Multimodal neuromarkers in schizophrenia via cognition-guided MRI fusion.
ABSTRACT: Cognitive impairment is a feature of many psychiatric diseases, including schizophrenia. Here we aim to identify multimodal biomarkers for quantifying and predicting cognitive performance in individuals with schizophrenia and healthy controls. A supervised learning strategy is used to guide three-way multimodal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) fusion in two independent cohorts including both healthy individuals and individuals with schizophrenia using multiple cognitive domain scores. Results highlight the salience network (gray matter, GM), corpus callosum (fractional anisotropy, FA), central executive and default-mode networks (fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation, fALFF) as modality-specific biomarkers of generalized cognition. FALFF features are found to be more sensitive to cognitive domain differences, while the salience network in GM and corpus callosum in FA are highly consistent and predictive of multiple cognitive domains. These modality-specific brain regions define-in three separate cohorts-promising co-varying multimodal signatures that can be used as predictors of multi-domain cognition.
Project description:The cognitive deficits of schizophrenia are largely resistant to current treatments and thus are a lifelong illness burden. The Measurement and Treatment Research to Improve Cognition in Schizophrenia (MATRICS) Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB) provides a reliable and valid assessment of cognition across major cognitive domains; however, the multimodal brain alterations specifically associated with MCCB in schizophrenia have not been examined.The interrelationships between MCCB and the abnormalities seen in three types of neuroimaging-derived maps-fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (fALFF) from resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), gray matter (GM) density from structural MRI, and fractional anisotropy from diffusion MRI-were investigated by using multiset canonical correlation analysis in data from 47 schizophrenia patients treated with antipsychotic medications and 50 age-matched healthy control subjects.One multimodal component (canonical variant 8) was identified as both group differentiating and significantly correlated with the MCCB composite. It demonstrated 1) increased cognitive performance associated with higher fALFF (intensity of regional spontaneous brain activity) and higher GM volumes in thalamus, striatum, hippocampus, and the mid-occipital region, with co-occurring fractional anisotropy changes in superior longitudinal fascicules, anterior thalamic radiation, and forceps major; 2) higher fALFF but lower GM volume in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex related to worse cognition in schizophrenia; and 3) distinct domains of MCCB might exhibit dissociable multimodal signatures, e.g., increased fALFF in inferior parietal lobule particularly correlated with decreased social cognition. Medication dose did not relate to these findings in schizophrenia.Our results suggest linked functional and structural deficits in distributed cortico-striato-thalamic circuits may be closely related to MCCB-measured cognitive impairments in schizophrenia.
Project description:Abstract Background D-amino acid oxidase activator (DAOA) gene, which plays a key role in glutamatergic transmission and mitochondrial function, is frequently linked with the liability for schizophrenia. In this study, we aimed to investigate whether the variation of DAOA rs2391191 could be associated with alterations in white matter integrity in first episode schizophrenia patients, and whether it influences the association between white matter integrity, cognitive function and clinical symptoms of schizophrenia. Methods Forty-six patients with first-episode schizophrenia and forty-nine sex, age and education-matched healthy controls underwent diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and were genotyped for SNP DAOA rs2391191. Tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) was used to delineate the major fiber tracts that showed significant group difference. Patients underwent pathophysiological assessments using Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) and Scale for Assessment of Negative Symptoms (SANS). Cognitive function assessments were performed by Chinese version of the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB). Results Schizophrenia patients presented lower fractional anisotropy (FA) and higher radial diffusivity (RD) mainly spreading over corpus callosum and corona radiata compared with healthy controls (FWE-corrected p<0.05). Compared with patients carrying G allele, patients with AA genotype showed lower FA in body of corpus callosum, and higher RD in genu of corpus callosum, right superior and anterior corona radiata, and left posterior corona radiata. But there were no significant FA or RD differences between two genotype groups in healthy controls. In patients carrying G allele, mean FA values in body of corpus callosum were positively correlated with working memory, mean RD values in genu of corpus callosum were negatively associated with speed of processing, working memory and composite score of MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB), whilst there were no significant correlations found in AA homozygotes. Discussion Abnormal white matter integrity in corpus callosum and corona radiata were replicated among our sample of first episode schizophrenia. Genetic variation of DAOA rs2391191 was associated with this abnormality, with AA homozygotes showing less white matter integrity in corpus callosum. Our findings also suggested that rs2391191influenced the association between white matter integrity and cognitive function of schizophrenia patients. Such results might be due to the process of glutamatergic neurotransmission and mitochondrial function DAOA involves in as pinpointed by previous in vitro studies.
