Polygenic Risk Score for Schizophrenia and Face-Processing Network in Young Adulthood.
Development of schizophrenia relates to both genetic and environmental factors. Functional deficits in many cognitive domains, including the ability to communicate in social interactions and impaired recognition of facial expressions, are common for patients with schizophrenia and might also be present in individuals at risk of developing schizophrenia. Here we explore whether an individual's polygenic risk score (PRS) for schizophrenia is associated with the degree of interregional similarities in blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal and gray matter volume of the face-processing network and whether the exposure to early adversity moderates this association. A total of 90 individuals (mean age 22 years, both functional and structural data available) were used for discovery analyses, and 211 individuals (mean age 26 years, structural data available) were used for replication of the structural findings. Both samples were drawn from the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1986. We found that the degree of interregional similarities in BOLD signal and gray matter volume vary as a function of PRS; lowest interregional correlation (both measures) was observed in individuals with high PRS. We also replicated the gray matter volume finding. We did not find evidence for an interaction between early adversity and PRS on the interregional correlation of BOLD signal and gray matter volume. We speculate that the observed group differences in PRS-related correlations in both modalities may result from differences in the concurrent functional engagement of the face-processing regions over time, eg, via differences in exposure to social interaction with other people.
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