ISSN 0362-1197, Human Physiology, 2017, Vol. 43, No. 4, pp. 385–390. © Pleiades Publishing, Inc., 2017.
Original Russian Text © I.S. Lebedeva, A.S. Tomyshev, T.A. Akhadov, M.A. Omeltchenko, N.A. Semenova, P.E. Mentschikov, E.D. Bogdanova, V.G. Kaleda, 2017, published
in Fiziologiya Cheloveka, 2017, Vol. 43, No. 4, pp. 35–41.
Correlations between Some Structural and Functional Brain
Parameters in Subjects with High Risk of Schizophrenia
I. S. Lebedeva
*, A. S. Tomyshev
, T. A. Akhadov
, M. A. Omeltchenko
, N. A. Semenova
P. E. Mentschikov
, E. D. Bogdanova
, and V. G. Kaleda
Mental Health Research Center of Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, Moscow, Russia
Research Institute of Emergency Pediatric Surgery and Traumatology, Moscow, Russia
Semenov Institute of Chemical Physics of Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia
Received February 11, 2016
Abstract—The study was aimed to the analysis of correlations between anatomic brain parameters and char-
acteristics of neurophysiological and metabolic supportive mechanisms of cognitive functions in the patients
with ultra-high risk of schizophrenia. The study comprised 30 young male patients and 30 age- and sex-
matched mentally healthy subjects. We used the methods of diffusion-weighted tomography, single voxel pro-
ton MR spectroscopy, and oddball ERP recording. The statistically significant intergroup differences in the
structural connectivity were confirmed in the anterior thalamic radiation of the left hemisphere. The diffu-
sion abnormalities in this area were correlated with P300 latencies and the level of γ-aminobutyric acid
Keywords: anterior thalamic radiation, GABA, P300, oddball, proton MR spectroscopy, diffusion weighted
tomography, ultra-high risk of schizophrenia
One of the most urgent problems in the modern
psychiatry is the primary prevention of schizophrenic
spectrum disorders, i.e., detection and minimization
of etiological factors and the development of prophy-
lactics against endogenic process.
In this context, the studies of pre-manifestation
period appear to be of high importance. It should be
noted that the initial stage of disease may have rather
mild psychiatric symptoms. A patient is examined by
psychiatrists, but his or her state is diagnosed as non-
psychotic psychiatric disease, although with distinct
characteristics, which make it possible to suggest this
patient to be included into a group of ultra-high risk of
Obviously, the study of such patients represents an
adequate approach to the analysis of pathogenic
mechanisms of schizophrenia. The present study
describes the data of such a multidiscipline analysis
focused on anatomic brain parameters and cognitive
functions and their interrelation in subjects from UHR
Schizophrenia is known to be characterized by
abnormalities pointing to structural disconnectivity
(white matter integrity) in various brain regions [1–3].
These deviations are considered to be the symp-
toms of one of pathogenic mechanisms of the disease.
Hence, they should be present in prodromal state, i.e.,
they may be observed in UHR patients [4, 5].
However, such studies are scarce and even contra-
dictory. For instance, pathology was detected in
medial frontal lobes , in superior longitudinal fas-
ciculus , while other studies failed to detect statisti-
cally significant differences between UHR patients
and the control group .
Previous studies reported a conductive white mat-
ter tract, anterior thalamic radiation (ATR), which
was shown to be abnormal (primarily, relative to radial
diffusion parameter) in UHR patients .
It should be noted that anterior thalamic radiation
(ATR) represents a tract connecting the dorsomedial
and anterior thalamic nuclei with prefrontal cortex,
primarily, with dorsolateral region  involved in
cognitive neuronal network. Hence, correlations
between abnormalities in this tract and cognitive
impairments might be suggested.
To analyze these correlations, in the present study,
detection of P300 event-related potentials (ERPs) as a
neurophysiologic marker of cognitive processes in
oddball paradigm was performed.
Changes in ERP amplitude–temporal parameters
in schizophrenia were related to disturbed working
memory processing, estimate of stimuli value and gen-