Cortical-amygdala volumetric ratios predict onset of symptoms of psychosis in 22q11.2 deletion syndrome

David Berhanu, Leah M. Mattiaccio, Kevin M. Antshel, Wanda Fremont, Frank A. Middleton, Wendy R. Kates

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    8 Scopus citations


    Dysfunction of cortical circuitry involving prefrontal cortex, cingulate gyrus and mesial temporal lobe has been implicated in the pathophysiology of psychotic symptoms. 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11DS) is a neurogenetic disorder that comports a 25-fold increased risk of developing psychosis. Morphological changes in the neuroanatomy of this syndrome may represent a biological risk factor for the development of psychosis. The present study explored ratios between cortical volumes and the amygdala. We also explored relationships between these ratios and the eventual development of psychosis in youth with 22q11DS. A group of 73 individuals with 22q11DS, 32 community controls, and 27 unaffected siblings were followed every three years, at four timepoints. We analyzed baseline ratios between 34 bilateral FreeSurfer-generated cortical volumes and amygdala, and examined whether baseline cortical ratios predicted positive symptoms of psychosis 12 years later, at the 4th timepoint. Youth with 22q11DS demonstrated significantly smaller cortical volume-to-amygdala ratios in left anterior cingulate, occipital and parietal cortices. An increased risk of developing psychotic episodes in individuals with 22q11DS was associated with a lower cortical volume- to-amygdala ratio, suggesting that cortico-limbic circuitry may play an important role in emotional modulation and may underlie the pathophysiology of positive symptoms of psychosis.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)10-15
    Number of pages6
    JournalPsychiatry Research - Neuroimaging
    StatePublished - Jan 30 2017


    • Cingulate
    • Cortical-amygdala ratios
    • Insula
    • Psychosis
    • Velocardiofacial syndrome

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
    • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
    • Psychiatry and Mental health

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