Progressive alterations of the auditory association areas in young non-psychotic offspring of schizophrenia patients

Tejas S. Bhojraj, John A. Sweeney, Konasale M. Prasad, Shaun Eack, Rajaprabhakaran Rajarethinam, Alan N. Francis, Debra M. Montrose, Matcheri S. Keshavan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Background: Schizophrenia may involve progressive alterations of structure and hemispheric lateralization of auditory association areas (AAA) within the superior temporal gyrus. These alterations may be greater in male patients. It is unclear if these deficits are state-dependent or whether they predate illness onset and reflect familial diathesis. Aims: We sought to compare AAA cortical thickness, surface area and lateralization across adolescent and young adult non-psychotic offspring of schizophrenia patients (OS) and healthy controls at baseline and one year follow-up. We also assessed the moderating effect of gender on these measures. Methods: Fifty-six OS and thirty-six control subjects were assessed at baseline and at follow-up on AAA surface area and thickness using FreeSurfer to process T1-MRI-images. We used repeated measures ANCOVAs, controlling intra cranial volume and age with assessment-time and side as within-subject factors and gender and study group as between-subject factors. Results: Surface area deficit in OS was greater on the left than on the right, as reflected in a lower surface area laterality-index (left-right/left + right × 100) in OS compared to controls. Left, but not right surface area and surface area laterality-index showed a longitudinal decline in OS compared to controls. Male OS declined more than controls on surface area and thickness. Conclusions: Left AAA surface area may progressively decline in young non-psychotic offspring at familial diathesis for schizophrenia causing a continuing reversal of the leftward AAA lateralization. Progressive surface area reduction and thinning of AAA may be more prominent in young non-psychotic male offspring at risk for schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)205-212
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2011


  • Auditory association areas
  • Gender
  • Lateralization
  • MRI
  • Offspring
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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