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. 2011 May;37(3):640-50.
doi: 10.1093/schbul/sbp131. Epub 2009 Nov 17.

Altered Functional and Anatomical Connectivity in Schizophrenia

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Free PMC article

Altered Functional and Anatomical Connectivity in Schizophrenia

Jazmin Camchong et al. Schizophr Bull. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Background: Schizophrenia is characterized by a lack of integration between thought, emotion, and behavior. A disruption in the connectivity between brain processes may underlie this schism. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) were used to evaluate functional and anatomical brain connectivity in schizophrenia.

Methods: In all, 29 chronic schizophrenia patients (11 females, age: mean=41.3, SD=9.28) and 29 controls (11 females, age: mean=41.1, SD=10.6) were recruited. Schizophrenia patients were assessed for severity of negative and positive symptoms and general cognitive abilities of attention/concentration and memory. Participants underwent a resting-fMRI scan and a DTI scan. For fMRI data, a hybrid independent components analysis was used to extract the group default mode network (DMN) and accompanying time-courses. Voxel-wise whole-brain multiple regressions with corresponding DMN time-courses was conducted for each subject. A t-test was conducted on resulting DMN correlation maps to look between-group differences. For DTI data, voxel-wise statistical analysis of the fractional anisotropy data was carried out to look for between-group differences. Voxel-wise correlations were conducted to investigate the relationship between brain connectivity and behavioral measures.

Results: Results revealed altered functional and anatomical connectivity in medial frontal and anterior cingulate gyri of schizophrenia patients. In addition, frontal connectivity in schizophrenia patients was positively associated with symptoms as well as with general cognitive ability measures.

Discussion: The present study shows convergent fMRI and DTI findings that are consistent with the disconnection hypothesis in schizophrenia, particularly in medial frontal regions, while adding some insight of the relationship between brain disconnectivity and behavior.

Figures

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.
(a) Axial images showing the default mode network component extracted from group independent component analysis for both patients with schizophrenia and healthy controls. See table 1 for coordinates. (b) Axial images showing the group DMN correlation map in the control group. (c) Axial images showing the group DMN correlation map in the schizophrenia group. All values at each voxel are z values. All images are radiologically oriented (left is right).
Fig. 2.
Fig. 2.
Glass brain showing regions in which schizophrenia subjects had (a) lower functional connectivity in medial frontal gyrus and anterior cingulate gyrus manifested as lower correlation with DMN time course in these regions, (b) lower anatomical connectivity in anterior cingulate bundle manifested as lower FA values in this region than healthy comparison subjects, and (c) spatial overlap of altered functional and anatomical connectivity in schizophrenia patients; gray is functional connectivity and black is anatomical connectivity. All voxels displayed for P < .05 (2 tailed) corrected for multiple comparisons.
Fig. 3.
Fig. 3.
Glass brain showing regions in which schizophrenia subjects showed positive correlations of resting functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) connectivity in region of interest with (a) positive symptoms, (b) negative symptoms, (c) attention and concentration general ability, and (d) memory general ability. Center of mass in (a) medial frontal cortex (7, 66, 22 and 8, 53, 5), left superior frontal cortex (−19, 48, 4), and right superior frontal cortex (17, 68, −15 and 23, 52, −18); (b) right anterior cingulate cortex (11, 38 −5); (c) right medial frontal cortex (15, 49, 4), left superior frontal cortex (15, 49, 4), and left anterior cingulate cortex (−17, 39, 12); (d) right medial frontal gyrus (31, 43, −11). Scatter plots show correlation between resting fMRI connectivity and behavioral measures.

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