Increased amplitude of hippocampal low frequency fluctuations in early psychosis: A two-year follow-up study

Maureen McHugo, Baxter P. Rogers, Suzanne N. Avery, Kristan Armstrong, Jennifer Urbano Blackford, Simon N. Vandekar, Maxwell J. Roeske, Neil D. Woodward, Stephan Heckers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Neuroimaging studies have revealed hippocampal hyperactivity in schizophrenia. In the early stage of the illness, hyperactivity is present in the anterior hippocampus and is thought to spread to other regions as the illness progresses. However, there is limited evidence for changes in basal hippocampal function following the onset of psychosis. Resting state functional MRI signal amplitude may be a proxy measure for increased metabolism and disrupted oscillatory activity, both consequences of an excitation/inhibition imbalance underlying hippocampal hyperactivity. Here, we used fractional amplitude of low frequency fluctuations (fALFF) to test the hypothesis of progressive hippocampal hyperactivity in a two-year longitudinal case-control study. We found higher fALFF in the anterior and posterior hippocampus of individuals in the early stage of non-affective psychosis at study entry. Contrary to our hypothesis of progressive hippocampal dysfunction, we found evidence for normalization of fALFF over time in psychosis. Our findings support a model in which hippocampal fALFF is a marker of psychosis vulnerability or acute illness state rather than an enduring feature of the illness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)260-266
Number of pages7
JournalSchizophrenia Research
StatePublished - Mar 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • ALFF
  • Excitation/inhibition imbalance
  • Hippocampus
  • Longitudinal
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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