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A Diffusion Tensor Imaging Study of the Anterior Limb of the Internal Capsule in Schizophrenia

Institution:
1Clinical Neuroscience Division, Laboratory of Neuroscience, Department of Psychiatry, VA Boston Healthcare System, Brockton Division, Brockton, MA, USA.
2Psychiatry Neuroimaging Laboratory, Department of Psychiatry, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
3Laboratory of Mathematical Imaging, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
4Surgical Planning Laboratory, MRI Division, Department of Radiology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
Publisher:
Elsevier Science
Publication Date:
Dec-2010
Journal:
Psychiatry Res
Volume Number:
184
Issue Number:
3
Pages:
143-50
Citation:
Psychiatry Res. 2010 Dec 30;184(3):143-50.
PubMed ID:
21055906
PMCID:
PMC4043632
Keywords:
Schizophrenia, Diffusion Tensor Imaging, Anterior Limb of the Internal Capsule, Thalamus, Prefrontal Cortex
Appears in Collections:
PNL, LMI, NAC, SLICER, SPL
Sponsors:
K05 MH070047/MH/NIMH NIH HHS/United States
R01 MH040799/MH/NIMH NIH HHS/United States
R01 MH050747/MH/NIMH NIH HHS/United States
R03 MH068464/MH/NIMH NIH HHS/United States
P41 RR013218/RR/NCRR NIH HHS/United States
Generated Citation:
Levitt J.J., Kubicki M., Nestor P.G., Ersner-Hershfield H., Westin C-F., Alvarado J.L., Kikinis R., Jolesz F.A., McCarley R.W., Shenton M.E. A Diffusion Tensor Imaging Study of the Anterior Limb of the Internal Capsule in Schizophrenia. Psychiatry Res. 2010 Dec 30;184(3):143-50. PMID: 21055906. PMCID: PMC4043632.
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Frontal-subcortical cognitive and limbic feedback loops modulate higher cognitive functioning. The final step in these feedback loops is the thalamo-cortical projection through the anterior limb of the internal capsule (AL-IC). Using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), we evaluated abnormalities in the AL-IC fiber tract in schizophrenia. Participants comprised 16 chronic schizophrenia patients and 19 male, normal controls, who were group matched for handedness, age, and parental socioeconomic status, and underwent DTI on a 1.5 Tesla GE system. We measured the diffusion indices, fractional anisotropy (FA), mean diffusivity (MD), radial diffusivity (RD), and axial diffusivity (AD), and manually segmented, based on FA maps, AL-IC volume, normalized for intracranial contents (ICC). The results showed a significant reduction in the ICC-corrected volume of the AL-IC in schizophrenia, but did not show diffusion measure group differences in the AL-IC in FA, MD, RD or AD. In addition, in the schizophrenia patients, AL-IC FA correlated positively with performance on measures of spatial and verbal declarative/episodic memory, and right AL-IC ICC-corrected volume correlated positively with more perseverative responses on the Wisconsin Card Sort Test (WCST). We found a reduction in AL-IC ICC-corrected volume in schizophrenia, without FA, MD, RD or AD group differences, implicating the presence of a structural abnormality in schizophrenia in this subcortical white matter region which contains important cognitive, and limbic feedback pathways that modulate prefrontal cortical function. Despite not demonstrating a group difference in FA, we found that AL-IC FA was a good predictor of spatial and verbal declarative/episodic memory performance in schizophrenia.

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