Increased gyrification in schizophrenia and non affective first episode of psychosis

Riccardo Zuliani, Giuseppe Delvecchio, Carolina Bonivento, Giulia Cattarinussi, Cinzia Perlini, Marcella Bellani, Veronica Marinelli, Maria Gloria Rossetti, Antonio Lasalvia, Andrew McIntosh, Stephen M. Lawrie, Matteo Balestrieri, Mirella Ruggeri, Paolo Brambilla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Prefrontal cortex gyrification has been suggested to be altered in patients with schizophrenia and first episode psychosis. Therefore, it may represent a possible trait marker for these illnesses and an indirect evidence of a disrupted underlying connectivity. The aim of this study was to add further evidence to the existing literature on the role of prefrontal gyrification in psychosis by carrying out a study on a sizeable sample of chronic patients with schizophrenia and non-affective first-episode psychosis (FEP-NA) patients. Methods: Seventy-two patients with schizophrenia, 51 FEP-NA patients (12 who later develop schizophrenia) and 95 healthy controls (HC) underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Cortical folding was quantified using the automated gyrification index (GI). GI values were compared among groups and related to clinical variables. Results: Both FEP-NA and patients with schizophrenia showed a higher mean prefrontal GI compared to HC (all p. <. 0.05). Interestingly, no differences have been observed between the two patients groups as well as between FEP-NA patients who did and did not develop schizophrenia. Conclusions: Our results suggest the presence of a shared aberrant prefrontal GI in subjects with both schizophrenia and first-episode psychosis. These findings support the hypothesis that altered GI represents a neurodevelopmental trait marker for psychosis, which may be involved in the associated neurocognitive deficits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-275
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • First episode psychosis
  • Gyrification
  • MRI
  • Prefrontal cortex
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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