First-episode psychosis is characterized by failure of deactivation but not by hypo- or hyperfrontality.
ABSTRACT It is not known whether first-episode psychosis is characterized by the same prefrontal cortex functional imaging abnormalities as chronic schizophrenia.
Thirty patients with a first episode of non-affective functional psychosis and 28 healthy controls underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during performance of the n-back working memory task. Voxel-based analyses of brain activations and deactivations were carried out and compared between groups. The connectivity of regions of significant difference between the patients and controls was also examined.
The first-episode patients did not show significant prefrontal hypo- or hyperactivation compared to controls. However, they showed failure of deactivation in the medial frontal cortex. This area showed high levels of connectivity with the posterior cingulate gyrus/precuneus and parts of the parietal cortex bilaterally. Failure of deactivation was significantly greater in first-episode patients who had or went on to acquire a DSM-IV diagnosis of schizophrenia than in those who did not, and in those who met RDC criteria for schizophrenia compared to those who did not.
First-episode psychosis is not characterized by hypo- or hyperfrontality but instead by a failure of deactivation in the medial frontal cortex. The location and connectivity of this area suggest that it is part of the default mode network. The failure of deactivation seems to be particularly marked in first-episode patients who have, or progress to, schizophrenia.
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ABSTRACT: Resting state brain networks (RSNs) are spatially distributed large-scale networks, evidenced by resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies. Importantly, RSNs are implicated in several relevant brain functions and present abnormal functional patterns in many neuropsychiatric disorders, for which stress exposure is an established risk factor. Yet, so far, little is known about the effect of stress in the architecture of RSNs, both in resting state conditions or during shift to task performance. Herein we assessed the architecture of the RSNs using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in a cohort of participants exposed to prolonged stress (participants that had just finished their long period of preparation for the medical residence selection exam), and respective gender- and age-matched controls (medical students under normal academic activities). Analysis focused on the pattern of activity in resting state conditions and after deactivation. A volumetric estimation of the RSNs was also performed. Data shows that stressed participants displayed greater activation of the default mode (DMN), dorsal attention (DAN), ventral attention (VAN), sensorimotor (SMN), and primary visual (VN) networks than controls. Importantly, stressed participants also evidenced impairments in the deactivation of resting state-networks when compared to controls. These functional changes are paralleled by a constriction of the DMN that is in line with the pattern of brain atrophy observed after stress exposure. These results reveal that stress impacts on activation-deactivation pattern of RSNs, a finding that may underlie stress-induced changes in several dimensions of brain activity.PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(6):e66500. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Over the past two decades, the development of neuroimaging techniques has allowed the non-invasive investigation of neuroplastic changes associated with psychotherapeutic treatment. The aim of the present article is to present a systematic and critical review of longitudinal studies addressing the impact of psychotherapy on the brain published to date. After summarizing the results reported in the literature for each psychiatric disorder separately (i.e. obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, unipolar major depressive disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, specific phobia, schizophrenia), we discuss the results focusing on three questions of interest: (i) whether neurobiological changes which follow psychotherapy occur in regions that showed significant neurofunctional alteration pre-treatment; (ii) whether these neurobiological changes are similar, or different, to those observed following pharmacological treatment; and (iii) whether neurobiological changes could be used as an objective means of monitoring the progress and outcome of psychotherapy. The evidence reviewed indicates that (i) depending on the disorder under investigation, psychotherapy results in either a normalisation of abnormal patterns of activity, the recruitment of additional areas which did not show altered activation prior to treatment, or a combination of the two; (ii) the effects of psychotherapy on brain function are comparable to those of medication for some but not all disorders; and (iii) there is preliminary evidence that neurobiological changes are associated with the progress and outcome of psychotherapy. It is hoped that a better understanding of the impact of psychotherapy on brain function will eventually inform the development of new biologically-informed treatments and allow clinicians to make more effective treatment decisions.Progress in Neurobiology 11/2013; · 9.04 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: A dysfunction in working memory (WM) is a core cognitive impairment in schizophrenia that involves the cortical-subcortical-cerebellar network. We propose that in addition to other often-referred markers, the signal reduction in the network during verbal working memory (VWM) is a stable and intrinsic indicator of illness. We presented a Sternberg VWM task to 46 patients with schizophrenia and 46 healthy controls matched on performance accuracy during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Reduced activation was demonstrated in the thalamus, cerebellar vermis, pons and the triangular part of the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) in the patient group. We also found a "failure of deactivation" in the default mode network (DMN) in patients as represented by a low versus high load VWM. In addition, a reduced left lateralization in the triangular and opercular parts of the IFG was observed in the patient group replicating previous "failure of lateralization" findings in schizophrenia. A comparison of long (10 to 19years) and short (3 to 9years) durations of illness (DoIs) demonstrated that the DoI was only associated with the activation changes in the middle frontal gyrus and lateral temporal cortex but not with the IFG-subcortico-cerebellar regions observed. These alterations were consistent with the cognitive dysmetria described in the cortical-subcortical-cerebellar network in schizophrenia. In conclusion, the combination of reduced activation in the cortical-subcortical-cerebellar network during VWM in particular, reduced deactivation in the DMN and reduced lateralization in the IFG is thought to be stable neuroimaging signatures of schizophrenia.Schizophrenia Research 11/2013; · 4.59 Impact Factor