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Biol Psychiatry. 2011 Jul 1;70(1):64-72. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2011.02.019. Epub 2011 Apr 22.

General and specific functional connectivity disturbances in first-episode schizophrenia during cognitive control performance.

Author information

1
Brain Mapping Unit, Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK. ornitoa@unimelb.edu.au

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Cognitive control impairments in schizophrenia are thought to arise from dysfunction of interconnected networks of brain regions, but interrogating the functional dynamics of large-scale brain networks during cognitive task performance has proved difficult. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to generate event-related whole-brain functional connectivity networks in participants with first-episode schizophrenia and healthy control subjects performing a cognitive control task.

METHODS:

Functional connectivity during cognitive control performance was assessed between each pair of 78 brain regions in 23 patients and 25 control subjects. Network properties examined were region-wise connectivity, edge-wise connectivity, global path length, clustering, small-worldness, global efficiency, and local efficiency.

RESULTS:

Patients showed widespread functional connectivity deficits in a large-scale network of brain regions, which primarily affected connectivity between frontal cortex and posterior regions and occurred irrespective of task context. A more circumscribed and task-specific connectivity impairment in frontoparietal systems related to cognitive control was also apparent. Global properties of network topology in patients were relatively intact.

CONCLUSIONS:

The first episode of schizophrenia is associated with a generalized connectivity impairment affecting most brain regions but that is particularly pronounced for frontal cortex. Superimposed on this generalized deficit, patients show more specific cognitive-control-related functional connectivity reductions in frontoparietal regions. These connectivity deficits occur in the context of relatively preserved global network organization.

PMID:
21514570
PMCID:
PMC4015465
DOI:
10.1016/j.biopsych.2011.02.019
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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