Spatially Overlapping Regions Show Abnormal Thalamo-frontal Circuit and Abnormal Precuneus in Disorders of Consciousness
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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.
KeywordsFunctional connectivity strength (FCS) Fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (fALFF) Co-occurrent pattern Mesocircuit Thalamo-frontal circuit Precuneus
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.
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.
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no competing financial interests.
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