Smaller neocortical gray matter and larger sulcal cerebrospinal fluid volumes in neuroleptic-naive women with schizotypal personality disorder

Koo MS, Dickey CC, Park HJ, Kubicki M, Ji NY, Bouix S, Pohl KM, Levitt JJ, Nakamura M, Shenton ME, McCarley RW

Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 2006 Oct;63(10):1090-100

PMID: 17015811


CONTEXT: Structural brain abnormalities, including larger cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) volumes, have been observed in men diagnosed as having schizotypal personality disorder (SPD).

OBJECTIVES: To determine whether women with SPD have abnormalities similar to those of men with SPD and to elucidate specific SPD regional volume deficits and symptom correlations.

DESIGN: Naturalistic study.

SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Thirty neuroleptic-naive women with SPD and 29 female control subjects, both recruited from the community. Participants were group matched for age, parental socioeconomic status, handedness, and IQ.

INTERVENTIONS: A new segmentation method was applied to magnetic resonance images to automatically parcel the images into CSF, gray matter, and white matter. The neocortex was manually separated from subcortical and other nonneocortical structures. Voxel-based morphometry was applied to determine global and regional volume deficits.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Left and right neocortical gray matter, white matter, and CSF relative volumes as well as clinical symptoms from the Structured Interview for Schizotypy and the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire-Brief Version.

RESULTS: Smaller left (3.84%) and right (3.83%) neocortical gray matter relative volumes associated with larger left (9.66%) and right (9.61%) sulcal CSF relative volumes were found in women with SPD compared with controls. Voxel-based morphometry showed that the neocortical deficits in SPD were especially prominent in the left superior and middle temporal gyri, left inferior parietal region with postcentral gyrus, and right superior frontal and inferior parietal gyri. In the SPD group, larger lateral ventricle volumes correlated with more severe symptoms on the Structured Interview for Schizotypy and the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire-Brief Version.

CONCLUSIONS: The smaller neocortical gray matter volume and larger sulcal CSF volume provide evidence of the brain basis of this personality disorder and emphasize the communality of brain abnormalities in the schizophrenia spectrum.