Divergent Alterations of Structural–Functional Connectivity Couplings in First-episode and Chronic Schizophrenia Patients

Ling yin Kong, Yuan yuan Huang, Bing ye Lei, Peng fei Ke, He hua Li, Jing Zhou, Dong sheng Xiong, Gui xiang Li, Jun Chen, Xiao bo Li, Zhi ming Xiang, Yu ping Ning, Feng chun Wu, Kai Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Emerging evidence suggests that the coupling relating the structural connectivity (SC) of the brain to its functional connectivity (FC) exhibits remarkable changes during development, normal aging, and diseases. Although altered structural–functional connectivity couplings (SC–FC couplings) have been previously reported in schizophrenia patients, the alterations in SC–FC couplings of different illness stages of schizophrenia (SZ) remain largely unknown. In this study, we collected structural and resting-state functional MRI data from 73 normal controls (NCs), 61 first-episode (FeSZ) and 78 chronic (CSZ) schizophrenia patients. Positive and negative syndrome scale (PANSS) scores were assessed for all patients. Structural and functional brain networks were constructed using gray matter volume (GMV) and resting-state magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) time series measurements. At the connectivity level, the CSZ patients showed significantly increased SC–FC coupling strength compared with the FeSZ patients. At the node strength level, significant decreased SC–FC coupling strength was observed in the FeSZ patients compared to that of the NCs, and the coupling strength was positively correlated with negative PANSS scores. These results demonstrated divergent alterations of SC–FC couplings in FeSZ and CSZ patients. Our findings provide new insight into the neuropathological mechanisms underlying the developmental course of SZ.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
StatePublished - Apr 15 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience


  • MRI
  • brain network
  • schizophrenia
  • structural–functional connectivity coupling


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