Test-retest reliability of brain activation using the face-name paired-associates fMRI task in patients with schizophrenia and healthy controls
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Schizophrenia is a neurological disorder associated with cognitive impairments, and clinical symptoms of hallucinations and delusions. Recent imaging and behavioral studies have repeatedly shown aberrant brain activity in the hippocampal regions in relation to episodic memory impairments associated with schizophrenia. These findings have warranted further research to elucidate the neural processes associated with episodic memory. Therefore, the current study examined activity in a priori brain regions associated with episodic memory using the face-name paired-associates fMRI task to determine whether there was reliable activation patterns observed in healthy subjects and patients with self-reported schizophrenia. This was evaluated by using ROI analysis and whole brain analysis to examine activity between subjects during a session, and by using Pearson’s R correlation coefficients to examine test-retest reliability over time. 30 schizophrenic (SZ) patients and 31 healthy control (HC) volunteers underwent a series of assessments including the fMRI behavioral task, face-name paired-associates task. The tests were conducted twice with a 14-day interval for the subjects. The results indicated no reliable brain activation in the hippocampus between scanning sessions for either the SZ or HC groups. However, distinct activation patterns were observed within sessions for both groups. These patterns were observed in the hippocampus, and regions of the frontal lobe and occipital lobe. Future studies should further explore these brain activity patterns across sessions in SZ patients compared to HC subjects to determine whether these patterns are due to pathological mechanisms associated with schizophrenia.