Functional Connectivity Between Auditory and Medial Temporal Lobe Networks in Antipsychotic-Naïve Patients With First-Episode Schizophrenia Predicts the Effects of Dopamine Antagonism on Auditory Verbal Hallucinations

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Understanding how antipsychotic medication ameliorates auditory verbal hallucinations (AVHs) through modulation of brain circuitry is pivotal for understanding the pathophysiology of psychosis and for predicting treatment response.

METHODS: This case-control study included examinations at baseline and at follow-up after 6 weeks. Initially, antipsychotic-naïve patients with first-episode schizophrenia who were experiencing AVHs were recruited together with healthy control participants. Antipsychotic treatment with the relatively selective D2 receptor antagonist amisulpride was administered as monotherapy. Functional connectivity measured by resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging between networks of interest was used to study the effects of D2 blockade on brain circuitry and predict clinical treatment response. Hallucinations were rated with the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale.

RESULTS: Thirty-two patients experiencing AVHs and 34 healthy control participants were scanned at baseline. Twenty-two patients and 34 healthy control participants were rescanned at follow-up. Connectivity between the auditory network and the medial temporal lobe network was increased in patients at baseline (p = .002) and normalized within 6 weeks of D2 blockade (p = .018). At baseline, the connectivity between these networks was positively correlated with ratings of hallucinations (t = 2.67, p = .013). Moreover, baseline connectivity between the auditory network and the medial temporal lobe network predicted reduction in hallucinations (t = 2.34, p = .032).

CONCLUSIONS: Functional connectivity between the auditory network and the medial temporal lobe predicted response to initial antipsychotic treatment. These findings demonstrate that connectivity between networks involved in auditory processing, internal monitoring, and memory is associated with the clinical effect of dopamine antagonism.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftBiological psychiatry global open science
Vol/bind4
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)308-316
Antal sider9
ISSN2667-1743
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 6 jul. 2023

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