Lateral differences in the default mode network in healthy controls and patients with schizophrenia

Research Area: Research Year: 2011
Type of Publication: Article Keywords: laterality;neuroimaging;biomarkers;fMRI
Authors: Swanson, N.; Eichele, Tom; Pearlson, G.; Kiehl, K.; Yu, Q.; Calhoun, V. D.
We investigate lateral differences in the intrinsic fluctuations comprising the default mode network (DMN) for healthy controls (HCs) and patients with schizophrenia (SZ), both during rest and during an auditory oddball (AOD) task. Our motivation for this study comes from multiple prior hypotheses of disturbed hemispheric asymmetry in SZ and more recently observed lateral abnormalities in the DMN for SZ during AOD. We hypothesized that significant lateral differences would be found in HCs during both rest and AOD, and SZ would show differences from HCs due to hemispheric dysfunction. Our study examined 28 HCs and 28 outpatients with schizophrenia. The scans were conducted on a Siemens Allegra 3T dedicated head scanner. There were numerous crossgroup lateral fluctuations that were found in both AOD and rest. During the resting state, within-group results showed the largest functional asymmetries in the inferior parietal lobule for HCs, whereas functional asymmetries were seen in posterior cingulate gyrus for SZ. Comparing asymmetries between groups, in resting state and/or performing AOD, areas showing significant differences between group (HC > SZ) included inferior parietal lobule and posterior cingulate. Our results support the hypothesis that schizophrenia is characterized by abnormal hemispheric asymmetry. Secondly, the number of similarities in crossgroup AOD and rest data suggests that neurological disruptions in SZ that may cause evoked symptoms are also detectable in SZ during resting conditions. Furthermore, the results suggest a reduction in activity in language-related areas for SZ compared to HCs during rest.
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