Psychiatry - Research Publications

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    Medial temporal lobe glutathione concentration in first episode psychosis: A 1H-MRS investigation
    Wood, SJ ; Berger, GE ; Wellard, RM ; Proffitt, T-M ; McConchie, M ; Berk, M ; McGorry, PD ; Pantelis, C (ACADEMIC PRESS INC ELSEVIER SCIENCE, 2009-03)
    Glutathione (GSH) is implicated in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Previous brain spectroscopy studies, however, have been inconsistent, and there is little data available from first episode psychosis patients. This study compared brain GSH in a first episode cohort (n=30) to controls (n=18), using magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), examining a temporal lobe voxel. Short-echo (TE 30 ms) acquisition proton MRS was performed on a 3T clinical magnetic resonance scanner. Comparison of the first-episode and control groups' GSH concentrations revealed a significant main effect of group (F(1,46)=4.7, p=0.035), but no main effect of hemisphere (F(1,46)=2.3, p=0.137) or group-by-side interactions (F(1,46)=0.4, p=0.513). Medial temporal lobe GSH concentrations in the first episode group were 22% higher than those in the control group. This study provides further evidence of significant perturbations in brain GSH in first episode psychosis, and supports a broader involvement of GSH in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia.
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    Follow-up MRI study of the insular cortex in first-episode psychosis and chronic schizophrenia
    Takahashi, T ; Wood, SJ ; Soulsby, B ; McGorry, PD ; Tanino, R ; Suzuki, M ; Velakoulis, D ; Pantelis, C (ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV, 2009-03)
    Morphologic abnormalities of the insular cortex have been described in psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia, but it remains unknown whether these abnormalities develop progressively over the course of the illness. In the current study, longitudinal magnetic resonance imaging data were obtained from 23 patients with first-episode psychosis (FEP), 11 patients with chronic schizophrenia, and 26 healthy controls. The volumes of the short (anterior) and long (posterior) insular cortices were measured on baseline and follow-up (between 1 and 4 years later) scans and were compared across groups. In cross-sectional comparison at baseline, the FEP and chronic schizophrenia patients had significantly smaller short insular cortex than did controls. In longitudinal comparison, the FEP patients showed significant gray matter reduction of the insular cortex over time (-4.3%/2.0 years) compared with controls (0.3%/2.2 years) without significant subregional effects, but there was no difference between chronic schizophrenia patients (-1.7%/2.4 years) and controls. The gray matter loss of the left insular cortex over time in FEP patients was correlated with the severity of positive and negative symptoms at follow-up. These findings indicate that patients with psychotic disorders have smaller gray matter volume of the insular cortex especially for its anterior portion (short insula) at first expression of overt psychosis, but also exhibit a regional progressive pathological process of the insular cortex during the early phase after the onset, which seems to reflect the subsequent symptomatology.