Abnormal functional connectivity density in sleep-deprived subjects
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Sleep deprivation (SD) can alter the intrinsic brain functional organization. However, its effects on intrinsic low-frequency connectivity in the whole brain have not been well characterized. In this study, we used voxel-based functional connectivity density (FCD) analysis to investigate the effects of SD on the spontaneous functional organization of the brain. Thirty-seven healthy participants underwent this within-subject crossover functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study during rested wakefulness (RW) and after 36 h of total sleep deprivation (TSD). Decreased long-/short-range FCDs were observed in the posterior cingulate cortex, precuneus, inferior parietal lobule, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, and ventromedial prefrontal cortex. Increased long-/short-range FCDs were found in the sensory integration and arousal regulating areas, including the postcentral gyrus, thalamus, superior temporal gyrus, and occipital-temporal cortex. Moreover, a significant negative correlation was found between the short-range FCD of the PCC and the reaction time of Psychomotor Vigilance Task. In the present study, spontaneous functional organization with significant group-wise differences between RW and TSD sessions was identified. Our findings extend our understanding of the neural mechanism of how brain activity is altered in sleep-deprived individuals.
KeywordsfMRI Functional connectivity density Resting state Sleep deprivation
This work was supported by the National Military Science Foundation of China, Nos. AWS12J003-2 (ZY), 2012ZX09031 (ZY); the National Key Technology R&D Program, No. 2013BAH02B00 (ZY).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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