Schizophrenia is a neurodevelopmental disorder manifesting differing impairments at early onset and chronic disease stages. Brain imaging research suggests a core pathological region in patients with first-episode schizophrenia is Broca's area. With disease progression, alterations in thalamic connectivity becomes more prevalent. Understanding the common circuitry underlying pathology in these two groups might highlight a critical common network and novel targets for treatment. In this study, 937 subject samples were collected including patients with first-episode schizophrenia and those with chronic schizophrenia. We used hypothesis-based voxel-level functional connectivity analyses to calculate functional connectivity using the left Broca's area and thalamus as regions of interest in those with first-episode and chronic schizophrenia, respectively. We show for the first time that in both patients with first-episode and chronic schizophrenia the greatest functional connectivity disruption ended in the pre- and postcentral regions. At the early-onset stage, the core brain region is abnormally connected to pre- and postcentral areas responsible for mouth movement, while in the chronic stage, it expanded to a wider range of sensorimotor areas. Our findings suggest that expanding the focus on the low-order sensory-motor systems beyond high-order cognitive impairments in schizophrenia may show potential for neuromodulation treatment, given the relative accessibility of these cortical regions and their functional and structural connections to the core region at different stages of illness.
|期刊||Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry|
|出版狀態||Published - 13 7月 2022|