1Bipolar Disord 2009 Feb 11: 11-8
TitleWhite matter abnormalities in bipolar disorder and schizophrenia detected using diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging.
AbstractStrong qualitative and quantitative evidence exists of white matter abnormalities in both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (BD). Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) studies suggest altered connectivity in both disorders. We aim to address the diagnostic specificity of white matter abnormalities in these disorders.
DTI was used to assess white matter integrity in clinically stable patients with familial BD (n = 42) and familial schizophrenia (n = 28), and in controls (n = 38). Differences in fractional anisotropy (FA) were measured using voxel-based morphometry and automated region of interest analysis.
Reduced FA was found in the anterior limb of the internal capsule (ALIC), anterior thalamic radiation (ATR), and in the region of the uncinate fasciculus in patients with BD and those with schizophrenia compared with controls. A direct comparison between patient groups found no significant differences in these regions. None of the findings were associated with psychotropic medication.
Reduced integrity of the ALIC, uncinate fasciculus, and ATR regions is common to both schizophrenia and BD. These results imply an overlap in white matter pathology, possibly relating to risk factors common to both disorders.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia
2Psychiatry Res 2010 Aug 183: 144-50
TitleAnterior thalamic radiation integrity in schizophrenia: a diffusion-tensor imaging study.
AbstractThe anterior limb of the internal capsule (ALIC) is a white matter structure, the medial portion of which includes the anterior thalamic radiation (ATR) carrying nerve fibers between thalamus and prefrontal cortex. ATR abnormalities have a possible link with cognitive abnormalities and negative symptoms in schizophrenia. We aimed to study the fiber integrity of the ATR more selectively by isolating the medial portion of the ALIC using region-of-interest based methodology. Diffusion-tensor imaging was used to measure the anisotropy of total ALIC (tALIC) and medial ALIC (mALIC) in 39 schizophrenia and 33 control participants, matched for age/gender/handedness. Relationships between anisotropy, psychopathology, and cognitive performance were analyzed. Compared with controls, schizophrenia participants had 4.55% lower anisotropy in right tALIC, and 5.38% lower anisotropy in right mALIC. There were no significant group anisotropy differences on the left. Significant correlations were observed between right ALIC integrity and relevant domains of cognitive function (e.g., executive function, working memory). Our study suggests an asymmetric microstructural change in ALIC in schizophrenia involving the right side, which is only minimally stronger in mALIC, and which correlates with cognitive impairment. Microstructural changes in the ALIC may be linked to cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia
3Psychiatry Res 2011 Dec 194: 347-53
TitleAssessment of white matter abnormalities in paranoid schizophrenia and bipolar mania patients.
AbstractWhite matter abnormalities have been repeatedly reported in both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (BD) in diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) studies, but the empirical evidence about the diagnostic specificity of white matter abnormalities in these disorders is still limited. This study sought to investigate the alterations in fractional anisotropy (FA) in white matter throughout the entire brain of patients from Chengdu, China with paranoid schizophrenia and bipolar mania. For this purpose, DTI was used to assess white matter integrity in patients with paranoid schizophrenia (n=25) and psychotic bipolar mania (n=18) who had been treated with standard pharmacotherapy for fewer than 5 days at the time of study, as well as in normal controls (n=30). The differences in FA were measured by use of voxel-based analysis. The results show that reduced FA was found in the left posterior corona radiata (PCR) in patients with psychotic bipolar mania and paranoid schizophrenia compared to the controls. Patients with psychotic bipolar mania also showed a significant reduction in FA in right posterior corona radiata and in right anterior thalamic radiation (ATR). A direct comparison between the two patient groups found no significant differences in any regions, and none of the findings were associated with illness duration. Correlation analysis indicated that FA values showed a significant negative correlation with positive symptom scores on the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale in the left frontal-parietal lobe in the paranoid schizophrenia. It was concluded that common abnormalities in the left PCR might imply an overlap in white matter pathology in the two disorders and might be related to shared risk factors for the two disorders.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia
4PLoS ONE 2013 -1 8: e68361
TitleCell cycle checkpoint abnormalities during dementia: A plausible association with the loss of protection against oxidative stress in Alzheimer's disease [corrected].
AbstractIncreasing evidence suggests an association between neuronal cell cycle (CCL) events and the processes that underlie neurodegeneration in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Elevated levels of oxidative stress markers and mitochondrial dysfunction are also among early events in AD. Recent studies have reported the role of CCL checkpoint proteins and tumor suppressors, such as ATM and p53 in the control of glycolysis and oxidative metabolism in cancer, but their involvement in AD remains uncertain.
