Publication Date

2018

Abstract

Recent evidence has shown the presence of a “rich club” in the brain, which constitutes a core network of highly interconnected and spatially distributed brain regions, important for high-order cognitive processes. This study aimed to map the rich club organization in 17 young patients with moderate to severe TBI (15.71 ± 1.75 years) in the chronic stage of recovery and 17 age- and gender-matched controls. Probabilistic tractography was performed on diffusion weighted imaging data to construct the edges of the structural connectomes using number of streamlines as edge weight. In addition, the whole-brain network was divided into a rich club network, a local network and a feeder network connecting the latter two. Functional outcome was measured with a parent questionnaire for executive functioning. Our results revealed a significantly decreased rich club organization (p values < .05) and impaired executive functioning (p < .001) in young patients with TBI compared with controls. Specifically, we observed reduced density values in all three subnetworks (p values < .005) and a reduced mean strength in the rich club network (p =.013) together with an increased mean strength in the local network (p =.002) in patients with TBI. This study provides new insights into the nature of TBI-induced brain network alterations and supports the hypothesis that the local subnetwork tries to compensate for the biologically costly subnetwork of rich club nodes after TBI

School/Institute

Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research

Document Type

Journal Article

Access Rights

ERA Access

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