JOURNAL ARTICLE

Neural correlate of impulsivity in subjects at ultra-high risk for psychosis

Tae Young Lee, Sung Nyun Kim, Joon Hwan Jang, Geumsook Shim, Wi Hoon Jung, Na Young Shin, Jun Soo Kwon
Progress in Neuro-psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry 2013 August 1, 45: 165-9
23603064

OBJECTIVE: Impulsivity is one of the most commonly reported behavioral characteristics of patients with schizophrenia. Although there is accumulating evidence regarding behavioral problems in individuals at ultra-high risk (UHR) for psychosis, as yet, no study has reported on impulsivity in this population. The aim of the present study was to assess impulsivity in UHR subjects and to investigate the associated gray matter correlates.

METHOD: This study included 32 UHR subjects and 32 age- and gender-matched healthy controls (HCs). The Barratt Impulsiveness Scale version-11 (BIS-11) was employed to assess impulsivity. Differences between the groups in gray matter volume in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), and orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) were assessed. Then, a correlational analysis between the BIS-11 scores and significant clusters of gray matter volume was conducted in UHR subjects.

RESULTS: UHR subjects were more impulsive than HC subjects in terms of attention (t = 3.5187, p<0.01), motor (t = 3.1751, p<0.01), and non-planning (t = 4.4154, p<0.01) scores. The gray matter volume of the ACC was negatively correlated with the motor (r = -0.472, p<0.01) and non-planning (r = -0.354, p = 0.04) scores of the BIS-11 in UHR subjects.

CONCLUSION: These results suggest that impulsivity in UHR subjects may reflect altered integrated conflict processing, which likely stems from abnormalities in the ACC, rather than altered reward/punishment processing or executive control.

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