Bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are associated with brain morphometry alterations. This study investigates inter-individual variability in brain structural profiles, both within diagnostic groups and between patients and healthy individuals. Brain morphometric measures from three independent samples of patients with schizophrenia (n = 168), bipolar disorder (n = 122), and healthy individuals (n = 180) were modeled as single vectors to generated individualized profiles of subcortical volumes and regional cortical thickness. These profiles were then used to compute a person-based similarity index (PBSI) for subcortical volumes and for regional cortical thickness, to quantify the within-group similarity of the morphometric profile of each individual to that of the other participants in the same diagnostic group. There was no effect of diagnosis on the PBSI for subcortical volumes. In contrast, compared to healthy individuals, the PBSI for cortical thickness was lower in patients with schizophrenia (effect size = 0.4, p ≤ 0.0002), but not in patients with bipolar disorder. The results were robust and reproducible across samples. We conclude that disease mechanisms for these disorders produce modest inter-individual variations in brain morphometry that should be considered in future studies attempting to cluster patients in subgroups.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health