Several, although not all, of the previous small diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) studies have shown cortical white-matter disruption in schizophrenia.To investigate cortical white-matter microstructure with DWI in a large community-based sample of people with schizophrenia.Sixty-eight people with schizophrenia and 64 healthy controls underwent a session of DWI to obtain the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) of white-matter water molecules. Regions of interest were placed in cortical lobes.Compared with controls, the schizophrenia group had significantly greater ADCs in frontal, temporal and occipital white matter (analysis of covariance, P < 0.05).Our findings confirm the presence of cortical white-matter microstructure disruption in frontal and temporo-occipital lobes in the largest sample of people with schizophrenia thus for studied with this technique. Future brain imaging studies, together with genetic investigations, should further explore white-matter integrity and genes encoding myelin-related protein expression in people with first-episode schizophrenia and those at high risk of developing the disorder.
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