Characterization of the fiber connectivity profile of the cerebral cortex in schizotypal personality disorder: A pilot study

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Abstract

� 2016 Liu, Zhang, Zhang, Sun, Wu, Lei, Chu, Mok, Wang and Shi. Schizotypal personality disorder (SPD) is considered one of the classic disconnection syndromes. However, the specific cortical disconnectivity pattern has not been fully investigated. In this study, we aimed to explore significant alterations in whole-cortex structural connectivity in SPD individuals (SPDs) by combining the techniques of brain surface morphometry and white matter tractography. Diffusion and structural MR data were collected from 20 subjects with SPD (all males; age, 19.7 � 0.9 years) and 18 healthy controls (all males; age, 20.3 � 1.0 years). To measure the structural connectivity for a given unit area of the cortex, the fiber connectivity density (FiCD) value was proposed and calculated as the sum of the fractional anisotropy of all the fibers connecting to that unit area in tractography. Then, the resultant whole-cortex FiCD maps were compared in a vertex-wise manner between SPDs and controls. Compared with normal controls, SPDs showed significantly decreased FiCD in the rostral middle frontal gyrus (crossing BA 9 and BA 10) and significantly increased FiCD in the anterior part of the fusiform/inferior temporal cortex (P < 0.05, Monte Carlo simulation corrected). Moreover, the gray matter volume extracted from the left rostral middle frontal cluster was observed to be significantly greater in the SPD group (P = 0.02). Overall, this study identifies a decrease in connectivity in the left middle frontal cortex as a key neural deficit at the whole-cortex level in SPD, thus providing insight into its neuropathological basis.

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Liu, K., Zhang, T., Zhang, Q., Sun, Y., Wu, J., Lei, Y., … Shi, L. (2016). Characterization of the fiber connectivity profile of the cerebral cortex in schizotypal personality disorder: A pilot study. Frontiers in Psychology, 7(MAY). https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00809

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