251 research outputs found

    Resolving Structure in Human Brain Organization: Identifying Mesoscale Organization in Weighted Network Representations

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    Human brain anatomy and function display a combination of modular and hierarchical organization, suggesting the importance of both cohesive structures and variable resolutions in the facilitation of healthy cognitive processes. However, tools to simultaneously probe these features of brain architecture require further development. We propose and apply a set of methods to extract cohesive structures in network representations of brain connectivity using multi-resolution techniques. We employ a combination of soft thresholding, windowed thresholding, and resolution in community detection, that enable us to identify and isolate structures associated with different weights. One such mesoscale structure is bipartivity, which quantifies the extent to which the brain is divided into two partitions with high connectivity between partitions and low connectivity within partitions. A second, complementary mesoscale structure is modularity, which quantifies the extent to which the brain is divided into multiple communities with strong connectivity within each community and weak connectivity between communities. Our methods lead to multi-resolution curves of these network diagnostics over a range of spatial, geometric, and structural scales. For statistical comparison, we contrast our results with those obtained for several benchmark null models. Our work demonstrates that multi-resolution diagnostic curves capture complex organizational profiles in weighted graphs. We apply these methods to the identification of resolution-specific characteristics of healthy weighted graph architecture and altered connectivity profiles in psychiatric disease.Comment: Comments welcom

    Choosing Wavelet Methods, Filters, and Lengths for Functional Brain Network Construction

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    Wavelet methods are widely used to decompose fMRI, EEG, or MEG signals into time series representing neurophysiological activity in fixed frequency bands. Using these time series, one can estimate frequency-band specific functional connectivity between sensors or regions of interest, and thereby construct functional brain networks that can be examined from a graph theoretic perspective. Despite their common use, however, practical guidelines for the choice of wavelet method, filter, and length have remained largely undelineated. Here, we explicitly explore the effects of wavelet method (MODWT vs. DWT), wavelet filter (Daubechies Extremal Phase, Daubechies Least Asymmetric, and Coiflet families), and wavelet length (2 to 24) - each essential parameters in wavelet-based methods - on the estimated values of network diagnostics and in their sensitivity to alterations in psychiatric disease. We observe that the MODWT method produces less variable estimates than the DWT method. We also observe that the length of the wavelet filter chosen has a greater impact on the estimated values of network diagnostics than the type of wavelet chosen. Furthermore, wavelet length impacts the sensitivity of the method to detect differences between health and disease and tunes classification accuracy. Collectively, our results suggest that the choice of wavelet method and length significantly alters the reliability and sensitivity of these methods in estimating values of network diagnostics drawn from graph theory. They furthermore demonstrate the importance of reporting the choices utilized in neuroimaging studies and support the utility of exploring wavelet parameters to maximize classification accuracy in the development of biomarkers of psychiatric disease and neurological disorders.Comment: working pape

    Data Driven Classification Using fMRI Network Measures: Application to Schizophrenia

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    Using classification to identify biomarkers for various brain disorders has become a common practice among the functional MR imaging community. Typical classification pipeline includes taking the time series, extracting features from them, and using them to classify a set of patients and healthy controls. The most informative features are then presented as novel biomarkers. In this paper, we compared the results of single and double cross validation schemes on a cohort of 170 subjects with schizophrenia and healthy control subjects. We used graph theoretic measures as our features, comparing the use of functional and anatomical atlases to define nodes and the effect of prewhitening to remove autocorrelation trends. We found that double cross validation resulted in a 20% decrease in classification performance compared to single cross validation. The anatomical atlas resulted in higher classification results. Prewhitening resulted in a 10% boost in classification performance. Overall, a classification performance of 80% was obtained with a double-cross validation scheme using prewhitened time series and an anatomical brain atlas. However, reproducibility of classification within subjects across scans was surprisingly low and comparable to across subject classification rates, indicating that subject state during the short scan significantly influences the estimated features and classification performance

    Methylation of FKBP5 and SLC6A4 in Relation to Treatment Response to Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

