Rxivist logo

Impact of second-generation antipsychotics on white matter microstructure in adolescent-onset psychosis

By Claudia Barth, Vera Lonning, Tiril P Gurholt, Ole A Andreassen, Anne M. Myhre, Ingrid Agartz

Posted 02 Aug 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/721225

White matter abnormalities are well-established in adult patients with psychosis. Yet less is known about changes in early onset psychosis (EOP) during adolescence, especially whether antipsychotic medication might impact white matter microstructure in this sensitive phase. Here, we utilized Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) in unmedicated and medicated adolescent EOP patients in comparison to healthy controls to examine the impact of antipsychotic medication status on indices of white matter microstructure. Twenty-two EOP patients (11 unmedicated) and 33 healthy controls, aged between 12-18 years, underwent 3T diffusion-weighted MRI. Using Tract-based Spatial Statistics, we calculate case-control differences in scalar diffusion measures, i.e. fractional anisotropy (FA), axial diffusion (AD) and radial diffusion (RD), and investigated their association with antipsychotic medication. We found significantly lower mean FA and AD in largely overlapping areas, particularly in left anterior corona radiata (ACR), in EOP patients relative to healthy controls. Mean FA in the left ACR was significantly associated with antipsychotic medication status (t = 2.991, p = 0.008, R2 = 0.298), showing higher FA values in medicated compared to unmedicated EOP patients. The present study is the first to link antipsychotic medication status to altered regional FA in the left ACR, a region being discussed to contribute to the etiology of psychosis. Yet, further work with larger samples is needed to draw firm conclusions about putatively enhancing effects of antipsychotic medication on white matter microstructure early in the disease process.

Download data

  • Downloaded 201 times
  • Download rankings, all-time:
    • Site-wide: 77,971 out of 100,745
    • In neuroscience: 13,818 out of 17,945
  • Year to date:
    • Site-wide: 45,485 out of 100,745
  • Since beginning of last month:
    • Site-wide: 47,426 out of 100,745

Altmetric data

Downloads over time

Distribution of downloads per paper, site-wide


Sign up for the Rxivist weekly newsletter! (Click here for more details.)


  • 20 Oct 2020: Support for sorting preprints using Twitter activity has been removed, at least temporarily, until a new source of social media activity data becomes available.
  • 18 Dec 2019: We're pleased to announce PanLingua, a new tool that enables you to search for machine-translated bioRxiv preprints using more than 100 different languages.
  • 21 May 2019: PLOS Biology has published a community page about Rxivist.org and its design.
  • 10 May 2019: The paper analyzing the Rxivist dataset has been published at eLife.
  • 1 Mar 2019: We now have summary statistics about bioRxiv downloads and submissions.
  • 8 Feb 2019: Data from Altmetric is now available on the Rxivist details page for every preprint. Look for the "donut" under the download metrics.
  • 30 Jan 2019: preLights has featured the Rxivist preprint and written about our findings.
  • 22 Jan 2019: Nature just published an article about Rxivist and our data.
  • 13 Jan 2019: The Rxivist preprint is live!