Fronto-temporal disconnectivity in schizotypal personality disorder: a diffusion tensor imaging study

M. Nakamura, R. W. McCarley, M. Kubicki, C. C. Dickey, M. A. Niznikiewicz, M. M. Voglmaier, L. J. Seidman, S. E. Maier, C. F. Westin, R. Kikinis, M. E. Shenton
Biol Psychiatry
Volume 58, Number 6, Pages 468-478

Download full paper


Background: Using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), we previously reported abnormalities in two critical white matter tracts in schizophrenia, the uncinate fasciculus (UF) and the cingulum bundle (CB), both related to fronto-temporal connectivity. Here, we investigate these two bundles in unmedicated subjects with schizotypal personality disorder (SPD).

Methods: Fifteen male SPD subjects and 15 male control subjects were scanned with line-scan DTI. Fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (D(m)) were used to quantify water diffusion, and cross-sectional area was defined with a directional threshold method. Exploratory correlation analyses were evaluated with Spearman's rho, followed by post hoc hierarchical regression analyses.

Results: We found bilaterally reduced FA in the UF of SPD subjects. For CB, there was no significant group difference for FA or D(m) measures. Additionally, in SPD, reduced FA in the right UF was correlated with clinical symptoms, including ideas of reference, suspiciousness, restricted affect, and social anxiety. In contrast, left UF area was correlated with measures of cognitive function, including general intelligence, verbal and visual memory, and executive performance.

Conclusions: These findings in SPD suggest altered fronto-temporal connectivity through the UF, similar to findings in schizophrenia, and intact neocortical-limbic connectivity through the CB, in marked contrast with what has been reported in schizophrenia.


Nakamura M, McCarley RW, Kubicki M, Dickey CC, Niznikiewicz MA, Voglmaier MM, Seidman LJ, Maier SE, Westin CF, Kikinis R, Shenton ME. Fronto-temporal disconnectivity in schizotypal personality disorder: a diffusion tensor imaging study. Biol Psychiatry 2005;58(6):468-478.


VA Merit Award, REAP, NIH/NIMH 2RO1 MH40799, NIH/NIMH 2RO1 MH50740, Middleton Award, NIH/NIMH 2R01 MH01110, MH 50747, NIH/NIMH R03 MH068464, NARSAD, VA_cda, welfide, Wodercroft

Research areas

spd, dti
© 2013 Psychiatry Neuroimaging Laboratory | Last updated 04.15.2013