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Brain Connect. 2013;3(2):177-89. doi: 10.1089/brain.2012.0125. Epub 2013 Mar 21.

Graph theoretical analysis of sedation's effect on whole brain functional system in school-aged children.

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Shenzhen Maternal and Child Healthcare Hospital, Shenzhen, China.


The neurophysiological mechanism underlying sedation, especially in school-aged children, remains largely unknown. The recently emerged resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rsfMRI) technique, capable of delineating brain's functional interaction pattern among distributed brain areas, proves to be a unique and powerful tool to study sedation-induced brain reorganization. Based on a relatively large school-aged children population (n=28, 10.3±2.6 years, range 7-15 years) and leveraging rsfMRI and graph theoretical analysis, this study aims to delineate sedation-induced changes in brain's information transferring property from a whole brain system perspective. Our results show a global deterioration in brain's efficiency properties (p=0.0085 and 0.0018, for global and local efficiency, respectively) with a locally graded distribution featuring significant disruptions of key consciousness-related regions. Moreover, our results also indicate a redistribution of brain's information-processing hubs characterized by a right and posterior shift as consistent with the reduced level of consciousness during sedation. Overall, our findings inform a sedation-induced functional reorganization pattern in school-aged children that greatly improve our understanding of sedation's effect in children and may potentially serve as reference for future sedation-related experimental studies and clinical applications.

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