A Neuroanatomical Signature for Schizophrenia Across Different Ethnic Groups

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Title: A Neuroanatomical Signature for Schizophrenia Across Different Ethnic Groups
Authors: Gong, Q
Dazzan, P
Scarpazza, C
Kasai, K
Hu, X
Marques, TR
Iwashiro, N
Huang, X
Murray, RM
Koike, S
David, AS
Yamasue, H
Lui, S
Mechelli, A
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Schizophrenia is a disabling clinical syndrome found across the world. While the incidence and clinical expression of this illness are strongly influenced by ethnic factors, it is unclear whether patients from different ethnicities show distinct brain deficits. In this multicentre study, we used structural Magnetic Resonance Imaging to investigate neuroanatomy in 126 patients with first episode schizophrenia who came from 4 ethnically distinct cohorts (White Caucasians, African-Caribbeans, Japanese, and Chinese). Each patient was individually matched with a healthy control of the same ethnicity, gender, and age (±1 year). We report a reduction in the gray matter volume of the right anterior insula in patients relative to controls (P < .05 corrected); this reduction was detected in all 4 ethnic groups despite differences in psychopathology, exposure to antipsychotic medication and image acquisition sequence. This finding provides evidence for a neuroanatomical signature of schizophrenia expressed above and beyond ethnic variations in incidence and clinical expression. In light of the existing literature, implicating the right anterior insula in bipolar disorder, depression, addiction, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and anxiety, we speculate that the neuroanatomical deficit reported here may represent a transdiagnostic feature of Axis I disorders.
Issue Date: 11-Aug-2015
Date of Acceptance: 1-Aug-2015
ISSN: 1745-1701
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Start Page: 1266
End Page: 1275
Journal / Book Title: Schizophrenia Bulletin
Volume: 41
Issue: 6
Copyright Statement: This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs licence (, which permits non-commercial reproduction and distribution of the work, in any medium, provided the original work is not altered or transformed in any way, and that the work is properly cited. For commercial re-use, please contact
Keywords: ethnicity
magnetic resonance imaging
voxel-based morphometry
African Continental Ancestry Group
Caribbean Region
Cerebral Cortex
European Continental Ancestry Group
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Young Adult
11 Medical And Health Sciences
17 Psychology And Cognitive Sciences
Publication Status: Published
Appears in Collections:Clinical Sciences
Imaging Sciences
Faculty of Medicine

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