13 March 2017 Diffusion tractography and graph theory analysis reveal the disrupted rich-club organization of white matter structural networks in early Tourette Syndrome children
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Abstract
Tourette syndrome (TS) is a childhood-onset neurobehavioral disorder. At present, the topological disruptions of the whole brain white matter (WM) structural networks remain poorly understood in TS children. Considering the unique position of the topologically central role of densely interconnected brain hubs, namely the rich club regions, therefore, we aimed to investigate whether the rich club regions and their related connections would be particularly vulnerable in early TS children. In our study, we used diffusion tractography and graph theoretical analyses to explore the rich club structures in 44 TS children and 48 healthy children. The structural networks of TS children exhibited significantly increased normalized rich club coefficient, suggesting that TS is characterized by increased structural integrity of this centrally embedded rich club backbone, potentially resulting in increased global communication capacity. In addition, TS children showed a reorganization of rich club regions, as well as significantly increased density and decreased number in feeder connections. Furthermore, the increased rich club coefficients and feeder connections density of TS children were significantly positively correlated to tic severity, indicating that TS may be characterized by a selective alteration of the structural connectivity of the rich club regions, tending to have higher bridging with non-rich club regions, which may increase the integration among tic-related brain circuits with more excitability but less inhibition for information exchanges between highly centered brain regions and peripheral areas. In all, our results suggest the disrupted rich club organization in early TS children and provide structural insights into the brain networks.
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Hongwei Wen, Yue Liu, Shengpei Wang, Jishui Zhang, Yun Peng, Huiguang He, "Diffusion tractography and graph theory analysis reveal the disrupted rich-club organization of white matter structural networks in early Tourette Syndrome children", Proc. SPIE 10137, Medical Imaging 2017: Biomedical Applications in Molecular, Structural, and Functional Imaging, 101371E (13 March 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2254093; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2254093
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