Indexed on: 07 Nov '17Published on: 07 Nov '17Published in: Psychiatry Research
Mean cortical curvature may relate to cortico-cortical connections integrity. We explored the association between prefrontal (PFC) cortical curvature and fractional anisotropy (FA) values for tracts connecting PFC and relevant cortical regions. In schizophrenia Anatomical and diffusion magnetic resonance images were obtained from 34 patients (16 of them first-episodes) and 32 healthy controls. We calculated curvature at rostral lateral prefrontal (RLPF) and superior medial prefrontal (SMPF) areas and mean FA for the tracts respectively connecting RLPF and SMPF areas with anterior caudal cingulate (ACC), superior temporal gyrus (STG) and superior parietal SP regions. Cognitive and clinical data were collected, including baseline symptoms, Clinical Global Impression change scores from baseline to follow-up, illness duration and treatment dosage. Patients showed significantly lower FA values in the tracts linking right RLPF-ACC, right SMPF-SPG and bilaterally PFC-STG. FA values in short-range cortico-cortical connections (linking PFC and ACC) were inversely associated with PFC curvature. In patients, cognitive performance was negatively associated with PFC curvature. Larger curvature values were associated to lack of clinical improvement at follow-up. We conclude that cortical curvature is influenced by integrity in short-range cortico-cortical connections and relates to cognition and clinical outcome in schizophrenia patients.