White matter microstructure and volitional motor activity in schizophrenia: A diffusion kurtosis imaging study

Lise Docx, Louise Emsell, Wim Van Hecke, Timo De Bondt, Paul M. Parizel, Bernard Sabbe, Manuel Morrens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Avolition is a core feature of schizophrenia and may arise from altered brain connectivity. Here we used diffusion kurtosis imaging (DKI) to investigate the association between white matter (WM) microstructure and volitional motor activity. Multi-shell diffusion MRI and 24-h actigraphy data were obtained from 20 right-handed patients with schizophrenia and 16 right-handed age and gender matched healthy controls. We examined correlations between fractional anisotropy (FA), mean diffusivity (MD), mean kurtosis (MK), and motor activity level, as well as group differences in these measures. In the patient group, increasing motor activity level was positively correlated with MK in the inferior, medial and superior longitudinal fasciculus, the corpus callosum, the posterior fronto-occipital fasciculus and the posterior cingulum. This association was not found in control subjects or in DTI measures. These results show that a lack of volitional motor activity in schizophrenia is associated with potentially altered WM microstructure in posterior brain regions associated with cognitive function and motivation. This could reflect both illness related dysconnectivity which through altered cognition, manifests as reduced volitional motor activity, and/or the effects of reduced physical activity on brain WM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-36
Number of pages8
JournalPsychiatry Research - Neuroimaging
Volume260
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2017
Externally publishedYes

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