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Alteration of Gray Matter Microstructure in Schizophrenia

Psychiatry Neuroimaging Laboratory, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.
Publication Date:
Brain Imaging Behav
Volume Number:
Issue Number:
Brain Imaging Behav. 2018 Feb;12(1):54-63.
PubMed ID:
Diffusion MRI, Gray matter, Heterogeneity, Neurodevelopment, Schizophrenia
Appears in Collections:
R01 MH102377/MH/NIMH NIH HHS/United States
K05 MH070047/MH/NIMH NIH HHS/United States
P50 MH080272/MH/NIMH NIH HHS/United States
R01 MH074794/MH/NIMH NIH HHS/United States
UL1 RR025758/RR/NCRR NIH HHS/United States
T32 MH016259/MH/NIMH NIH HHS/United States
R01 AG042512/AG/NIA NIH HHS/United States
P41 EB015902/EB/NIBIB NIH HHS/United States
Generated Citation:
Seitz J., Rathi Y., Lyall A., Pasternak O., Del Re E.C., Niznikiewicz M., Nestor P., Seidman L.J., Petryshen T.L., Mesholam-Gately R.I., Wojcik J., McCarley R.W., Shenton M.E., Koerte I.K., Kubicki M. Alteration of Gray Matter Microstructure in Schizophrenia. Brain Imaging Behav. 2018 Feb;12(1):54-63. PMID: 28102528. PMCID: PMC5517358.
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Neuroimaging studies demonstrate gray matter (GM) macrostructural abnormalities in patients with schizophrenia (SCZ). While ex-vivo and genetic studies suggest cellular pathology associated with abnormal neurodevelopmental processes in SCZ, few in-vivo measures have been proposed to target microstructural GM organization. Here, we use diffusion heterogeneity- to study GM microstructure in SCZ. Structural and diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were acquired on a 3 Tesla scanner in 46 patients with SCZ and 37 matched healthy controls (HC). After correction for free water, diffusion heterogeneity as well as commonly used diffusion measures FA and MD and volume were calculated for the four cortical lobes on each hemisphere, and compared between groups. Patients with early course SCZ exhibited higher diffusion heterogeneity in the GM of the frontal lobes compared to controls. Diffusion heterogeneity of the frontal lobe showed excellent discrimination between patients and HC, while none of the commonly used diffusion measures such as FA or MD did. Higher diffusion heterogeneity in the frontal lobes in early SCZ may be due to abnormal brain maturation (migration, pruning) before and during adolescence and early adulthood. Further studies are needed to investigate the role of heterogeneity as potential biomarker for SCZ risk.