[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Prior diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) studies examining schizotypal personality disorder (SPD) and schizophrenia, separately have shown that compared with healthy controls (HCs), patients show frontotemporal white matter (WM) abnormalities. This is the first DTI study to directly compare WM tract coherence with tractography and fractional anisotropy (FA) across the schizophrenia spectrum in a large sample of demographically matched HCs (n = 55), medication-naive SPD patients (n = 49), and unmedicated/never-medicated schizophrenia patients (n = 22) to determine whether (a) frontal-striatal-temporal WM tract abnormalities in schizophrenia are similar to, or distinct from those observed in SPD; and (b) WM tract abnormalities are associated with clinical symptom severity indicating a common underlying pathology across the spectrum. Compared with both the HC and SPD groups, schizophrenia patients showed WM abnormalities, as indexed by lower FA in the temporal lobe (inferior longitudinal fasciculus) and cingulum regions. SPD patients showed lower FA in the corpus callosum genu compared with the HC group, but this regional abnormality was more widespread in schizophrenia patients. Across the schizophrenia spectrum, greater WM disruptions were associated with greater symptom severity. Overall, frontal-striatal-temporal WM dysconnectivity is attenuated in SPD compared with schizophrenia patients and may mitigate the emergence of psychosis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: To (a) compare the size of the dorsal and ventral striatum (caudate and putamen) in a large sample of antipsychotic-naïve individuals with schizotypal personality disorder (SPD) and healthy control participants; (b) examine symptom correlates of striatal size in SPD. METHODS: The left and right caudate and putamen were hand-traced on structural MRI at five dorsal to ventral slice levels in 76 SPD and 148 healthy control participants. A Group×Region (caudate, putamen)×Slice (1-5: ventral, 2, 3, 4, dorsal)×Hemisphere (left, right) mixed-model MANOVA was conducted on size relative to whole brain. RESULTS: Primary results showed that compared with the controls, the SPD group showed (a) larger bilateral putamen size overall and this enlargement was more pronounced at the most ventral and dorsal levels; in contrast, there were no between-group differences in caudate volume; (b) larger bilateral size of the striatum ventrally, averaged across the caudate and putamen. Among the SPD group, larger striatal size ventrally, particularly in the left hemisphere was associated with less severe paranoid symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: Striatal size is abnormal in SPD and resembles that of patients with schizophrenia who respond well to antipsychotic treatment. The results suggest that striatal size may be an important endophenotype to consider when developing new pharmacological treatments and when studying factors mitigating psychosis.
Schizophrenia Research 11/2012; · 4.43 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mounting evidence suggests that white matter abnormalities and altered subcortical-cortical connectivity may be central to the pathology of schizophrenia (SZ). The anterior limb of the internal capsule (ALIC) is an important thalamo-frontal white-matter tract shown to have volume reductions in SZ and to a lesser degree in schizotypal personality disorder (SPD). While fractional anisotropy (FA) and connectivity abnormalities in the ALIC have been reported in SZ, they have not been examined in SPD. In the current study, magnetic resonance (MRI) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) were obtained in age- and sex-matched individuals with SPD (n=33) and healthy controls (HCs; n=38). The ALIC was traced bilaterally on five equally spaced dorsal-to-ventral axial slices from each participant's MRI scan and co-registered to DTI for the calculation of FA. Tractography was used to examine tracts between the ALIC and two key Brodmann areas (BAs; BA10, BA45) within the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). Compared with HCs, the SPD participants exhibited (a) smaller relative volume at the mid-ventral ALIC slice level but not the other levels; (b) normal FA within the ALIC; (c) fewer relative number of tracts between the most-dorsal ALIC levels and BA10 but not BA45 and (d) fewer dorsal ALIC-DLPFC tracts were associated with greater symptom severity in SPD. In contrast to prior SZ studies that report lower FA, individuals with SPD show sparing. Our findings are consistent with a pattern of milder thalamo-frontal dysconnectivity in SPD than schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia Research 09/2012; 141(2-3):119-27. · 4.43 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is characterized by an inability to regulate emotional responses. The amygdala is important in learning about the valence (goodness and badness) of stimuli and functions abnormally in BPD.
Event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was employed in three groups: unmedicated BPD (n = 33) and schizotypal personality disorder (n = 28) participants and healthy control subjects (n = 32) during a task involving an intermixed series of unpleasant, neutral, and pleasant pictures each presented twice within their respective trial block/run. The amygdala was hand-traced on each participant's structural MRI scan and co-registered to their MRI scan. Amygdala responses were examined with a mixed-model multivariate analysis of variance.
