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Neurobiol Dis. 2006 Jun;22(3):702-9. Epub 2006 Apr 19.

Alterations of white matter connectivity in first episode schizophrenia.

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University Hospital of Clinical Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatric Neurophysiology, Berne, Switzerland.


Cerebral disconnectivity due to white matter alterations in patients with chronic schizophrenia assessed by diffusion tensor imaging has been reported previously. The aim of this preliminary study is to investigate whether cerebral disconnectivity can be detected as early as the first episode of schizophrenia. Intervoxel coherence values were compared by voxel-based t test in 12 patients with first episode schizophrenia and 12 age- and gender-matched control groups. We detected 14 circumscribed significant clusters (P < 0.02), 3 of them with higher, and 11 of them with lower IC values for patients with schizophrenia than for healthy control groups. We interpret these white matter alterations in different regions to be disconnected fiber tracts already present early in schizophrenic disease progression.

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