University of Oulu

Aino Saarinen, Johannes Lieslehto, Vesa Kiviniemi, Jani Häkli, Timo Tuovinen, Mirka Hintsanen, Juha Veijola, Symptomatic psychosis risk and physiological fluctuation in functional MRI data, Schizophrenia Research, Volume 216, 2020, Pages 339-346, ISSN 0920-9964,

Symptomatic psychosis risk and physiological fluctuation in functional MRI data

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Author: Saarinen, Aino1,2,3; Lieslehto, Johannes3,4; Kiviniemi, Vesa5,6;
Organizations: 1Research Unit of Psychology, University of Oulu, Finland
2Department of Psychology and Logopedics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, Finland
3Research Unit of Clinical Neuroscience, Department of Psychiatry, University of Oulu, Finland
4Section for Neurodiagnostic Applications, Department of Psychiatry, Ludwig Maximilian University, Nussbaumstrasse 7, 80336 Munich, Bavaria, Germany
5Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
6Medical Research Center Oulu, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
7Department of Psychiatry, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.6 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-12-04


Background: Physiological brain pulsations have been shown to play a critical role in maintaining interstitial homeostasis in the glymphatic brain clearance mechanism. We investigated whether psychotic symptomatology is related to the physiological variation of the human brain using fMRI.

Methods: The participants (N = 277) were from the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1986. Psychotic symptoms were evaluated with the Positive Symptoms Scale of the Structured Interview for Prodromal Syndromes (SIPS). We used the coefficient of variation of BOLD signal (CVBOLD) as a proxy for physiological brain pulsatility. The CVBOLD-analyses were controlled for motion, age, sex, and educational level. The results were also compared with fMRI and voxel-based morphometry (VBM) meta-analyses of schizophrenia patients (data from the Brainmap database).

Results: At the global level, participants with psychotic-like symptoms had higher CVBOLD in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and white matter (WM), when compared to participants with no psychotic symptoms. Voxel-wise analyses revealed that CVBOLD was increased, especially in periventricular white matter, basal ganglia, cerebellum and parts of the cortical structures. Those brain regions, which included alterations of physiological fluctuation in symptomatic psychosis risk, overlapped <6% with the regions that were found to be affected in the meta-analyses of previous fMRI and VBM studies in schizophrenia patients. Motion did not vary as a function of SIPS.

Conclusions: Psychotic-like symptoms were associated with elevated CVBOLD in a variety of brain regions. The CVBOLD findings may produce new information about cerebral physiological fluctuations that have been out of reach in previous fMRI and VBM studies.

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Series: Schizophrenia research
ISSN: 0920-9964
ISSN-E: 1573-2509
ISSN-L: 0920-9964
Volume: 216
Pages: 339 - 346
DOI: 10.1016/j.schres.2019.11.029
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3124 Neurology and psychiatry
Funding: This study was supported financially by the Academy of Finland (J.V., grant number 124257, 141042, 212818, 214273, and 308555; V.K., Terva grant), the Sigrid Juselius Foundation (J.V.), the Gyllenberg Foundation (J.V.), the Medical Research Council (MRC) (V.K.), the Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation (V.K.), the Alfred Kordelin Foundation (J.L.), the Orion Research Foundation (J.L., T.T.), the Yrjö Jahnsson Foundation (JL), Jalmari and Rauha Ahokas Foundation (JL), and the Finnish Medical Foundation (J.L., T.T.). The NFBC study has been financially supported by EU QLG1-CT-2000-01643 (EUROBLCS) grant number E51560, NorFA grant number 731, 20056, 30167, USA/NIHH 2000 G DF682 grant number 50945.
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 124257
Detailed Information: 124257 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
141042 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
214273 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
308555 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2019. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license