K Matsuoka, T Morimoto, Y Matsuda, F Yasuno, T Taoka, T Miyasaka, H Yoshikawa, M Takahashi, S Kitamura, K Kichikawa and T Kishimoto,
Psychiatry research. Neuroimaging, Sep 2019 06
Previous studies have reported that cognitive remediation therapy (CRT) improves cognitive deficits in patents with schizophrenia. However, few studies have focused on the underlying structural alterations in the brain following Vocational Cognitive Ability Training by the Japanese Cognitive Rehabilitation Program for Schizophrenia (VCAT-J). In this study, we analyzed changes in diffusion tensor imaging parameters in 31 patients with schizophrenia after 12 weeks of intervention consisting of standard treatment alone or standard treatment plus VCAT-J, in order to determine the effect of the latter on white matter microstructural plasticity. Cognitive function was evaluated using the Japanese version of the Brief Assessment of Cognition in Schizophrenia (BACS-J) scale. The CRT group exhibited significant improvements in verbal fluency and composite BACS-J scores, relative to the treatment-as-usual (TAU) group. In addition, the CRT group exhibited significantly increased fractional anisotropy (FA) values, along with significantly decreased radial (RD) and mean diffusivity (MD) values, in the posterior lobe of the left cerebellum. Changes in RD and MD values were negatively correlated with changes in BACS-J composite scores. These suggest that VCAT-J might mediate improvements in myelin sheath composition in the posterior lobe of the left cerebellum, which may have been associated with improvements in cognitive function.