Structural correlates of formal thought disorder in schizophrenia: An ultra-high field multivariate morphometry study
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Background: Persistent formal thought disorder (FTD) is one of the most characteristic features of schizophrenia. Several neuroimaging studies report spatially distinct neuroanatomical changes in association with FTD. Given that most studies so far have employed a univariate localisation approach that obscures the study of covarying interregional relationships, the present study focussed on the multivariate systemic pattern of anatomical changes that contribute to FTD. Methods: Speech samples from nineteen medicated clinically stable schizophrenia patients and 20 healthy controls were evaluated for subtle formal thought disorder. Ultra high-field (7. T) anatomical Magnetic Resonance Imaging scans were obtained from all subjects. Multivariate morphometric patterns were identified using an independent component approach (source based morphometry). Using multiple regression analysis, the morphometric patterns predicting positive and negative FTD scores were identified. Results: Morphometric variations in grey matter predicted a substantial portion of inter-individual variance in negative but not positive FTD. A pattern of concomitant striato-insular/precuneus reduction along with frontocingular grey matter increase had a significant association with negative FTD. Conclusions: These results suggest that concomitant increase and decrease in grey matter occur in association with persistent negative thought disorder in clinically stable individuals with schizophrenia.