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Medial Prefrontal-Hippocampal Connectivity and Motor Memory Consolidation in Depression and Schizophrenia

      Abstract

      Background

      Overnight memory consolidation is disturbed in both depression and schizophrenia, creating an ideal situation to investigate the mechanisms underlying sleep-related consolidation and to distinguish disease-specific processes from common elements in their pathophysiology.

      Methods

      We investigated patients with depression and schizophrenia, as well as healthy control subjects (each n = 16), under a motor memory consolidation protocol with functional magnetic resonance imaging and polysomnography.

      Results

      In a sequential finger-tapping task associated with the degree of hippocampal-prefrontal cortex functional connectivity during the task, significantly less overnight improvement was identified as a common deficit in both patient groups. A task-related overnight decrease in activation of the basal ganglia was observed in control subjects and schizophrenia patients; in contrast, patients with depression showed an increase. During the task, schizophrenia patients, in comparison with control subjects, additionally recruited adjacent cortical areas, which showed a decrease in functional magnetic resonance imaging activation overnight and were related to disease severity. Effective connectivity analyses revealed that the hippocampus was functionally connected to the motor task network, and the cerebellum decoupled from this network overnight.

      Conclusions

      While both patient groups showed similar deficits in consolidation associated with hippocampal-prefrontal cortex connectivity, other activity patterns more specific for disease pathology differed.

      Keywords

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