Structural disconnectivity in schizophrenia: a diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging study

J Burns, D Job, M E Bastin, H Whalley, T Macgillivray, E C Johnstone, S M Lawrie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: There is growing evidence that schizophrenia is a disorder of cortical connectivity. Specifically, frontotemporal and frontoparietal connections are thought to be functionally impaired. Diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging (DT-MRI) is a technique that has the potential to demonstrate structural disconnectivity in schizophrenia.

AIMS: To investigate the structural integrity of frontotemporal and frontoparietal white matter tracts in schizophrenia.

METHOD: Thirty patients with DSM-IV schizophrenia and thirty matched control subjects underwent DT-MRI and structural MRI. Fractional anisotropy - an index of the integrity of white matter tracts - was determined in the uncinate fasciculus, the anterior cingulum and the arcuate fasciculus and analysed using voxel-based morphometry.

RESULTS: There was reduced fractional anisotropy in the left uncinate fasciculus and left arcuate fasciculus in patients with schizophrenia compared with controls.

CONCLUSIONS: The findings of reduced white matter tract integrity in the left uncinate fasciculus and left arcuate fasciculus suggest that there is frontotemporal and frontoparietal structural disconnectivity in schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)439-43
Number of pages5
JournalThe British Journal of Psychiatry
Volume182
Publication statusPublished - May 2003

Keywords

  • Anisotropy
  • Brain Mapping
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cerebral Cortex
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Neural Pathways
  • Schizophrenia

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