Altered brain functional network in children with type 1 Gaucher disease: a longitudinal graph theory-based study
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Previous studies have investigated the brain structural abnormalities in children with type I Gaucher disease (GD). The purpose of our study is to investigate the topological efficiency of the brain functional network in children with type 1 GD.
Twenty-two children diagnosed with type 1 GD and 22 sex- and age-matched healthy controls (HCs) underwent resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) examination. For longitudinal study, the GD patients underwent rs-fMRI examination again after 4.6 years. Graph theoretical analysis was used to assess the brain network topological properties at the global and regional levels.
Compared with the HCs, the children with type 1 GD showed a decreased efficiency in functional segregation with a decreased γ (normalized clustering coefficient). In addition, the balance between functional segregation and integration was disrupted with decreased small-worldness (σ). At the regional level, the children with type 1 GD showed significantly decreased nodal degree and efficiency in the right precentral gyrus (PreCG.R) and left postcentral gyrus (PoCG.L). The significantly altered γ, σ, and nodal degree in the PreCG.R and PoCG.L were negatively correlated with the disease duration. No significant alterations in the global and regional topological properties were identified in these patients over time.
Compared with that of the HCs, the efficiency of the brain functional network in the children with type 1 GD was disrupted, and regional involvement was located in motor- and sensory-related regions. The efficiency of the brain functional network in these patients remained stable over time.
KeywordsGaucher disease Children Resting-state functional MRI Brain functional networks Graph theory
We thank Xuhong Liao at Beijing Normal University for consultation and support on data processing.
Compliance with ethical standards
This study was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 81671651).
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in the studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Medical Ethics Committee of the Beijing Children’s Hospital and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from the parents or legal guardians of all individual participants included in the study.
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