The Relationship of Intellectual Functioning and Cognitive Performance to Brain Structure in Schizophrenia.
ABSTRACT: Schizophrenia (SZ) is often characterized by cognitive and intellectual impairment. However, there is much heterogeneity across individuals, suggesting different trajectories of the illness. Recent findings have shown brain volume differences across subgroups of individuals with psychosis (SZ and bipolar disorder), such that those with intellectual and cognitive impairments presented evidence of early cerebral disruption, while those with cognitive but not intellectual impairments showed evidence of progressive brain abnormalities. Our aim was to investigate the relations of cognition and intellectual functioning with brain structure abnormalities in a sample of SZ compared to unaffected individuals.92 individuals with SZ and 94 healthy controls part of the Northwestern University Schizophrenia Data and Software Tool (NUSDAST) underwent neuropsychological assessment and structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Individuals with SZ were divided into subgroups according their estimated premorbid crystallized intellectual (ePMC-IQ) and cognitive performance. Brain volumes differences were investigated across groups.SZ with ePMC-IQ and cognitive impairments had reduced total brain volume (TBV), intracranial volume (ICV), TBV corrected for ICV, and cortical gray matter volume, as well as reduced cortical thickness, and insula volumes. SZ with cognitive impairment but intact ePMC-IQ showed only reduced cortical gray matter volume and cortical thickness.These data provide additional evidence for heterogeneity in SZ. Impairments in cognition associated with reduced ePMC-IQ were related to evidence of broad brain structural alterations, including suggestion of early cerebral disruption. In contrast, impaired cognitive functioning in the context of more intact intellectual functioning was associated with cortical alterations that may reflect neurodegeneration.
Project description:Recent studies have correlated neurocognitive function and regional brain volumes in children with epilepsy. We tested whether brain volume differences between children with and without epilepsy explained differences in neurocognitive function.The study sample included 108 individuals with uncomplicated non-syndromic epilepsy (NSE) and 36 healthy age- and gender-matched controls. Participants received a standardized cognitive battery. Whole brain T1-weighted MRI was obtained and volumes analyzed with FreeSurfer (TM).Total brain volume (TBV) was significantly smaller in cases. After adjustment for TBV, cases had significantly larger regional grey matter volumes for total, frontal, parietal, and precentral cortex. Cases had poorer performance on neurocognitive indices of intelligence and variability of sustained attention. In cases, TBV showed small associations with intellectual indices of verbal and perceptual ability, working memory, and overall IQ. In controls, TBV showed medium associations with working memory and variability of sustained attention. In both groups, small associations were seen between some TBV-adjusted regional brain volumes and neurocognitive indices, but not in a consistent pattern. Brain volume differences did not account for cognitive differences between the groups.Patients with uncomplicated NSE have smaller brains than controls but areas of relative grey matter enlargement. That this relative regional enlargement occurs in the context of poorer overall neurocognitive functioning suggests that it is not adaptive. However, the lack of consistent associations between case-control differences in brain volumes and cognitive functioning suggests that brain volumes have limited explanatory value for cognitive functioning in childhood epilepsy.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>This paper summarizes the findings of a long term study addressing the question of how several brain volume measure are related to three major mental illnesses in a Colorado subject group. It reports results obtained from a large N, collected and analyzed by the same laboratory over a multiyear period, with visually guided MRI segmentation being the primary initial analytic tool.<h4>Methods</h4>Intracerebral volume (ICV), total brain volume (TBV), ventricular volume (VV), ventricular/brain ratio (VBR), and TBV/ICV ratios were calculated from a total of 224 subject MRIs collected over a period of 13 years. Subject groups included controls (C, N = 89), and patients with schizophrenia (SZ, N = 58), bipolar disorder (BD, N = 51), and schizoaffective disorder (SAD, N = 26).<h4>Results</h4>ICV, TBV, and VV measures compared favorably with values obtained by other research groups, but in this study did not differ significantly between groups. TBV/ICV ratios were significantly decreased, and VBR increased, in the SZ and BD groups compared to the C group. The SAD group did not differ from C on any measure.<h4>Conclusions</h4>In this study TBV/ICV and VBR ratios separated SZ and BD patients from controls. Of interest however, SAD patients did not differ from controls on these measures. The findings suggest that the gross measure of TBV may not reliably differ in the major mental illnesses to a degree useful in diagnosis, likely due to the intrinsic variability of the measures in question; the differences in VBR appear more robust across studies. Differences in some of these findings compared to earlier reports from several laboratories finding significant differences between groups in VV and TBV may relate to phenomenological drift, differences in analytic techniques, and possibly the "file drawer problem".