Compared with both control groups, BPD patients showed greater amygdala activation, particularly to the repeated emotional but not neutral pictures, and a prolonged return to baseline for the overall blood oxygen level-dependent response averaged across all pictures. Despite amygdala overactivation, BPD patients showed blunted self-report ratings of emotional but not neutral pictures. Fewer dissociative symptoms in both patient groups were associated with greater amygdala activation to repeated unpleasant pictures.
The increased amygdala response to the repeated emotional pictures observed in BPD was not observed in schizotypal patients, suggesting diagnostic specificity. This BPD-related abnormality is consistent with the well-documented clinical feature of high sensitivity to emotional stimuli with unusually strong and long-lasting reactions. The finding of a mismatch between physiological and self-report measures of emotion reactivity in BPD patients suggests they may benefit from treatments targeting emotion recognition.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The cingulate cortex frequently shows gray matter loss with age as well as gender differences in structure and function, but little is known about whether individual cingulate Brodmann areas show gender-specific patterns of age-related volume decline. This study examined age-related changes, gender differences, and the interaction of age and gender in the relative volume of cingulate gray matter in areas 25, 24, 31, 23, and 29, over seven decades of adulthood. Participants included healthy, age-matched men and women, aged 20-87 (n=70). Main findings were as follows: (1) The whole cingulate showed significant age-related volume declines (averaging 5.54% decline between decades, 20s-80s). Each of the five cingulate areas also showed a significant decline with age, and individual areas showed different patterns of decline across the decades: Smaller volume with age was most evident in area 31, followed by 25 and 24. (2) Women had relatively larger cingulate gray matter volume than men overall and in area 24. (3) Men and women showed different patterns of age-related volume decline in area 31, at midlife and late in life. By delineating normal gender differences and age-related morphometric changes in the cingulate cortex over seven decades of adulthood, this study improves the baseline for comparison with structural irregularities in the cingulate cortex associated with psychopathology. The Brodmann area-based approach also facilitates comparisons across studies that aim to draw inferences between age- and gender-related structural differences in the cingulate gyrus and corresponding differences in cingulate function.
Brain research 07/2011; 1401:18-29. · 2.83 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Consistent with the clinical picture of milder symptomatology in schizotypal personality disorder (SPD) than schizophrenia, morphological studies indicate SPD abnormalities in temporal lobe regions but to a much lesser extent in prefrontal regions implicated in schizophrenia. Lower fractional anisotropy (FA), a measure of white-matter integrity within prefrontal, temporal, and cingulate regions has been reported in schizophrenia but has been little studied in SPD.
The study aim was to examine temporal and prefrontal white matter FA in 30 neuroleptic-naïve SPD patients and 35 matched healthy controls (HCs). We hypothesized that compared with HCs, SPD patients would exhibit lower FA in temporal lobe and anterior cingulum regions but relative sparing in prefrontal regions.
We acquired diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in all participants and examined FA in the white matter underlying Brodmann areas (BAs) in dorsolateral prefrontal (BAs 44, 45, and 46), temporal lobe (BAs 22, 21, and 20), and cingulum (BAs 25, 24, 31, 23, and 29) regions with a series of analyses using multivariate analysis of variance.
Compared with HCs, the SPD group had significantly lower FA in the left temporal lobe but not prefrontal regions. In the cingulum, FA was lower in the SPD group in the posterior regions (BAs 31 and 23), higher in the anterior (BA 25) regions and lower overall in the right but not the left cingulum. Among the SPD group, lower FA in the cingulum was associated with more severe negative symptoms (e.g., odd speech).
Similar to schizophrenia, our results indicate cingulum-temporal lobe FA abnormalities in SPD and suggest that cingulum abnormalities are associated with negative symptoms.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ventricular enlargement is one of the most consistent abnormal structural brain findings in schizophrenia and has been used to infer brain shrinkage. However, whether ventricular enlargement is related to local overlying cortex and/or adjacent subcortical structures or whether it is related to brain volume change globally has not been assessed. We systematically assessed interrelations of ventricular volumes with gray and white matter volumes of 40 Brodmann areas (BAs), the thalamus and its medial dorsal nucleus and pulvinar, the internal capsule, caudate and putamen. We acquired structural MRI ( patients with schizophrenia (n = 64) and healthy controls (n = 56)) and diffusion tensor fractional anisotropy (FA) (untreated schizophrenia n = 19, controls n = 32). Volumes were assessed by manual tracing of central structures and a semi-automated parcellation of BAs. Patients with schizophrenia had increased ventricular size associated with decreased cortical gray matter volumes widely across the brain; a similar but less pronounced pattern was seen in normal controls; local correlations (e.g. temporal horn with temporal lobe volume) were not appreciably higher than non-local correlations (e.g. temporal horn with prefrontal volume). White matter regions adjacent to the ventricles similarly did not reveal strong regional relationships. FA and center of mass of the anterior limb of the internal capsule also appeared differentially influenced by ventricular volume but findings were similarly not regional. Taken together, these findings indicate that ventricular enlargement is globally interrelated with gray matter volume diminution but not directly correlated with volume loss in the immediately adjacent caudate, putamen, or internal capsule.
