MRI diffusion tractography study in individuals with schizotypal features: A pilot study

Richard P. Smallman, Emma Barkus, Hojjatollah Azadbakht, Karl V. Embelton, Hamied A. Haroon, Shôn W. Lewis, David M. Morris, Geoffrey J. Parker, Teresa M. Rushe

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Abstract

Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) studies have identified changes in white matter tracts in schizophrenia patients and those at high risk of transition. Schizotypal samples represent a group on the schizophrenia continuum that share some aetiological risk factors but without the confounds of illness. The aim of the current study was to compare tract microstructural coherence as measured by
fractional anisotropy (FA) between 12 psychometrically defined schizotypes and controls. We investigated bilaterally the uncinate and arcuate fasciculi (UF and AF) via a probabilistic tractography algorithm (PICo), with FA values compared between groups. Partial correlations were also examined between measures of subclinical hallucinatory/delusional experiences and FA values. High schizotypes
were found to have significantly higher FA values in bilateral UF only, but failed to reach significance in each hemisphere. In the whole sample there was a positive correlation between increasing FA values and measures of hallucinatory experience in the right AF. These findings suggest subtle changes in microstructural coherence are present in schizotypes. Correlations between mild hallucinatory experience and increasing FA values could indicate increasing coherence could be associated with symptom formation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-57
Number of pages9
JournalPsychiatry research-Neuroimaging
Volume221
Issue number1
Early online date31 Oct 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2014

Keywords

  • Arcuate fasiculus
  • Uncinate fasciculus
  • SPQ
  • Launey-Slade

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    Smallman, R. P., Barkus, E., Azadbakht, H., Embelton, K. V., Haroon, H. A., Lewis, S. W., Morris, D. M., Parker, G. J., & Rushe, T. M. (2014). MRI diffusion tractography study in individuals with schizotypal features: A pilot study. Psychiatry research-Neuroimaging, 221(1), 49-57. https://doi.org/10.1016/jpscychresns.2013.10.006