A selective review of structural connectivity abnormalities of schizophrenic patients at different stages of the disease

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Schizophrenia has long been hypothesized to result from a disconnection syndrome due to a disruption of the association fibers of the brain. However, only with the advent of in vivo neuroimaging, a formal disconnectivity hypothesis for schizophrenia has been developed. Diffusion tensor MRI, a non-invasive technique which is sensitive to features of tissue microstructure and to the anatomy of the white matter fibers, has gained a crucial role in the field. Here, we provide a state-of-the-art review of structural connectivity abnormalities detected in schizophrenia and discuss the most relevant findings at preclinical, first episode drug-naïve, and chronic stages. Imaging studies showed white matter alterations from the preclinical to the chronic stage of the disease, which involve the corticospinal tracts, interhemispheric connections, long association white matter tracts, cerebello-thalamo-cortical circuit, and limbic system. Such abnormalities were found to be associated with the psychiatric and cognitive manifestations of the disease and to predict, at least partially, the patient clinical evolution and response to treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-28
Number of pages10
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Volume161
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2015

Keywords

  • Diffusion tensor MRI
  • Drug-naïve
  • First episode psychosis
  • Schizophrenia
  • Structural connectivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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