Cingulate and temporal lobe fractional anisotropy in schizotypal personality disorder

Erin A Hazlett, Kim E Goldstein, Kazuhiro Tajima-Pozo, Elizabeth R Speidel, Yuliya Zelmanova, Jonathan J Entis, Jeremy M Silverman, Antonia S New, Harold W Koenigsberg, M Mehmet Haznedar, William Byne, Larry J Siever
NeuroImage 2011 April 1, 55 (3): 900-8

BACKGROUND: Consistent with the clinical picture of milder symptomatology in schizotypal personality disorder (SPD) than schizophrenia, morphological studies indicate SPD abnormalities in temporal lobe regions but to a much lesser extent in prefrontal regions implicated in schizophrenia. Lower fractional anisotropy (FA), a measure of white-matter integrity within prefrontal, temporal, and cingulate regions has been reported in schizophrenia but has been little studied in SPD.

AIMS: The study aim was to examine temporal and prefrontal white matter FA in 30 neuroleptic-naïve SPD patients and 35 matched healthy controls (HCs). We hypothesized that compared with HCs, SPD patients would exhibit lower FA in temporal lobe and anterior cingulum regions but relative sparing in prefrontal regions.

METHOD: We acquired diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in all participants and examined FA in the white matter underlying Brodmann areas (BAs) in dorsolateral prefrontal (BAs 44, 45, and 46), temporal lobe (BAs 22, 21, and 20), and cingulum (BAs 25, 24, 31, 23, and 29) regions with a series of analyses using multivariate analysis of variance.

RESULTS: Compared with HCs, the SPD group had significantly lower FA in the left temporal lobe but not prefrontal regions. In the cingulum, FA was lower in the SPD group in the posterior regions (BAs 31 and 23), higher in the anterior (BA 25) regions and lower overall in the right but not the left cingulum. Among the SPD group, lower FA in the cingulum was associated with more severe negative symptoms (e.g., odd speech).

CONCLUSIONS: Similar to schizophrenia, our results indicate cingulum-temporal lobe FA abnormalities in SPD and suggest that cingulum abnormalities are associated with negative symptoms.

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