Brain structure characteristics in intellectually superior schizophrenia
The current study aims to fill a gap in the knowledge base by investigating the structural brain characteristics of individuals with schizophrenia and superior intellectual abilities.
Subcortical volumes, cortical thickness and cortical surface area were examined in intellectually normal and intellectually superior participants with schizophrenia and their IQ-matched healthy controls, as well as in intellectually low schizophrenia participants. We replicated significant diagnostic group effects on hippocampal and ventricular size after correction for multiple comparisons. There were no statistically significant effects of intellectual level or of the interaction between diagnostic group and intellectual level. Effect sizes indicated that differences between schizophrenia and healthy control participants were of similar magnitude at both intellectual levels for all three types of morphological data. A secondary analysis within the schizophrenia group, including participants with low intellectual abilities, yielded numerical, but no statistically significant differences on any structural brain measure. The present findings indicate that the brain structure abnormalities in schizophrenia are present at all intellectual levels, and individuals with schizophrenia and superior intellectual abilities have brain structure abnormalities of the same magnitude as individuals with schizophrenia and normal intellectual abilities.
Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, 2015, doi:10.1016/j.pscychresns.2015.02.005