J. Burns, D. Job, M. E. Bastin, H. Whalley, T. MacGillivray, E. C. Johnstone, S. M. Lawrie



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British Journal of Psychiatry

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Background There is growing evidence that schizophrenia is a disorder of cortical connectivity Specifically, frontotemporal and frontoparietal connections are thought to be functionally impaired. Diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging (DT-MRI) is a technique that has the potential to demonstrate structural disconnectivity in schizophrenia. Aims To investigate the structural integrity of frontotemporal and frontoparietal white matter tracts in schizophrenia. Method Thirty patients with DSM-IV schizophrenia and thirty matched control subjects underwent DT-MRI and structural MRI. Fractional anisotropy an index of the integrity of white matter tracts – was determined in the uncinate fasciculus, the anterior cingulum and the arcuate fasciculus and analysed using voxel-based morphometry. Results There was reduced fractional anisotropy in the left uncinate fasciculus and left arcuate fasciculus in patients with schizophrenia compared with controls. Conclusions The findings of reduced white matter tract integrity in the left uncinate fasciculus and left arcuate fasciculus suggest that there is frontotemporal and frontoparietal structural disconnectivity in schizophrenia. Declaration of interest The study was supported by a grant from the Stanley Medical Research Institute.