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Characterizing White Matter Changes in Chronic Schizophrenia: A Free-water Imaging Multi-site Study

Institution:
1Queensland Brain Institute, Centre for Advanced Imaging, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, Australia. Electronic address: l.oestreich@uq.edu.au.
2Department of Psychiatry, Psychiatry Neuroimaging Laboratory, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
Publisher:
Elsevier Science
Publication Date:
Nov-2017
Journal:
Schizophr Res
Volume Number:
189
Pages:
153-161
Citation:
Schizophr Res. 2017 Nov;189:153-161.
PubMed ID:
28190639
PMCID:
PMC5552442
Keywords:
Diffusion MRI; ENIGMA; Free-water; Neurodegeneration; Tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS)
Appears in Collections:
PNL, NAC, SPL
Sponsors:
R01 MH102377/MH/NIMH NIH HHS/United States
R01 MH085953/MH/NIMH NIH HHS/United States
R01 MH074794/MH/NIMH NIH HHS/United States
R01 MH108574/MH/NIMH NIH HHS/United States
R01 AG042512/AG/NIA NIH HHS/United States
P41 EB015902/EB/NIBIB NIH HHS/United States
R21 MH106793/MH/NIMH NIH HHS/United States
Generated Citation:
Oestreich L.K.L., Lyall A.E., Pasternak O., Kikinis Z., Newell D.T., Savadjiev P., Bouix S., Shenton M.E., Kubicki M., Whitford T.J., McCarthy-Jones S. Characterizing White Matter Changes in Chronic Schizophrenia: A Free-water Imaging Multi-site Study. Schizophr Res. 2017 Nov;189:153-161. PMID: 28190639. PMCID: PMC5552442.
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Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) studies in chronic schizophrenia have found widespread but often inconsistent patterns of white matter abnormalities. These studies have typically used the conventional measure of fractional anisotropy, which can be contaminated by extracellular free-water. A recent free-water imaging study reported reduced free-water corrected fractional anisotropy (FAT) in chronic schizophrenia across several brain regions, but limited changes in the extracellular volume. The present study set out to validate these findings in a substantially larger sample. Tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) was performed in 188 healthy controls and 281 chronic schizophrenia patients. Forty-two regions of interest (ROIs), as well as average whole-brain FAT and FW were extracted from free-water corrected diffusion tensor maps. Compared to healthy controls, reduced FAT was found in the chronic schizophrenia group in the anterior limb of the internal capsule bilaterally, the posterior thalamic radiation bilaterally, as well as the genu and body of the corpus callosum. While a significant main effect of group was observed for FW, none of the follow-up contrasts survived correction for multiple comparisons. The observed FAT reductions in the absence of extracellular FW changes, in a large, multi-site sample of chronic schizophrenia patients, validate the pattern of findings reported by a previous, smaller free-water imaging study of a similar sample. The limited number of regions in which FAT was reduced in the schizophrenia group suggests that actual white matter tissue degeneration in chronic schizophrenia, independent of extracellular FW, might be more localized than suggested previously.