Video of the Month
(2016 Nov) : White matter abnormalities in Schizophrenia are widespread, encompassing all cerebral lobes, including the cerebellum.
Movie: White matter showing reduced fractional anisotropy in patients with schizophrenia is coloured red. Light grey regions denote unaffected white matter. Click on the image to start the movie.
Using magnetic resonance imaging data from one of the largest neuroimaging sample to date, namely, the Australian Schizophrenia Research Bank (http://www.schizophreniaresearch.org.au/bank/), we compared fractional anisotropy (FA) – a well-established diffusion imaging measure reflecting axonal fiber density, diameter and myelination – between patients with schizophrenia (n = 326) and age-matched healthy controls (n = 197).
Voxel-based analyses revealed that FA was decreased in >40% of the cerebral white matter in patients when compared to controls. These reductions of FA were spatially widespread, encompassed all cerebral lobes, including the cerebellum.
Additional tract-based analyses showed that >50% of cortico-cortical and cortico-subcortical connections were involved and especially those between brain hub regions (i.e. the rich club). Corresponding figures are available in the original paper https://doi.org/10.1093/schbul/sbw100
Our findings indicate that white matter pathology associated with schizophrenia is more widespread than suggested by previous studies and with long association fibers interconnecting hub regions disproportionately affected.
Klauser, P., Baker, S. T., Cropley, V. L., Bousman, C., Fornito, A., Cocchi, L. et al. (2016). White Matter Disruptions in Schizophrenia Are Spatially Widespread and Topologically Converge on Brain Network Hubs. Schizophr Bull.