Project description:BACKGROUND:In the past decades, substantial effort has been made to explore the genetic influence on brain structural/functional abnormalities in schizophrenia, as well as cognitive impairments. In this work, we aimed to extend previous studies to explore the internal mediation pathway among genetic factor, brain features and cognitive scores in a large Chinese dataset. METHODS:Gray matter (GM) volume, fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (fALFF), and 4522 schizophrenia-susceptible single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) from 905 Chinese subjects were jointly analyzed, to investigate the multimodal association. Based on the identified imaging-genetic pattern, correlations with cognition and mediation analysis were then conducted to reveal the potential mediation pathways. FINDINGS:One linked imaging-genetic pattern was identified to be group discriminative, which was also associated with working memory performance. Particularly, GM reduction in thalamus, putamen and bilateral temporal gyrus in schizophrenia was associated with fALFF decrease in medial prefrontal cortex, both were also associated with genetic factors enriched in neuron development, synapse organization and axon pathways, highlighting genes including CSMD1, CNTNAP2, DCC, GABBR2 etc. This linked pattern was also replicated in an independent cohort (166 subjects), which although showed certain age and clinical differences with the discovery cohort. A further mediation analysis suggested that GM alterations significantly mediated the association from SNP to fALFF, while fALFF mediated the association from SNP and GM to working memory performance. INTERPRETATION:This study has not only verified the impaired imaging-genetic association in schizophrenia, but also initially revealed a potential genetic-brain-cognition mediation pathway, indicating that polygenic risk factors could exert impact on phenotypic measures from brain structure to function, thus could further affect cognition in schizophrenia.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:The corpus callosum serves the essential role of relaying cognitive information between the homologous regions in the left and the right hemispheres of the brain. Cognitive impairment is a core dysfunction of schizophrenia, but much of its pathophysiology is unknown. The aim of this study was to elucidate the association between microstructural abnormalities of the corpus callosum and cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia. METHODS:We examined stepwise multiple regression analysis to investigate the relationship of the fractional anisotropy (FA) of callosal fibers in each segment with z-scores of each brief assessment of cognition in schizophrenia subtest and cognitive composite score in all subjects (19 patients with schizophrenia [SZ group] and 19 healthy controls [HC group]). Callosal fibers were separated into seven segments based on their cortical projection using tract-specific analysis of diffusion tensor imaging. RESULTS:The FA of callosal fibers in the temporal segment was significantly associated with z-scores of token motor test, Tower of London test, and the composite score. In the SZ group, the FA of callosal fibers in the temporal segment was significantly associated with the z-score of the Tower of London test. In addition, the FA of callosal fibers in temporal segment showed significant negative association with the positive and negative syndrome scale negative score in the SZ group. Compared to the HC group, the FA in temporal segment was significantly decreased in the SZ group. CONCLUSION:Our results suggest that microstructural abnormalities in the callosal white matter fibers connecting bilateral temporal lobe cortices contribute to poor executive function and severe negative symptom in patients with schizophrenia.
