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Functional and Anatomical Connectivity Abnormalities in Cognitive Division of Anterior Cingulate Cortex in Schizophrenia
Published: Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Author: Hao Yan et al.

by Hao Yan, Lin Tian, Jun Yan, Wei Sun, Qi Liu, Yan-Bo Zhang, Xin-Ming Li, Yu-Feng Zang, Dai Zhang


Current pathophysiological theories of schizophrenia highlight the role of altered brain functional and anatomical connectivity. The cognitive division of anterior cingulate cortex (ACC-cd) is a commonly reported abnormal brain region in schizophrenia for its importance in cognitive control process. The aim of this study was to investigate the functional and anatomical connectivity of ACC-cd and its cognitive and clinical manifestation significance in schizophrenia by using the resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and the diffusion tensor imaging (DTI).


Thirty-three medicated schizophrenics and 30 well-matched health controls were recruited. Region-of-interest (ROI)-based resting-state functional connectivity analysis and Tract-Based Spatial Statistics (TBSS) were performed on 30 patients and 30 controls, and 24 patients and 29 controls, respectively. The Pearson correlation was performed between the imaging measures and the Stroop performance and scores of the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), respectively.


Patients with schizophrenia showed significantly abnormal in the functional connectivity and its hemispheric asymmetry of the ACC-cd with multiple brain areas, e.g., decreased positive connectivity with the bilateral putamen and caudate, increased negative connectivity with the left posterior cingulated cortex (PCC), increased asymmetry of connectivity strength with the contralateral inferior frontal gyrus (IFG). The FA of the right anterior cingulum was significantly decreased in patients group (p?=?0.014). The abnormal functional and structural connectivity of ACC-cd were correlated with Stroop performance and the severity of the symptoms in patients.


Our results suggested that the abnormal connectivity of the ACC-cd might play a role in the cognitive impairment and clinical symptoms in schizophrenia.