Asymmetries of cortical thickness: effects of handedness, sex, and schizophrenia

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Abstract

Sex, handedness, and disease processes in schizophrenia may affect the magnitude and/or direction of structural brain asymmetries. Using MRI data from 67 healthy (30 men, 10 nondextral) and 84 schizophrenia patients (60 men, 16 nondextral), cortical thickness asymmetries were compared at high spatial resolution. Within-group asymmetries were observed in sensorimotor, perisylvian, and parahippocampal cortices (leftward) and in anterior mesial frontal cortices (rightward). Asymmetry patterns were similar across diagnosis and sex, although some regional asymmetry increases were observed in men. Hand preference (dextrality) significantly influenced regional asymmetries in parietal association and dorsomedial frontal cortices (false discovery rate-corrected), where medial-frontal regions showed diagnosis by dextrality effects (uncorrected). Thus, dextrality relates to cortical thickness asymmetries, although schizophrenia may differentially affect asymmetry patterns across handedness.

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