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Prefrontal brain network connectivity indicates degree of both schizophrenia risk and cognitive dysfunction


Unschuld, Paul G; Buchholz, Alison S; Varvaris, Mark; van Zijl, Peter C M; Ross, Christopher A; Pekar, James J; Hock, Christoph; Sweeney, John A; Tamminga, Carol A; Keshavan, Matcheri S; Pearlson, Godfrey D; Thaker, Gunvant K; Schretlen, David J (2014). Prefrontal brain network connectivity indicates degree of both schizophrenia risk and cognitive dysfunction. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 40(3):653-664.

Abstract

Objective:Cognitive dysfunction is a core feature of schizophrenia, and persons at risk for schizophrenia may show subtle deficits in attention and working memory. In this study, we investigated the relationship between integrity of functional brain networks and performance in attention and working memory tasks as well as schizophrenia risk.Methods:A total of 235 adults representing 3 levels of risk (102 outpatients with schizophrenia, 70 unaffected first-degree relatives of persons with schizophrenia, and 63 unrelated healthy controls [HCs]) completed resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging and a battery of attention and working memory tasks (Brief Test of Attention, Hopkins Verbal Learning Test, and Brief Visuospatial Memory Test) on the same day. Functional networks were defined based on coupling with seeds in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC), and primary visual cortex. Networks were then dissected into regional clusters of connectivity that were used to generate individual interaction matrices representing functional connectivity within each network.Results:Both patients with schizophrenia and their first-degree relatives showed cognitive dysfunction compared with HCs. First canonicals indicated an inverse relationship between cognitive performance and connectivity within the DLPFC and MPFC networks. Multivariate analysis of variance revealed multivariate main effects of higher schizophrenia risk status on increased connectivity within the DLPFC and MPFC networks.Conclusions:These data suggest that excessive connectivity within brain networks coupled to the DLPFC and MPFC, respectively, accompany cognitive deficits in persons at risk for schizophrenia. This might reflect compensatory reactions in neural systems required for cognitive processing of attention and working memory tasks to brain changes associated with schizophrenia.

Abstract

Objective:Cognitive dysfunction is a core feature of schizophrenia, and persons at risk for schizophrenia may show subtle deficits in attention and working memory. In this study, we investigated the relationship between integrity of functional brain networks and performance in attention and working memory tasks as well as schizophrenia risk.Methods:A total of 235 adults representing 3 levels of risk (102 outpatients with schizophrenia, 70 unaffected first-degree relatives of persons with schizophrenia, and 63 unrelated healthy controls [HCs]) completed resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging and a battery of attention and working memory tasks (Brief Test of Attention, Hopkins Verbal Learning Test, and Brief Visuospatial Memory Test) on the same day. Functional networks were defined based on coupling with seeds in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC), and primary visual cortex. Networks were then dissected into regional clusters of connectivity that were used to generate individual interaction matrices representing functional connectivity within each network.Results:Both patients with schizophrenia and their first-degree relatives showed cognitive dysfunction compared with HCs. First canonicals indicated an inverse relationship between cognitive performance and connectivity within the DLPFC and MPFC networks. Multivariate analysis of variance revealed multivariate main effects of higher schizophrenia risk status on increased connectivity within the DLPFC and MPFC networks.Conclusions:These data suggest that excessive connectivity within brain networks coupled to the DLPFC and MPFC, respectively, accompany cognitive deficits in persons at risk for schizophrenia. This might reflect compensatory reactions in neural systems required for cognitive processing of attention and working memory tasks to brain changes associated with schizophrenia.

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21 citations in Web of Science®
22 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute for Regenerative Medicine (IREM)
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2014
Deposited On:29 Jan 2014 16:18
Last Modified:16 Aug 2016 10:12
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:0586-7614
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/schbul/sbt077
PubMed ID:23778975

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