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Peer-Reviewed Article

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Background: Up to 30% of young adults with velocardiofacial syndrome (VCFS; 22q11.2 deletion syndrome) develop schizophrenia or psychosis. Identifying the neuroanatomic trajectories that increase risk for psychosis in youth with this genetic disorder is of great interest. Methods: We acquired high-resolution anatomic MR images and measures of psychiatric function on 72 youth with VCFS, 26 unaffected siblings and 24 age-matched community controls at two timepoints, between late childhood (mean age, 11.9 years) and mid-adolescence (mean age, 15.1 years). Results: With the exception of cranial gray matter and orbitofrontal prefrontal cortex, neuroanatomic trajectories in youth with VCFS were comparable to unaffected siblings and community controls during this developmental window. However, in youth with VCFS, longitudinal decreases in the volumes of cranial gray and white matter, prefrontal cortex, mesial temporal lobe, and cerebellum were associated with increased combined prodromal symptoms at Time 2. In contrast, only decreases in temporal lobe gray matter volumes (p < .002) and verbal IQ (p < .002) predicted specifically to positive prodromal symptoms of psychosis at Time 2. Conclusions: These findings are in line with studies of non-VCFS individuals at risk for schizophrenia, and suggest that early decrements in temporal lobe gray matter may be predictive of increased risk of prodromal psychotic symptoms in youth with VCFS.




Biological Psychiatry









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