Project description:Importance:Results from longitudinal studies suggest that regular leisure time physical activity (LTPA) is associated with reduced risk of dementia or Alzheimer disease. Data on the association between LTPA and brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measures remain scarce and inconsistent. Objective:To examine the association of LTPA and MRI-assessed brain aging measures in a multiethnic elderly population. Design, Setting, and Participants:This cross-sectional study included 1443 older (?65 years) adults without dementia who were participants of the Washington/Hamilton Heights-Inwood Columbia Aging Project study. LTPA, from self-reported questionnaire, was calculated as metabolic equivalent of energy expenditure. Both moderate to vigorous LTPA, assessed as meeting Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (?150 minutes/week) or not, and light-intensity LTPA were also examined. Exposures:LTPA. Main Outcomes and Measures:Primary outcomes included total brain volume (TBV), cortical thickness, and white matter hyperintensity volume, all derived from MRI scans with established methods and adjusted for intracranial volume when necessary. We examined the association of LTPA with these imaging markers using regression models adjusted for demographic, clinical, and vascular risk factors. Results:The 1443 participants of the study had a mean (SD) age of 77.2 (6.4) years; 921 (63.8%) were women; 27.0%, 34.4%, and 36.3% were non-Hispanic White, non-Hispanic African American, and Hispanic individuals, respectively; and 27.3% carried the apolipoprotein E (APOE) ?4 allele. Compared with the LTPA of nonactive older adults, those with the most LTPA had larger (in cm3) TBV (? [SE], 13.17 [4.42] cm3; P?=?.003; P for trend?=?.006) and greater cortical thickness (? [SE], 0.016 [0.008] mm; P?=?.05; P for trend?=?.03). The effect size comparing the highest LTPA level with the nonactive group was equivalent to approximately 3 to 4 years of aging (? for 1 year older, -3.06 and -0.005 for TBV and cortical thickness, respectively). A dose-response association was found and even the lowest LTPA level had benefits (eg, TBV: ? [SE], 9.03 [4.26] cm3; P?=?.03) compared with the nonactive group. Meeting Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (TBV: ? [SE], 18.82 [5.14] cm3; P?<?.001) and light-intensity LTPA (TBV: ? [SE], 9.26 [4.29] cm3; P?=?.03) were also associated with larger brain measures. The association between LTPA and TBV was moderated by race/ethnicity, sex, and APOE status, but generally existed in all subgroups. The results remained similar after excluding participants with mild cognitive impairment. Conclusions and Relevance:In this study, more physical activity was associated with larger brain volume in older adults. Longitudinal studies are warranted to explore the potential role of physical activity in brain health among older individuals.
Project description:Increased total brain volume (TBV) has been reported for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) but studies in older ASD subjects have been contradictory. Similarly, studies of corpus callosum (CC) area in ASD differ with regard to inclusion criteria, age, and IQ.In the present study, TBV, gray matter (GM), and white matter (WM) volume as well as midsagittal CC area were compared between 15 medication-naïve, high-functioning adolescent and young adult ASD subjects and 15 healthy control individuals, and correlations with visuomotor coordination and imitation abilities were explored. In addition, computational surface-based methods were implemented to encode callosal thickness at high spatial resolution.Total brain volume, GM, and WM were increased and CC area was decreased in ASD subjects, a finding that was predominantly due to ASD subjects with lower IQ. Positive correlations of IQ with volume measures were observed only in control subjects. Autism spectrum disorder subjects showed reduced thickness in the posterior part of the CC. White matter volume showed a trend for negative correlation with dynamic balance and imitation abilities across groups.This study replicates previous structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings in ASD, emphasizes the role of IQ differences, and adds some evidence for functional implications of structural findings.
