The present project aims to evaluate maturation and aging brain trajectories of cortical regions and subcortical structures in young adults presenting a first episode of schizophreniform psychosis (FEEP) in comparison with epidemiological controls. T1-weighted MRI scans from a previously collected database of 69 FEEP patients (47 with schizophrenia, 15 with schizophreniform disorder and 7 with schizoaffective disorder) and 89 epidemiological controls will be processed using the Freesurfer software (http://surfer.nmr.
mgh.harvard.edu/). Cortical thickness measures for the main prefrontal (including its dorsolateral, orbitofrontal and ventromedial portions) and temporal gyri, cingulate gyrus and insula, as well as the volumes of the subcortical structures hippocampus, amygdala and thalamus will be extracted through an automated and internationally adopted routine. Age effects on total gray and white brain volumes will also be assessed. Finally, regression analyses will be used to estimate the best fitting model for each age versus brain measure trajectory within each study group, with age as fixed factor and cortical thickness or volume measures as dependent variables. Both linear and non-linear models (first, second and third order polynomial expansions) will be considered.
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