Dost Ongur1, Fei Du1, Bruce M. Cohen, Alissa Cooper1, Scott Lukas, Perry F. Renshaw2
1Psychotic Disorders Division, McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Belmont, MA, United States; 2Psychiatry, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, United States
Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) studies commonly report reduced WM integrity in schizophrenia but the biological nature of this phenomenon is unknown. In the current study, we used a combination of magnetization transfer ratio (a probe of myelin content) and diffusion tensor spectroscopy (a probe of axon diameter) at 4 Tesla in a pure WM voxel underlying prefrontal cortex to examine myelin- and axon-related abnormalities separately in healthy individuals and matched participants with schizophrenia. Our results are consistent with reduced myelin complement and increased axonal diameter in schizophrenia. Our work may provide novel treatment targets for this severe and chronic condition.