Patients with schizophrenia show severe impairment in social function and have difficulty in their daily social life. Although a recent large-scale multicenter study revealed alterations in white matter microstructures, the association between these anatomical changes and social dysfunction in schizophrenia remains unknown. Therefore, we investigated the association between the white matter integrity of regions of interest and social function in schizophrenia. A total of 149 patients with schizophrenia and 602 healthy comparison subjects (HCS) underwent DTI and completed the Picture Arrangement subtest of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Third Edition and the Finance subscale of the University of California, San Diego, Performance-Based Skills Assessment Brief, as social indices of interest. The fractional anisotropy (FA) in the anterior corona radiata and corpus callosum was significantly lower in patients than in HCS, and the radial diffusivity (RD) in the anterior corona radiata and corpus callosum was significantly higher in patients. The Picture Arrangement and Finance scores were both significantly impaired in patients. The effect of the FA of the right anterior corona radiata on the Finance score and the Picture Arrangement score, of the RD of the right anterior corona radiata on the Picture Arrangement score, and of the RD of the corpus callosum on the Picture Arrangement score were significant. In conclusion, our results confirmed the association between structural connectivity in the right frontal white matter and corpus callosum and social function in schizophrenia. These findings may provide a foundation for developing an intervention for functional recovery in schizophrenia.
- Anterior corona radiata
- Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI)
- Fractional anisotropy (FA)
- Radial diffusivity (RD)
- University of California, San Diego, Performance-Based Skills Assessment Brief (UPSA-B)
- Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Third Edition (WAIS-III)