Reduced connectivity in anterior cingulate cortex as an early predictor for treatment response in drug-naive, first-episode schizophrenia: A global-brain functional connectivity analysis

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry

Publication Date


Document Type



Mental Disorders | Nervous System | Neuroscience and Neurobiology | Psychiatry | Therapeutics


BACKGROUND: Antipsychotic medications may have acute effect on brain functional connectivity (FC) after only a few days of treatment. It is unclear if early changes in FC can predict treatment response in patients with schizophrenia.

METHODS: The study included 32 patients with drug-naive, first-episode schizophrenia and 32 healthy controls. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging was obtained from the patients at two time-points (pre-treatment baseline and 1week after treatment) and healthy controls at baseline. Patients were treated with olanzapine for 8weeks, and clinical symptoms were assessed using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) at three time points (baseline, 1week and 8weeks after treatment). Imaging data were analyzed using global-brain FC (GFC) and support vector regression (SVR).

RESULTS: At baseline, an increased GFC was observed in bilateral anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) in patients compared with healthy controls. After 1week of olanzapine treatment, patients showed decreased GFC in bilateral ACC compared to the baseline values. SVR analysis suggested a positive relationship between GFC changes in bilateral ACC at week 1 and improvement in negative symptoms at week 8 (r=0.957, p < 0.001).

CONCLUSION: An early decrease in GFC in bilateral ACC may serve as a predictor for treatment response in patients with schizophrenia. If further confirmed, our finding may be able to help clinicians decide, during the early treatment course, whether the patient should stay on the chosen antipsychotic medication or switch to a different one.


Global-brain functional connectivity, Olanzapine, Pattern classification, Schizophrenia, Treatment predictor

DOI of Published Version



Schizophr Res. 2019 Sep 12. pii: S0920-9964(19)30395-0. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2019.09.003. [Epub ahead of print] Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Schizophrenia research

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Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID