Subcortical brain volume abnormalities in individuals with an at-risk mental state

Daiki Sasabayashi, Yoichiro Takayanagi, Tsutomu Takahashi, Naoyuki Katagiri, Atsushi Sakuma, Chika Obara, Masahiro Katsura, Naohiro Okada, Shinsuke Koike, Hidenori Yamasue, Mihoko Nakamura, Atsushi Furuichi, Mikio Kido, Yumiko Nishikawa, Kyo Noguchi, Kazunori Matsumoto, Masafumi Mizuno, Kiyoto Kasai, Michio Suzuki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Previous structural magnetic resonance imaging studies of psychotic disorders have demonstrated volumetric alterations in subcortical (ie, the basal ganglia, thalamus) and temporolimbic structures, which are involved in high-order cognition and emotional regulation. However, it remains unclear whether individuals at high risk for psychotic disorders with minimal confounding effects of medication exhibit volumetric changes in these regions. This multicenter magnetic resonance imaging study assessed regional volumes of the thalamus, caudate, putamen, nucleus accumbens, globus pallidus, hippocampus, and amygdala, as well as lateral ventricular volume using FreeSurfer software in 107 individuals with an at-risk mental state (ARMS) (of whom 21 [19.6%] later developed psychosis during clinical follow-up [mean = 4.9 years, SD = 2.6 years]) and 104 age- and gender-matched healthy controls recruited at 4 different sites. ARMS individuals as a whole demonstrated significantly larger volumes for the left caudate and bilateral lateral ventricles as well as a smaller volume for the right accumbens compared with controls. In male subjects only, the left globus pallidus was significantly larger in ARMS individuals. The ARMS group was also characterized by left-greater-than-right asymmetries of the lateral ventricle and caudate nucleus. There was no significant difference in the regional volumes between ARMS groups with and without later psychosis onset. The present study suggested that significant volume expansion of the lateral ventricle, caudate, and globus pallidus, as well as volume reduction of the accumbens, in ARMS subjects, which could not be explained only by medication effects, might be related to general vulnerability to psychopathology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)834-845
Number of pages12
JournalSchizophrenia Bulletin
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jul 1


  • At-risk mental state
  • FreeSurfer
  • Laterality
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Multicenter
  • Subcortical volume

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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