Basal ganglia and thalamic morphology in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder

Fay Y. Womer*, Lei Wang, Kathryn I. Alpert, Matthew J. Smith, John G. Csernansky, Deanna M. Barch, Daniel Mamah

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


In this study, we examined the morphology of the basal ganglia and thalamus in bipolar disorder (BP), schizophrenia-spectrum disorders (SCZ-S), and healthy controls (HC) with particular interest in differences related to the absence or presence of psychosis. Volumetric and shape analyses of the basal ganglia and thalamus were performed in 33 BP individuals [12 without history of psychotic features (NPBP) and 21 with history of psychotic features (PBP)], 32 SCZ-S individuals [28 with SCZ and 4 with schizoaffective disorder], and 27 HC using FreeSurfer-initiated large deformation diffeomorphic metric mapping. Significant volume differences were found in the caudate and globus pallidus, with volumes smallest in the NPBP group. Shape abnormalities showing inward deformation of superior regions of the caudate were observed in BP (and especially in NPBP) compared with HC. Shape differences were also found in the globus pallidus and putamen when comparing BP and SCZ-S groups. No significant differences were seen in the nucleus accumbens and thalamus. In summary, structural abnormalities in the caudate and globus pallidus are present in BP and SCZ-S. Differences were more apparent in the NPBP subgroup. The findings herein highlight the potential importance of separately examining BP subgroups in neuroimaging studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-83
Number of pages9
JournalPsychiatry Research - Neuroimaging
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 30 2014


  • Basal ganglia
  • Morphometry
  • Structural magnetic resonance imaging
  • Thalamus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)


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