In this postmortem study, we measured gene expression levels of eight CCL checkpoint proteins in the superior temporal cortex (STC) of persons with varying severities of AD dementia and compare them to those of cognitively normal controls. To assess whether the CCL changes associated with cognitive impairment in AD are specific to dementia, gene expression of the same proteins was also measured in STC of persons with schizophrenia (SZ), which is also characterized by mitochondrial dysfunction. The expression of CCL-checkpoint and DNA damage response genes: MDM4, ATM and ATR was strongly upregulated and associated with progression of dementia (cognitive dementia rating, CDR), appearing as early as questionable or mild dementia (CDRs 0.5-1). In addition to gene expression changes, the downstream target of ATM-p53 signaling - TIGAR, a p53-inducible protein, the activation of which can regulate energy metabolism and protect against oxidative stress was progressively decreased as severity of dementia evolved, but it was unaffected in subjects with SZ. In contrast to AD, different CCL checkpoint proteins, which include p53, CHEK1 and BRCA1 were significantly downregulated in SZ.
These results support the activation of an ATM signaling and DNA damage response network during the progression of AD dementia, while the progressive decrease in the levels of TIGAR suggests loss of protection initiated by ATM-p53 signaling against intensifying oxidative stress in AD.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia
5Neuroimage 2013 Feb 66: 119-32
TitleThree-way (N-way) fusion of brain imaging data based on mCCA+jICA and its application to discriminating schizophrenia.
AbstractMultimodal fusion is an effective approach to better understand brain diseases. However, most such instances have been limited to pair-wise fusion; because there are often more than two imaging modalities available per subject, there is a need for approaches that can combine multiple datasets optimally. In this paper, we extended our previous two-way fusion model called "multimodal CCA+joint ICA", to three or N-way fusion, that enables robust identification of correspondence among N data types and allows one to investigate the important question of whether certain disease risk factors are shared or distinct across multiple modalities. We compared "mCCA+jICA" with its alternatives in a 3-way fusion simulation and verified its advantages in both decomposition accuracy and modal linkage detection. We also applied it to real functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI)-Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) and structural MRI fusion to elucidate the abnormal architecture underlying schizophrenia (n=97) relative to healthy controls (n=116). Both modality-common and modality-unique abnormal regions were identified in schizophrenia. Specifically, the visual cortex in fMRI, the anterior thalamic radiation (ATR) and forceps minor in DTI, and the parietal lobule, cuneus and thalamus in sMRI were linked and discriminated between patients and controls. One fMRI component with regions of activity in motor cortex and superior temporal gyrus individually discriminated schizophrenia from controls. Finally, three components showed significant correlation with duration of illness (DOI), suggesting that lower gray matter volumes in parietal, frontal, and temporal lobes and cerebellum are associated with increased DOI, along with white matter disruption in ATR and cortico-spinal tracts. Findings suggest that the identified fractional anisotropy changes may relate to the corresponding functional/structural changes in the brain that are thought to play a role in the clinical expression of schizophrenia. The proposed "mCCA+jICA" method showed promise for elucidating the joint or coupled neuronal abnormalities underlying mental illnesses and improves our understanding of the disease process.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia
6Prog. Neuropsychopharmacol. Biol. Psychiatry 2014 Jan 48: 117-23
TitleImpaired empathic abilities and reduced white matter integrity in schizophrenia.
AbstractEmpathic abilities are impaired in schizophrenia. Although the pathology of schizophrenia is thought to involve disrupted white matter integrity, the relationship between empathic disabilities and altered white matter in the disorder remains unclear. The present study tested associations between empathic disabilities and white matter integrity in order to investigate the neural basis of impaired empathy in schizophrenia. Sixty-nine patients with schizophrenia and 69 age-, gender-, handedness-, education- and IQ level-matched healthy controls underwent diffusion-weighted imaging. Empathic abilities were assessed using the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI). Using tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS), the associations between empathic abilities and white matter fractional anisotropy (FA), a measure of white matter integrity, were examined in the patient group within brain areas that showed a significant FA reduction compared with the controls. The patients with schizophrenia reported lower perspective taking and higher personal distress according to the IRI. The patients showed a significant FA reduction in bilateral deep white matter in the frontal, temporal, parietal and occipital lobes, a large portion of the corpus callosum, and the corona radiata. In schizophrenia patients, fantasy subscales positively correlated with FA in the left inferior fronto-occipital fasciculi and anterior thalamic radiation, and personal distress subscales negatively correlated with FA in the splenium of the corpus callosum. These results suggest that disrupted white matter integrity in these regions constitutes a pathology underpinning specific components of empathic disabilities in schizophrenia, highlighting that different aspects of empathic impairments in the disorder would have, at least partially, distinct neuropathological bases.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia
7Brain Struct Funct 2015 Jan 220: 407-18
TitleNot on speaking terms: hallucinations and structural network disconnectivity in schizophrenia.
