Journal Article Distinct Patterns of Cerebral Cortical Thinning in Schizophrenia: A Neuroimaging Data-Driven Approach.

Sugihara, Genichi  ,  Oishi, Naoya  ,  Son, Shuraku  ,  Kubota, Manabu  ,  Takahashi, Hidehiko  ,  Murai, Toshiya

43 ( 4 )  , pp.900 - 909 , 2016-12 , Oxford University Press
Schizophrenia is an etiologically and clinically heterogeneous disorder. Although neuroimaging studies have revealed brain alterations in schizophrenia, most studies have assumed that the disorder is a single entity, neglecting the diversity of alterations observed in the disorder. The current study sought to explore the distinct patterns of altered cortical thickness in patients with schizophrenia and healthy individuals using a data-driven approach. Unsupervised clustering using self-organizing maps followed by a K-means algorithm was applied to regional cortical thickness data in 108 schizophrenia patients and 121 healthy controls. After clustering, the clinical characteristics and cortical thickness patterns of each cluster were assessed. Unsupervised clustering revealed that a 6-cluster solution was the most appropriate in this sample. There was substantial overlap between the patterns of cortical thickness in schizophrenia patients and healthy controls, although the distributions of the patients and controls differed across the clusters. The patterns of altered cortical thickness in schizophrenia exhibited cluster-specific features; patients within a cluster exhibited the most extensive cortical thinning, particularly in the medial prefrontal and temporal regions, while those in other clusters exhibited reduced cortical thickness in the medial frontal region or temporal lobe. Furthermore, in the schizophrenia group, extensive cortical thinning was correlated with a higher dosage of antipsychotic medication, while preserved cortical thickness appeared to be linked to less negative symptoms. This data-driven neuroimaging approach revealed distinct patterns of cortical thinning in schizophrenia, possibly reflecting the etiological heterogeneity of the disorder.

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