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Schizophr Bull. 2019 Sep 5. pii: sbz087. doi: 10.1093/schbul/sbz087. [Epub ahead of print]

Effect of Risperidone Monotherapy on Dynamic Functional Connectivity of Insular Subdivisions in Treatment-Naive, First-Episode Schizophrenia.

Duan X1,2, Hu M3,4,5, Huang X1,2, Su C1,2, Zong X3,4,5, Dong X1,2, He C1,2, Xiao J1,2, Li H1,2, Tang J4,6,7, Chen X4,6,7, Chen H1,2.

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The Clinical Hospital of Chengdu Brain Science Institute, MOE Key Lab for Neuroinformation, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu, PR China.
School of Life Science and Technology, Center for Information in Medicine, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu, PR China.
Department of Psychiatry, Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan, PR China.
Department of Psychiatry, the Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, PR China.
Division of Molecular Imaging and Neuropathology, Columbia University and New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY.
Mental Health Institute of Central South University, Changsha, PR China.
China National Clinical Research Center on Mental Disorders (Xiangya), China National Technology Institute on Mental Disorders, Changsha, PR China.



The insula consists of functionally diverse subdivisions, and each division plays different roles in schizophrenia neuropathology. The current study aimed to investigate the abnormal patterns of dynamic functional connectivity (dFC) of insular subdivisions in schizophrenia and the effect of antipsychotics on these connections.


Longitudinal study of the dFC of insular subdivisions was conducted in 42 treatment-naive first-episode patients with schizophrenia at baseline and after 8 weeks of risperidone treatment based on resting-state functional magnetic resonance image (fMRI).


At baseline, patients showed decreased dFC variance (less variable) between the insular subdivisions and the precuneus, supplementary motor area and temporal cortex, as well as increased dFC variance (more variable) between the insular subdivisions and parietal cortex, compared with healthy controls. After treatment, the dFC variance of the abnormal connections were normalized, which was accompanied by a significant improvement in positive symptoms.


Our findings highlighted the abnormal patterns of fluctuating connectivity of insular subdivision circuits in schizophrenia and suggested that these abnormalities may be modified after antipsychotic treatment.


antipsychotic medication; dynamic functional connectivity; insular subdivision; resting-state fMRI; schizophrenia


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