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Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2013 Jan;23(1):46-54. doi: 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2012.09.001. Epub 2012 Oct 1.

Disturbed grey matter coupling in schizophrenia.

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  • 1Rudolf Magnus Institute of Neuroscience, Utrecht, The Netherlands. g.collin@umcutrecht.nl


In schizophrenia, grey matter deficits have been shown for many regions throughout the brain. These regions do not operate in isolation. Rather, they form a structural network of interconnected grey matter regions. To examine the mutual dependence of brain regions, this study investigated interregional coupling in lobar and regional grey matter volumes obtained from 146 schizophrenia patients and 122 healthy comparison subjects. Compared to healthy controls, schizophrenia patients showed both decreased (e.g. between left frontal and bilateral subcortical, p≤0.005) and increased (e.g. between left temporal and bilateral subcortical, p≤0.001) coupling between lobar grey matter volumes. On a regional scale, decreased coupling was most pronounced between fronto-parietal cortical regions and subcortical structures, and between frontal and occipital regions. In addition, an increased association was found among frontal and limbic regions, and for temporo-occipital connexions. Consistent with dysconnectivity theories of schizophrenia, impaired grey matter coupling may be reflective of reduced integrity of the brain's network. Furthermore, as cross-sectional volumetric coupling is indicative of maturational coupling, aberrant grey matter coupling may be a marker of neurodevelopmental abnormalities in schizophrenia.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP. All rights reserved.

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