A multicenter research led by the University of Pennsylvania reveals that based on an in-depth analysis of over 300 patients, it would appear that there are two distinct neuroanatomical subtypes of schizophrenia.
With the results published in the online journal Brain, the study may fundamentally change how schizophrenia is diagnosed as there is more than one type.
The study involved 307 schizophrenia patients, along with 364 healthy control subjects aged 45 or younger, based in the United States, China, and Germany. The researchers analyzed participants’ brain scans using HYDRA (Heterogeneity Through Discriminative Analysis), a machine-learning method. HYDRA is designed to identify disease subtypes by limiting the influence of age, gender, imaging protocols, and other variables reported the University of Pennsylvania in a press release.
The study results evidence two subtypes of schizophrenia, including 1) lower widespread volumes of gray matter compared to those with healthy controls—a pattern historically linked with schizophrenia; and 2) patients with an all-together different pattern involving gray matter volumes more similar to healthy brains but with increases in brain volume in the striatum—the area in the brain involved with voluntary movement.
Christos Davatzikos, Ph.D., the Wallace T. Miller Professor of Radiology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
Ganesh B. Chand, Department of Radiology, University of Pennsylvania