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Are Schizophrenic disorders with or without early cannabis use neurobiologically distinct disease entities? A meta-analysis of magnetic resonance imaging studies.

Psychiatry Res. 2021 Jan 16;297:113731

Authors: Luca P, Rafael T, Emilio B, Antonio V

Cannabis use is considered an important risk factor for the development of psychotic illness and is associated with worse outcomes of the disorder. This study aimed to determine through a meta-analytic approach whether patients at the onset of schizophrenia with comorbid cannabis use (SCH CU+) show a different pattern of brain abnormalities as compared to patients with no comorbid cannabis use (SCH CU-). Ten Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) studies were identified as suitable for analysis leading to the inclusion of n= 465 patients with schizophrenia (n= 227 SCH CU+ and n= 238 SCH CU-) and n= 366 healthy controls. Compared to healthy controls, both SCH CU+ and SCH CU- patients showed reduction of whole brain, total grey matter and hippocampal volumes. The direct comparison of SCH CU+ and SCH CU- patients, including up to 5 independent studies, did not demonstrate significant differences of brain volumes between the two groups even though total and regional grey matter volume deficits were more prominent in SCH CU+ patients. The available literature data indicate that, essentially, there is an overlap of brain abnormalities in SCH CU+ and SCH CU- patients at the onset of schizophrenia. The common vs specific trajectories of brain pathomorphology in SCH CU+ and SCH CU- patients are discussed.

PMID: 33493730 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

Source: ncbi 2

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