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Friday

 

Depletion of brain functional connectivity enhancement leads to disability progression in MS: A longitudinal resting-state fMRI study.





































Image Source: TOPNEWS


Abstract

Background:
The compensatory effect of brain functional connectivity enhancement in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) remains controversial.

Objective:
To characterize the relationships between brain functional connectivity changes and disability progression in RRMS.

Methods:
Long-range connectivity, short-range connectivity, and density of connections were assessed using graph theoretical analysis of resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data acquired in 38 RRMS patients (disease duration: 120 ± 32 months) and 24 controls. All subjects were explored at baseline and all patients and six controls 2 years later.

Results:
At baseline, levels of long-range and short-range brain functional connectivity were higher in patients compared to controls. During the follow-up, decrease in connections' density was inversely correlated with disability progression. Post-hoc analysis evidenced differential evolution of brain functional connectivity metrics in patients according to their level of disability at baseline: while patients with lowest disability at baseline experienced an increase in all connectivity metrics during the follow-up, patients with higher disability at baseline showed a decrease in the connectivity metrics. In these patients, decrease in the connectivity metrics was associated with disability progression.

Conclusion:
The study provides two main findings: (1) brain functional connectivity enhancement decreases during the disease course after reaching a maximal level, and (2) decrease in brain functional connectivity enhancement participates in disability progression.

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