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There is growing evidence suggesting that abnormalities in cortical-basal ganglia circuitry may play a significant role in determining outcomes in schizophrenia. The globus pallidus (GP), a critical structure within this circuitry, unique in its role as a mediator of competing inputs through the striatum, has not been well characterized in schizophrenia. The following study examined functional interactions of the GP in individuals with first-episode schizophrenia (FES). To probe the large-scale intrinsic connectivity of the GP, resting-state fMRI scans were obtained from patients with FES and sex and age-matched healthy controls. Participants with FES were also evaluated after 6 months via the Strauss-Carpenter Outcomes Scale to assess overall functional trajectory. The GP was parcellated to generate seeds within its substructures, and connectivity maps were generated. Our FES cohort showed significantly lower functional connectivity between the left GP interna and a network of regions including the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, caudate, and cerebellum at baseline. In addition, FES participants with lower overall scores of functioning at 6 months showed significantly decreased connectivity between the GP interna and the dorsal anterior cingulate and bilateral insula, all regions important for motivational salience. These results provide novel evidence for unique abnormalities in functional interactions of the GP with key prefrontal cortical regions in FES. Our findings also suggest that reduced prefrontal-pallidal connectivity may serve as a predictor of early functional outcome. © The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email:


Goda Tarcijonas, William Foran, Gretchen L Haas, Beatriz Luna, Deepak K Sarpal. Intrinsic Connectivity of the Globus Pallidus: An Uncharted Marker of Functional Prognosis in People With First-Episode Schizophrenia. Schizophrenia bulletin. 2020 Jan 04;46(1):184-192

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PMID: 31150557

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