Brain imaging reveals schizophrenia as a disorder of macroscopic brain networks. In particular, default mode and salience network (DMN, SN) show highly consistent alterations in both interacting brain activity and underlying brain structure. However, the same networks are also altered in major depression. This overlap in network alterations induces the question whether DMN and SN changes are different across both disorders, potentially indicating distinct underlying pathophysiological mechanisms. To address this question, we acquired T1-weighted, diffusion-weighted, and resting-state functional MRI in patients with schizophrenia, patients with major depression, and healthy controls. We measured regional gray matter volume, inter-regional structural and intrinsic functional connectivity of DMN and SN, and compared these measures across groups by generalized Wilcoxon rank tests, while controlling for symptoms and medication. When comparing patients with controls, we found in each patient group SN volume loss, impaired DMN structural connectivity, and aberrant DMN and SN functional connectivity. When comparing patient groups, SN gray matter volume loss and DMN structural connectivity reduction did not differ between groups, but in schizophrenic patients, functional hyperconnectivity between DMN and SN was less in comparison to depressed patients. Results provide evidence for distinct functional hyperconnectivity between DMN and SN in schizophrenia and major depression, while structural changes in DMN and SN were similar. Distinct hyperconnectivity suggests different pathophysiological mechanism underlying aberrant DMN-SN interactions in schizophrenia and depression.
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This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (61403062, 61433014 to J.S.), China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (2015M580786 to J.S., 2014M552344, 2015T80973 to Q.Y.), Science-Technology Foundation for Young Scientist of SiChuan Province (2016JQ0007 to J.S.) and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF 01EV0710 to A.M.W., BMBF 01ER0803 to C.S.)
Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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Shao, J., Meng, C., Tahmasian, M. et al. Common and distinct changes of default mode and salience network in schizophrenia and major depression. Brain Imaging and Behavior 12, 1708–1719 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11682-018-9838-8
- Functional MRI
- Diffusion tensor imaging
- Default mode network
- Salience network