Genetic and Structural Brain Correlates of Cognitive Subtypes Across Youth at Family Risk for Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder

Isabel Valli, Elena De la Serna, Alex G Segura, Jose C Pariente, Angels Calvet-Mirabent, Roger Borras, Daniel Ilzarbe, Dolores Moreno, Nuria Martín-Martínez, Inmaculada Baeza, Mireia Rosa-Justicia, Clemente Garcia-Rizo, Covadonga M Díaz-Caneja, Nicolas A Crossley, Allan H Young, Eduard Vieta, Sergi Mas, Josefina Castro-Fornieles, Gisela Sugranyes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
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OBJECTIVE: Cognitive impairment is an important feature of Schizophrenia (SZ) and Bipolar Disorder (BP) with severity across the two disorders characterized by significant heterogeneity. Youth at family risk for SZ and BP were clustered based on cognitive function and examined in terms of the clinical, genetic, and brain imaging correlates of cluster membership.

METHOD: One hundred sixty participants, 32 offspring of patients with SZ, 59 offspring of patients with BP and 69 offspring of healthy control parents underwent clinical and cognitive assessments, genotyping and structural MRI. K-means clustering was used to group family risk participants based on cognitive measures. Clusters were compared in terms of cortical and subcortical brain measures as well as polygenic risk scores.

RESULTS: Participants were grouped in 3 clusters with intact, intermediate, and impaired cognitive performance. The intermediate and impaired clusters had lower total brain surface area compared with the intact cluster, with prominent localization in frontal and temporal cortices. No between-cluster differences were identified in cortical thickness and subcortical brain volumes. The impaired cluster also had poorer psychosocial functioning and worse PRS-COG compared with the other 2 clusters and with offspring of healthy control parents, while there was no significant between-cluster difference in terms of PRS-SZ and PRS-BP. PRS-COG predicted psychosocial functioning, yet this effect did not appear to be mediated by an effect of PRS-COG on brain area.

CONCLUSION: Stratification based on cognition may help to elucidate the biological underpinnings of cognitive heterogeneity across SZ and BP risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-83
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Issue number1
Early online date13 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023


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