Aberrant Functional Connectivity and Structural Atrophy in Subcortical Vascular Cognitive Impairment: Relationship with Cognitive Impairments
Suicide is highly prevalent in schizophrenia (SZ), yet it remains unclear how suicide risk factors such as past suicidal ideation or behavior relate to brain function. Circuits modulated by the prefrontal cortex (PFC) are altered in SZ, including in dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) during conflict-monitoring (an important component of cognitive control), and dACC changes are observed in post-mortem studies of heterogeneous suicide victims. We tested whether conflict-related dACC functional connectivity is associated with past suicidal ideation and behavior in SZ. 32 patients with recent-onset of DSM-IV-TR-defined SZ were evaluated with the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale and functional MRI during cognitive control (AX-CPT) task performance. Group-level regression models relating past history of suicidal ideation or behavior to dACC-seeded functional connectivity during conflict-monitoring controlled for severity of depression, psychosis and impulsivity. Past suicidal ideation was associated with relatively higher functional connectivity of the dACC with the precuneus during conflict-monitoring. Intensity of worst-point past suicidal ideation was associated with relatively higher dACC functional connectivity in medial parietal lobe and striato-thalamic nuclei. In contrast, among those with past suicidal ideation (n = 17), past suicidal behavior was associated with lower conflict-related dACC connectivity with multiple lateral and medial PFC regions, parietal and temporal cortical regions. This study provides unique evidence that recent-onset schizophrenia patients with past suicidal ideation or behavior show altered dACC-based circuit function during conflict-monitoring. Suicidal ideation and suicidal behavior have divergent patterns of associated dACC functional connectivity, suggesting a differing pattern of conflict-related brain dysfunction with these two distinct features of suicide phenomenology.