Enlarged hippocampal fissure in psychosis of epilepsy

James Allebone, Richard A. Kanaan, Jerome J. Maller, Terrence O'Brien, Saul Mullen, Mark Cook, Sophie Adams, Simon Vogrin, David Vaughan, Alan Connelly, Patrick Kwan, Samuel F. Berkovic, Wendyl D'Souza, Graeme Jackson, Dennis Velakoulis, Sarah J. Wilson

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Psychosis of epilepsy (POE) can be a devastating condition, and its neurobiological basis remains unclear. In a previous study, we identified reduced posterior hippocampal volumes in patients with POE. The hippocampus can be further subdivided into anatomically and functionally distinct subfields that, along with the hippocampal fissure, have been shown to be selectively affected in other psychotic disorders and are not captured by gross measures of hippocampal volume. Therefore, in this study, we compared the volume of selected hippocampal subfields and the hippocampal fissure in 31 patients with POE with 31 patients with epilepsy without psychosis. Cortical reconstruction, volumetric segmentation, and calculation of hippocampal subfields and the hippocampal fissure were performed using FreeSurfer. The group with POE had larger hippocampal fissures bilaterally compared with controls with epilepsy, which was significant on the right. There were no significant differences in the volumes of the hippocampal subfields between the two groups. Our findings suggest abnormal development of the hippocampus in POE. They support and expand the neurodevelopmental model of psychosis, which holds that early life stressors lead to abnormal neurodevelopmental processes, which underpin the onset of psychosis in later life. In line with this model, the findings of the present study suggest that enlarged hippocampal fissures may be a biomarker of abnormal neurodevelopment and risk for psychosis in patients with epilepsy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107290
Number of pages7
JournalEpilepsy & Behavior
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


  • Epilepsy
  • Hippocampal subfields
  • Hippocampus
  • Interictal psychosis
  • Postictal psychosis
  • Psychosis

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