Purpose of review The neural connections, interconnections and organized networks of the central nervous system (CNS), which represent the human connectome, are critical for intact brain function. Consequently, disturbances at any level or juncture of these networks may alter behaviour and/or lead to brain dysfunction. In this review, we focus on highlighting recent work using advanced imaging methods to address alterations in the structural and functional connectome in patients with schizophrenia.
Recent findings Using structural, diffusion, resting-state and task-related functional imaging and advanced computational analysis methods such as graph theory, more than 200 publications have addressed different aspects of structural and/or functional connectivity in schizophrenia over the last year. These studies have focused on determining how brain networks differ from those in controls, interact with symptom profiles within and across diagnoses, interface with disease-related cognitive impairments and confer genetic risk for the disorder.
Summary Much existing evidence supports the view that schizophrenia is a disorder of altered brain connectivity. Recent and continued characterization of the structural and functional connectome in schizophrenia patients have advanced our understanding of the neurobiology underlying clinical symptoms and cognitive impairments in a particular patient, their overlaps with other neuropsychiatric disorders sharing common features as well as the contributions of genetic risk factors. Although the clinical utility of the schizophrenia connectome remains to be realized, recent findings provide further promise that research in this area may lead to improved diagnosis, treatments and clinical outcomes.
- diffusion imaging
- graph theory
- resting state functional MRI
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health