Objective: To examine whether the total volumes of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), cerebral grey matter and white matter were correlated with the experience of environmental stress in daily life situations.
Method: Twenty-seven patients with psychosis underwent magnetic resonance imaging scanning and a random time-sampling self-assessment technique (Experience Sampling Method) to determine subjective daily life stress experiences. Total cerebral tissue volumes were derived from an automated segmentation procedure.
Results: CSF volume was positively associated with daily life event-related stress (β=0.016, P=0.002), while the association with total white matter was negative (β=−0.013, P=0.005). The effects were independent of each other and of total cerebral volume and other confounders. No large or significant association was found with grey matter volume.
Conclusion: Subjective stress experience in daily life is associated with increased CSF and reduced white matter volumes in patients with psychosis, suggesting functional significance of these cerebral measures.