In Neuropsychopharmacology : official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology
Schizophrenia is a complex disorder associated with aberrant brain functional connectivity. This study aims to demonstrate the relation of heterogeneous symptomatology in this disorder to distinct brain connectivity patterns within the triple-network model. The study sample comprised 300 first-episode antipsychotic-naive patients with schizophrenia (FES) and 301 healthy controls (HCs). At baseline, resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data were captured for each participant, and concomitant neurocognitive functions were evaluated outside the scanner. Clinical information of 49 FES in the discovery dataset were reevaluated at a 6-week follow-up. Differential features between FES and HCs were selected from triple-network connectivity profiles. Cutting-edge unsupervised machine learning algorithms were used to define patient subtypes. Clinical and cognitive variables were compared between patient subgroups. Two FES subgroups with differing triple-network connectivity profiles were identified in the discovery dataset and confirmed in an independent hold-out cohort. One patient subgroup appearing to have more severe clinical symptoms was distinguished by salience network (SN)-centered hypoconnectivity, which was associated with greater impairments in sustained attention. The other subgroup exhibited hyperconnectivity and manifested greater deficits in cognitive flexibility. The SN-centered hypoconnectivity subgroup had more persistent negative symptoms at the 6-week follow-up than the hyperconnectivity subgroup. The present study illustrates that clinically relevant cognitive subtypes of schizophrenia may be associated with distinct differences in connectivity in the triple-network model. This categorization may foster further analysis of the effects of therapy on these network connectivity patterns, which may help to guide therapeutic choices to effectively reach personalized treatment goals.
Liang Sugai, Wang Qiang, Greenshaw Andrew J, Li Xiaojing, Deng Wei, Ren Hongyan, Zhang Chengcheng, Yu Hua, Wei Wei, Zhang Yamin, Li Mingli, Zhao Liansheng, Du Xiangdong, Meng Yajing, Ma Xiaohong, Yan Chao-Gan, Li Tao