Resting-state Functional Connectivity between Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex and Left Temporal Language-related Region in Unaffected First-degree Relatives of Schizophrenia Patients
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According to the large body of literature data, patients with schizophrenia demonstrate altered (decreased) functional connectivity (FC) between the brain regions involved in executive functions and language (in particular, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and left temporal regions). However, the analysis of similar FC in the genetic risk group has not been done, although such data are significant for studying the neurobiological markers of schizophrenia, linked to the genetic architecture of the disorder (its traits or so-called endophenotypes). The aim of this study was to investigate whether FC between the DLPFC and left temporal language-related region was altered in unaffected first-degree relatives of patients with schizophrenia. First-degree unaffected relatives of patients with schizophrenia (12 subjects) and healthy individuals without family history of mental disorders (13 subjects) underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging at 3T Philips scanner. The FC between the regions of interest (left/right DLPFC, on the one hand, and left temporal region, on the other hand) was compared between groups as well as indexes of Verbal fluency and the Scale of Prodromal Symptoms (SOPS). As compared to controls, the relatives of patients with schizophrenia were characterized by increased FC between the left DLPFC and left temporal language-related region, although they did not differ in the other indexes, and there were no correlations between the indexes and FC. The findings might reflect some compensatory functional processes in unaffected first-degree relatives of schizophrenic patients.
Keywords:high risk for schizophrenia resting-state fMRI functional connectivity dorsolateral prefrontal cortex temporal cortex verbal fluency
The authors are grateful to Roza M. Vlasova for her help in data processing and discussion of the results.
The study was supported by RFBR grant 17-06-00985.
COMPLIANCE WITH ETHICAL STANDARDS
Conflict of interests. The authors declare no conflict of interests regarding the publication of this article.
Statement of compliance with standards of research involving humans as subjects. The study was carried out according to the principles of biomedical ethics, reflected in the declaration of Helsinki of 1964 and its further upgrades, and approved by the local bioethical committee of Mental Health Research Center (Moscow). Each participant voluntarily agreed to participate in the study and after being explained potential risks, benefits, and the character of the upcoming examination signed the informed consent.
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