Baseline putamen volume as a predictor of positive symptom reduction in patients at clinical high risk for psychosis: A preliminary study
- Schizophrenia Research
- 169: 1-3.
Illness course in individuals at clinical high risk (CHR) status for psychosis is heterogeneous, which limits effective treatment for all CHR subgroups. Baseline predictors of positive symptom trajectory in the CHR group will reduce such limitations. We singled out the putamen, thought to be involved in the generation of the key schizophrenia symptoms early in the course of disease, as a potential predictor of positive symptom trajectory in CHR patients.
We recruited 45 CHR patients and 29 age- and gender-matched healthy controls (HC). The CHR group was divided into patients with positive symptom reduction (CHR-R) and patients without positive symptom reduction (CHR-NR) at 6 months. Comparisons were made between the baseline putamen volumes of CHR-R, CHR-NR and HC groups. The relationship between baseline putamen volumes and clinical measures was investigated.
Left putamen volumes of CHR-R patients were significantly smaller than those of HCs (p = 0.002) and of CHR-NR patients (p = 0.024). CHR-R patients had significantly reduced leftward laterality compared to HCs (p = 0.007). In the CHR-R group, bilateral putamen volumes were correlated with positive symptom severity at baseline (r = − 0.552, p = 0.001) and at 6 months (r = − 0.360, p = 0.043), and predicted positive symptom score change in 6 months at a trend level (p = 0.092).
Smaller left putamen volumes in CHR-R patients, and the correlation between positive symptom severity and putamen volumes suggest that putamen volume is a possible risk-stratifier and predictor of clinical course in the CHR population.