Project description:Neuropsychological impairment is heterogeneous in psychosis. The association of intracranial volume (ICV) and total brain volume (TBV) with cognition suggests brain structure abnormalities in psychosis will covary with the severity of cognitive impairment. We tested the following hypotheses: (1) brain structure abnormalities will be more extensive in neuropsychologically impaired psychosis patients; (2) psychosis patients with premorbid cognitive limitations will show evidence of hypoplasia (ie, smaller ICV); and (3) psychosis patients with evidence of cognitive decline will demonstrate atrophy (ie, smaller TBV, but normal ICV).One hundred thirty-one individuals with psychosis and 97 healthy subjects underwent structural magnetic resonance imaging and neuropsychological testing. Patients were divided into neuropsychologically normal and impaired groups. Impaired patients were further subdivided into deteriorated and compromised groups if estimated premorbid intellect was average or below average, respectively. ICV and TBV were compared across groups. Localized brain volumes were qualitatively examined using voxel-based morphometry.Compared to healthy subjects, neuropsychologically impaired patients exhibited smaller TBV, reduced grey matter volume in frontal, temporal, and subcortical brain regions, and widespread white matter volume loss. Neuropsychologically compromised patients had smaller ICV relative to healthy subjects, and neuropsychologically normal and deteriorated patient groups, but relatively normal TBV. Deteriorated patients exhibited smaller TBV compared to healthy subjects, but relatively normal ICV. Unexpectedly, TBV, adjusted for ICV, was reduced in neuropsychologically normal patients.Patients with long-standing cognitive limitations exhibit evidence of early cerebral hypoplasia, whereas neuropsychologically normal and deteriorated patients show evidence of brain tissue loss consistent with progression or later cerebral dysmaturation.
Project description:It has been shown that brain volume and general intellectual ability are to a significant extent influenced by the same genetic factors. Several cortical regions of the brain also show a genetic correlation with intellectual ability, demonstrating that intellectual functioning is probably represented in a heritable distributed network of cortical regions throughout the brain. This study is the first to investigate a genetic association between subcortical volumes and intellectual ability, taking into account the thalamus, caudate nucleus, putamen, globus pallidus, hippocampus, amygdala, and nucleus accumbens using an extended twin design. Genetic modeling was performed on a healthy adult twin sample consisting of 106 twin pairs and 30 of their siblings, IQ data was obtained from 132 subjects. Our results demonstrate that of all subcortical volumes measured, only thalamus volume is significantly correlated with intellectual functioning. Importantly, the association found between thalamus volume and intellectual ability is significantly influenced by a common genetic factor. This genetic factor is also implicated in cerebral brain volume. The thalamus, with its widespread cortical connections, may thus play a key role in human intelligence.
Project description:Schizophrenia (SZ) is a psychotic disorder with significant cognitive dysfunction. Abnormal brain activation during cognitive processing has been reported, both in task-positive and task-negative networks. Further, structural cortical and subcortical brain abnormalities have been documented, but little is known about how task-related brain activation is associated with brain anatomy in SZ compared to healthy controls (HC). Utilizing linked independent component analysis (LICA), a data-driven multimodal analysis approach, we investigated structure-function associations in a large sample of SZ (n = 96) and HC (n = 142). We tested for associations between task-positive (fronto-parietal) and task-negative (default-mode) brain networks derived from fMRI activation during an n-back working memory task, and brain structural measures of surface area, cortical thickness, and gray matter volume, and to what extent these associations differed in SZ compared to HC. A significant association (p < .05, corrected for multiple comparisons) was found between a component reflecting the task-positive fronto-parietal network and another component reflecting cortical thickness in fronto-temporal brain regions in SZ, indicating increased activation with increased thickness. Other structure-function associations across, between and within groups were generally moderate and significant at a nominal p-level only, with more numerous and stronger associations in SZ compared to HC. These results indicate a complex pattern of moderate associations between brain activation during cognitive processing and brain morphometry, and extend previous findings of fronto-temporal brain abnormalities in SZ by suggesting a coupling between cortical thickness of these brain regions and working memory-related brain activation.
