Paul Thompson's Research Publications

Average 3-Dimensional Caudate Surface Representations in a
Juvenile-Onset Schizophrenia and Normal Pediatric Population

5th International Conference on Functional Mapping of the Human Brain

Blanton RE, Levitt J, Thompson PM, Badrtalei S, Capetillo-Cunliffe, Toga AW

Laboratory of Neuro Imaging, Dept. Neurology, Division of Brain Mapping,
UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles CA 90095, USA,


UCLA Division of Child Psychiatry


3D Caudate Surface Variability in Childhood-Onset Schizophenic Patients and Matched Normal Subjects.

These maps are made using new mathematical and computational strategies for
anatomical brain mapping and for creating population-based brain atlases.

Introduction. While several recent studies have suggested global volumetric changes in the caudate following antipsychotic exposure [1,2], little is known regarding more regional shape changes and local patterns of anatomic variability. The objective of this study was to examine both volumetric and shape changes in the caudate in a rare juvenile-onset schizophrenia population treated with antipsychotics as compared to controls.

Methods. Fourteen early onset schizophrenia patients (8 females, 6 males, mean age 13.6) and 22 normal children (14 females, 8 males, mean age 11.7) were studied using T1-weighted structural MRI. Images were digitally realigned into the Talairach coordinate system using the anterior and posterior commissures as points of origin. One rater blind to age, gender, and diagnosis manually traced the caudate in successive coronal images into three defined segments: head, body, and caudate/putamen complex. Local anatomic variability maps within each group and average caudate displacement representations between groups were generated using a parametric mesh approach [3]. Caudate volumetric measurements were analyzed using a univariate analyses of variance (ANOVA). Due to differences in brain size between schizophrenic and normal subjects, total cerebral volume was also used as a covariate.

Results. Early onset schizophrenia patients displayed a significantly greater right body volume as compared to the normal children only after adjustment for total cerebral volume (p < 0.05). In addition, both early onset schizophrenia and normal groups showed a significant right greater than left caudate asymmetry (p < 0.002 and p < 0.0001, respectively). Interestingly, a linear model revealed a significant decrease in both right and left caudate with age for the schizophrenia but not for the normal group (p <0.02 and p < 0.006). Local variability maps revealed distinct patterns (see figure above). Maximum positional variability was found in the left caudate within the patient population while normals displayed similar magnitudes of variability in both the left and right caudate. Local deformation maps exhibited shape and anatomic location differences between groups in more medial regions of the caudate near the lateral ventricular system.

Conclusions. These preliminary results may suggest a regional enlargement of the right body of the caudate in a juvenile-onset schizophrenia population. Furthermore, age related decreases in both left and right caudate volume were found only in the patient population. Previous studies have suggested a relationship between volumetric changes in the caudate and medication exposure or length of illness, however it is unclear whether our results may be influenced by both developmental factors and/or antipsychotic exposure.

References. [1] Frazier JA et al, Am J Psychiatry, 1996, 153(4): 564-566, [2] Chakos MH, et al, Lancet, 1995, 345:456-457, [3] Thompson PM et al, J Neurosci, 1996, 16(13):4261-4274.

Grant Support: (to P.T. and A.W.T.): NIMH/NIDA (P20 MH/DA52176), P41 NCRR (RR13642); (A.W.T.): NLM (LM/MH05639), NSF (BIR 93-22434), NCRR (RR05956) and NINCDS/NIMH (NS38753).

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    Paul Thompson
    73-360 Brain Research Institute
    UCLA Medical Center
    10833 Le Conte Avenue
    Westwood, Los Angeles CA 90095-1761, USA.

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