A diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging study of frontal cortex connections in very late-onset schizophrenia-like psychosis

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Abstract

Objective: Onset of psychosis after the age of 60 may be associated with structural abnormalities within cerebral white matter. The authors looked within white-matter tracts, which mediate connectivity of the frontal lobes, in psychotic patients for evidence of loss of fiber integrity consistent with degenerative damage.

Methods: Fourteen patients with very-late-onset schizophrenia-like psychosis and an age-matched control group underwent diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging. Tract maps were constructed for each subject from the imaging data, and measurements of fractional anisotropy and mean diffusivity were made within the uncinate, superior longitudinal, and inferior occipito-frontal fasciculi, and the cingulum.

Results: There were no significant differences in fractional anisotropy, a measure of the ordering of axons within fiber tracts, nor in mean diffusivity, an orientationally-averaged measure of the bulk diffusivity within each voxel, between patients and control subjects.

Conclusion: The lack of difference in fractional anisotropy and mean diffusivity measures between patients and controls argues against the presence of structural abnormalities within these tracts and the notion that a focal white-matter abnormality within the tracts investigated underpins the onset of psychosis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1092-9
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Volume13
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2005

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