Neuropsychological disturbance in schizophrenia: a diffusion tensor imaging study

Nestor PG, Kubicki M, Niznikiewicz M, Gurrera RJ, McCarley RW, Shenton ME

Neuropsychology 2008 Mar;22(2):246-54

PMID: 18331167


Patients with schizophrenia and healthy control subjects underwent both neuropsychological evaluation and magnetic resonance diffusion tensor imaging, during which the cingulum bundle (CB) and the uncinate fasciculus (UF) were defined with fiber tractography and their integrity was quantified. On the basis of prior findings, it was hypothesized that neuropsychological disturbance in schizophrenia may be characterized, in part, by 2 dissociable functional neuroanatomical relationships: (a) executive functioning-CB integrity and (b) episodic memory-UF integrity. In support of the hypothesis, hierarchical regression results indicated that reduced white matter of the CB and the UF differentially and specifically predicted deficits in executive functioning and memory, respectively. Neuropsychological correlates of the CB also extended to lower generalized intelligence, as well as to reduced visual memory that may be related to failures of contextual monitoring of to-be-remembered scenes. Reduced white matter of the CB and the UF may each make distinct contributions to neuropsychological disturbance in schizophrenia.