An Introduction to the Internal Capsule in Schizophrenia

Volume 4 Issue 2
Article Information

Abstract

The internal capsule is a significant white matter tract observed within the basal ganglia. It contains the majority of the cortico-spinal fibres and acts as the major relay for multiple cortio-subcortical networks and inputs to the thalamus from the body, as well as connecting to the corona radiata on the superior surface and the cerebral peduncle and spinal neurones on the inferior aspect. Decreased fractional anisotropy of the internal capsule has been reported by multiple studies in schizophrenia, although the details of the effects and precise regions of the internal capsule affected are complex. Structural MRI has shown that white matter density in this structure is decreased, irrespective of volume change. Changes in oligodendrocyte- and astrocyte-related gene expression have also been shown. Overall the internal capsule is a complex connective part of the brain that has significant disruption in schizophrenia, although detailed studies on cell, axon and molecular causes of this have not been performed.

Key words: Basal Ganglia, White Matter, Internal Capsule, Schizophrenia