Clustering of Multiple Psychiatric Disorders Using Functional Connectivity in the Data-Driven Brain Subnetwork.
ABSTRACT: Recently, the dimensional approach has attracted much attention, bringing a paradigm shift to a continuum of understanding of different psychiatric disorders. In line with this new paradigm, we examined whether there was common functional connectivity related to various psychiatric disorders in an unsupervised manner without explicitly using diagnostic label information. To this end, we uniquely applied a newly developed network-based multiple clustering method to resting-state functional connectivity data, which allowed us to identify pairs of relevant brain subnetworks and subject cluster solutions accordingly. Thus, we identified four subject clusters, which were characterized as major depressive disorder (MDD), young healthy control (young HC), schizophrenia (SCZ)/bipolar disorder (BD), and autism spectrum disorder (ASD), respectively, with the relevant brain subnetwork represented by the cerebellum-thalamus-pallidum-temporal circuit. The clustering results were validated using independent datasets. This study is the first cross-disorder analysis in the framework of unsupervised learning of functional connectivity based on a data-driven brain subnetwork.
Project description:The functional brain network has gained increased attention in the neuroscience community because of its ability to reveal the underlying architecture of human brain. In general, majority work of functional network connectivity is built based on the correlations between discrete-time-series signals that link only two different brain regions. However, these simple region-to-region connectivity models do not capture complex connectivity patterns between three or more brain regions that form a connectivity subnetwork, or subnetwork for short. To overcome this current limitation, a hypergraph learning-based method is proposed to identify subnetwork differences between two different cohorts. To achieve our goal, a hypergraph is constructed, where each vertex represents a subject and also a hyperedge encodes a subnetwork with similar functional connectivity patterns between different subjects. Unlike previous learning-based methods, our approach is designed to jointly optimize the weights for all hyperedges such that the learned representation is in consensus with the distribution of phenotype data, i.e. clinical labels. In order to suppress the spurious subnetwork biomarkers, we further enforce a sparsity constraint on the hyperedge weights, where a larger hyperedge weight indicates the subnetwork with the capability of identifying the disorder condition. We apply our hypergraph learning-based method to identify subnetwork biomarkers in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). A comprehensive quantitative and qualitative analysis is performed, and the results show that our approach can correctly classify ASD and ADHD subjects from normal controls with 87.65 and 65.08% accuracies, respectively.
Project description:The neural underpinnings of anorexia nervosa (AN) are poorly understood. Results from existing functional brain imaging studies using disorder-relevant food- or body-stimuli have been heterogeneous and may be biased due to varying compliance or strategies of the participants. In this study, resting state functional connectivity imaging was used. To explore the distributed nature and complexity of brain function we characterized network patterns in patients with acute AN. Thirty-five unmedicated female acute AN patients and 35 closely matched healthy female participants underwent resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging. We used a network-based statistic (NBS) approach [Zalesky et al., 2010a] to identify differences between groups by isolating a network of interconnected nodes with a deviant connectivity pattern. Group comparison revealed a subnetwork of connections with decreased connectivity including the amygdala, thalamus, fusiform gyrus, putamen and the posterior insula as the central hub in the patient group. Results were not driven by changes in intranodal or global connectivity. No network could be identified where AN patients had increased coupling. Given the known involvement of the identified thalamo-insular subnetwork in interoception, decreased connectivity in AN patients in these nodes might reflect changes in the propagation of sensations that alert the organism to urgent homeostatic imbalances and pain-processes that are known to be severely disturbed in AN and might explain the striking discrepancy between patient's actual and perceived internal body state.
Project description:The current diagnosis of psychiatric disorders including major depressive disorder based largely on self-reported symptoms and clinical signs may be prone to patients' behaviors and psychiatrists' bias. This study aims at developing an unsupervised machine learning approach for the accurate identification of major depression based on single resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging scans in the absence of clinical information. Twenty-four medication-naive patients with major depression and 29 demographically similar healthy individuals underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging. We first clustered the voxels within the perigenual cingulate cortex into two subregions, a subgenual region and a pregenual region, according to their distinct resting-state functional connectivity patterns and showed that a maximum margin clustering-based unsupervised machine learning approach extracted sufficient information from the subgenual cingulate functional connectivity map to differentiate depressed patients from healthy controls with a group-level clustering consistency of 92.5% and an individual-level classification consistency of 92.5%. It was also revealed that the subgenual cingulate functional connectivity network with the highest discriminative power primarily included the ventrolateral and ventromedial prefrontal cortex, superior temporal gyri and limbic areas, indicating that these connections may play critical roles in the pathophysiology of major depression. The current study suggests that subgenual cingulate functional connectivity network signatures may provide promising objective biomarkers for the diagnosis of major depression and that maximum margin clustering-based unsupervised machine learning approaches may have the potential to inform clinical practice and aid in research on psychiatric disorders.
