Corpus callosum shape and morphology in youth across the psychosis Spectrum

D. M. Prendergast
K. H. Karlsgodt
C. L. Fales, Northwell Health
B. A. Ardekani
P. R. Szeszko, Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell


© 2018 Elsevier B.V. The corpus callosum is the largest white matter tract in the human brain connecting and coordinating homologous regions of the right and left hemispheres and has been strongly implicated in the pathogenesis of psychosis. We investigated corpus callosum morphology in a large community cohort of 917 individuals (aged 8–21), including 267 endorsing subsyndromal or threshold psychotic symptoms (207 on the psychosis spectrum and 60 with limited psychosis based on previously published criteria) and 650 non-psychotic volunteers. We used a highly reliable and previously published algorithm to automatically identify the midsagittal plane and to align the corpus callosum along the anterior and posterior commissures for segmentation, thereby eliminating these sources of error variance in dependent measures, which included perimeter, length, mean thickness and shape (circularity). The parcellation scheme divided the corpus callosum into 7 subregions that consisted of the rostrum, genu, rostral body, anterior midbody, posterior midbody, isthmus, and splenium. Both individuals endorsing psychotic symptoms and those with limited psychosis had significantly (p <.05) smaller area and lower thickness measures compared to healthy volunteers, but did not differ significantly from each other. Findings were relatively widespread indicating a relatively global effect not circumscribed to any particular corpus callosum subregion. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that corpus callosum abnormalities may be evident early in the course of illness and predate the onset of frank psychosis. Given that these measures can be easily obtained and are highly reliable they may assist in the identification of individuals at future risk for psychosis.