AbstractAuditory verbal hallucinations (AVH) in schizophrenia have previously been associated with functional deficiencies in language networks, specifically with functional disconnectivity in fronto-temporal connections in the left hemisphere and in interhemispheric connections between frontal regions. Here, we investigate whether AVH are accompanied by white matter abnormalities in tracts connecting the frontal, parietal and temporal lobes, also engaged during language tasks. We combined diffusion tensor imaging with tract-based spatial statistics and found white matter abnormalities in patients with schizophrenia as compared with healthy controls. The patients showed reduced fractional anisotropy bilaterally: in the anterior thalamic radiation (ATR), body of the corpus callosum (forceps minor), cingulum, temporal part of the superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF) and a small area in the inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus (IFOF); and in the right hemisphere: in the visual cortex, forceps major, body of the corpus callosum (posterior parts) and inferior parietal cortex. Compared to patients without current hallucinations, patients with hallucinations revealed decreased fractional anisotropy in the left IFOF, uncinate fasciculus, arcuate fasciculus with SLF, corpus callosum (posterior parts-forceps major), cingulate, corticospinal tract and ATR. The severity of hallucinations correlated negatively with white matter integrity in tracts connecting the left frontal lobe with temporal regions (uncinate fasciculus, IFOF, cingulum, arcuate fasciculus anterior and long part and superior long fasciculus frontal part) and in interhemispheric connections (anterior corona radiata). These findings support the hypothesis that hallucinations in schizophrenia are accompanied by a complex pattern of white matter alterations that negatively affect the language, emotion and attention/perception networks.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia
8J Psychiatry Neurosci 2016 Mar 41: 133-41
TitleFrontal fasciculi and psychotic symptoms in antipsychotic-naive patients with schizophrenia before and after 6 weeks of selective dopamine D2/3 receptor blockade.
AbstractPsychotic symptoms are core clinical features of schizophrenia. We tested recent hypotheses proposing that psychotic, or positive, symptoms stem from irregularities in long-range white matter tracts projecting into the frontal cortex, and we predicted that selective dopamine D2/3 receptor blockade would restore white matter.
Between December 2008 and July 2011, antipsychotic-naive patients with first-episode schizophrenia and matched healthy controls underwent baseline examination with 3 T MRI diffusion tensor imaging and clinical assessments. We assessed group differences of fractional anisotropy (FA) using voxelwise tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) and anatomic region of interest (ROI)-based analyses. Subsequently, patients underwent 6 weeks of antipsychotic monotherapy with amisulpride. We repeated the examinations after 6 weeks.
We included 38 patients with first-episode schizophrenia and 38 controls in our analysis, and 28 individuals in each group completed the study. At baseline, whole brain TBSS analyses revealed lower FA in patients in the right anterior thalamic radiation (ATR), right cingulum, right inferior longitudinal fasciculus and right corticospinal tract (CT). Fractional anisotropy in the right ATR correlated with positive symptoms (z = 2.64, p= 0.008). The ROI analyses showed significant associations between positive symptoms and FA of the frontal fasciculi, specifically the right arcuate fasciculus (z = 2.83, p= 0.005) and right superior longitudinal fasciculus (z = -3.31, p= 0.001). At re-examination, all correlations between positive symptoms and frontal fasciculi had resolved. Fractional anisotropy in the ATR increased more in patients than in controls (z = -4.92, p< 0.001). The amisulpride dose correlated positively with FA changes in the right CT (t= 2.52, p= 0.019).
Smoking and a previous diagnosis of substance abuse were potential confounders. Long-term effects of amisulpride on white matter were not evaluated.
Antipsychotic-naive patients with schizophrenia displayed subtle deficits in white matter, and psychotic symptoms appeared specifically associated with frontal fasciculi integrity. Six weeks of amisulpride treatment normalized white matter. Potential remyelinating effects of dopamine D2/3 receptor antagonism warrant further clarification.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia