We examined the relationship between white matter microstructure in schizophrenia using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and cognitive improvements induced by 70 h (~ 16 weeks) of cognitive training. We measured anatomical connectivity in 48 patients with schizophrenia (SZ) and 28 healthy control participants (HC) at baseline, and then examined the relationship between anatomical connectivity at baseline and training-induced cognitive gains in 30 SZ who performed diffusion imaging after completing 70 h of training. Compared with healthy control participants, individuals with schizophrenia showed reduced white matter integrity at baseline, as indexed by fractional anisotropy metrics, in bilateral posterior corona radiata, bilateral retrolenticular internal capsules, bilateral posterior thalamic radiation, left anterior corona radiata, left superior longitudinal fasciculus, left sagittal stratum, right cerebral peduncle and the genu and splenium of the corpus callosum. After training, schizophrenia participants showed significant gains in attention/vigilance, speed of processing, verbal learning, visual learning and executive functioning. White matter integrity within the right fronto-occipital fasciculus predicted training-induced improvements in attention/vigilance, while white matter integrity within the right corticospinal tract and bilateral medial lemnisci predicted cognitive training-induced improvements in executive functioning, areas that did not show white matter tract deficits at baseline. These findings suggest that preserved white matter integrity connecting long-range prefrontal-thalamic-sensorimotor areas may be an important determinant for training-induced neurocognitive plasticity.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation Young Investigator Award grant (NARSAD: 17680 ) and NIMH K01 grant ( KO1MH82818 ) to Karuna Subramaniam, and the following NIH grants to Srikantan Nagarajan and Sophia Vinogradov ( R01DC004855 , R01DC010145 , R21NS076171 , R01MH068725 and R01DC013979 ). None of the authors have financial disclosures to declare. We thank Dr. Christine Hooker for her help with the set-up of the MRI protocol, and Dr. Julia Owen who assisted with the DTI analyses.
This research was supported by the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation Young Investigator Award grant (NARSAD: 17680 ) and NIMH K01 grant ( KO1MH82818 ) to Karuna Subramaniam, and the following NIH grants to Srikantan Nagarajan and Sophia Vinogradov ( R01DC004855 , R01DC010145 , R21NS076171 , R01MH068725 and R01DC013979 ).
© 2017 Elsevier B.V.
- Cognitive training
- Diffusion tensor imaging
- Executive functioning
- Prefrontal cortex