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Psychiatry Res. 2014 Oct 30;224(1):49-57. doi: 10.1016/j.pscychresns.2014.07.003. Epub 2014 Jul 19.

Positive symptoms and water diffusivity of the prefrontal and temporal cortices in schizophrenia patients: a pilot study.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, Yonsei University, College of Medicine, Gangnam Severance Hospital, 211 Eonju-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul 135-720, Korea; Institute of Behavioral Science in Medicine, Yonsei University, College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
2
Department of Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Research Institute of Radiological Science, Yonsei University, College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea; BK21 Project for Medical Science, Yonsei University, College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
3
Department of Psychiatry, Yonsei University, College of Medicine, Gangnam Severance Hospital, 211 Eonju-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul 135-720, Korea; Institute of Behavioral Science in Medicine, Yonsei University, College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea; BK21 Project for Medical Science, Yonsei University, College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. Electronic address: jaejkim@yonsei.ac.kr.

Abstract

The development of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) has provided information about microstructural changes in the brain. Most DTI studies have focused on white matter (WM). Few DTI studies have examined the gray matter (GM) in schizophrenia and, to date, there has been no attempt to identify the relationship between water diffusivity and symptom severity in schizophrenia. The present study aimed to examine microstructural deficits in the dorsal prefrontal cortex (DPFC) and temporal cortex in schizophrenia patients using fractional anisotropy (FA) and water diffusivity. This study also explored the relationship between DTI measurements and psychotic symptoms. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and DTI were used to study 19 schizophrenia patients and 19 healthy controls. Fractional anisotropy, axial diffusivity, radial diffusivity, and regional volumes were measured in the prefrontal cortex and temporal cortex. On DTI measurements, patients showed increased axial and radial diffusivities in the prefrontal cortex and temporal cortex, but they did not demonstrate any difference in fractional anisotropy and regional volumes. Additionally, axial and radial diffusivities were significantly correlated with positive symptom scores in all regions of interest. These results indicate that water diffusivity measurements, including axial and radial diffusivities, can be used to identify microstructural changes in the gray matter in schizophrenia that may be related to symptom severity.

KEYWORDS:

Diffusion tensor imaging; Gray matter; Positive symptoms; Schizophrenia; Water diffusivity

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