We previously detected a dynamic wave of gray matter loss in childhood-onset schizophrenia that started in parietal association cortices and proceeded frontally to envelop dorsolateral prefrontal and temporal cortices, including superior temporal gyri.
To map gray matter loss rates across the medial hemispheric surface, including the cingulate and medial frontal cortex, in the same cohort studied previously.
Five-year longitudinal study.
National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Md.
Twelve subjects with childhood-onset schizophrenia, 12 healthy controls, and 9 medication- and IQ-matched subjects with psychosis not otherwise specified.
Three-dimensional magnetic resonance imaging at baseline and follow-up.
Main Outcome Measures
Gyral pattern and shape variations encoded by means of high-dimensional elastic deformation mappings driving each subject's cortical anatomy onto a group average; changes in cortical gray matter mapped by computing warping fields that matched sulcal patterns across hemispheres, subjects, and time.
Selective, severe frontal gray matter loss occurred bilaterally in a dorsal-to-ventral pattern across the medial hemispheric surfaces in the schizophrenic subjects. A sharp boundary in the pattern of gray matter loss separated frontal regions and cingulate-limbic areas.
Frontal and limbic regions may not be equally vulnerable to gray matter attrition, which is consistent with the cognitive, metabolic, and functional vulnerability of the frontal cortices in schizophrenia.