Inproceedings: An article in a conference proceedings.
Abstract (Abstract): shot summary in a article that contain essentials elements presented during a scientific conference, lecture or from a poster.
Connectome alterations in schizophrenia
Title of the conference
OHBM 2009, 15th Annual Meeting of the Organization for Human Brain Mapping
San Francisco, California, United States, June 18-23, 2009
Introduction : DTI has proven to be an exquisite biomarker of tissue microstructure integrity. This technique has been successfully applied to schizophrenia in showing that fractional anisotropy (FA, a marker of white matter integrity) is diminished in several areas of the brain (Kyriakopoulos M et al (2008)). New ways of representing diffusion data emerged recently and achieved to create structural connectivity maps in healthy brains (Hagmann P et al. (2008)). These maps have the capacity to study alterations over the entire brain at the connection and network level. This is of high interest in complex disconnection diseases like schizophrenia. We report on the specific network alterations of schizophrenic patients. Methods : 13 patients with chronic schizophrenia were recruited from in-patient, day treatment, out-patient clinics. Comparison subjects were recruited and group-matched to patients on age, sex, handedness, and parental social economic-status. This study was approved by the local IRB and subjects had to give informed written consent. They were scanned with a 3T clinical MRI scanner. DTI and high-resolution anatomical T1w imaging were performed during the same session. The path from diffusion MRI to a multi-resolution structural connection matrices of the entire brain is a five steps process that was performed in a similar way as described in Hagmann P et al. (2008). (1) DTI and T1w MRI of the brain, (2) segmentation of white and gray matter, (3) white matter tractography, (4) segmentation of the cortex into 242 ROIs of equal surface area covering the entire cortex (Fig 1), (5) the connection network was constructed by measuring for each ROI to ROI connection the related average FA along the corresponding tract. Results : For every connection between 2 ROIs of the network we tested the hypothesis H0: "average FA along fiber pathway is larger or equal in patients than in controls". H0 was rejected for connections where average FA in a connection was significantly lower in patients than in controls. Threshold p-value was 0.01 corrected for multiple comparisons with false discovery rate. We identified consistently that temporal, occipito-temporal, precuneo-temporal as well as frontal inferior and precuneo-cingulate connections were altered (Fig 2: significant connections in yellow). This is in agreement with the known literature, which showed across several studies that FA is diminished in several areas of the brain. More precisely, abnormalities were reported in the prefrontal and temporal white matter and to some extent also in the parietal and occipital regions. The alterations reported in the literature specifically included the corpus callosum, the arcuate fasciculus and the cingulum bundle, which was the case here as well. In addition small world indexes are significantly reduced in patients (p<0.01) (Fig. 3). Conclusions : Using connectome mapping to characterize differences in structural connectivity between healthy and diseased subjects we were able to show widespread connectional alterations in schizophrenia patients and systematic small worldness decrease, which is a marker of network desorganization. More generally, we described a method that has the capacity to sensitively identify structure alterations in complex disconnection syndromes where lesions are widespread throughout the connectional network.
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