Project description:To evaluate the distribution of white matter (WM) disease in frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) and Alzheimer disease (AD) and to evaluate the relative usefulness of WM and gray matter (GM) for distinguishing these conditions in vivo.Patients were classified as having FTLD (n = 50) or AD (n = 42) using autopsy-validated CSF values of total-tau:?-amyloid (t-tau:A?(1-42)) ratios. Patients underwent WM diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and volumetric MRI of GM. We employed tract-specific analyses of WM fractional anisotropy (FA) and whole-brain GM density analyses. Individual patient classification was performed using receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curves with FA, GM, and a combination of the 2 modalities.Regional FA and GM were significantly reduced in FTLD and AD relative to healthy seniors. Direct comparisons revealed significantly reduced FA in the corpus callosum in FTLD relative to AD. GM analyses revealed reductions in anterior temporal cortex for FTLD relative to AD, and in posterior cingulate and precuneus for AD relative to FTLD. ROC curves revealed that a multimodal combination of WM and GM provide optimal classification (area under the curve = 0.938), with 87% sensitivity and 83% specificity.FTLD and AD have significant WM and GM defects. A combination of DTI and volumetric MRI modalities provides a quantitative method for distinguishing FTLD and AD in vivo.
Project description:We hypothesized that reduced fractional anisotropy (FA) of water diffusion and its elevated aging-related decline in schizophrenia patients may be caused by elevated hyperintensive white matter (HWM) lesions, by reduced permeability-diffusivity index (PDI), or both. We tested this hypothesis in 40/30 control/patient participants. FA values for the corpus callosum were calculated from high angular resolution diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). Whole-brain volume of HWM lesions was quantified by 3D-T2w-fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) imaging. PDI for corpus callosum was ascertained using multi b-value diffusion imaging (15 b-shells with 30 directions per shell). Patients had significantly lower corpus callosum FA values, and there was a significant age-by-diagnosis interaction. Patients also had significantly reduced PDI but no difference in HWM volume. PDI and HWM volume were significant predictors of FA and captured the diagnosis-related variance. Separately, PDI robustly explained FA variance in schizophrenia patients, but not in controls. Conversely, HWM volume made equally significant contributions to variability in FA in both groups. The diagnosis-by-age effect of FA was explained by a PDI-by-diagnosis interaction. Post hoc testing showed a similar trend for PDI of gray mater. Our study demonstrated that reduced FA and its accelerated decline with age in schizophrenia were explained by pathophysiology indexed by PDI, rather than HWM volume.
Project description:Despite the critical importance of the corpus callosum (CC) to the connection between brain hemispheres, little is known about the independent contribution of degenerative and vascular processes to regional changes in the microstructural integrity of the CC. Here, we examine these changes in subjects with mild cognitive impairment, with Alzheimer disease, and in cognitively normal elderly adults.We used 3-dimensional brain MRI with diffusion tensor imaging in 47 Alzheimer disease, 77 mild cognitive impairment, and 107 cognitively normal subjects, and we calculated mean fractional anisotropy (FA) values for 4 CC regions corresponding to 4 homologous regions of cortical gray matter (GM). To assess vascular and degenerative processes, we also measured cortical GM and white matter hyperintensity (WMH) volume in corresponding regions and evaluated their vascular risk.We found that GM volumes in anterior and posterior regions were significantly related to FA values in the corresponding regions of the CC for all 3 diagnostic groups. Independent of GM volume, frontal WMH volume was also associated with FA values in the corresponding CC regions, but posterior WMH volume was not. Vascular risk was associated with FA of most CC regions, whereas diagnosis of cognitive state was associated only with FA of the anterior and posterior CC regions.We found differential region-specific associations between degenerative and vascular processes and the structural integrity of the CC across the spectrum of cognitive ability. Based on these results, we propose a model to explain regional disruption in the interhemispheric connection.
