Association between urban upbringing and functional brain connectivity in schizophrenia

Vittal Korann, Umesh Thonse, Ranjini Garani, Arpitha Jacob, Shukti Ramkiran, Samir K. Praharaj, Rose D. Bharath, Vijay Kumar, Shivarama Varambally, Ganesan Venkatasubramanian, Naren P. Rao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Environmental factors considerably influence the development of the human cortex during the perinatal period, early childhood, and adolescence. Urban upbringing in the first 15 years of life is a known risk factor for schizophrenia (SCZ). Though the risk of urban birth and upbringing is well-examined from an epidemiological perspective, the biological mechanisms underlying urban upbringing remain unknown. The effect of urban birth and upbringing on functional brain connectivity in SCZ patients is not yet examined. Methods: This is a secondary data analysis of three studies that included 87 patients with SCZ and 70 healthy volunteers (HV) aged 18 to 50 years. We calculated the developmental urbanicity index using a validated method in earlier studies. Following standard pre-processing of resting functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans, seed-return on investment (ROI) functional connectivity analysis was performed. Results: The results showed a significant association between urban birth and upbringing on functional connectivity in SCZ patients and HV (P < 0.05). In SCZ patients, connections from the right caudate, anterior cingulate cortex, left and right intracalcarine cortices, left and right lingual gyri, left posterior parahippocampal cortex to the cerebellum, fusiform gyri, lateral occipital cortex, and amygdala were significantly associated with the urbanicity index (P < 0.05). Conclusions: These study findings suggest a significant association between urban birth and upbringing on functional brain connectivity in regions involved in reward processing and social cognition in SCZ. Assessment of social cognition could have implications in developing an in-depth understanding of this impairment in persons with SCZ.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-81
Number of pages11
JournalIndian Journal of Psychiatry
Volume66
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01-2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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