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Reduction in gray matter of cerebellum in schizophrenia and its influence on static and dynamic connectivity

Reduction in gray matter of cerebellum in schizophrenia and its influence on static and dynamic connectivity

Human Brain Mapping 40(2): 517-528

Pathophysiological and atrophic changes in the cerebellum have been well-documented in schizophrenia. Reduction of gray matter (GM) in the cerebellum was confirmed across cognitive and motor cerebellar modules in schizophrenia. Such abnormalities in the cerebellum could potentially have widespread effects on both sensorimotor and cognitive symptoms. In this study, we investigated how reduction change in the cerebellum affects the static and the dynamic functional connectivity (FC) between the cerebellum and cortical/subcortical networks in schizophrenia. Reduction of GM in the cerebellum was confirmed across the cognitive and motor cerebellar modules in schizophrenic subjects. Results from this study demonstrates that the extent of reduction of GM within cerebellum correlated with increased static FCs between the cerebellum and the cortical/subcortical networks, including frontoparietal network (FPN), and thalamus in patients with schizophrenia. Decreased GM in the cerebellum was also associated with a declined dynamic FC between the cerebellum and the FPN in schizophrenic subjects. The severity of patients' positive symptom was related to these structural-functional coupling score of cerebellum. These findings identified potential cerebellar driven functional changes associated with positive symptom deficits. A post hoc analysis exploring the effect of changed FC within cerebellum, confirmed that a significant positive relationship, between dynamic FCs of cerebellum-thalamus and intracerebellum existed in patients, but not in controls. The reduction of GM within the cerebellum might be associated with modulation of cerebellum-thalamus, and contributes to the dysfunctional cerebellar-cortical communication in schizophrenia. Our results provide a new insight into the role of cerebellum in understanding the pathophysiological of schizophrenia.

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Accession: 065900574

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PMID: 30240503

DOI: 10.1002/hbm.24391

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