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Neuroimage Clin. 2016 May 3;12:970-975. eCollection 2016.

Integrity of the arcuate fasciculus in patients with schizophrenia with auditory verbal hallucinations: A DTI-tractography study.

Author information

1
INSERM U1028, CNRS UMR5292, PSYR2 Team, Lyon Neuroscience Research Center, Centre Hospitalier Le Vinatier, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, Bron, France.
2
Centre Interdisciplinaire de Recherche en Réadaptation et en Intégration Sociale (CIRRIS), Centre de Recherche de l'Institut Universitaire en Santé Mentale (CRIUSM), Université Laval, Québec, QC, Canada.
3
Institut Universitaire en Santé Mentale de Montréal Research Center, Québec, QC, Canada; Department of Psychiatry, University of Montreal, QC, Canada.
4
INSERM U1028, CNRS UMR5292, PSYR2 Team, Lyon Neuroscience Research Center, Centre Hospitalier Le Vinatier, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, Bron, France; Centre Interdisciplinaire de Recherche en Réadaptation et en Intégration Sociale (CIRRIS), Centre de Recherche de l'Institut Universitaire en Santé Mentale (CRIUSM), Université Laval, Québec, QC, Canada.

Abstract

Auditory verbal hallucinations (AVH) of schizophrenia are associated with a disrupted connectivity between frontal and temporoparietal language areas. We hypothesized that this dysconnectivity is underpinned by white matter abnormalities in the left arcuate fasciculus, the main fiber bundle connecting speech production and perception areas. We therefore investigated the relationship between AVH severity and the integrity of the arcuate fasciculus measured by diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) tractography in patients with schizophrenia. Thirty-eight patients with treatment-resistant schizophrenia were included: 26 presented with daily severe treatment-resistant AVH, 12 reported prominent negative symptoms and no AVH. Fractional anisotropy (FA) was measured along the length of the left and right anterior arcuate fasciculi and severity of AVH was assessed using P3 PANSS item. FA values were significantly higher in the left arcuate fasciculus in patients with AVH than in no AVH patients (F(1,35) = 3.86; p = 0.05). No difference was observed in the right arcuate fasciculus. There was a significant positive correlation between FA value in the left arcuate fasciculus and the severity of AVH (r = 0.36; p = 0.02). No correlation was observed between FA values and PANSS total score suggesting a specific relationship between AVH severity and the left arcuate fasciculus integrity. These results support the hypothesis of a relationship between left frontotemporal connectivity and AVH in patients with schizophrenia and suggest that whilst a disruption of frontotemporal connectivity might be present to ensure the emergence of AVH, more severe anatomical alterations may prevent the occurrence of AVH in patients with schizophrenia.

KEYWORDS:

Arcuate fasciculus; Auditory verbal hallucinations; DTI; Diffusion tensor imaging; Schizophrenia; Tractography; White matter

PMID:
27995063
PMCID:
PMC5153606
DOI:
10.1016/j.nicl.2016.04.013
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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