Project description:Widespread white matter (WM) abnormalities have been found in patients with schizophrenia. Corpus callosum (CC) is the key area that connects the left and right brain hemispheres. However, the results of studies considering different subregions of the CC as regions of interest in patients with schizophrenia have been inconsistent. To obtain a more consistent evaluation of the diffusion characteristics change of the corpus callosum (CC) related to schizophrenia. A meta-analysis involving fractional anisotropy (FA) values in the CC of 729 schizophrenic subjects and 682 healthy controls from 22 studies was conducted. Overall FA values in the CC of the schizophrenic group were less than that of the healthy control group [weighted mean difference (WMD) = -0.021,P< 0.001]. So were the FA values in the genus region (WMD = -0.019, P< 0.001) and the splenium region (WMD = -0.020, P< 0.001) of the CC respectively. The FA reduction was also significant in subjects with chronic schizophrenia (WMD = -0.032, P< 0.001) and first-episode schizophrenia (WMD = -0.014, P = 0.001). In present study, we demonstrated an overall FA decrease in the CC of schizophrenic patients. In the two subgroup analyses of the genu vs splenium region and chronic vs first-episode schizophrenia, the decrease of all groups was significant. Further studies with more homogenous populations and standardized DTI protocols are needed to confirm and extend these findings.
Project description:White matter disruption has been repeatedly documented in schizophrenia consistent with microstructural disorganization (reduced fractional anisotropy (FA)) and axonal dysfunction (reduced N-acetylaspartate NAAc). However, the clinical significance of these abnormalities is poorly understood. Diffusion tensor and proton spectroscopic imaging where used to assess FA, axial diffusivity and radial diffusivity (RD), and supra-ventricular white matter NAAc, respectively, in 64 schizophrenia and 64 healthy subjects. Schizophrenia patients had reduced FA across several regions, with additional regions where FA correlated positively with positive symptoms severity. These regions included genu, body and splenium of corpus callosum, anterior and superior corona radiata, superior longitudinal and inferior fronto-occipital fasciculi, and internal capsule. The FA/symptoms relationships corresponded with opposite correlations between RD and positive symptoms. The schizophrenia group (SP group) had progressively reduced NAAc with age, and NAAc correlated negatively with positive symptoms. Cognition correlated positively with both FA and NAAc in controls, whereas in the SP group it had a negative correlation with NAAc and no significant relationship with FA. Antipsychotic dose did not account for the results. Correlates of psychosis, cognitive and negative symptoms can be found in white matter. The significant correlations between positive symptoms in schizophrenia and diffusion and NAAc measures suggest decreased axonal density with increased glial cells and higher myelination in this subpopulation. A separate set of abnormal relationships between cognition and FA/RD, as well as with NAAc, converge to suggest that in schizophrenia, white matter microstructure supports the two core illness domains: psychosis and cognitive/negative symptoms.
Project description:We aim to identify specific areas of white matter (WM) and grey matter (GM), which predict disability progression and cognitive dysfunction after five years in patients with primary-progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS). Thirty-two patients with early PPMS were assessed at baseline and after five years on the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS), and EDSS step-changes were calculated. At year five, a subgroup of 25 patients and 31 healthy controls underwent a neuropsychological assessment. Baseline imaging consisted of dual-echo (proton density and T2-weighted), T1-weighted volumetric, and diffusion tensor imaging. Fractional anisotropy (FA) maps were created, and fed into tract-based spatial statistics. To compensate for the potential bias introduced by WM lesions, the T1 volumes underwent a lesion-filling procedure before entering a voxel-based morphometry protocol. To investigate whether FA and GM volume predicted EDSS step-changes over five years and neuropsychological tests scores at five years, voxelwise linear regression analyses were performed. Lower FA in the splenium of the corpus callosum (CC) predicted a greater progression of disability over the follow-up. Lower FA along the entire CC predicted worse verbal memory, attention and speed of information processing, and executive function at five years. GM baseline volume did not predict any clinical variable. Our findings highlight the importance of damage to the interhemispheric callosal pathways in determining physical and cognitive disability in PPMS. Disruption of these pathways, which interconnect motor and cognitive networks between the two hemispheres, may result in a disconnection syndrome that contributes to long-term physical and cognitive disability.