Links among resting-state default-mode network, salience network, and symptomatology in schizophrenia

François Orliac, Mickael Naveau, Marc Joliot, Nicolas Delcroix, Annick Razafimandimby, Perrine Brazo, Sonia Dollfus, Pascal Delamillieure
Schizophrenia Research 2013, 148 (1-3): 74-80
Neuroimaging data support the idea that schizophrenia is a brain disorder with altered brain structure and function. New resting-state functional connectivity techniques allow us to highlight synchronization of large-scale networks, such as the default-mode network (DMN) and salience network (SN). A large body of work suggests that disruption of these networks could give rise to specific schizophrenia symptoms. We examined the intra-network connectivity strength and gray matter content (GMC) of DMN and SN in 26 schizophrenia patients using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging and voxel-based morphometry. Resting-state data were analyzed with independent component analysis and dual-regression techniques. We reported reduced functional connectivity within both DMN and SN in patients with schizophrenia. Concerning the DMN, patients showed weaker connectivity in a cluster located in the right paracingulate cortex. Moreover, patients showed decreased GMC in this cluster. With regard to the SN, patients showed reduced connectivity in the left and right striatum. Decreased connectivity in the paracingulate cortex was correlated with difficulties in abstract thinking. The connectivity decrease in the left striatum was correlated with delusion and depression scores. Correlation between the connectivity of DMN frontal regions and difficulties in abstract thinking emphasizes the link between negative symptoms and the likely alteration of the frontal medial cortex in schizophrenia. Correlation between the connectivity of SN striatal regions and delusions supports the aberrant salience hypothesis. This work provides new insights into dysfunctional brain organization in schizophrenia and its contribution to specific schizophrenia symptoms.

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