Altered cortical hubs in functional brain networks in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Neurological Sciences : Official Journal of the Italian Neurological Society and of the Italian Society of Clinical Neurophysiology
Xujing MaHuafu Chen

Abstract

Cortical hubs are highly connected nodes in functional brain networks that play vital roles in the efficient transfer of information across brain regions. Although altered functional connectivity has been found in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the changing pattern in functional network hubs in ALS remains unknown. In this study, we applied a voxel-wise method to investigate the changing pattern of cortical hubs in ALS. Through resting-state fMRI, we constructed whole-brain voxel-wise functional networks by measuring the temporal correlations of each pair of brain voxels and identified hubs using the graph theory method. Specifically, a functional connectivity strength (FCS) map was derived from the data on 20 patients with ALS and 20 healthy controls. The brain regions with high FCS values were regarded as functional network hubs. Functional hubs were found mainly in the bilateral precuneus, parietal cortex, medial prefrontal cortex, and in several visual regions and temporal areas in both groups. Within the hub regions, the ALS patients exhibited higher FCS in the prefrontal cortex compared with the healthy controls. The FCS value in the significantly abnormal hub regions was correlated with clinical variables. Results ...Continue Reading

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Jan 18, 2017·Neurological Sciences : Official Journal of the Italian Neurological Society and of the Italian Society of Clinical Neurophysiology·Ilaria Di Donato, Antonio Federico
Dec 18, 2020·Frontiers in Neurology·Rachel F Smallwood ShoukryMary Kay Floeter

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