Research Reports - Default-mode network disruption in mild traumatic brain injury

Radiology. 2012 Dec;265(3):882-92

Zhou Y, Milham MP, Lui YW, Miles L, Reaume J, Sodickson DK, Grossman RI, Ge Y

Purpose: To investigate the integrity of the default-mode network (DMN) by using
independent component analysis (ICA) methods in patients shortly after mild
traumatic brain injury (MTBI) and healthy control subjects, and to correlate DMN
connectivity changes with neurocognitive tests and clinical symptoms. Materials
and Methods: This study was approved by the institutional review board and
complied with HIPAA regulations. Twenty-three patients with MTBI who had
posttraumatic symptoms shortly after injury (<2 months) and 18 age-matched
healthy control subjects were included in this study. Resting-state functional
magnetic resonance imaging was performed at 3 T to characterize the DMN by using
ICA methods, including a single-participant ICA on the basis of a comprehensive
template from core seeds in the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) and medial
prefrontal cortex (MPFC) nodes. ICA z images of DMN components were compared
between the two groups and correlated with neurocognitive tests and clinical
performance in patients by using Pearson and Spearman rank correlation. Results:
When compared with the control subjects, there was significantly reduced
connectivity in the PCC and parietal regions and increased frontal connectivity
around the MPFC in patients with MTBI (P < .01). These frontoposterior opposing
changes within the DMN were significantly correlated (r = -0.44, P = .03). The
reduced posterior connectivity correlated positively with neurocognitive
dysfunction (eg, cognitive flexibility), while the increased frontal connectivity
correlated negatively with posttraumatic symptoms (ie, depression, anxiety,
fatigue, and postconcussion syndrome). Conclusion: These results showed abnormal
DMN connectivity patterns in patients with MTBI, which may provide insight into
how neuronal communication and information integration are disrupted among DMN
key structures after mild head injury.

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