Reduced white matter fractional anisotropy and clinical symptoms in schizophrenia: a voxel-based diffusion tensor imaging study.
ABSTRACT Although not consistently replicated, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) studies in schizophrenia have revealed lower fractional anisotropy (FA) in various white matter regions, a finding consistent with the disruption of white matter integrity. In this study, we used voxel-based DTI to investigate possible whole-brain differences in the white matter FA values between 58 schizophrenia patients and 58 healthy controls. We also explored the association between FA values and clinical symptoms in schizophrenia. Compared with the controls, the schizophrenia patients showed significant FA reductions in bilateral superior longitudinal fasciculus, bilateral inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus, and genu of right internal capsule. Furthermore, in the patient group, the FA value of the anterior part of the corpus callosum was negatively correlated with the avolition score on the Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms. These findings suggest widespread disruption of white matter integrity in schizophrenia, which could partly explain the severity of negative symptomatology.