Multiscale neural gradients reflect transdiagnostic effects of major psychiatric conditions on cortical morphology

Bo yong Park*, Valeria Kebets, Sara Larivière, Meike D. Hettwer, Casey Paquola, Daan van Rooij, Jan Buitelaar, Barbara Franke, Martine Hoogman, Lianne Schmaal, Dick J. Veltman, Odile A. van den Heuvel, Dan J. Stein, Ole A. Andreassen, Christopher R.K. Ching, Jessica A. Turner, Theo G.M. van Erp, Alan C. Evans, Alain Dagher, Sophia I. ThomopoulosPaul M. Thompson, Sofie L. Valk, Matthias Kirschner, Boris C. Bernhardt

*Corresponding author for this work

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    It is increasingly recognized that multiple psychiatric conditions are underpinned by shared neural pathways, affecting similar brain systems. Here, we carried out a multiscale neural contextualization of shared alterations of cortical morphology across six major psychiatric conditions (autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, major depression disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia). Our framework cross-referenced shared morphological anomalies with respect to cortical myeloarchitecture and cytoarchitecture, as well as connectome and neurotransmitter organization. Pooling disease-related effects on MRI-based cortical thickness measures across six ENIGMA working groups, including a total of 28,546 participants (12,876 patients and 15,670 controls), we identified a cortex-wide dimension of morphological changes that described a sensory-fugal pattern, with paralimbic regions showing the most consistent alterations across conditions. The shared disease dimension was closely related to cortical gradients of microstructure as well as neurotransmitter axes, specifically cortex-wide variations in serotonin and dopamine. Multiple sensitivity analyses confirmed robustness with respect to slight variations in analytical choices. Our findings embed shared effects of common psychiatric conditions on brain structure in multiple scales of brain organization, and may provide insights into neural mechanisms of transdiagnostic vulnerability.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number1024
    JournalCommunications biology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Dec-2022

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