Neurobiological approaches to the study of clinical and genetic high risk for developing psychosis.


Harvard Medical School and Veterans Administration Boston, Healthcare System, United States. Electronic address: [Email]


Research on neurobiological impairments in clinical and genetic high risk for developing psychosis individuals (CHR) has identified several brain abnormalities that impact both brain structure and function. The current review will discuss research examining brain abnormalities in clinical and genetic high risk for psychosis using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) focusing on structural brain abnormalities, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) focusing on the integrity of white matter tracks, functional MRI focusing on functional brain abnormalities, and EEG and event related potential (ERP) methodologies focusing on indices of cognitive dysfunction in CHR. Studies conducted across these different methodologies sought to identify brain regions and brain processes that would distinguish between those high risk individuals who converted to psychosis versus those who did not. In addition, in some of the studies, the distinction was made between individuals who converted to psychosis, those who did not, and those individuals who remained clinically symptomatic while not converting to psychosis. The brain regions most often identified as abnormal in this subject group were the brain areas often found abnormal in schizophrenia, including frontal and temporal regions. Similarly, several cognitive processes often found to be abnormal in schizophrenia have been also found impaired in CHR.


CHR,Clinical high risk,DTI,ERP,MRI,fMRI,

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