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BACKGROUND - The striatum is abnormal in schizophrenia and possibly represents a common neurobiological mechanism underlying psychotic disorders. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging studies have not reached a consensus regarding striatal dysconnectivity in schizophrenia, although these studies generally find impaired frontoparietal and salience network connectivity. The goal of the current study was to clarify the pattern of corticostriatal connectivity, including whether corticostriatal dysconnectivity is transdiagnostic and extends into psychotic bipolar disorder.
METHODS - We examined corticostriatal functional connectivity in 60 healthy subjects and 117 individuals with psychosis, including 77 with a schizophrenia spectrum illness and 40 with psychotic bipolar disorder. We conducted a cortical seed-based region-of-interest analysis with follow-up voxelwise analysis for any significant results. Further, a striatum seed-based analysis was conducted to examine group differences in connectivity between the striatum and the whole cortex.
RESULTS - Cortical region-of-interest analysis indicated that overall connectivity of the salience network with the striatum was reduced in psychotic disorders, which follow-up voxelwise analysis localized to the left putamen. Striatum seed-based analyses showed reduced ventral rostral putamen connectivity with the salience network portion of the medial prefrontal cortex in both schizophrenia and psychotic bipolar disorder.
CONCLUSIONS - The current study found evidence of transdiagnostic corticostriatal dysconnectivity in both schizophrenia and psychotic bipolar disorder, including reduced salience network connectivity, as well as reduced connectivity between the putamen and the medial prefrontal cortex. Overall, the current study points to the relative importance of salience network hypoconnectivity in psychotic disorders.
Copyright © 2019 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Working memory (WM) is impaired in psychotic disorders and linked to functional outcome. Most neurobiological models emphasize prefrontal cortex (PFC) dysfunction in the etiology of WM impairment. However, WM is composed of multiple processes, including encoding and maintenance, and the delineation of the neurobiology of these sub-processes has not been well characterized in schizophrenia and psychotic bipolar disorder. Functional MRI was obtained during an event-related spatial delayed match-to-sample task from 58 healthy individuals, 72 individuals with schizophrenia and 41 people with bipolar I disorder with psychotic features in order to: 1) characterize neural responses during encoding, maintenance and retrieval stages of WM using complementary region-of-interest and whole brain approaches; 2) determine whether schizophrenia and psychotic bipolar disorder exhibit similar abnormalities in WM-related brain function; and 3) elucidate the associations between WM-related brain function, task performance, and neuropsychological functioning. Both schizophrenia and psychotic bipolar disorder groups showed encoding- and maintenance-related impairments in the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) and frontal eye fields (FEF). BOLD response in the PPC and FEF, during encoding and maintenance respectively, was associated with task performance independent of group. Additionally, encoding-related activation in the PPC correlated with general neuropsychological functioning independent of group. Only encoding-related activation in the right ventral striatum differed between schizophrenia and psychotic bipolar disorder; individuals with schizophrenia showed significantly lower activation than both psychotic bipolar disorder and healthy groups. Our results are consistent with emerging evidence implicating PPC dysfunction in WM impairment and suggest interventions targeting neural activation in PPC may improve WM and neuropsychological functioning across psychotic disorders.
BACKGROUND - Neuropsychological impairment is common in schizophrenia and psychotic bipolar disorder. It has been hypothesized that the pathways leading to impairment differ between disorders. Cognitive impairment in schizophrenia is believed to result largely from atypical neurodevelopment, whereas bipolar disorder is increasingly conceptualized as a neuroprogressive disorder. The current investigation tested several key predictions of this hypothesis.
METHODS - Current neuropsychological functioning and estimated premorbid intellectual ability were assessed in healthy individuals (n = 260) and a large, cross-sectional sample of individuals in the early and chronic stages of psychosis (n = 410). We tested the following hypotheses: 1) cognitive impairment is more severe in schizophrenia in the early stage of psychosis; and 2) cognitive decline between early and chronic stages is relatively greater in psychotic bipolar disorder. Additionally, individuals with psychosis were classified as neuropsychologically normal, deteriorated, and compromised (i.e. below average intellectual functioning) to determine if the frequencies of neuropsychologically compromised and deteriorated patients were higher in schizophrenia and psychotic bipolar disorder, respectively.
RESULTS - Neuropsychological impairment in the early stage of psychosis was more severe in schizophrenia. Psychotic bipolar disorder was not associated with relatively greater cognitive decline between illness stages. The frequency of neuropsychologically compromised patients was higher in schizophrenia; however, substantial portions of both schizophrenia and psychotic bipolar disorder patients were classified as neuropsychologically compromised and deteriorated.
CONCLUSIONS - While schizophrenia is associated with relatively greater neurodevelopmental involvement, psychotic bipolar disorder and schizophrenia cannot be strictly dichotomized into purely neuroprogressive and neurodevelopmental illness trajectories; there is evidence of both processes in each disorder.
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Previous studies in psychosis patients have shown hippocampal volume deficits across anterior and posterior regions or across subfields, but subfield specific changes in volume along the hippocampal long axis have not been examined. Here, we tested the hypothesis that volume changes exist across the hippocampus in chronic psychosis but only the anterior CA region is affected in early psychosis patients. We analyzed structural MRI data from 179 patients with a non-affective psychotic disorder (94 chronic psychosis; 85 early psychosis) and 167 heathy individuals demographically matched to the chronic and early psychosis samples respectively (82 matched to chronic patients; 85 matched to early patients). We measured hippocampal volumes using Freesurfer 6-derived automated segmentation of both anterior and posterior regions and the CA, dentate gyrus, and subiculum subfields. We found a hippocampal volume deficit in both anterior and posterior regions in chronic psychosis, but this deficit was limited to the anterior hippocampus in early psychosis patients. This volume change was more pronounced in the anterior CA subfield of early psychosis patients than in the dentate gyrus or subiculum. Our findings support existing models of psychosis implicating initial CA dysfunction with later progression to other hippocampal regions and suggest that the anterior hippocampus may be an important target for early interventions.
Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
In rodent and human brains, the small GTP-binding protein Rhes is highly expressed in virtually all dopaminoceptive striatal GABAergic medium spiny neurons, as well as in large aspiny cholinergic interneurons, where it is thought to modulate dopamine-dependent signaling. Consistent with this knowledge, and considering that dopaminergic neurotransmission is altered in neurological and psychiatric disorders, here we sought to investigate whether Rhes mRNA expression is altered in brain regions of patients with Parkinson's disease (PD), Schizophrenia (SCZ), and Bipolar Disorder (BD), when compared to healthy controls (about 200 post-mortem samples). Moreover, we performed the same analysis in the putamen of non-human primate Macaca Mulatta, lesioned with the neurotoxin 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP). Overall, our data indicated comparable Rhes mRNA levels in the brain of patients with SCZ and BD, and their respective healthy controls. In sharp contrast, the putamen of patients suffering from PD showed a significant 35% reduction of this transcript, compared to healthy subjects. Interestingly, in line with observations obtained in humans, we found 27% decrease in Rhes mRNA levels in the putamen of MPTP-treated primates. Based on the established inhibitory influence of Rhes on dopamine-related responses, we hypothesize that its striatal downregulation in PD patients and animal models of PD might represent an adaptive event of the dopaminergic system to functionally counteract the reduced nigrostriatal innervation.
BACKGROUND - Schizotypy is a range of perceptual experiences and personality features related to risk and familial predisposition to psychosis. Despite evidence that schizotypy is related to psychosis vulnerability, very little is known about the expression of schizotypal traits in individuals with a psychotic disorder, and their relationship to clinical symptoms, cognition, and psychosocial functioning.
METHODS - 59 healthy subjects and 68 patients with a psychotic disorder (47 schizophrenia spectrum disorder; 21 bipolar disorder with psychotic features) completed four schizotypy scales, the Perceptual Aberration Scale, the Revised Physical and Social Anhedonia Scales, and the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire, a brief neuropsychological assessment, and a self-report measure of quality of life. Clinical symptoms of psychosis were quantified in patients with the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS).
RESULTS - Psychosis patients scored higher than healthy subjects on all schizotypy scales. Correlations between schizotypy and PANSS scores were modest, ranging from r=.06 to r=.43, indicating that less than 20% of the variance in self-reported schizotypy overlapped with clinical symptoms. After controlling for clinical symptoms, patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders reported higher levels of cognitive-perceptual disturbances and negative traits than patients with bipolar disorder. Elevated schizotypy was associated with lower cognitive functioning and self-reported quality of life.
CONCLUSIONS - Schizotypal personality traits are markedly elevated in psychotic disorders, especially schizophrenia spectrum disorders, relatively weakly correlated with positive and negative psychotic symptoms, and associated with greater cognitive impairment and lower quality of life. Assessing schizotypy in patients with psychosis may be useful for predicting functional outcome and differential diagnosis.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
BACKGROUND - Neuropsychological impairment is heterogeneous in psychosis. The association of intracranial volume (ICV) and total brain volume (TBV) with cognition suggests brain structure abnormalities in psychosis will covary with the severity of cognitive impairment. We tested the following hypotheses: (1) brain structure abnormalities will be more extensive in neuropsychologically impaired psychosis patients; (2) psychosis patients with premorbid cognitive limitations will show evidence of hypoplasia (ie, smaller ICV); and (3) psychosis patients with evidence of cognitive decline will demonstrate atrophy (ie, smaller TBV, but normal ICV).
METHODS - One hundred thirty-one individuals with psychosis and 97 healthy subjects underwent structural magnetic resonance imaging and neuropsychological testing. Patients were divided into neuropsychologically normal and impaired groups. Impaired patients were further subdivided into deteriorated and compromised groups if estimated premorbid intellect was average or below average, respectively. ICV and TBV were compared across groups. Localized brain volumes were qualitatively examined using voxel-based morphometry.
RESULTS - Compared to healthy subjects, neuropsychologically impaired patients exhibited smaller TBV, reduced grey matter volume in frontal, temporal, and subcortical brain regions, and widespread white matter volume loss. Neuropsychologically compromised patients had smaller ICV relative to healthy subjects, and neuropsychologically normal and deteriorated patient groups, but relatively normal TBV. Deteriorated patients exhibited smaller TBV compared to healthy subjects, but relatively normal ICV. Unexpectedly, TBV, adjusted for ICV, was reduced in neuropsychologically normal patients.
CONCLUSIONS - Patients with long-standing cognitive limitations exhibit evidence of early cerebral hypoplasia, whereas neuropsychologically normal and deteriorated patients show evidence of brain tissue loss consistent with progression or later cerebral dysmaturation.
© The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: email@example.com.
The objective of the present study was to compare two components of executive functioning, response monitoring and inhibition, in bipolar disorder (BP) and schizophrenia (SZ). The saccadic countermanding task is a translational paradigm optimized for detecting subtle abnormalities in response monitoring and response inhibition. We have previously reported countermanding performance abnormalities in SZ, but the degree to which these impairments are shared by other psychotic disorders is unknown. 18 BP, 17 SZ, and 16 demographically matched healthy controls (HC) participated in a saccadic countermanding task. Performance on the countermanding task is approximated as a race between movement generation and inhibition processes; this model provides an estimate of the time needed to cancel a planned movement. Response monitoring was assessed by the reaction time (RT) adjustments based on trial history. Like SZ patients, BP patients needed more time to cancel a planned movement. The two patient groups had equivalent inhibition efficiency. On trial history-based RT adjustments, however, we found a trend towards exaggerated trial history-based slowing in SZ compared to BP. Findings have implications for understanding the neurobiology of cognitive control, for defining the etiological overlap between schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, and for developing pharmacological treatments of cognitive impairments.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.