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White matter pathway organization of the reward system is related to positive and negative symptoms in schizophrenia

Bracht, Tobias, Horn, Helge, Strik, Werner, Federspiel, Andrea, Razavi, Nadja, Stegmayer, Katharina, Wiest, Roland, Dierks, Thomas, Müller, Thomas J. and Walther, Sebastian 2014. White matter pathway organization of the reward system is related to positive and negative symptoms in schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Research 153 (1-3) , pp. 136-142. 10.1016/j.schres.2014.01.015

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The reward system in schizophrenia has been linked to the emergence of delusions on the one hand and to negative symptoms such as affective flattening on the other hand. Previous Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) studies reported white matter microstructure alterations of regions related to the reward system. The present study aimed at extending these findings by specifically investigating connection pathways of the reward system in schizophrenia. Therefore, 24 patients with schizophrenia and 22 healthy controls matched for age and gender underwent DTI-scans. Using a probabilistic fiber tracking approach we bilaterally extracted pathways connecting the ventral tegmental area (VTA) with the nucleus accumbens (NAcc), the medial and lateral orbitofrontal cortices (mOFC, lOFC), the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) and the amygdala; as well as pathways connecting NAcc with mOFC, lOFC, dlPFC and amygdala resulting in a total of 18 connections. Probability indices forming part of a bundle of interest (PIBI) were compared between groups using independent t-tests. In 6 connection pathways PIBI-values were increased in schizophrenia. In 3 of these pathways the spatial extension of connection pathways was decreased. In schizophrenia patients, there was a negative correlation of PIBI-values and PANSS negative scores in the left VTA–amygdala and in the left NAcc–mOFC connection. A sum score of delusions and hallucinations correlated positively with PIBI-values of the left amygdala–NAcc connection. Structural organization of specific segments of white matter pathways of the reward system in schizophrenia may contribute to the emergence of delusions and negative symptoms in schizophrenia.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords: Diffusion tensor imaging; fiber tracking; hallucinations; delusions; salience system,
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0920-9964
Last Modified: 09 Jan 2018 17:28

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