Generative network models of altered structural brain connectivity in schizophrenia.

Xiaolong ZhangHeike Tost


Alterations in the structural connectome of schizophrenia patients have been widely characterized, but the mechanisms remain largely unknown. Generative network models have recently been introduced as a tool to test the biological underpinnings of altered brain network formation. We evaluated different generative network models in healthy controls (n=152), schizophrenia patients (n=66), and their unaffected first-degree relatives (n=32), and we identified spatial and topological factors contributing to network formation. We further investigated how these factors relate to cognition and to polygenic risk for schizophrenia. Our data show that among the four tested classes of generative network models, structural brain networks were optimally accounted for by a two-factor model combining spatial constraints and topological neighborhood structure. The same wiring model explained brain network formation across study groups. However, relatives and schizophrenia patients exhibited significantly lower spatial constraints and lower topological facilitation compared to healthy controls. Further exploratory analyses point to potential associations of the model parameter reflecting spatial constraints with the polygenic risk for schizophre...Continue Reading


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