Brain Functions Underlying Visuospatial Attention Deficits in Schizophrenia
- A special brain circuit is important for helping us keeping an eye open for things that are going on around us, even when we are not directly paying attention to them. This circuit seems to work differently in people with schizophrenia than in other people, which may explain specific deficits with broad monitoring observed in people with schizophrenia. Researchers want to compare brain function in people with schizophrenia and healthy volunteers to find out more about how these brain circuits work and affect attention.
- To study how the brain performs broad visual monitoring in people with schizophrenia.
- Individuals between 18 to 55 years of age who have been diagnosed with schizophrenia.
- Healthy volunteers between 18 and 55.
- Participants will be screened with physical and psychological exams. They will have a medical history. Tests for drug and alcohol use will also be done.
- Participants will have two study visits. The first is a training visit and the second is a scanning visit.
- At the training visit, participants will practice computer-based tests of focus, memory, and concentration. They will also answer questions about mood, psychiatric symptoms, and smoking habits.
- At the scanning visit, participants will perform the computer-based tasks that they practiced at the training visit. They will have magnetic resonance imaging while they perform these tasks.
|Official Title:||Default Network Dysfunction Underlying Visuospatial Attention Deficits in Schizophrenia|
- Behavioral performance measures on the cognitive tasks (e.g. reaction time, accuracy)
- Bold signal, specifically activation of the default network of resting brain function and its association with task performance.
- Secondary outcome measures include ratings and scores on questionnaires and characterization tools.
|Study Start Date:||July 2011|
Objective: To test a neural circuit explanation for a visuospatial attention abnormality seen in schizophrenia. Specifically, the aim is to test whether broad monitoring deficits may be based on a disruption of the so-called sentinel function of the default network. Because the default network is modulated by nicotinic compounds, such finding would implicate a possible remediation strategy.< TAB>
Study population: 24 people with schizophrenia, 24 matched healthy control subjects.
Design: A group comparison of attention task performance and associated brain activity as measured by functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging.
Outcome measures: Measures of attention task performance (reaction time, accuracy), BOLD signal within regions of the default network, degree of temporal association of BOLD signal with trial-by-trial reaction time.
|United States, Maryland|
|Maryland Psychiatric Research Center (MPRC) 55 Wade Avenue|
|Catonsville, Maryland, United States, 21228|
|Principal Investigator:||Elliot Stein, Ph.D.||National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)|