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Schizophr Res. 2009 Oct;114(1-3):128-35. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2009.07.001. Epub 2009 Jul 29.

Schizophrenia patients and their healthy siblings share disruption of white matter integrity in the left prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus but not the anterior cingulate cortex.

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1
Mental Health Institute, Second Xiangya Hospital of Central South University, Changsha, PR China.

Abstract

Healthy siblings of schizophrenia patients have an almost 9-fold higher risk for developing the illness than the general population. Disruption of white matter (WM) integrity as indicated by reduced fractional anisotropy (FA) derived from diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), is believed to be the key substrate of schizophrenia. However, it remains unclear whether schizophrenia patients and their healthy siblings share a specific pattern of disruption of WM integrity that may be related to the disease risk. The objective of this study is to determine whether a specific brain regional pattern of disruption of WM integrity is shared by schizophrenia patients and their healthy siblings. We investigated brain white matter abnormalities by voxel-based analysis of white matter FA data acquired from diffusion tensor imaging in 34 pairs of schizophrenia patients and their healthy siblings, as well as in 32 healthy controls. Both schizophrenia patients and their healthy siblings showed reduced white matter FA in the left prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus in comparison to healthy controls, without significant difference between patients and siblings. In marked contrast, only schizophrenia patients exhibited reduced white matter FA in the left anterior cingulate cortex in comparison to both siblings and controls, without significant difference between siblings and controls. Thus, schizophrenia patients and their healthy siblings share disruption of WM integrity in the left prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus that may be related to higher risk of healthy siblings to develop schizophrenia, which may be eventually attributed to additional disruption of WM integrity in the left anterior cingulate cortex.

PMID:
19643580
DOI:
10.1016/j.schres.2009.07.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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