Poster B126, Sunday, March 26, 8:00 – 10:00 am, Pacific Concourse
Cerebellar-Motor Connectivity in Patients with Schizophrenia: Insight Into Negative Symptom Severity
Jessica Bernard1; 1Texas A&M University
A role for the cerebellum in schizophrenia was initially suggested as part of the cognitive dysmetria framework. Increasing evidence suggests that cerebellar dysfunction is present in patients with schizophrenia as seen in abnormal eye-blink conditioning and postural control. Prior work in adolescents at ultra-high risk for psychosis has demonstrated that cerebellar-motor dysfunction is present prior to disease onset. Importantly, cerebellar-motor hyperconnectivity is also predictive of positive symptom progression over time in this important at-risk group. This work suggests that cerebellar-motor hyperconnectivity may also be present in patients with schizophrenia. Here, we investigated this idea taking advantage of data from schizconnect.org. The analysis included 82 patients with schizophrenia (38.36 +/-13.78 years, 15 female) and 88 controls (38.78 +/-11.76 years, 25 female) with resting state and structural brain images. Data were analyzed using the CONN toolbox. All data were thresholded using non-parametric analysis (5,000 permutations) with an initial threshold of p<.001 and cluster-threshold of p<.05, FDR corrected. Consistent with the idea that cerebellar-motor hyperconnectivity is consistent with disease progression, results indicate that in patients with schizophrenia cerebellar Crus I connectivity with motor and premotor cortical regions is increased relative to controls. Further, motor networks provide interesting insight into symptoms. Greater connectivity between the motor cortex and putamen was associated with more severe negative symptoms. Together, this work further supports a putative cerebellar-motor marker of the progression of schizophrenia, but also suggests that another key subcortical region related to motor function, the putamen, may be especially important for our understanding of negative symptoms.
Topic Area: PERCEPTION & ACTION: Motor control