Project description:Schizophrenia (SZ) is a serious mental condition and is associated with cognitive impairments. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is one of the learning- and memory-related molecules found in the CNS and its level was reported to be reduced in SZ brain, while ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω-3PUFAs) could improve SZ symptoms, but its mechanism of action remains unknown. Using MK801 injection-induced SZ rat model, we here found that supplementation with ω-3PUFAs improved the levels of p-CREB, BDNF, and p-TrkB in the brain of SZ rats, and restore hippocampal neuronal damage, thereby reducing cognitive impairments in SZ rats. However, overexpression of AAV9/CREB S133A (CREB inactivated mutation) downregulated BDNF/TrkB signaling pathway and remarkably abolished the preventive effect of ω-3PUFAs in MK801-induced schizophrenia. Interestingly, AAV9/CREB S133D (CREB activated mutation) improved synaptic dysfunctions and cognitive defects in MK801 rats. In conclusion, these findings indicate that MK801-induced SZ lesions dephosphorylate CREB at Ser133 site, leading to neuron damage, and ω-3PUFAs improve SZ cognitive impairments by upregulating the CREB/BDNF/TrkB pathway, which provides new clues for the mechanism of SZ cognitive impairments, and a basis for therapeutic intervention.
Project description:It is still unknown whether the structural brain impairments that characterize schizophrenia (SZ) worsen during the lifetime. Here, we aimed to describe age-related microstructural brain changes in cortical grey matter and subcortical white matter of patients affected by SZ. In this diffusion tensor imaging study, we included 69 patients diagnosed with SZ and 69 healthy control (HC) subjects, age and gender matched. We carried out analyses of covariance, with diagnosis as fixed factor and brain diffusion-related parameters as dependent variables, and controlled for the effect of education. White matter fractional anisotropy decreased in the entire age range spanned (18-65 years) in both SZ and HC and was significantly lower in younger patients with SZ, with no interaction (age by diagnosis) effect in fiber tracts including corpus callosum, corona radiata, thalamic radiations and external capsule. Also, grey matter mean diffusivity increased in the entire age range in both SZ and HC and was significantly higher in younger patients, with no age by diagnosis interaction in the left frontal operculum cortex, left insula and left planum polare and in the right temporal pole and right intracalcarine cortex. In individuals with SZ we found that localized brain cortical and white matter subcortical microstructural impairments appear early in life but do not worsen in the 18-65 year age range.
Project description:<h4>Objective</h4>Progress toward understanding brain mechanisms in psychosis is hampered by failures to account for within-group heterogeneity that exists across neuropsychological domains. We recently identified distinct cognitive subgroups that might assist in identifying more biologically meaningful subtypes of psychosis. In the present study, we examined whether underlying structural brain abnormalities differentiate these cognitively derived subgroups.<h4>Method</h4>1.5T T1 weighted structural scans were acquired for 168 healthy controls and 220 patients with schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder. Based on previous work, 47 patients were categorized as being cognitively compromised (impaired premorbid and current IQ), 100 as cognitively deteriorated (normal premorbid IQ, impaired current IQ), and 73 as putatively cognitively preserved (premorbid and current IQ within 1 SD of controls). Global, subcortical and cortical volume, thickness, and surface area measures were compared among groups.<h4>Results</h4>Whole cortex, subcortical, and regional volume and thickness reductions were evident in all subgroups compared to controls, with the largest effect sizes in the compromised group. This subgroup also showed abnormalities in regions not seen in the other patient groups, including smaller left superior and middle frontal areas, left anterior and inferior temporal areas and right lateral medial and inferior frontal, occipital lobe and superior temporal areas.<h4>Conclusions</h4>This pattern of more prominent brain structural abnormalities in the group with the most marked cognitive impairments-both currently and putatively prior to illness onset, is consistent with the concept of schizophrenia as a progressive neurodevelopmental disorder. In this group, neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative factors may be important for cognitive function.