Project description:Previous functional connectivity studies have found both hypo- and hyper-connectivity in brains of individuals having autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Here we studied abnormalities in functional brain subnetworks in high-functioning individuals with ASD during free viewing of a movie containing social cues and interactions. Twenty-six subjects (13 with ASD) watched a 68-min movie during functional magnetic resonance imaging. For each subject, we computed Pearson's correlation between haemodynamic time-courses of each pair of 6-mm isotropic voxels. From the whole-brain functional networks, we derived individual and group-level subnetworks using graph theory. Scaled inclusivity was then calculated between all subject pairs to estimate intersubject similarity of connectivity structure of each subnetwork. Additional 54 individuals (27 with ASD) from the ABIDE resting-state database were included to test the reproducibility of the results. Between-group differences were observed in the composition of default-mode and ventro-temporal-limbic (VTL) subnetworks. The VTL subnetwork included amygdala, striatum, thalamus, parahippocampal, fusiform, and inferior temporal gyri. Further, VTL subnetwork similarity between subject pairs correlated significantly with similarity of symptom gravity measured with autism quotient. This correlation was observed also within the controls, and in the reproducibility dataset with ADI-R and ADOS scores. Our results highlight how the reorganization of functional subnetworks in individuals with ASD clarifies the mixture of hypo- and hyper-connectivity findings. Importantly, only the functional organization of the VTL subnetwork emerges as a marker of inter-individual similarities that co-vary with behavioral measures across all participants. These findings suggest a pivotal role of ventro-temporal and limbic systems in autism.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Activating vestibular afferents via galvanic vestibular stimulation (GVS) has been recently shown to have a number of complex motor effects in Parkinson's disease (PD), but the basis of these improvements is unclear. The evaluation of network-level connectivity changes may provide us with greater insights into the mechanisms of GVS efficacy.<h4>Objective</h4>To test the effects of different GVS stimuli on brain subnetwork interactions in both health control (HC) and PD groups using fMRI.<h4>Methods</h4>FMRI data were collected for all participants at baseline (resting state) and under noisy, 1 Hz sinusoidal, and 70-200 Hz multisine GVS. All stimuli were given below sensory threshold, blinding subjects to stimulation. The subnetworks of 15 healthy controls and 27 PD subjects (on medication) were identified in their native space, and their subnetwork interactions were estimated by nonnegative canonical correlation analysis. We then determined if the inferred subnetwork interaction changes were affected by disease and stimulus type and if the stimulus-dependent GVS effects were influenced by demographic features.<h4>Results</h4>At baseline, interactions with the visual-cerebellar network were significantly decreased in the PD group. Sinusoidal and multisine GVS improved (i.e., made values approaching those seen in HC) subnetwork interactions more effectively than noisy GVS stimuli overall. Worsening disease severity, apathy, depression, impaired cognitive function, and increasing age all limited the beneficial effects of GVS.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Vestibular stimulation has widespread system-level brain influences and can improve subnetwork interactions in PD in a stimulus-dependent manner, with the magnitude of such effects associating with demographics and disease status.
Project description:The amygdala plays an important role in emotional functions and its dysfunction is considered to be associated with multiple psychiatric disorders in humans. Cytoarchitectonic mapping has demonstrated that the human amygdala complex comprises several subregions. However, it's difficult to delineate boundaries of these subregions in vivo even if using state of the art high resolution structural MRI. Previous attempts to parcellate this small structure using unsupervised clustering methods based on resting state fMRI data suffered from the low spatial resolution of typical fMRI data, and it remains challenging for the unsupervised methods to define subregions of the amygdala in vivo. In this study, we developed a novel brain parcellation method to segment the human amygdala into spatially contiguous subregions based on 7T high resolution fMRI data. The parcellation was implemented using a semi-supervised spectral clustering (SSC) algorithm at an individual subject level. Under guidance of prior information derived from the Julich cytoarchitectonic atlas, our method clustered voxels of the amygdala into subregions according to similarity measures of their functional signals. As a result, three distinct amygdala subregions can be obtained in each hemisphere for every individual subject. Compared with the cytoarchitectonic atlas, our method achieved better performance in terms of subregional functional homogeneity. Validation experiments have also demonstrated that the amygdala subregions obtained by our method have distinctive, lateralized functional connectivity (FC) patterns. Our study has demonstrated that the semi-supervised brain parcellation method is a powerful tool for exploring amygdala subregional functions.
