Large-Scale Thalamocortical Triple Network Dysconnectivities in Patients With First-Episode Psychosis and Individuals at Risk for Psychosis
- Schizophrenia Bulletin
Background and Hypothesis: Aberrant thalamocortical connectivity and large-scale network interactions among the default mode network (DMN), salience network (SN), and executive control network (ECN) (ie, triple networks) have been regarded as critical in schizophrenia pathophysiology. Despite the importance of network properties and the role of the thalamus as an integrative hub, large-scale thalamocortical triple network functional connectivities (FCs) in different stages of the psychotic disorder have not yet been reported.
Study Design: Thirty-nine first-episode psychosis (FEP) patients, 75 individuals at clinical high risk (CHR) for psychosis, 46 unaffected relatives (URs) of schizophrenia patients with high genetic loading, and 110 healthy controls (HCs) underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI). Modular community detection was used to identify cortical and thalamic resting-state networks, and thalamocortical network interactions were compared across the groups. Study
Results: Thalamic triple networks included higher-order thalamic nuclei. Thalamic SN–cortical ECN FC was greater in the FEP group than in the CHR, UR, and HC groups. Thalamic DMN–cortical DMN and thalamic SN–cortical DMN FCs were greater in FEP and CHR participants. Thalamic ECN–cortical DMN and thalamic ECN–cortical SN FCs were greater in FEP patients and URs.
Conclusions: These results highlight critical modulatory functions of thalamic triple networks and the shared and distinct patterns of thalamocortical triple network dysconnectivities across different stages of psychotic disorders. The current study findings suggest that large-scale thalamocortical triple network dysconnectivities may be used as an integrative biomarker for extending our understanding of the psychosis pathophysiology and for targeting network-based neuromodulation therapeutics.