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    Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is an effective non-pharmacologic treatment for veterans with PTSD. Extensive work has identified epigenetic factors related to PTSD disease risk and pathophysiology, but how these factors influence treatment response is unclear. Serotonin signaling and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis functioning may be perturbed in PTSD and are molecular pathways targeted by PTSD treatments. To identify potential biomarkers for treatment response, we utilized genomic DNA isolated from peripheral blood samples from veterans with PTSD who were responders (n = 11) or non-responders (n = 11) to MBSR as part of a clinical trial. We assessed methylation levels at CpG sites in regions of the serotonin transporter (SLC6A4) previously associated with expression and depression outcomes, as well as the Intron 7 region of the FK506 binding protein 5 (FKBP5) containing known glucocorticoid response elements suggested to regulate this gene. Selected subjects were matched across MBSR responder status by baseline symptoms, age, sex, current smoking status, and current antidepressant use. Percent methylation was compared between responders and non-responders at baseline (pre-MBSR treatment). Additionally, percent change in methylation from baseline to post-treatment was compared between responders and non-responders. There was a significant time x responder group interaction for methylation in FKBP5 intron 7 bin 2 [F(1, 19) = 7.492, p = 0.013] whereby responders had a decrease in methylation and non-responders had an increase in methylation from before to after treatment in this region. Analyses of the three CpG sites within bin 2 revealed a significant time x responder group interaction for CpG_35558513 [F(1, 19) = 5.551, p = 0.029] which resides in a known glucocorticoid response element (GRE). Decreases in FKBP5 methylation after treatment in responders as compared to increases in non-responders suggest that effective meditation intervention may be associated with stress-related pathways at the molecular level. These preliminary findings suggest that DNA methylation signatures within FKBP5 are potential indicators of response to meditation treatment in PTSD and require validation in larger cohorts

    Exploring the longitudinal associations of functional network connectivity and psychiatric symptom changes in youth

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    Background: Functional connectivity has been associated with psychiatric problems, both in children and adults, but inconsistencies are present across studies. Prior research has mostly focused on small clinical samples with cross-sectional designs. Methods: We adopted a longitudinal design with repeated assessments to investigate associations between functional network connectivity (FNC) and psychiatric problems in youth (9- to 17-year-olds, two time points) from the general population. The largest single-site study of pediatric neurodevelopment was used: Generation R (N = 3,131 with data at either time point). Psychiatric symptoms were measured with the Child Behavioral Checklist as broadband internalizing and externalizing problems, and its eight specific syndrome scales (e.g., anxious-depressed). FNC was assessed with two complementary approaches. First, static FNC (sFNC) was measured with graph theory-based metrics. Second, dynamic FNC (dFNC), where connectivity is allowed to vary over time, was summarized into 5 states that participants spent time in. Cross-lagged panel models were used to investigate the longitudinal bidirectional relationships of sFNC with internalizing and externalizing problems. Similar cross-lagged panel models were run for dFNC. Results: Small longitudinal relationships between dFNC and certain syndrome scales were observed, especially for baseline syndrome scales (i.e., rule-breaking, somatic complaints, thought problems, and attention problems) predicting connectivity changes. However, no association between any of the psychiatric problems (broadband and syndrome scales) with either measure of FNC survived correction for multiple testing. Conclusion: We found no or very modest evidence for longitudinal associations between psychiatric problems with dynamic and static FNC in this population-based sample. Differences in findings may stem from the population drawn, study design, developmental timing, and sample sizes.</p

    Atypical developmental trajectories of white matter microstructure in prenatal alcohol exposure: Preliminary evidence from neurite orientation dispersion and density imaging

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    IntroductionFetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), a life-long condition resulting from prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE), is associated with structural brain anomalies and neurobehavioral differences. Evidence from longitudinal neuroimaging suggest trajectories of white matter microstructure maturation are atypical in PAE. We aimed to further characterize longitudinal trajectories of developmental white matter microstructure change in children and adolescents with PAE compared to typically-developing Controls using diffusion-weighted Neurite Orientation Dispersion and Density Imaging (NODDI).Materials and methodsParticipants: Youth with PAE (n鈥=鈥34) and typically-developing Controls (n鈥=鈥31) ages 8鈥17鈥墆ears at enrollment. Participants underwent formal evaluation of growth and facial dysmorphology. Participants also completed two study visits (17鈥塵onths apart on average), both of which involved cognitive testing and an MRI scan (data collected on a Siemens Prisma 3鈥塗 scanner). Age-related changes in the orientation dispersion index (ODI) and the neurite density index (NDI) were examined across five corpus callosum (CC) regions defined by tractography.ResultsWhile linear trajectories suggested similar overall microstructural integrity in PAE and Controls, analyses of symmetrized percent change (SPC) indicated group differences in the timing and magnitude of age-related increases in ODI (indexing the bending and fanning of axons) in the central region of the CC, with PAE participants demonstrating atypically steep increases in dispersion with age compared to Controls. Participants with PAE also demonstrated greater increases in ODI in the mid posterior CC (trend-level group difference). In addition, SPC in ODI and NDI was differentially correlated with executive function performance for PAE participants and Controls, suggesting an atypical relationship between white matter microstructure maturation and cognitive function in PAE.DiscussionPreliminary findings suggest subtle atypicality in the timing and magnitude of age-related white matter microstructure maturation in PAE compared to typically-developing Controls. These findings add to the existing literature on neurodevelopmental trajectories in PAE and suggest that advanced biophysical diffusion modeling (NODDI) may be sensitive to biologically-meaningful microstructural changes in the CC that are disrupted by PAE. Findings of atypical brain maturation-behavior relationships in PAE highlight the need for further study. Further longitudinal research aimed at characterizing white matter neurodevelopmental trajectories in PAE will be important