Identifying 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome and Psychosis Using Resting-State Connectivity Patterns
The clinical picture associated with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11DS) includes mild mental retardation and an increased risk of schizophrenia. While the clinical phenotype has been related to structural brain network alterations, there is only scarce information about functional connectivity in 22q11DS. However, such studies could lead to a better comprehension of the disease and reveal potential biomarkers for psychosis. A connectivity decoding approach was used to discriminate between 42 patients with 22q11DS and 41 controls using resting-state connectivity. The same method was then applied within the 22q11DS group to identify brain connectivity patterns specifically related to the presence of psychotic symptoms. An accuracy of 84 % was achieved in differentiating patients with 22q11DS from controls. The discriminative connections were widespread, but predominantly located in the bilateral frontal and right temporal lobes, and were significantly correlated to IQ. An 88 % accuracy was obtained for identification of existing psychotic symptoms within the patients group. The regions containing most discriminative connections included the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), the left superior temporal and the right inferior frontal gyri. Functional connectivity alterations in 22q11DS affect mostly frontal and right temporal lobes and are related to the syndrome's mild mental retardation. These results also provide evidence that resting-state connectivity can potentially become a biomarker for psychosis and that ACC plays an important role in the development of psychotic symptoms.