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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Amyloid Lateral Sclerosis
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive nervous system disease associated with the death of neurons that control voluntary muscles. Discover the latest research on ALS here.