Kraepelinian theory posits that schizophrenia (SZ) is a degenerative disorder that worsens throughout the lifespan. Behavioral studies of cognition have since challenged that viewpoint, particularly in the early phases of illness. Nonetheless, the extent to which cognition remains functionally stable during the early course of illness is unclear, particularly with regard to task-associated connectivity in cognition-related brain networks. In this study, we examined the 1-year stability of the frontoparietal control network during the AX-Continuous Performance Task (AX-CPT) from a new baseline sample of 153 participants scanned at 3T, of which 29 recent onset individuals with SZ and 42 healthy control (HC) participants had follow-up data available for analysis. Among individuals that had both baseline and follow-up data, reduced functional connectivity in SZ was observed between the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and superior parietal cortex (SPC) during the high control (B cue) condition. Furthermore, this deficit was stable over time, as no significant time × diagnosis interaction or effects of time were observed and intraclass correlation coefficients were greater than 0.6 in HCs and SZ. Previous 1.5T findings showing stable deficits with no evidence of degeneration in performance or DLPFC activation in an independent SZ sample were replicated. Overall, these results suggest that the neuronal circuitry supporting cognitive control is stably impaired during the early course of illness in SZ across multiple levels of analysis with no evidence of functional decline.
- Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex
- Functional connectivity
- Intraclass correlation coefficient
- Superior parietal cortex
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health