Impaired white matter connectivity between regions containing mirror neurons, and relationship to negative symptoms and social cognition, in patients with first-episode schizophrenia

Yukiko Saito, Marek Kubicki, Inga Koerte, Tatsui Otsuka, Yogesh Rathi, Ofer Pasternak, Sylvain Bouix, Ryan Eckbo, Zora Kikinis, Christian Clemm von Hohenberg, Tomohide Roppongi, Elisabetta Del Re, Takeshi Asami, Sang Hyuk Lee, Sarina Karmacharya, Raquelle I. Mesholam-Gately, Larry J. Seidman, James Levitt, Robert W. McCarley, Martha E. ShentonMargaret A. Niznikiewicz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In schizophrenia, abnormalities in structural connectivity between brain regions known to contain mirror neurons and their relationship to negative symptoms related to a domain of social cognition are not well understood. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) scans were acquired in 16 patients with first episode schizophrenia and 16 matched healthy controls. FA and Trace of the tracts interconnecting regions known to be rich in mirror neurons, i.e., anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), inferior parietal lobe (IPL) and premotor cortex (PMC) were evaluated. A significant group effect for Trace was observed in IPL-PMC white matter fiber tract (F (1, 28) = 7.13, p = .012), as well as in the PMC-ACC white matter fiber tract (F (1, 28) = 4.64, p = .040). There were no group differences in FA. In addition, patients with schizophrenia showed a significant positive correlation between the Trace of the left IPL-PMC white matter fiber tract, and the Ability to Feel Intimacy and Closeness score (rho = .57, p = 0.034), and a negative correlation between the Trace of the left PMC-ACC and the Relationships with Friends and Peers score (rho = remove -.54, p = 0.049). We have demonstrated disrupted white mater microstructure within the white matter tracts subserving brain regions containing mirror neurons. We further showed that such structural disruptions might impact negative symptoms and, more specifically, contribute to the inability to feel intimacy (a measure conceptually related to theory of mind) in first episode schizophrenia. Further studies are needed to understand the potential of our results for diagnosis, prognosis and therapeutic interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-237
Number of pages9
JournalBrain Imaging and Behavior
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Feb 1

Keywords

  • Diffusion tensor imaging
  • First-episode schizophrenia
  • Mirror neuron
  • White matter connectivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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    Saito, Y., Kubicki, M., Koerte, I., Otsuka, T., Rathi, Y., Pasternak, O., Bouix, S., Eckbo, R., Kikinis, Z., von Hohenberg, C. C., Roppongi, T., Del Re, E., Asami, T., Lee, S. H., Karmacharya, S., Mesholam-Gately, R. I., Seidman, L. J., Levitt, J., McCarley, R. W., ... Niznikiewicz, M. A. (2018). Impaired white matter connectivity between regions containing mirror neurons, and relationship to negative symptoms and social cognition, in patients with first-episode schizophrenia. Brain Imaging and Behavior, 12(1), 229-237. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11682-017-9685-z