Identification of neurobehavioural symptom groups based on shared brain mechanisms

Nature human behaviour

Nat Hum Behav. 2019 Dec;3(12):1306-1318. doi: 10.1038/s41562-019-0738-8. Epub 2019 Oct 7.


Most psychopathological disorders develop in adolescence. The biological basis for this development is poorly understood. To enhance diagnostic characterization and develop improved targeted interventions, it is critical to identify behavioural symptom groups that share neural substrates. We ran analyses to find relationships between behavioural symptoms and neuroimaging measures of brain structure and function in adolescence. We found two symptom groups, consisting of anxiety/depression and executive dysfunction symptoms, respectively, that correlated with distinct sets of brain regions and inter-regional connections, measured by structural and functional neuroimaging modalities. We found that the neural correlates of these symptom groups were present before behavioural symptoms had developed. These neural correlates showed case-control differences in corresponding psychiatric disorders, depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in independent clinical samples. By characterizing behavioural symptom groups based on shared neural mechanisms, our results provide a framework for developing a classification system for psychiatric illness that is based on quantitative neurobehavioural measures.

PMID:31591521 | DOI:10.1038/s41562-019-0738-8


Alex Ing
Philipp G Sämann
Congying Chu
Nicole Tay
Francesca Biondo
Gabriel Robert
Tianye Jia
Thomas Wolfers
Sylvane Desrivières
Tobias Banaschewski
Arun L W Bokde
Uli Bromberg
Christian Büchel
Patricia Conrod
Tahmine Fadai
Herta Flor
Vincent Frouin
Hugh Garavan
Philip A Spechler
Penny Gowland
Yvonne Grimmer
Andreas Heinz
Bernd Ittermann
Viola Kappel
Jean-Luc Martinot
Andreas Meyer-Lindenberg
Sabina Millenet
Frauke Nees
Betteke van Noort
Dimitri Papadopoulos Orfanos
Marie-Laure Paillère Martinot
Jani Penttilä
Luise Poustka
Erin Burke Quinlan
Michael N Smolka
Argyris Stringaris
Maren Struve
Ilya M Veer
Henrik Walter
Robert Whelan
Ole A Andreassen
Ingrid Agartz
Hervé Lemaitre
Edward D Barker
John Ashburner
Elisabeth Binder
Jan Buitelaar
Andre Marquand
Trevor W Robbins
Gunter Schumann
IMAGEN Consortium