Effect of childhood physical abuse on social anxiety is mediated via reduced frontal lobe and amygdala-hippocampus complex volume in adult clinical high-risk subjects

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Authors

  • R. K.R. Salokangas
  • J. Hietala
  • R. L. Armio
  • H. Laurikainen
  • T. From
  • S. Borgwardt
  • A. Riecher-Rössler
  • P. Brambilla
  • C. Bonivento
  • E. Meisenzahl
  • F. Schultze-Lutter
  • T. Haidl
  • S. Ruhrmann
  • C. Pantelis
  • L. Kambeitz-Ilankovic
  • A. Ruef
  • D. B. Dwyer
  • J. Kambeitz
  • N. Koutsouleris

External organisations

  • University of Turku
  • Department of Psychiatry (Psychiatric University Hospital
  • Università degli Studi di Milano and oINFN-Milan
  • University of Udine
  • Heinrich-Heine-Universität
  • University of Cologne
  • Orygen
  • The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health
  • Centre for Youth Mental Health
  • The University of Melbourne, Australia
  • University of Munich

Abstract

Background: Childhood adverse experiences (CAE) are associated with clinical psychiatric disorders and symptoms, and with volumetric abnormalities in the amygdala-hippocampus complex (AmHiC) and frontal lobe (FroL) in adulthood. Aim: To study whether CAE are associated with reduced AmHiC and FroL and whether these structures mediate the effect of CAE on social anxiety and depression. Method: In seven European centres, 374 patients with recent onset of psychosis (n = 127), clinical high-risk to psychosis (n = 119) or recent onset of depression (n = 128) were scanned with MRI and their FroL and AmHiC volumes were measured. They all completed self-report scales for assessment of CAE, social anxiety and depression. Results: Of the CAE domains, physical abuse was associated specifically with reduced grey and white matter volumes of FroL and AmHiC in psychotic and high-risk patients. After controlling intracranial volume, PhyAb associated significantly with FroL and its grey matter volume in high-risk patients only. In mediation analyses, the effect of physical abuse on social anxiety was mediated via reduced FroL grey mater volume in high-risk patients. In them, when the effects of AmHiC and depression were controlled, the effect of physical abuse on social anxiety was mediated via FroL grey matter volume reduction. Conclusions: Childhood physical abuse is associated with reduced frontal lobe and amygdala-hippocampus complex volume in adult subjects with psychotic symptoms. Reduced frontal lobe and amygdala-hippocampus complex volume mediate the effect of physical abuse on social anxiety in high-risk patients. The effect of physical abuse on depression-independent social anxiety is mediated via reduced frontal lobe.

Details

Original languageEnglish
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 May 2020

Keywords

  • Amygdala-hippocampus complex, Brain MRI scan, High-risk, Physical abuse, Psychosis, Social anxiety