Chaos analysis of the brain topology in first-episode psychosis and clinical high risk patients
2022, Frontiers in Psychiatry
Structural MRI studies in first-episode psychosis (FEP) and in clinical high risk (CHR) patients have consistently shown volumetric abnormalities in frontal, temporal, and cingulate cortex areas. The aim of the present study was to employ chaos analysis for the identification of brain topology differences in people with psychosis. Structural MRI were acquired from 77 FEP, 73 CHR and 44 healthy controls (HC). Chaos analysis of the gray matter distribution was performed: First, the distances of each voxel from the center of mass in the gray matter image was calculated. Next, the distances multiplied by the voxel intensity were represented as a spatial-series, which then was analyzed by extracting the Largest-Lyapunov-Exponent (lambda). The lambda brain map depicts thus how the gray matter topology changes. Between-group differences were identified by (a) comparing the lambda brain maps, which resulted in statistically significant differences in FEP and CHR compared to HC; and (b) matching the lambda series with the Morlet wavelet, which resulted in statistically significant differences in the scalograms of FEP against CHR and HC. The proposed framework using spatial-series extraction enhances the between-group differences of FEP, CHR and HC subjects, verifies diagnosis-relevant features and may potentially contribute to the identification of structural biomarkers for psychosis.