Research Topic

Trajectories of Brain Alterations: Characterizing the Progression of Brain Aging in Patients with Mental Disorders

About this Research Topic

Common mental disorders impose great functional disability and in aggregate have a prevalence of about 10-20%. Studies of the biological causes of the psychopathology of affected individuals using noninvasive neuroimaging have characterized the anatomical, functional and metabolic brain changes. Recent studies have identified more rapid aging of the brain in several disorders. Yet, how these alterations progress (e.g., wherein the brain, in what disorders, and at what age) remains poorly understood. Thus, characterizing the trajectories of age-related changes in brain anatomy and function thus may both facilitate mechanistic understanding of the illness and the development of specific treatment strategies to prevent deteriorated progression and improve outcomes.

In this Research Topic, we aim to gather a collection of articles to address this relatively unexplored area of research. We are seeking studies that focus on aging and clinical course effects on brain abnormalities in neuropsychiatric disorders that aim to elucidate how brain alterations develop or progress in different illness courses. Studies with longitudinal designs to precisely trace the evolving trajectories of brain abnormalities are preferable, but studies showing novel effects in cross-sectional studies will also be considered. These studies may include studies of age-related changes in brain maturation in pediatric disorders, studies of long-term effects of pharmacological treatments on the brain, and studies of age-related changes in late mid-life and elderly individuals. Psychiatric disorders suitable for this set of papers will include, but not be limited to, major depressive disorder, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, autism spectrum disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. In addition to participants with confirmed psychiatric diagnoses, studies focusing on aging effects on brain regions related to behavioral manifestations will also be considered. Submissions will be considered that employ a wide range of neuroimaging techniques including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET), and electroencephalogram (EEG). Multi-modality studies are especially encouraged. We hope to see a collection of original research articles, reviews, meta-analyses and commentaries on existing areas of research.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to the following:
- Aging effects on brain anatomical and/or functional alterations in patients with psychiatric disorders, including applications of novel neuroimaging approaches.
- Longitudinal studies to characterize the trajectories of regional brain anatomy and function that play a pivotal role in psychiatric disorders or behavioral features while aging
- Research differentiating different patterns of illness progression in different patients while aging, and their relation to treatment approaches and clinical course


Keywords: Psychiatric Disorders, Illness Progression, Aging, Brain, Neuroimaging


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Common mental disorders impose great functional disability and in aggregate have a prevalence of about 10-20%. Studies of the biological causes of the psychopathology of affected individuals using noninvasive neuroimaging have characterized the anatomical, functional and metabolic brain changes. Recent studies have identified more rapid aging of the brain in several disorders. Yet, how these alterations progress (e.g., wherein the brain, in what disorders, and at what age) remains poorly understood. Thus, characterizing the trajectories of age-related changes in brain anatomy and function thus may both facilitate mechanistic understanding of the illness and the development of specific treatment strategies to prevent deteriorated progression and improve outcomes.

In this Research Topic, we aim to gather a collection of articles to address this relatively unexplored area of research. We are seeking studies that focus on aging and clinical course effects on brain abnormalities in neuropsychiatric disorders that aim to elucidate how brain alterations develop or progress in different illness courses. Studies with longitudinal designs to precisely trace the evolving trajectories of brain abnormalities are preferable, but studies showing novel effects in cross-sectional studies will also be considered. These studies may include studies of age-related changes in brain maturation in pediatric disorders, studies of long-term effects of pharmacological treatments on the brain, and studies of age-related changes in late mid-life and elderly individuals. Psychiatric disorders suitable for this set of papers will include, but not be limited to, major depressive disorder, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, autism spectrum disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. In addition to participants with confirmed psychiatric diagnoses, studies focusing on aging effects on brain regions related to behavioral manifestations will also be considered. Submissions will be considered that employ a wide range of neuroimaging techniques including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET), and electroencephalogram (EEG). Multi-modality studies are especially encouraged. We hope to see a collection of original research articles, reviews, meta-analyses and commentaries on existing areas of research.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to the following:
- Aging effects on brain anatomical and/or functional alterations in patients with psychiatric disorders, including applications of novel neuroimaging approaches.
- Longitudinal studies to characterize the trajectories of regional brain anatomy and function that play a pivotal role in psychiatric disorders or behavioral features while aging
- Research differentiating different patterns of illness progression in different patients while aging, and their relation to treatment approaches and clinical course


Keywords: Psychiatric Disorders, Illness Progression, Aging, Brain, Neuroimaging


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

13 September 2021 Abstract
11 January 2022 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

13 September 2021 Abstract
11 January 2022 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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