Project description:Default mode network (DMN) is a set of functional brain structures coherently activated when individuals are in resting-state. In this study, we constructed multi-frequency band resting-state EEG-based DMN functional network models for major psychiatric disorders to easily compare their pathophysiological characteristics. Phase-locking values (PLVs) were evaluated to quantify functional connectivity; global and nodal clustering coefficients (CCs) were evaluated to quantify global and local connectivity patterns of DMN nodes, respectively. DMNs of patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, major depressive disorder (MDD), bipolar disorder, schizophrenia (SZ), mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and Alzheimer's disease (AD) were constructed relative to their demographically-matched healthy control groups. Overall DMN patterns were then visualized and compared with each other. In global CCs, SZ and AD showed hyper-clustering in the theta band; OCD, MCI, and AD showed hypo-clustering in the low-alpha band; OCD and MDD showed hypo-clustering and hyper-clustering in low-beta, and high-beta bands, respectively. In local CCs, disease-specific patterns were observed. In the PLVs, lowered theta-band functional connectivity between the left lingual gyrus and the left hippocampus was frequently observed. Our comprehensive comparisons suggest EEG-based DMN as a useful vehicle for understanding altered brain networks of major psychiatric disorders.
Project description:By means of a novel methodology that can statistically derive patterns of co-alterations distribution from voxel-based morphological data, this study analyzes the patterns of brain alterations of three important psychiatric spectra-that is, schizophrenia spectrum disorder (SCZD), autistic spectrum disorder (ASD), and obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorder (OCSD). Our analysis provides five important results. First, in SCZD, ASD, and OCSD brain alterations do not distribute randomly but, rather, follow network-like patterns of co-alteration. Second, the clusters of co-altered areas form a net of alterations that can be defined as morphometric co-alteration network or co-atrophy network (in the case of gray matter decreases). Third, within this network certain cerebral areas can be identified as pathoconnectivity hubs, the alteration of which is supposed to enhance the development of neuronal abnormalities. Fourth, within the morphometric co-atrophy network of SCZD, ASD, and OCSD, a subnetwork composed of eleven highly connected nodes can be distinguished. This subnetwork encompasses the anterior insulae, inferior frontal areas, left superior temporal areas, left parahippocampal regions, left thalamus and right precentral gyri. Fifth, the co-altered areas also exhibit a normal structural covariance pattern which overlaps, for some of these areas (like the insulae), the co-alteration pattern. These findings reveal that, similarly to neurodegenerative diseases, psychiatric disorders are characterized by anatomical alterations that distribute according to connectivity constraints so as to form identifiable morphometric co-atrophy patterns.
Project description:Objective:Benign epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes (BECTS, also known as Rolandic epilepsy) is a common epilepsy syndrome that is associated with literacy and language impairments. The neural mechanisms of the syndrome are not known. The primary objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that functional connectivity within the language network is decreased in children with BECTS. We also tested the hypothesis that siblings of children with BECTS have similar abnormalities. Methods:Echo planar magnetic resonance (MR) imaging data were acquired from 25 children with BECTS, 12 siblings, and 20 healthy controls, at rest. After preprocessing with particular attention to intrascan motion, the mean signal was extracted from each of 90 regions of interest. Sparse, undirected graphs were constructed from adjacency matrices consisting of Spearman's rank correlation coefficients. Global and nodal graph metrics and subnetwork and pairwise connectivity were compared between groups. Results:There were no significant differences in graph metrics between groups. Children with BECTS had decreased functional connectivity relative to controls within a four-node subnetwork, which consisted of the left inferior frontal gyrus, the left superior frontal gyrus, the left supramarginal gyrus, and the right inferior parietal lobe (p = 0.04). A similar but nonsignificant decrease was also observed for the siblings. The BECTS groups had significant increases in connectivity within a five-node, five-edge frontal subnetwork. Significance:The results provide further evidence of decreased functional connectivity between key mediators of speech processing, language, and reading in children with BECTS. We hypothesize that these decreases reflect delayed lateralization of the language network and contribute to specific cognitive impairments.
Project description:Recently, resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (R-fMRI) has emerged as a powerful tool for investigating functional brain organization changes in a variety of neurological and psychiatric disorders. However, the current techniques may need further development to better define the reference brain networks for quantifying the functional connectivity differences between normal and diseased subject groups. In this study, we introduced a new clustering-based method that can clearly define the reference clusters. By employing group difference information to guide the clustering, the voxels within the reference clusters will have homogeneous functional connectivity changes above predefined levels. This method identified functional clusters that were significantly different between the amnestic mild cognitively impaired (aMCI) and age-matched cognitively normal (CN) subjects. The results indicated that the distribution of the clusters and their functionally disconnected regions resembled the altered memory network regions previously identified in task fMRI studies. In conclusion, the new clustering method provides an advanced approach for studying functional brain organization changes associated with brain diseases.