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JAMA Psychiatry. 2015 Jun;72(6):552-60. doi: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2014.3176.

Abnormalities in hemispheric specialization of caudate nucleus connectivity in schizophrenia.

Author information

1
Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown2Institute of Clinical Radiology, Ludwig Maximilians University Munich, Munich, Germany.
2
Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown.
3
Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown3Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.

Abstract

IMPORTANCE:

Hemispheric specialization of the human brain is a marker of successful neurodevelopment. Altered brain asymmetry that has been repeatedly reported in schizophrenia may represent consequences of disrupted neurodevelopment in the disorder. However, a complete picture of functional specialization in the schizophrenic brain and its connectional substrates is yet to be unveiled.

OBJECTIVES:

To quantify intrinsic hemispheric specialization at cortical and subcortical levels and to reveal potential disease effects in schizophrenia.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS:

Resting-state functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging has been previously used to quantitatively measure hemispheric specialization in healthy individuals in a reliable manner. We quantified the intrinsic hemispheric specialization at the whole brain level in 31 patients with schizophrenia and 37 demographically matched healthy controls from November 28, 2007, through June 29, 2010, using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging.

RESULTS:

The caudate nucleus and cortical regions with connections to the caudate nucleus had markedly abnormal hemispheric specialization in schizophrenia. Compared with healthy controls, patients exhibited weaker specialization in the left, but the opposite pattern in the right, caudate nucleus (Pā€‰<ā€‰.001). Patients with schizophrenia also had a disruption of the interhemispheric coordination among the cortical regions with connections to the caudate nucleus. A linear classifier based on the specialization of the caudate nucleus distinguished patients from controls with a classification accuracy of 74% (with a sensitivity of 68% and a specificity of 78%).

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE:

These data suggest that hemispheric specialization could serve as a potential imaging biomarker of schizophrenia that, compared with task-based functional magnetic resonance imaging measures, is less prone to the confounding effects of variation in task compliance, cognitive ability, and command of language.

PMID:
25830688
PMCID:
PMC4630217
DOI:
10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2014.3176
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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