AUTHORS: Debbane M, Lazouret M, Lagioia A, Schneider M, Van De Ville D, Eliez S

Schizophrenia Research, 139(1-3): 33-9, August 2012


Atypical functional connectivity in the maturing brains of 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11DS) may contribute to the expression of early psychotic symptoms commonly reported by these youths. This study’s objective was to examine functional connectivity in cerebral networks at rest (Resting-State Networks; RSNs) and their relationship to symptomatic and neuropsychological characteristics putting them at very high risk factor for developing psychosis. Twenty-seven adolescents with 22q11DS and 33 typically developing control adolescents matched for age, gender and handedness underwent an 8-minute resting state functional MRI session. RSNs identification procedure employed Independent Component Analysis (ICA). We tested for potential group differences in functional connectivity within-networks. Then, we examined relationships between network connectivity and symptomatic/neuropsychological characteristics in the 22q11DS group. A total of nine resting-state networks were identified. Between-group differences suggested both increased and decreased functional connectivity in the 22q11DS group, involving the default-mode, sensorimotor, visuo-spatial, and high level visual networks. Finally, atypical connectivity in the default-mode network, specifically within the left superior frontal gyrus region, correlated with prodromal symptom intensity and neuropsychological performances in the 22q11DS group. The results suggest that atypical functional connectivity may sustain both increased vulnerability to psychosis and characteristic cognitive impairments in 22q11DS.