White matter integrity, language, and childhood onset schizophrenia

Kristi Clark, Katherine L. Narr, Joseph O'Neill, Jennifer Levitt, Prabha Siddarth, Owen Phillips, Arthur Toga, Rochelle Caplan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: The heterogeneity of symptoms and cognitive deficits in schizophrenia can be explained by abnormal connectivity between brain regions. Childhood-onset schizophrenia (COS) is a particularly severe form of schizophrenia, with an onset during a key time period for both cerebral pruning and myelination. Methods: Diffusion tensor images were acquired from 18 children and adolescents with COS and 25 controls. The COS group was divided into two sub-groups-one with linguistic impairment (LI) and the other without (NLI). The fractional anisotropy (FA), axial (AD), and radial diffusivity (RD) data from the two COS sub-groups were compared to each other and to the controls using tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) analyses, which is a voxel-based method used to identify regions of white matter abnormalities. Results: TBSS identified several regions in the left hemisphere where the LI group had increased AD and RD relative to the NLI and the control groups. These areas primarily localized to linguistic tracts: left superior longitudinal fasciculus and left inferior longitudinal fasciculus/inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus. Regions of increased RD overlapped regions of increased AD, with the former showing more pronounced effects. Conclusions: Studies of adult-onset schizophrenia typically identify areas of higher RD but unchanged AD; however, normal development studies have shown that while RD decreases are pronounced over this age range, smaller decreases in AD can also be detected. The observed increases in both RD and AD suggest that developmental disturbances affecting the structural connectivity of these pathways are more severe in COS accompanied by severe linguistic impairments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-156
Number of pages7
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Volume138
Issue number2-3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012

Keywords

  • Axial diffusivity
  • Diffusion tensor imaging
  • Linguistic impairments
  • Neurodevelopment
  • Radial diffusivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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