White matter abnormalities of microstructure and physiological noise in schizophrenia

Hu Cheng, Sharlene D. Newman, Jerillyn S. Kent, Amanda Bolbecker, Mallory J. Klaunig, Brian F. O’Donnell, Aina Puce, William P. Hetrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


White matter abnormalities in schizophrenia have been revealed by many imaging techniques and analysis methods. One of the findings by diffusion tensor imaging is a decrease in fractional anisotropy (FA), which is an indicator of white matter integrity. On the other hand, elevation of metabolic rate in white matter was observed from positron emission tomography (PET) studies. In this report, we aim to compare the two structural and functional effects on the same subjects. Our comparison is based on the hypothesis that signal fluctuation in white matter is associated with white matter functional activity. We examined the variance of the signal in resting state fMRI and found significant differences between individuals with schizophrenia and non-psychiatric controls specifically in white matter tissue. Controls showed higher temporal signal-to-noise ratios clustered in regions including temporal, frontal, and parietal lobes, cerebellum, corpus callosum, superior longitudinal fasciculus, and other major white matter tracts. These regions with higher temporal signal-to-noise ratio agree well with those showing higher metabolic activity reported by studies using PET. The results suggest that individuals with schizophrenia tend to have higher functional activity in white matter in certain brain regions relative to healthy controls. Despite some overlaps, the distinct regions for physiological noise are different from those for FA derived from diffusion tensor imaging, and therefore provide a unique angle to explore potential mechanisms to white matter abnormality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)868-877
Number of pages10
JournalBrain Imaging and Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015


  • Physiological noise
  • Resting state fMRI
  • Schizophrenia
  • White matter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'White matter abnormalities of microstructure and physiological noise in schizophrenia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this