Authors: Guo, F; Zhu, YQ; Li, C; Wang, XR; Wang, HN; Liu, WM; Wang, LX; Tian, P; Kang, XW; Cui, LB; Xi, YB; Yin, H
JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRIC RESEARCH
Published: SEP 2019
Document type: Article
Abstract: Despite evidence of structural brain abnormalities in schizophrenia, the current study aimed to explore the effects of antipsychotic treatment on gray matter (GM) volume using structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and investigate the relationship between brain structure and treatment response. The GM volumes of 33 patients with first-episode schizophrenia were calculated with voxel-based morphometry (VBM), with 33 matched healthy controls. Longitudinal volume changes within subjects after 4-month antipsychotic treatment were also evaluated. Correlation between volumetric changes and clinical symptoms derived from the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) were further investigated. Compared with healthy controls, decreased GM volumes in the frontal gyrus were observed in schizophrenia patients. After 4-month treatment, patients showed significantly decreased GM volume primarily in the bilateral frontal, temporal and left parietal brain regions. In addition, the GM volume changes of the left postcentral gyrus was positively correlated with negative symptoms improvement, and the correlation analysis revealed the total PANSS scores changes were associated with GM volume changes in the right inferior frontal gyrus and the right superior temporal gyrus. Besides, non-responders had reduced GM volume in the bilateral middle frontal gyrus and the right superior frontal gyrus compared with responders and healthy controls. Our results suggest that the abnormality in the right frontal gyrus exists in the early stage of schizophrenia. Moreover, the relationship between antipsychotics and structural changes was identified. The GM volume might have the potential to reflect the symptom improvement in schizophrenia patients. And MRI may assist in predicting the antipsychotic treatment response in first-episode schizophrenia patients.