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Heschl’s Gyrus Duplication Pattern In Individuals At Risk Of Developing Psychosis And Patients With Schizophrenia

Tsutomu Takahashi, Daiki Sasabayashi, Yoichiro Takayanagi, Yuko Higuchi, Yuko Mizukami, Shimako Nishiyama, Atsushi Furuichi, Mikio Kido, Tien Viet Pham, Haruko Kobayashi, Kyo Noguchi, Michio Suzuki

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An increased prevalence of duplicated Heschl’s gyrus (HG), which may reflect an early neurodevelopmental pathology, has been reported in schizophrenia (Sz). However, it currently remains unclear whether individuals at risk of psychosis exhibit similar brain morphological characteristics. This magnetic resonance imaging study investigated the distribution of HG gyrification patterns [i.e., single HG, common stem duplication (CSD), and complete posterior duplication (CPD)] and their relationship with clinical characteristics in 57 individuals with an at-risk mental state (ARMS) [of whom 5 (8.8%) later developed Sz], 63 patients with Sz, and 61 healthy comparisons. The prevalence of duplicated HG patterns (i.e., CSD or CPD) bilaterally was significantly higher in the ARMS and Sz groups than in the controls, whereas no significant differences were observed in HG patterns between these groups. The left CSD pattern, particularly in the Sz group, was associated with a verbal fluency deficit. In the ARMS group, left CSD pattern was related to a more severe general psychopathology. The present results suggest that an altered gyrification pattern on the superior temporal plane reflects vulnerability factors associated with Sz, which may also contribute to the clinical features of high-risk individuals, even without the onset of psychosis.