Cognitive Subgroups of Schizophrenia: Are There Brain Morphological & Functional Features?

Research Paper Title

Brain morphological and functional features in cognitive subgroups of schizophrenia.

Background

Previous studies have reported different brain morphologies in different cognitive subgroups of patients with schizophrenia. The researchers aimed to examine the brain structures and functional connectivity in these cognitive subgroups of schizophrenia.

Methods

The researchers compared brain structures among healthy controls and cognitively deteriorated and preserved subgroups of patients with schizophrenia according to the decline in intelligence quotient.

Connectivity analyses between subcortical regions and other brain areas were performed using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging among the groups.

Results

Whole brain and total cortical gray matter, right fusiform gyrus, left pars orbitalis gyrus, right pars triangularis, left superior temporal gyrus and left insula volumes and bilateral cortical thickness were decreased in the deteriorated group compared to the control and preserved groups.

Both schizophrenia subgroups had increased left lateral ventricle, right putamen and left pallidum and decreased bilateral hippocampus, left precentral gyrus, right rostral middle frontal gyrus and bilateral superior frontal gyrus volumes compared with controls.

Hyperconnectivity between the thalamus and a broad range of brain regions was observed in the deteriorated group compared to connectivity in the control group, and this hyperconnectivity was less evident in the preserved group.

The researchers also found hyperconnectivity between the accumbens and the superior and middle frontal gyri in the preserved group compared with connectivity in the deteriorated group.

Conclusions

These findings provide evidence of prominent structural and functional brain abnormalities in deteriorated patients with schizophrenia, suggesting that cognitive subgroups in schizophrenia might be useful biotypes to elucidate brain pathophysiology for new diagnostic and treatment strategies.

Reference

Yasuda, Y., Okada, N., Nemoto, K., Fukunaga, M., Yamamori, H., Ohi, K., Koshiyama, D., Kudo, N., Shiino, T., Morita, S., Morita, K., Azechi, H., Fujimoto, M., Miura, K., Watanabe, Y., Kasai, K. & Hashimoto, R. (2019) Brain morphological and functional features in cognitive subgroups of schizophrenia. Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences. doi: 10.1111/pcn.12963. [Epub ahead of print].

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