Shared and distinct abnormalities of brain magnetization transfer ratio in schizophrenia and major depressive disorder: a comparative voxel-based meta-analysis.

Publication date: Dec 05, 2023

Patients with schizophrenia (SCZ) and major depressive disorder (MDD) share significant clinical overlap, although it remains unknown to what extent this overlap reflects shared neural profiles. To identify the shared and specific abnormalities in SCZ and MDD, we performed a whole-brain voxel-based meta-analysis using magnetization transfer imaging, a technique that characterizes the macromolecular structural integrity of brain tissue in terms of the magnetization transfer ratio (MTR). A systematic search based on Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines was conducted in PubMed, EMBASE, International Scientific Index (ISI) Web of Science, and MEDLINE for relevant studies up to March 2022. Two researchers independently screened the articles. Rigorous scrutiny and data extraction were performed for the studies that met the inclusion criteria. Voxel-wise meta-analyses were conducted using anisotropic effect size-signed differential mapping with a unified template. Meta-regression was used to explore the potential effects of demographic and clinical characteristics. A total of 15 studies with 17 datasets describing 365 SCZ patients, 224 MDD patients, and 550 healthy controls (HCs) were identified. The conjunction analysis showed that both disorders shared higher MTR than HC in the left cerebellum ( P =0. 0006) and left fusiform gyrus ( P =0. 0004). Additionally, SCZ patients showed disorder-specific lower MTR in the anterior cingulate/paracingulate gyrus, right superior temporal gyrus, and right superior frontal gyrus, and higher MTR in the left thalamus, precuneus/cuneus, posterior cingulate gyrus, and paracentral lobule; and MDD patients showed higher MTR in the left middle occipital region. Meta-regression showed no statistical significance in either group. The results revealed a structural neural basis shared between SCZ and MDD patients, emphasizing the importance of shared neural substrates across psychopathology. Meanwhile, distinct disease-specific characteristics could have implications for future differential diagnosis and targeted treatment.

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Concepts Keywords
March Brain
Medline Depressive Disorder, Major
Schizophrenia Frontal Lobe
Science Humans
Unknown Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Prefrontal Cortex


Type Source Name
disease MESH abnormalities
disease MESH schizophrenia
disease MESH major depressive disorder
drug DRUGBANK Methionine
disease MESH depressive disorder
disease MESH psychiatric disorders
drug DRUGBANK Dopamine
drug DRUGBANK Serotonin
drug DRUGBANK Norepinephrine
disease MESH apathy
disease MESH cognitive impairment
drug DRUGBANK Guanosine
disease MESH comorbidity
disease MESH syndromes
drug DRUGBANK Water
disease MESH psychosis
drug DRUGBANK Coenzyme M
disease MESH suicide
drug DRUGBANK Benzylpenicillin
drug DRUGBANK Omega-3 fatty acids
disease MESH atrophy
disease MESH neuroinflammation
drug DRUGBANK Isoxaflutole
drug DRUGBANK gamma-Aminobutyric acid

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