Altered language functional network connectivity and attenuated psychotic symptoms in clinical high-risk patients in Shanghai

Poster B36, Friday, October 21, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Le Baron

Larry Seidman1, Zhenghan Qi1, Yingying Tang1, Tianhong Zhang1, Huiru Cui1, Robert McCarley1, Martha Shenton1, Susan Whitfield-Gabrieli1, Jijun Wang1; 1Harvard Medical School, 2Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 3Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, 4Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

Understanding the neural characteristics related to the clinical high risk (CHR) of schizophrenia may lead to better understanding of the pathophysiology of the illness and ultimately to better treatment. We investigated the functional organization of the language network and its relationship to attenuated positive psychotic symptomatology in CHR individuals. Fifty CHR patients from Shanghai Mental Health Center, and 30 age- and gender-matched healthy controls (HC), underwent a 6-min resting state fMRI scan and a high-resolution T1-weighted anatomical scan. SPM and CONN were used to process resting-state fMRI data. Whole-brain connectivity analysis based on the seed regions (Left inferior frontal gyrus/IFG) was compared between groups and related to CHR symptoms. Compared to HC, the CHR group exhibited enhanced connectivity within the left hemisphere and reduced connectivity between hemispheres. The CHR group showed hyper-connectivity between left IFG and left posterior superior temporal gyrus (STG), as well as left premotor cortex, but hypo-connectivity between left and right IFG. The extent of hypo-connectivity between hemispheres was associated with more severe positive psychotic symptoms, while the extent of hyper-connectivity between the left frontal and posterior language nodes was associated with less severe positive symptoms. Reduced cross-hemispheric frontal connectivity in the CHR group, consistent with evidence in chronic schizophrenia, suggests impaired inter-hemispheric communication.. However, greater long-distance connectivity between left IFG and left posterior STG, which is crucial for integration of speech sounds and semantics, seems to constitute a protective mechanism for CHR patients. Future studies will relate baseline language network function to predict longitudinal clinical outcomes.

Topic Area: Neurocognition

Back to Poster Schedule