Three approaches to investigating functional compromise to the default mode network after traumatic axonal injury

Department of Psychiatry, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, USA.
Brain Imaging and Behavior (Impact Factor: 3.39). 07/2012; 8(3). DOI: 10.1007/s11682-012-9191-2
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The default mode network (DMN) is a reliably elicited functional neural network with potential clinical implications. Its discriminant and prognostic utility following traumatic axonal injury (TAI) have not been previously investigated. The present study used three approaches to analyze DMN functional connectedness, including a whole-brain analysis [A1], network-specific analysis [A2], and between-node (edge) analysis [A3]. The purpose was to identify the utility of each method in distinguishing between healthy and brain-injured individuals, and determine whether observed differences have clinical significance. Resting-state fMRI was acquired from 25 patients with TAI and 17 healthy controls. Patients were scanned 6-11 months post-injury, and functional and neurocognitive outcomes were assessed the same day. Using all three approaches, TAI subjects revealed significantly weaker functional connectivity (FC) than controls, and binary logistic regressions demonstrated all three approaches have discriminant value. Clinical outcomes were not correlated with FC using any approach. Results suggest that compromise to the functional connectedness of the DMN after TAI can be identified using resting-state FC; however, the degree of functional compromise to this network, as measured in this study, may not have clinical implications in chronic TAI.

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