Social dysfunction is transdiagnostically associated with default mode network dysconnectivity in schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease

PRISM consortium

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Objectives: Social dysfunction is one of the most common signs of major neuropsychiatric disorders. The Default Mode Network (DMN) is crucially implicated in both psychopathology and social dysfunction, although the transdiagnostic properties of social dysfunction remains unknown. As part of the pan-European PRISM (Psychiatric Ratings using Intermediate Stratified Markers) project, we explored cross-disorder impact of social dysfunction on DMN connectivity. Methods: We studied DMN intrinsic functional connectivity in relation to social dysfunction by applying Independent Component Analysis and Dual Regression on resting-state fMRI data, among schizophrenia (SZ; N=48), Alzheimer disease (AD; N=47) patients and healthy controls (HC; N=55). Social dysfunction was operationalised via the Social Functioning Scale (SFS) and De Jong-Gierveld Loneliness Scale (LON). Results: Both SFS and LON were independently associated with diminished DMN connectional integrity within rostromedial prefrontal DMN subterritories (pcorrected range=0.02–0.04). The combined effect of these indicators (Mean.SFS + LON) on diminished DMN connectivity was even more pronounced (both spatially and statistically), independent of diagnostic status, and not confounded by key clinical or sociodemographic effects, comprising large sections of rostromedial and dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (pcorrected =0.01). Conclusions: These findings pinpoint DMN connectional alterations as putative transdiagnostic endophenotypes for social dysfunction and could aid personalised care initiatives grounded in social behaviour.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)264-277
Number of pages14
JournalWorld Journal of Biological Psychiatry
Issue number4
Early online date2021
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Alzheimer’s
  • DMN
  • Social dysfunction
  • schizophrenia
  • transdiagnostic

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