Association between a longer duration of illness, age and lower frontal lobe grey matter volume in schizophrenia.
ABSTRACT The frontal lobe has an extended maturation period and may be vulnerable to the long-term effects of schizophrenia. We tested this hypothesis by studying the relationship between duration of illness (DoI), grey matter (GM) and cerebro-spinal fluid (CSF) volume across the whole brain. Sixty-four patients with schizophrenia and 25 healthy controls underwent structural MRI scanning and neuropsychological assessment. We performed regression analyses in patients to examine the relationship between DoI and GM and CSF volumes across the whole brain, and correlations in controls between age and GM or CSF volume of the regions where GM or CSF volumes were associated with DoI in patients. Correlations were also performed between GM volume in the regions associated with DoI and neuropsychological performance. A longer DoI was associated with lower GM volume in the left dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (PFC), right middle frontal cortex, left fusiform gyrus (FG) and left cerebellum (lobule III). Additionally, age was inversely associated with GM volume in the left dorsomedial PFC in patients, and in the left FG and CSF excess near the left cerebellum in healthy controls. Greater GM volume in the left dorsomedial PFC was associated with better working memory, attention and psychomotor speed in patients. Our findings suggest that the right middle frontal cortex is particularly vulnerable to the long-term effect of schizophrenia illness whereas the dorsomedial PFC, FG and cerebellum are affected by both a long DoI and aging. The effect of illness chronicity on GM volume in the left dorsomedial PFC may be extended to brain structure-neuropsychological function relationships.
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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; · 4.43 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Alterations in gray matter (GM) are commonly observed in schizophrenia. Accumulating studies suggest that the brain changes associated with schizophrenia are distributed rather than focal, involving interconnected networks of areas as opposed to single regions. In the current study we aimed to explore GM volume (GMV) changes in a relatively large sample of treatment-naive first-episode schizophrenia (FES) patients using optimized voxel-based morphometry (VBM) and covariation analysis. High-resolution T1-weighted images were obtained using 3.0-T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) from 86 first-episode drug-naive patients with schizophrenia and 86 age- and gender-matched healthy volunteers. Symptom severity was evaluated using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS). GMV was assessed using optimized VBM and in 16 regions of interest (ROIs), selected on the basis of a previous meta-analysis. The relationships between GMVs in the ROIs were examined using an analysis of covariance (ANCOVA). The VBM analysis revealed that first-episode patients showed reduced GMV in the hippocampus bilaterally. The ROI analysis identified reductions in GMV in the left inferior frontal gyrus, bilateral hippocampus and right thalamus. The ANCOVA revealed different patterns of regional GMV correlations in patients and controls, including of inter- and intra-insula, inter-amygdala and insula-postcentral gyrus connections. Schizophrenia involves regional reductions in GMV and changes in GMV covariance in the insula, amygdala and postcentral gyrus. These findings were evident at the onset of the disorder, before treatment, and therefore cannot be attributable to the effects of chronic illness progression or medication.Psychological Medicine 01/2014; · 5.43 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Analyses of gray matter concentration (GMC) deficits in patients with schizophrenia (Sz) have identified robust changes throughout the cortex. We assessed the relationships between diagnosis, overall symptom severity, and patterns of gray matter in the largest aggregated structural imaging dataset to date. We performed both source-based morphometry (SBM) and voxel-based morphometry (VBM) analyses on GMC images from 784 Sz and 936 controls (Ct) across 23 scanning sites in Europe and the United States. After correcting for age, gender, site, and diagnosis by site interactions, SBM analyses showed 9 patterns of diagnostic differences. They comprised separate cortical, subcortical, and cerebellar regions. Seven patterns showed greater GMC in Ct than Sz, while 2 (brainstem and cerebellum) showed greater GMC for Sz. The greatest GMC deficit was in a single pattern comprising regions in the superior temporal gyrus, inferior frontal gyrus, and medial frontal cortex, which replicated over analyses of data subsets. VBM analyses identified overall cortical GMC loss and one small cluster of increased GMC in Sz, which overlapped with the SBM brainstem component. We found no significant association between the component loadings and symptom severity in either analysis. This mega-analysis confirms that the commonly found GMC loss in Sz in the anterior temporal lobe, insula, and medial frontal lobe form a single, consistent spatial pattern even in such a diverse dataset. The separation of GMC loss into robust, repeatable spatial patterns across multiple datasets paves the way for the application of these methods to identify subtle genetic and clinical cohort effects. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.Schizophrenia bulletin. 12/2014;