 studies, atrophy coordinates across six psychiatric disorders mapped to a common brain network defined by positive connectivity to anterior cingulate and insula, and by negative connectivity to posterior parietal and lateral occipital cortex. This network was robust to leave-one-diagnosis-out cross-validation and specific to atrophy coordinates from psychiatric versus neurodegenerative disorders (72 studies). In 194 patients with penetrating head trauma, lesion damage to this network correlated with the number of post-lesion psychiatric diagnoses. Neurosurgical ablation targets for psychiatric illness (four targets) also aligned with the network. This convergent brain network for psychiatric illness may partially explain high rates of psychiatric comorbidity and could highlight neuromodulation targets for patients with more than one psychiatric disorder.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Atrophy / pathology
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain / pathology
  • Comorbidity
  • Gyrus Cinguli / diagnostic imaging
  • Gyrus Cinguli / pathology
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders* / diagnosis