Does cortical brain morphology act as a mediator between childhood trauma and transition to psychosis in young individuals at ultra-high risk?

Journal article


Rapado-Castro, Marta, Whittle, Sarah, Pantelis, Christos, Thompson, Andrew, Nelson, Barnaby, Ganella, Eleni P., Lin, Ashleigh, Reniers, Renate L. E. P., McGorry, Patrick D., Yung, Alison R., Wood, Stephen J. and Bartholomeusz, Cali F.. (2020). Does cortical brain morphology act as a mediator between childhood trauma and transition to psychosis in young individuals at ultra-high risk? Schizophrenia Research. 224, pp. 116-125. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.schres.2020.09.017
AuthorsRapado-Castro, Marta, Whittle, Sarah, Pantelis, Christos, Thompson, Andrew, Nelson, Barnaby, Ganella, Eleni P., Lin, Ashleigh, Reniers, Renate L. E. P., McGorry, Patrick D., Yung, Alison R., Wood, Stephen J. and Bartholomeusz, Cali F.
Abstract

Background
Childhood trauma, particularly sexual abuse, has been associated with transition to psychosis in individuals at “ultra-high risk” (UHR). This study investigated whether the effects of various forms of childhood trauma on transition to psychosis are mediated by cortical thickness and surface area abnormalities.

Methods
This prospective study used data from 62 UHR individuals from a previous (PACE 400) cohort study. At follow-up, 24 individuals had transitioned to psychosis (UHR-T) and 38 individuals had not transitioned (UHR-NT). Student-t/Mann-Whitney-U tests were performed to assess morphological differences in childhood trauma (low/high) and transition. Mediation analyses were conducted using regression and bootstrapping techniques.

Results
UHR individuals with high sexual trauma histories presented with decreased cortical thickness in bilateral middle temporal gyri and the left superior frontal gyrus compared to those with low sexual trauma. Participants with high physical abuse had increased cortical thickness in the right middle frontal gyrus compared to those with low physical abuse. No differences were found for emotional abuse or physical/emotional neglect. Reduced cortical thickness in the right middle temporal gyrus and increased surface area in the right cingulate were found in UHR-T compared to UHR-NT individuals. Sexual abuse had an indirect effect on transition to psychosis, where decreased cortical thickness in the right middle temporal gyrus was a mediator.

Conclusions
Results suggest that childhood sexual abuse negatively impacted on cortical development of the right temporal gyrus, and this heightened the risk of transition to psychosis in our sample. Further longitudinal studies are needed to precisely understand this link.

Keywordscortical surface area; cortical thickness; sexual abuse; childhood trauma; psychosis; ultra-high risk (UHR)
Year2020
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Journal citation224, pp. 116-125
PublisherElsevier B.V.
ISSN0920-9964
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.schres.2020.09.017
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85092690066
Research or scholarlyResearch
Page range116-125
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online15 Oct 2020
Publication process dates
Accepted23 Sep 2020
Deposited30 Jun 2021
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