Callosal Abnormalities Across the Psychosis Dimension: Bipolar Schizophrenia Network on Intermediate Phenotypes

Alan N. Francis, Suraj S. Mothi, Ian T. Mathew, Neeraj Tandon, Brett Clementz, Godfrey D. Pearlson, John A. Sweeney, Carol A. Tamminga, Matcheri S. Keshavan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Background The corpus callosum has been implicated in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. However, it is unclear whether corpus callosum alterations are related to the underlying familial diathesis for psychotic disorders. We examined the corpus callosum and its subregion volumes and their relationship to cognition, psychotic symptoms, and age in probands with schizophrenia (SZ), psychotic bipolar disorder (PBD), and schizoaffective disorder; their first-degree relatives; and healthy control subjects. Methods We present findings from morphometric and neurocognitive analyses of 1381 subjects (SZ probands, n = 224; PBD probands, n = 190; schizoaffective disorder probands, n = 142; unaffected relatives, n = 483 [SZ relatives, n = 195; PBD relatives, n = 175; schizoaffective disorder relatives, n = 113]; control subjects, n = 342). Magnetization prepared rapid acquisition gradient-echo T1 scans across five sites were obtained using 3-tesla magnets. Image processing was done using FreeSurfer Version 5.1. Neurocognitive function was measured using the Brief Assessment of Cognition in Schizophrenia scale. Results Anterior and posterior splenial volumes were significantly reduced across the groups. The SZ and PBD probands showed robust and significant reductions, whereas relatives showed significant reductions of intermediate severity. The splenial volumes were positively but differentially correlated with aspects of cognition in the probands and their relatives. Proband groups showed a significant age-related decrease in the volume of the anterior splenium compared with control subjects. Among the psychosis groups, the anterior splenium in probands with PBD showed a stronger correlation with psychotic symptoms, as shown by the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale. All five subregions showed significantly high familiality. Conclusions The splenial volumes were significantly reduced across the psychosis dimension. However, this volume reduction impacts cognition and clinical manifestation of the illnesses differentially.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)627-635
Number of pages9
JournalBiological Psychiatry
Issue number8
StatePublished - Oct 15 2016


  • Bipolar
  • Corpus callosum
  • Neuroimaging
  • Psychosis
  • Schizoaffective
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biological Psychiatry


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