Neuronal dysfunction in individuals at early stage of schizophrenia, A resting-state fMRI study


has been associated with abnormal intrinsic brain activity, involving
various cognitive impairments. Qualitatively similar abnormalities are
seen in individuals at ultra-high risk (UHR) for psychosis. In this
study, resting-state fMRI (rs-fMRI) data were collected from 44
drug-naïve first-episode schizophrenia (Dn-FES) patients, 48 UHR
individuals, and 40 healthy controls (HCs). The fractional amplitude of
low-frequency fluctuations (fALFF), regional homogeneity (ReHo), and
functional connectivity (FC), were performed to evaluate resting brain
function. A support vector machine (SVM) was applied for classification
analysis. Compared to HCs, both clinical groups showed increased fALFF
in the central executive network (CEN), decreased ReHo in the ventral
visual pathway (VVP) and decreased FC in temporal-sensorimotor regions.
Excellent performance was achieved by using fALFF value in
distinguishing both FES (sensitivity=83.21%, specificity=80.58%,
accuracy=81.37%, p=0.009) and UHR (sensitivity=75.88%,
specificity=85.72%, accuracy=80.72%, p<0.001) from HC group.
Moreover, the study highlighted the importance of frontal and temporal
alteration in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. However, no fMRI
features were observed that could well distinguish Dn-FES from UHR
group. To conclude, fALFF in the CEN may provide potential power for
identifying individuals at the early stage of schizophrenia and the
alteration in the frontal and temporal lobe may be important to these

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