Increased structural connectivity of the medial forebrain bundle in schizophrenia spectrum disorders is associated with delusions of paranoid threat and grandiosity.

Bracht, Tobias; Viher, Petra V.; Stegmayer, Katharina; Strik, Werner; Federspiel, Andrea; Wiest, Roland; Walther, Sebastian (2019). Increased structural connectivity of the medial forebrain bundle in schizophrenia spectrum disorders is associated with delusions of paranoid threat and grandiosity. NeuroImage: Clinical, 24, p. 102044. Elsevier 10.1016/j.nicl.2019.102044

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In many cases delusions in schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSD) are driven by strong emotions such as feelings of paranoia or grandiosity. We refer to these extreme emotional experiences as psychotic affectivity. We hypothesized that increased structural connectivity of the supero-lateral medial forebrain bundle (slMFB), a major tract of the reward system, is associated with delusional psychotic affectivity. Forty-six patients with SSD and 44 healthy controls (HC) underwent diffusion weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DW-MRI)-scans. The slMFB and a comparison tract (corticospinal tract) were reconstructed using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI)-based tractography. Fractional anisotropy (FA) was sampled across the tracts. We used a mixed-model analyses of variance controlling for age and gender to compare FA of bilateral slMFB between SSD-patients and HC. Correlations of FA of bilateral slMFB and the PANSS-positive item delusions were calculated. In addition, FA was compared between three clinically homogeneous SSD-subgroups in terms of psychotic affectivity (severe, mild and no PA, sPA, mPA, nPA) and HC. FA of the slMFB did not differ between all SSD-patients and HC. In SSD-patients there was a positive correlation between delusions and FA in bilateral slMFB. Likewise, SSD-subgroups of psychotic affectivity and HC differed significantly in FA of the slMFB. Results were driven by higher FA in the right slMFB in sPA as compared to nPA and to HC. There was no significant effect for the comparison tract. In conclusion, increased structural connectivity of the slMFB may underlie delusional experiences of paranoia and grandiosity in SSD.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy > Translational Research Center
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Radiology, Neuroradiology and Nuclear Medicine (DRNN) > Institute of Diagnostic and Interventional Neuroradiology

UniBE Contributor:

Bracht, Tobias; Viher, Petra; Stegmayer, Katharina Deborah Lena; Strik, Werner; Federspiel, Andrea; Wiest, Roland and Walther, Sebastian

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health

ISSN:

2213-1582

Publisher:

Elsevier

Language:

English

Submitter:

Sebastian Walther

Date Deposited:

10 Dec 2019 07:27

Last Modified:

13 Dec 2019 01:32

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.nicl.2019.102044

PubMed ID:

31678911

Uncontrolled Keywords:

DTI Grandiosity Paranoia Psychosis Reward system White matter

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.134697

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/134697

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