Brain Imaging and Behavior

, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 417–425

Anterior limb of the internal capsule in schizophrenia: a diffusion tensor tractography study

  • Gudrun Rosenberger
  • Paul G. Nestor
  • Jungsu S. Oh
  • James J. Levitt
  • Gordon Kindleman
  • Sylvain Bouix
  • Jennifer Fitzsimmons
  • Margaret Niznikiewicz
  • Carl-Fredrik Westin
  • Ron Kikinis
  • Robert W. McCarley
  • Martha E. Shenton
  • Marek Kubicki
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11682-012-9152-9

Cite this article as:
Rosenberger, G., Nestor, P.G., Oh, J.S. et al. Brain Imaging and Behavior (2012) 6: 417. doi:10.1007/s11682-012-9152-9

Abstract

Thalamo-cortical feedback loops play a key role in the processing and coordination of processing and integration of perceptual inputs and outputs, and disruption in this connection has long been hypothesized to contribute significantly to neuropsychological disturbances in schizophrenia. To test this hypothesis, we applied diffusion tensor tractography to 18 patients suffering schizophrenia and 20 control subjects. Fractional anisotropy (FA) was evaluated in the bilateral anterior and posterior limbs of the internal capsule, and correlated with clinical and neurocognitive measures. Patients diagnosed with schizophrenia showed significantly reduced FA bilaterally in the anterior but not the posterior limb of the internal capsule, compared with healthy control subjects. Lower FA correlated with lower scores on tests of declarative episodic memory in the patient group only. These findings suggest that disruptions, bilaterally, in thalamo-cortical connections in schizophrenia may contribute to disease-related impairment in the coordination of mnemonic processes of encoding and retrieval that are vital for efficient learning of new information.

Keywords

Schizophrenia Disconnection MRI Cognitive neuropsychology 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gudrun Rosenberger
    • 1
    • 2
  • Paul G. Nestor
    • 3
  • Jungsu S. Oh
    • 1
    • 4
  • James J. Levitt
    • 1
    • 3
  • Gordon Kindleman
    • 5
  • Sylvain Bouix
    • 3
    • 6
  • Jennifer Fitzsimmons
    • 6
  • Margaret Niznikiewicz
    • 3
  • Carl-Fredrik Westin
    • 5
  • Ron Kikinis
    • 7
  • Robert W. McCarley
    • 3
  • Martha E. Shenton
    • 1
    • 3
    • 7
  • Marek Kubicki
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Psychiatry Neuroimaging Laboratory, Department of Psychiatry and RadiologyBrigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of General PsychiatryMedical University InnsbruckInnsbruckAustria
  3. 3.Clinical Neuroscience Division, Laboratory of Neuroscience, Boston VA Healthcare System-Brockton Division, Department of PsychiatryHarvard Medical SchoolBrocktonUSA
  4. 4.Department of Nuclear Medicine, Asan Medical CenterSeoulSouth Korea
  5. 5.Laboratory of Mathematic Imaging, Department of Radiology, Brigham and Women’s HospitalHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  6. 6.Psychiatry Neuroimaging Laboratory, Department of PsychiatryBrigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  7. 7.Surgical Planning Laboratory, Department of Radiology, Brigham and Women’s HospitalHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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