Abnormal functional connectivity of default mode sub-networks in autism spectrum disorder patients.

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TitleAbnormal functional connectivity of default mode sub-networks in autism spectrum disorder patients.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsAssaf, M, Jagannathan, K, Calhoun, VD, Miller, L, Stevens, MC, Sahl, R, O'Boyle, JG, Schultz, RT, Pearlson, GD
JournalNeuroimage
Volume53
Issue1
Pagination247-56
Date Published2010 Oct 15
ISSN1095-9572
KeywordsAdolescent, Brain, Child, Child Development Disorders, Pervasive, Female, Humans, Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Nerve Net, Neural Pathways, Reproducibility of Results, Sensitivity and Specificity, Young Adult
Abstract

Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are characterized by deficits in social and communication processes. Recent data suggest that altered functional connectivity (FC), i.e. synchronous brain activity, might contribute to these deficits. Of specific interest is the FC integrity of the default mode network (DMN), a network active during passive resting states and cognitive processes related to social deficits seen in ASD, e.g. Theory of Mind. We investigated the role of altered FC of default mode sub-networks (DM-SNs) in 16 patients with high-functioning ASD compared to 16 matched healthy controls of short resting fMRI scans using independent component analysis (ICA). ICA is a multivariate data-driven approach that identifies temporally coherent networks, providing a natural measure of FC. Results show that compared to controls, patients showed decreased FC between the precuneus and medial prefrontal cortex/anterior cingulate cortex, DMN core areas, and other DM-SNs areas. FC magnitude in these regions inversely correlated with the severity of patients' social and communication deficits as measured by the Autism Diagnostic Observational Schedule and the Social Responsiveness Scale. Importantly, supplemental analyses suggest that these results were independent of treatment status. These results support the hypothesis that DM-SNs under-connectivity contributes to the core deficits seen in ASD. Moreover, these data provide further support for the use of data-driven analysis with resting-state data for illuminating neural systems that differ between groups. This approach seems especially well suited for populations where compliance with and performance of active tasks might be a challenge, as it requires minimal cooperation.

DOI10.1016/j.neuroimage.2010.05.067
Alternate JournalNeuroimage
PubMed ID20621638
PubMed Central IDPMC3058935
Grant ListR01 EB000840-08 / EB / NIBIB NIH HHS / United States
R01 EB000840-03 / EB / NIBIB NIH HHS / United States
R01 EB000840-02 / EB / NIBIB NIH HHS / United States
R01 EB000840-01 / EB / NIBIB NIH HHS / United States
R01 EB000840-06 / EB / NIBIB NIH HHS / United States
2R01 EB000840 / EB / NIBIB NIH HHS / United States
R01 EB000840 / EB / NIBIB NIH HHS / United States
R01 EB000840-05 / EB / NIBIB NIH HHS / United States
R01 EB000840-07 / EB / NIBIB NIH HHS / United States
R01 EB000840-09 / EB / NIBIB NIH HHS / United States
R01 EB000840-04 / EB / NIBIB NIH HHS / United States
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