European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience 03/2011; 261(7):467-76. · 3.36 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It has been proposed that schizophrenia results partly from altered brain connectivity. The anterior cingulate cortex in particular has been demonstrated to be affected in schizophrenia, with studies reporting reduced volume, altered neuronal arrangement, decreased anisotropy in diffusion tensor images, and hypometabolism. We used a 3T Siemens scanner to acquire structural and diffusion tensor imaging in age-and sex-matched groups of 41 adults with chronic schizophrenia, 6 adults with recent-onset schizophrenia, and 38 healthy control subjects. We manually traced the anterior and posterior cingulate gyri on all subjects and then compared the volume and anisotropy across groups for the left and right anterior and posterior cingulate gyri. The anterior cingulate gyrus was divided axially into six equal segments, and the posterior cingulate gyrus into two segments. Volume was calculated for the anterior and posterior gyri, and average anisotropy was then calculated for each individual segment, looking separately at gray and white matter. We found decreased overall relative left and right gray matter volume in the anterior cingulate gyrus in persons with schizophrenia compared with healthy controls. Additionally, in both gray and white matter of the cingulate, we found that recent-onset patients had the highest anisotropy, chronic patients had the lowest, and controls were intermediate. These results provide additional evidence for the presence of both white and gray matter abnormalities in the cingulate gyrus, which has been implicated in schizophrenia.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pathological gambling (PG) is a disorder classified as an impulse control disorder (DSM-IV) bridging impulsive, compulsive and addictive behaviors. The striatum and thalamus are supposed to be involved in the pathophysiological substrate of these behaviors. An increased relative glucose metabolic rate (rGMR) in patients with a diagnosis of PG had previously been reported in the medial and orbitofrontal cortex. We extended our studies to include functional alterations of the striatum and thalamus in a cohort of patients with PG before and after treatment with lithium.
Twenty-one patients with PG who met lifetime comorbid bipolar spectrum diagnoses and a comparison group of 21 age- and sex-matched controls underwent a baseline positron emission tomography (PET) scan. Sixteen of these patients entered a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled parallel-group-design trial of lithium and underwent a follow-up PET scan at week 10. Anatomical MRI were obtained and the structures outlined on consecutive axial slices. These individual hand-drawn templates were used to identify structures on the PET scan of each patient, and the rGMR was measured.
The PG patients had a decrement of the rGMR in the ventral parts of the striatum and thalamus, and an increment of the rGMR in the dorsal parts as compared with the controls. Lithium treatment increased the ventral caudate rGMR to a trend level in the patients, but had no effect on the metabolism of either the putamen or the thalamus.
Because of their extensive connectivity to the frontal cortex, striatal and thalamic functional alteration may contribute to faulty decision making processes in PG patients. By increasing the ventral rGMR of the caudate nucleus, lithium treatment may reduce cognitive dysfunction and symptoms in PG patients.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sertindole, a 2nd generation antipsychotic with low movement disorder side effects, was compared with haloperidol in a 6-week crossover study. Fifteen patients with schizophrenia (mean age=42.6, range=22-59, 11 men and 4 women) received sertindole (12-24 mg) or haloperidol (4-16 mg) for 6 weeks and then received a FDG-PET scan and an anatomical MRI. Patients were then crossed to the other treatment and received a second set of scans at week 12. Dose was adjusted by a physician blind to the medication type. Brodmann areas were identified stereotaxically using individual MRI templates applied to the coregistered FDG-PET image. Sertindole administration was associated with higher dorsolateral prefrontal cortex metabolic rates than haloperidol and lower orbitofrontal metabolic rates than haloperidol. This effect was greatest for gray matter of the dorsolateral Brodmann areas 8, 9, 10, 44, 45, and 46. Patients were further contrasted with an approximately age and sex-matched group of 33 unmedicated patients with schizophrenia and with a group of 55 normal volunteers. Sertindole administration was associated with greater change toward normal values and away from the values found in the unmedicated comparison group for dorsolateral prefrontal cortex gray matter and white matter underlying medial prefrontal and cingulate cortex. These results are consistent with the low motor side-effect profile of sertindole, greater improvement on prefrontal cognitive tasks with sertindole than haloperidol, and with the tendency of 2nd generation antipsychotic drugs to have greater frontal activation than haloperidol.
