Schizophrenia symptomatic associations with diffusion tensor imaging measured fractional anisotropy of brain: a meta-analysis
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Several studies have examined the relationships between diffusion tensor imaging (DTI)-measured fractional anisotropy (FA) and the symptoms of schizophrenia, but results vary across the studies. The aim of this study was to carry out a meta-analysis of correlation coefficients reported by relevant studies to evaluate the correlative relationships between FA of various parts of the brain and schizophrenia symptomatic assessments.
Literature was searched in several electronic databases, and study selection was based on précised eligibility criteria. Correlation coefficients between FA of a part of the brain and schizophrenia symptom were first converted into Fisher’s z-scores for meta-analyses, and then overall effect sizes were back transformed to correlation coefficients.
Thirty-three studies (1121 schizophrenia patients; age 32.66 years [95% confidence interval (CI) 30.19, 35.13]; 65.95 % [57.63, 74.28] males) were included in this meta-analysis. Age was inversely associated with brain FA (z-scores [95% CI] −0.23 [−0.14, −0.32]; p ˂ 0.00001). Brain FA of various areas was inversely associated with negative symptoms of schizophrenia (z-score −0.30 [−0.23, −0.36]; p ˂ 0.00001) but was positively associated with positive symptoms of schizophrenia (z-score 0.16 [0.04, 0.27]; p = 0.007) and general psychopathology of schizophrenia (z-score 0.26 [0.15, 0.37]; p = 0.00001).
Although, DTI-measured brain FA is found to be inversely associated with negative symptoms and positively associated with positive symptoms and general psychopathology of schizophrenia, the effect sizes of these correlations are low and may not be clinically significant. Moreover, brain FA was also negatively associated with age of patients.
KeywordsDiffusion tensor imaging Fractional anisotropy Schizophrenia Psychosis Correlation
Compliance with ethical standards
No funding was received for this study.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.
Informed consent was not required from the individual participants included in this study.
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