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Spatially Overlapping Regions Show Abnormal Thalamo-frontal Circuit and Abnormal Precuneus in Disorders of Consciousness

  • Xiaoyan Wu
  • Qiuyou Xie
  • Xiaojin Liu
  • Huiyuan Huang
  • Qing Ma
  • Junjing Wang
  • Miao Zhong
  • Yanbin He
  • Chen Niu
  • Yan Chen
  • Feng Deng
  • Xiaoxiao Ni
  • Yuan He
  • Yequn Guo
  • Ronghao YuEmail author
  • Ruiwang HuangEmail author
Original Paper
  • 45 Downloads

Abstract

Understanding the neural mechanisms of disorders of consciousness (DOC) is essential for estimating the conscious level and diagnosing DOC patients. Although previous studies reported brain functional connectivity (FC) and spontaneous neural activity patterns associated with consciousness, the relationship between them remains unclear. In this study, we identified the abnormal brain regions in DOC patients by performing voxel-wise FC strength (FCS) and fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (fALFF) analyses on resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data of 15 DOC patients and 24 healthy controls. Furthermore, we detected spatial intersections between two measures and estimated the correlations between either the FCS or the fALFF and the subscales of the Coma Recovery Scale-Revised (CRS-R). We found that the right superior frontal gyrus, left thalamus and right precuneus in which the DOC patients had a lower local FCS and fALFF than healthy controls, are coincident with regions of the mesocircuit model. In the right precuneus, the local FCS/fALFF was significantly positively correlated with the oromotor and motor scores/motor score of the CRS-R. Our findings may indicate that the co-occurrent pattern of spontaneous neural activity and functional connectivity in the thalamo-frontal circuit and the precuneus are associated with motor function in DOC patients.

Keywords

Functional connectivity strength (FCS) Fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (fALFF) Co-occurrent pattern Mesocircuit Thalamo-frontal circuit Precuneus 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by funding from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Numbers: 81871338, 81371535, 81428013, 81471654, 81271548, and 81871338), Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong Province, China (2015A030313609). The authors express their appreciation to Drs. Rhoda E. and Edmund F. Perozzi for editing assistance.

Author contributions

XW analysed the data, wrote the manuscript, and revised the manuscript. XL, HH assisted the data analysis and the manuscript revision. JW, MZ, CN, FD, YH participated in discussion, give some advices for details of the manuscript. QX, RY, QM collected the MRI data and clinical information. YH, YC, XN, YG, assisted to collect the clinical information. RH is the guider of the manuscript, provide the idea of the manuscript and advice of revision.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing financial interests.

Supplementary material

10548_2018_693_MOESM1_ESM.doc (9 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 9246 KB)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiaoyan Wu
    • 1
  • Qiuyou Xie
    • 2
  • Xiaojin Liu
    • 1
  • Huiyuan Huang
    • 1
  • Qing Ma
    • 2
  • Junjing Wang
    • 1
  • Miao Zhong
    • 1
  • Yanbin He
    • 2
  • Chen Niu
    • 1
  • Yan Chen
    • 2
  • Feng Deng
    • 1
  • Xiaoxiao Ni
    • 2
  • Yuan He
    • 1
  • Yequn Guo
    • 2
  • Ronghao Yu
    • 2
    Email author
  • Ruiwang Huang
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Center for the Study of Applied Psychology, Guangdong Key Laboratory of Mental Health and Cognitive Science, School of Psychology, Institute for Brain Research and RehabilitationSouth China Normal UniversityGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Coma Research Group, Center for Hyperbaric Oxygen and NeurorehabilitationGuangzhou Hospital of Guangzhou Military CommandGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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