Schizophrenia Research 09/2009; 114(1-3):161-71. · 4.43 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Superior temporal gyrus (STG/BA22) volume is reduced in schizophrenia and to a milder degree in schizotypal personality disorder (SPD), representing a less severe disorder in the schizophrenia spectrum. SPD and Borderline personality disorder (BPD) are severe personality disorders characterized by social and cognitive dysfunction. However, while SPD is characterized by social withdrawal/anhedonia, BPD is marked by hyper-reactivity to interpersonal stimuli and hyper-emotionality. This is the first morphometric study to directly compare SPD and BPD patients in temporal lobe volume.
We compared three age-, sex-, and education-matched groups: 27 unmedicated SPD individuals with no BPD traits, 52 unmedicated BPD individuals with no SPD traits, and 45 healthy controls. We examined gray matter volume of frontal and temporal lobe Brodmann areas (BAs), and dorsal/ventral amygdala from 3-T magnetic resonance imaging.
In the STG, an auditory association area reported to be dysfunctional in SPD and BPD, the SPD patients had significantly smaller volume than healthy controls and BPD patients. No group differences were found between BPD patients and controls. Smaller BA22 volume was associated with greater symptom severity in SPD patients. Reduced STG volume may be an important endophenotype for schizophrenia-spectrum disorders. SPD is distinct from BPD in terms of STG volume abnormalities which may reflect different underlying pathophysiological mechanisms and could help discriminate between them.
Schizophrenia Research 08/2009; 112(1-3):14-23. · 4.43 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Findings of white matter pathology as indicated by diffusion tensor anisotropy values in schizophrenia are well established, but the differences in this measure between the onset of the disease and the chronic state are not well known. To investigate the differences between these states in the progression of the disease of schizophrenia we acquired 1.5 T diffusion tensor anisotropy images on 35 adult patients with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder, 23 adolescents having their first psychotic episode, and age and sex matched controls (33 adults and 15 adolescents). Regions of interest in major cortical white matter tracts chosen as salient to the prefrontal executive deficit in schizophrenia were assessed using stereotaxic coordinates from the Talairach and Tournoux atlas. Regions of each tract along anterior-posterior and/or inferior-superior directions in both hemispheres were evaluated in multiway ANOVA. Tracts between the frontal lobe and other brain regions, but not temporal, occipital and interhemispheric tracts, showed a differential aging pattern in normals and patients indicating that the white matter pathology in these regions is not stable between the onset and the chronic state in schizophrenia. This suggests that tracts involved in the connectivity of the temporal lobe white matter deficits were already well in place in adolescent patients, while frontal lobe pathology continues to develop from adolescence to adulthood.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Previous studies have reported continued focal gray matter loss after the clinical onset of schizophrenia. Longitudinal assessments in chronic illness, of white matter in particular, have been less conclusive.We used diffusion-tensor and structural magnetic resonance imaging in 16 healthy subjects and 49 chronic schizophrenia patients, subdivided into good-outcome (n=23) and poor-outcome (n=26) groups, scanned twice 4 years apart. Fractional anisotropy, gray matter and white matter volumes were parcellated into the Brodmann's areas and entered into multiway ANCOVAs.At baseline, schizophrenia patients had 1) lower anisotropy in frontoparietal white matter, 2) larger posterior frontal white matter volumes, and 3) smaller frontal, temporal, and parietal gray matter volumes. On follow-up, healthy subjects showed a more pronounced 1) decline in anisotropy, 2) expansion of regional white matter volumes, and 3) reduction in regional gray matter volumes than schizophrenia patients. Good-outcome patients showed a more pronounced decline in white matter anisotropy and a less pronounced increase in white matter volumes than poor-outcome patients. Poor-outcome patients displayed a greater gray matter loss throughout the brain than good-outcome patients.In the chronic phase of the illness, longitudinal changes in both gray and white matter are in the direction of an effacement of between-group differences among schizophrenia patients and healthy subjects. Similarly, preexisting white matter differences between good-outcome and poor-outcome patients diminish over time. In contrast, gray matter volumes in poor-outcome patients continue to decline more rapidly than in patients with good outcome. These patterns are consistent with earlier onset of aging-associated changes in schizophrenia.