Background: Despite the fact that only a part of the individuals with at-risk mental state (ARMS) for psychosis do develop psychosis, biological markers of future transition to psychosis have not been well documented. Structural abnormality of the anterior cingulate gyrus (ACG), which probably exists prior to the onset of psychosis, could be such a risk marker. Methods: We conducted a multicenter magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study of 3 scanning sites in Japan. 1.5-T 3D MRI scans were obtained from 73 ARMS subjects and 74 age- and gender-matched healthy controls. We measured thickness, volume, and surface area of the ACG using labeled cortical distance mapping and compared these measures among healthy controls, ARMS subjects who later converted to overt psychosis (ARMS-C), and those who did not (ARMS-NC). Results: Seventeen of 73 (23%) ARMS subjects developed overt psychosis within the follow-up period. The thickness of the left ACG was significantly reduced in ARMS-C relative to healthy subjects (P =.026) while both ARMS-C (P =.001) and ARMS-NC (P =.01) had larger surface areas of the left ACG compared with healthy controls. Conclusion: Further studies will be needed to identify potential markers of future transition to psychosis though cortical thinning of the ACG might be one of the candidates.
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