Corpus callosum size and shape in first-episode affective and schizophrenia-spectrum psychosis

Mark Walterfang, Gin S. Malhi, Amanda G. Wood, David C. Reutens, Jian Chen, Sarah Barton, Murat Yücel, Dennis Velakoulis, Christos Pantelis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Reductions in the size of the anterior callosum have been described for both first-episode and established schizophrenia and bipolar affective disorder, but never in individuals with psychotic bipolar disorder. We recruited 110 first-episode psychosis subjects (74 schizophrenia spectrum and 36 affective psychosis) and 36 age- and gender-matched controls. The callosum was extracted from a mid-sagittal slice from T1-weighted magnetic resonance images, and total area, length and curvature of the callosum were compared. The schizophrenia-spectrum group showed reductions in thickness of the genu across schizophreniform and schizoaffective disorder and schizophrenia, and the schizoaffective disorder group also showed an increase in thickness in the splenium and isthmus. None of these changes were seen in the affective disorder group, although a non-significant increase in the region of the isthmus and splenium was seen, particularly in the depressed group. Psychotic affective disorders do not show the anterior callosal reductions that are seen in the schizophrenia-spectrum group at first episode. The schizoaffective patients show additional posterior callosal expansions that may be a marker of an affective diathesis. This suggests that schizoaffective disorder may represent two interacting illness processes or be mid-way along a continuum of these two broad categories of illness at first psychosis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-82
Number of pages6
JournalPsychiatry Research : Neuroimaging
Issue number1
Early online date17 May 2009
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2009


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