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study examined the main and interactive effects of age and sex on relative glucose metabolic rate (rGMR) within gray matter of 39 cortical Brodmann areas (BAs) and the cingulate gyrus using (18)FDG-PET during a verbal memory task in 70 healthy normal adults, aged 20-87 years. Women showed significantly greater age-related rGMR decline in left cingulate gyrus than men (BAs 25, 24, 23, 31, 29). Both groups showed a decline in the anterior cingulate--a neuroanatomical structure that mediates effective cognitive-emotional interactions (BAs 32, 24, 25), while the other frontal regions did not show substantial decline. No sex differences in rGMR were identified within temporal, parietal and occipital lobes. Sex differences were observed for rGMR within subcomponents of the cingulate gyrus with men higher in BA25 and BA29, but lower in BA24 and BA 23 compared to women. For men, better memory performance was associated with greater rGMR in BA24, whereas in women better performance was associated with orbitofrontal-BA12. These results suggest that both age-related metabolic decline and sex differences within frontal regions are more marked in medial frontal and cingulate areas, consistent with some age-related patterns of affective and cognitive change.
Neurobiology of aging 12/2008; 31(5):826-38. · 5.94 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pathological gambling affects 1-3% of the adult population, and has high comorbidity. Although mood stabilizers and serotonin reuptake inhibitors have shown some efficacy in the treatment of this condition, there is little known about how these pharmacological interventions work.
Twenty-one patients with pathological gambling, who met lifetime comorbid bipolar spectrum diagnoses, received baseline PET scans. Sixteen of these patients were entered into a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled parallel group design trial of lithium, and received follow-up PET scans at 10 weeks. A comparison group of 32 age- and sex-matched controls was also available. Anatomical MRIs were obtained as a structural template.
In patients with pathological gambling, relative glucose metabolic rates (rGMR) in the orbitofrontal cortex and medial frontal cortex were significantly increased at baseline compared to normal controls. Lithium increased rGMR further in the orbitofrontal cortex, heightening normal/patient differences, but it also increased the rGMR of the posterior cingulate and the dorsolateral frontal cortex normalizing the metabolic rate in these regions.
Cortical areas implicated in impulse control disorders show increased rGMR in pathological gambling at baseline. Lithium treatment, while alleviating the symptoms, further increases rGMR in these areas.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Prepulse inhibition (PPI) refers to a reduction in the amplitude of the startle eyeblink reflex to a strong sensory stimulus, the pulse, when it is preceded shortly by a weak stimulus, the prepulse. PPI is a measure of sensorimotor gating which serves to prevent the interruption of early attentional processing and it is impaired in schizophrenia-spectrum patients. In healthy individuals, PPI is more robust when attending to than ignoring a prepulse. Animal and human work demonstrates that frontal-striatal-thalamic (FST) circuitry modulates PPI. This study used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate FST circuitry during an attention-to-prepulse paradigm in 26 unmedicated schizophrenia-spectrum patients (13 schizotypal personality disorder (SPD), 13 schizophrenia) and 13 healthy controls. During 3T-fMRI acquisition and separately measured psychophysiological assessment of PPI, participants heard an intermixed series of high- and low-pitched tones serving as prepulses to an acoustic-startle stimulus. Event-related BOLD response amplitude curves in FST regions traced on co-registered anatomical MRI were examined. Controls showed greater activation during attended than ignored PPI conditions in all FST regions-dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (Brodmann areas 46, 9), striatum (caudate, putamen), and the thalamic mediodorsal nucleus. In contrast, schizophrenia patients failed to show differential BOLD responses in FST circuitry during attended and ignored prepulses, whereas SPD patients showed greater-than-normal activation during ignored prepulses. Among the three diagnostic groups, lower left caudate BOLD activation during the attended PPI condition was associated with more deficient sensorimotor gating as measured by PPI. Schizophrenia-spectrum patients exhibit inefficient utilization of FST circuitry during attentional modulation of PPI. Schizophrenia patients have reduced recruitment of FST circuitry during task-relevant stimuli, whereas SPD patients allocate excessive resources during task-irrelevant stimuli. Dysfunctional FST activation, particularly in the caudate may underlie PPI abnormalities in schizophrenia-spectrum patients.