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Hum Brain Mapp. 2010 Dec;31(12):2003-14. doi: 10.1002/hbm.20993. Epub 2010 Mar 11.

Overall brain connectivity maps show cortico-subcortical abnormalities in schizophrenia.

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Benito Menni C.A.S.M.-CIBERSAM, Sant Boi de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain.


Abnormal interactions between areas of the brain have been pointed as possible causes for schizophrenia. However, the nature of these disturbances and the anatomical location of the regions involved are still unclear. Here, we describe a method to estimate maps of net levels of connectivity in the resting brain, and we apply it to look for differential patterns of connectivity in schizophrenia. This method uses partial coherences as a basic measure of covariability, and it minimises the effect of major physiological noise. When overall (net) connectivity maps of a sample of 40 patients with schizophrenia were compared with the maps from a matched sample of 40 controls, a single area of abnormality was found. It is an area of patient hyper-connectivity and is located frontally, in medial and orbital structures, clearly overlapping the anterior node of the default mode network (DMN). When this area is used as a region of interest in a second-level analysis, it shows functional hyper-connections with several cortical and subcortical structures. Interestingly, the most significant abnormality is found with the caudate, which has a bilateral pattern of abnormality, pointing to a possible DMN-striatum deviant relation in schizophrenia. However, hyper-connectivity observed with other regions (right hippocampus and amygdala, and other cortical structures) suggests a more pervasive alteration of brain connectivity in this disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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