Hippocampal Dysconnectivity and Altered Glutamatergic Modulation of the Default Mode Network: A Combined Resting-State Connectivity and Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy Study in Schizophrenia

Academic Article


  • Background: Converging lines of evidence point to hippocampal dysfunction in schizophrenia. It is thought that hippocampal dysfunction spreads across hippocampal subfields and to cortical regions by way of long-range efferent projections. Importantly, abnormalities in the excitation/inhibition balance could impair the long-range modulation of neural networks. The goal of this project was twofold. First, we sought to identify replicable patterns of hippocampal dysconnectivity in patients with a psychosis spectrum disorder. Second, we aimed to investigate a putative link between glutamatergic metabolism and hippocampal connectivity alterations. Methods: We evaluated resting-state hippocampal functional connectivity alterations in two cohorts of patients with a psychosis spectrum disorder. The first cohort consisted of 55 medication-naïve patients with first-episode psychosis and 41 matched healthy control subjects, and the second cohort consisted of 42 unmedicated patients with schizophrenia and 41 matched control subjects. We also acquired measurements of glutamate + glutamine in the left hippocampus using magnetic resonance spectroscopy for 42 patients with first-episode psychosis and 37 healthy control subjects from our first cohort. Results: We observed a pattern of hippocampal functional hypoconnectivity to regions of the default mode network and hyperconnectivity to the lateral occipital cortex in both cohorts. We also show that in healthy control subjects, greater hippocampal glutamate + glutamine levels predicted greater hippocampal functional connectivity to the anterior default mode network. Furthermore, this relationship was reversed in medication-naïve subjects with first-episode psychosis. Conclusions: These results suggest that an alteration in the relationship between glutamate and functional connectivity may disrupt the dynamic of major neural networks.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Nelson EA; Kraguljac NV; Maximo JO; Briend F; Armstrong W; Ver Hoef LW; Johnson V; Lahti AC
  • Start Page

  • 108
  • End Page

  • 118
  • Volume

  • 7
  • Issue

  • 1