Cerebral White Matter Structure Is Associated With DSM-5 Schizophrenia Symptom Dimensions

Research Summary | July 11, 2017

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Key Messages

  • This diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) study examined associations between white matter (WM) microstructure and the severity of the 5 main Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) schizophrenia symptom dimensions in 40 patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders.
  • The severity of abnormal psychomotor behavior and negative symptoms was specifically associated with WM brain structure predominantly in motor tracts and frontal regions, respectively. In contrast, no significant relationships were observed between WM microstructure and the symptom dimensions of delusions, hallucinations, or disorganized speech.
  • The authors suggested that these findings highlight the role of WM disconnectivity in motor pathways in altered motor behavior in schizophrenia and also the possible contribution of WM disconnectivity within tracts of the frontal lobe to the development of negative symptoms.

The following is a summary of Viher PV, Stegmayer K, Giezendanner S, et al. Cerebral white matter structure is associated with DSM-5 schizophrenia symptom dimensions. Neuroimage Clin. 2016;12:93–99, which was developed independently of the article authors. Background Symptoms of schizophrenia show marked heterogeneity that is reflected in the concept of psychopathological dimensions in DSM-5: delusions;…

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