Basic Symptoms and Gray Matter Volumes in Clinical High Risk for Psychosis

Hubl, Daniela; Michel, Chantal; Schulze-Lutter, Frauke; Hauf, Martinus; Schimmelmann, Benno G.; Kaess, Michael; Kindler, Jochen (2020). Basic Symptoms and Gray Matter Volumes in Clinical High Risk for Psychosis (In Press). Psychological medicine, pp. 1-9. Cambridge University Press 10.1017/S0033291720001282

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Background. Clinical high-risk (CHR) for psychosis is indicated by ultra-high risk (UHR) and basic symptom (BS) criteria; however, conversion rates are highest when both UHR and BS criteria are fulfilled (UHR&BS). While BSs are considered the most immediate expression of neurobiological aberrations underlying the development of psychosis, research on neurobiological correlates of BS is scarce.

Methods. We investigated gray matter volumes (GMV) of 20 regions of interest (ROI) previously associated with UHR criteria in 90 patients from the Bern early detection service: clinical controls (CC), first-episode psychosis (FEP), UHR, BS and UHR&BS. We expected lowest GMV in FEP and UHR&BS, and highest volume in CC with UHR and BS in-between.

Results. Significantly, lower GMV was detected in FEP and UHR&BS patients relative to CC with no other significant between-group differences. When ROIs were analyzed separately, seven showed a significant group effect (FDR corrected), with five (inferior parietal, medial orbitofrontal, lateral occipital, middle temporal, precuneus) showing significantly lower GM volume in the FEP and/or UHR&BS groups than in the CC group (Bonferroni corrected). In the CHR group, only COGDIS scores correlated negatively with cortical volumes.

Conclusions. This is the first study to demonstrate that patients who fulfill both UHR and BS criteria – a population that has been associated with higher conversion rates – exhibit more severe GMV reductions relative to those who satisfy BS or UHR criteria alone. This result was mediated by the BS in the UHR&BS group, as only the severity of BS was linked to GMV reductions.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy > Translational Research Center
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Radiology, Neuroradiology and Nuclear Medicine (DRNN) > Institute of Diagnostic and Interventional Neuroradiology

UniBE Contributor:

Hubl, Daniela; Michel, Chantal; Hauf, Martinus; Schimmelmann, Benno Karl Edgar; Kaess, Michael and Kindler, Jochen


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Cambridge University Press




Daniela Hubl

Date Deposited:

09 Dec 2020 19:20

Last Modified:

10 Dec 2020 01:34

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