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Schizophr Res. 2018 Jul;197:219-225. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2018.01.003. Epub 2018 Jan 6.

Attenuated resting-state functional connectivity in patients with childhood- and adult-onset schizophrenia.

Author information

1
Child Psychiatry Branch, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, 10 Center Drive, Building 10, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.
2
Laboratory of Brain and Cognition, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, 10 Center Drive, Building 10, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.
3
Departments of Psychology, Psychiatry and Radiology, Washington University in St. Louis, One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO 63130, USA.
4
Child Psychiatry Branch, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, 10 Center Drive, Building 10, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA. Electronic address: siyuan.liu@nih.gov.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Childhood-onset schizophrenia (COS) is a rare, severe form of the adult-onset disorder (AOS). Our previous resting-state fMRI study identified attenuated functional connectivity in COS compared with controls. Here, we ask whether COS and AOS patients and their siblings exhibit similar abnormalities of functional connectivity.

METHODS:

A whole-brain, data-driven approach was used to assess resting-state functional connectivity differences in COS (patients/siblings/controls, n: 26/28/33) and AOS (n: 19/28/30). There were no significant differences in age, sex, or head motion across groups in each dataset and as designed, the COS dataset has a significantly lower age than the AOS.

RESULTS:

Both COS and AOS patients showed decreased functional connectivity relative to controls among a wide set of brain regions (P<0.05, corrected), but their siblings did not. Decreased connectivity in COS and AOS patients showed no amplitude differences and was not modulated by age-at-onset or medication doses. Cluster analysis revealed that these regions fell into two large-scale networks: one sensorimotor network and one centered on default-mode network regions, but including higher-order cognitive areas only in COS. Decreased connectivity between these two networks was notable (P<0.05, corrected) for both patient groups.

CONCLUSIONS:

A shared pattern of attenuated functional connectivity was found in COS and AOS, supporting the continuity of childhood-onset and adult-onset schizophrenia. Connections were altered between sensorimotor areas and default-mode areas in both COS and AOS, suggesting potential abnormalities in processes of self-monitoring and sensory prediction. The absence of substantial dysconnectivity in siblings indicates that attenuation is state-related.

KEYWORDS:

Childhood psychosis; Network connectivity; Neurodevelopment

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