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Diffusion Tensor Imaging Findings and their Implications in Schizophrenia

1Psychiatry Neuroimaging Laboratory, Departments of Psychiatry and Radiology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
2Veterans Affairs (VA) Boston Healthcare System, Brockton, MA, USA.
Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Publication Date:
Curr Opin Psychiatry
Volume Number:
Issue Number:
Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2014 May;27(3):179-84.
PubMed ID:
Appears in Collections:
P50 MH080272/MH/NIMH NIH HHS/United States
R01 AG042512/AG/NIA NIH HHS/United States
U54 EB005149/EB/NIBIB NIH HHS/United States
Generated Citation:
Kubicki M., Shenton M.E. Diffusion Tensor Imaging Findings and their Implications in Schizophrenia. Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2014 May;27(3):179-84. PMID: 24613986.
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Schizophrenia is a multifocal brain disease that involves abnormal brain connectivity. Diffusion Tensor Imaging is the most advanced imaging technique to investigate white matter connections in vivo. In this review, we focus on studies published in the last year with a high impact on our understanding of how changes in white matter may lead to better treatment. RECENT FINDINGS: Recent studies establish white matter changes at illness onset, and quite possibly before, wherein they constitute a risk factor. Some studies also suggest that white matter changes might not progress over time, even without treatment. Further, while genetic risk may be associated with neurodevelopmental changes related to either white matter geometry, or a different trajectory of aging, clinical risk may also be associated with more acute changes of tissue integrity. These latter changes may be inflammatory in nature at illness onset, and related to the cellular integrity of oligodendrocytes and/or astrocytes at later stages of illness. SUMMARY: Recent publications suggest new directions for research and lead to new hypotheses about the pathophysiology of schizophrenia involving white matter. When replicated on larger samples, this knowledge will likely lead to the development of new treatment strategies.