Abnormal Causal Connectivity by Structural Deficits in First-Episode, Drug-Naive Schizophrenia at Rest

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid

Abstract

Anatomical deficits and resting-state functional connectivity (FC) alterations in prefrontal-thalamic-cerebellar circuit have been implicated in the neurobiology of schizophrenia. However, the effect of structural deficits in schizophrenia on causal connectivity of this circuit remains unclear. This study was conducted to examine the causal connectivity biased by structural deficits in first-episode, drug-naive schizophrenia patients. Structural and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data were obtained from 49 first-episode, drug-naive schizophrenia patients and 50 healthy controls. Data were analyzed by voxel-based morphometry and Granger causality analysis. The causal connectivity of the integrated prefrontal-thalamic (limbic)-cerebellar (sensorimotor) circuit was partly affected by structural deficits in first-episode, drug-naive schizophrenia as follows: (1) unilateral prefrontal-sensorimotor connectivity abnormalities (increased driving effect from the left medial prefrontal cortex [MPFC] to the sensorimotor regions); (2) bilateral limbic-sensorimotor connectivity abnormalities (increased driving effect from the right anterior cingulate cortex [ACC] to the sensorimotor regions and decreased feedback from the sensorimotor regions to the right ACC); and (3) bilateral increased and decreased causal connectivities among the sensorimotor regions. Some correlations between the gray matter volume of the seeds, along with their causal effects and clinical variables (duration of untreated psychosis and symptom severity), were also observed in the patients. The findings indicated the partial effects of structural deficits in first-episode, drug-naive schizophrenia on the prefrontal-thalamic (limbic)-cerebellar (sensorimotor) circuit. Schizophrenia may reinforce the driving connectivities from the left MPFC or right ACC to the sensorimotor regions and may disrupt bilateral causal connectivities among the sensorimotor regions.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles