Anterior thalamic radiation integrity in schizophrenia: A diffusion-tensor imaging study

Daniel Mamah, Thomas E. Conturo, Michael P. Harms, Erbil Akbudak, Lei Wang, Amanda R. McMichael, Mokhtar H. Gado, Deanna M. Barch, John G. Csernansky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations

Abstract

The anterior limb of the internal capsule (ALIC) is a white matter structure, the medial portion of which includes the anterior thalamic radiation (ATR) carrying nerve fibers between thalamus and prefrontal cortex. ATR abnormalities have a possible link with cognitive abnormalities and negative symptoms in schizophrenia. We aimed to study the fiber integrity of the ATR more selectively by isolating the medial portion of the ALIC using region-of-interest based methodology. Diffusion-tensor imaging was used to measure the anisotropy of total ALIC (tALIC) and medial ALIC (mALIC) in 39 schizophrenia and 33 control participants, matched for age/gender/handedness. Relationships between anisotropy, psychopathology, and cognitive performance were analyzed. Compared with controls, schizophrenia participants had 4.55% lower anisotropy in right tALIC, and 5.38% lower anisotropy in right mALIC. There were no significant group anisotropy differences on the left. Significant correlations were observed between right ALIC integrity and relevant domains of cognitive function (e.g., executive function, working memory). Our study suggests an asymmetric microstructural change in ALIC in schizophrenia involving the right side, which is only minimally stronger in mALIC, and which correlates with cognitive impairment. Microstructural changes in the ALIC may be linked to cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)144-150
Number of pages7
JournalPsychiatry Research - Neuroimaging
Volume183
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2010

Keywords

  • Anisotropy
  • Anterior thalamic radiation
  • DTI
  • Diffusion-tensor imaging
  • Executive function
  • Internal capsule
  • ROI
  • Schizophrenia
  • Thalamus
  • Working memory

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