Regional Homogeneity Brain Alterations in Schizophrenia: An Activation Likelihood Estimation Meta-Analysis

Psychiatry Investig. 2021 Aug;18(8):709-717. doi: 10.30773/pi.2021.0062. Epub 2021 Aug 2.


Objective: Resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rsfMRI) provides a lot of evidence for local abnormal brain activity in schizophrenia, but the results are not consistent. Our aim is to find out the consistent abnormal brain regions of the patients with schizophrenia by using regional homogeneity (ReHo), and indirectly understand the degree of brain damage of the patients with drug-naive first episode schizophrenia (Dn-FES) and chronic schizophrenia.

Methods: We performed the experiment by activation likelihood estimation (ALE) software to analysis the differences between people with schizophrenia group (all schizophrenia group and chronic schizophrenia group) and healthy controls.

Results: Thirteen functional imaging studies were included in quantitative meta-analysis. All schizophrenia group showed decreased ReHo in bilateral precentral gyrus (PreCG) and left middle occipital gyrus (MOG), and increased ReHo in bilateral superior frontal gyrus (SFG) and right insula. Chronic schizophrenia group showed decreased ReHo in bilateral MOG, right fusiform gyrus, left PreCG, left cerebellum, right precuneus, left medial frontal gyrus and left anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). No significant increased brain areas were found in patients with chronic schizophrenia.

Conclusion: Our findings suggest that patients with chronic schizophrenia have more extensive brain damage than FES, which may contribute to our understanding of the progressive pathophysiology of schizophrenia.

Keywords: ALE; Meta-analysis; Regional homogeneity; Resting state; Schizophrenia.