Research Papers:

Aberrant patterns of local and long-range functional connectivity densities in schizophrenia

Chuanxin Liu, Wei Zhang, Guangdong Chen, Hongjun Tian, Jie Li, Hongru Qu, Langlang Cheng, Jingjing Zhu and Chuanjun Zhuo _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:48196-48203. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.18441

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Chuanxin Liu1,*, Wei Zhang2,*, Guangdong Chen2,*, Hongjun Tian3, Jie Li3, Hongru Qu4, Langlang Cheng2,**, Jingjing Zhu2,** and Chuanjun Zhuo1,2,3,**

1Institute of Mental Health, Jining Medical University, Jining 272100, China

2Department of Psychiatry, Wenzhou Seventh People’s Hospital, Wen Zhou 325000, China

3Department of Psychiatry, Tianjin Anding Hospital, Tianjin 300222, China

4Department of Psychiatry, Tianjin Anning Hospital, Tianjin 300300, China

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

**These authors are considered as co-corresponding authors

Correspondence to:

Chuanjun Zhuo, email: chuanjunzhuotjmh@163.com

Keywords: schizophrenia, magnetic resonance imaging, functional connectivity density

Received: January 28, 2017     Accepted: May 06, 2017     Published: June 12, 2017


Schizophrenia is a disorder of brain dysconnectivity, and both the connection strength and connection number are disrupted in patients with schizophrenia. The functional connectivity density (FCD) can reflect alterations in the connection number. Alterations in the global FCD (gFCD) in schizophrenia were previously demonstrated; however, alterations in two other indices of the pathological characteristics of the brain, local FCD (lFCD) and long-range FCD (lrFCD), have not been revealed. To investigate lFCD and lrFCD alterations in patients with schizophrenia, 95 patients and 93 matched healthy controls were examined using structural and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging scanning. lFCD and lrFCD were measured using FCD mapping, and differences were identified using a two-sample t-test in a voxel-wise manner, with age and gender considered to increase variability. Multiple comparisons were performed using a false discovery rate method with a corrected threshold of P<0.05. Our analysis showed that lFCD was primarily decreased in the postcentral gyrus, right calcarine sulcus, and inferior occipital gyrus lobule, but increased in the bilateral subcortical regions. The differences in lFCD were more pronounced and complicated than those in lrFCD. In summary, in contrast with previous studies that focused on the connection strength, our findings, from the perspective of connection number, indicate that schizophrenia is a disorder of brain dysconnectivity, particularly affecting the local functional connectivity network, and support the hypothesis that schizophrenia is associated with a widespread cortical functional connectivity/activity deficit, with hyper- and/or hypo-connectivity/activity coexisting in some cortical or subcortical regions.

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