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 language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||12|
|State||Published - Apr 15 2021|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- brain network
- structural–functional connectivity coupling