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PLoS One. 2013 Jun 17;8(6):e65870. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0065870. Print 2013.

Whole-brain functional connectivity identification of functional dyspepsia.

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School of Life Sciences and Technology, Xidian University, Xi'an, PR China.


Recent neuroimaging studies have shown local brain aberrations in functional dyspepsia (FD) patients, yet little attention has been paid to the whole-brain resting-state functional network abnormalities. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether FD disrupts the patterns of whole-brain networks and the abnormal functional connectivity could reflect the severity of the disease. The dysfunctional interactions between brain regions at rest were investigated in FD patients as compared with 40 age- and gender- matched healthy controls. Multivariate pattern analysis was used to evaluate the discriminative power of our results for classifying patients from controls. In our findings, the abnormal brain functional connections were mainly situated within or across the limbic/paralimbic system, the prefrontal cortex, the tempo-parietal areas and the visual cortex. About 96% of the subjects among the original dataset were correctly classified by a leave one-out cross-validation approach, and 88% accuracy was also validated in a replication dataset. The classification features were significantly associated with the patients' dyspepsia symptoms, the self-rating depression scale and self-rating anxiety scale, but it was not correlated with duration of FD patients (p>0.05). Our results may indicate the effectiveness of the altered brain functional connections reflecting the disease pathophysiology underling FD. These dysfunctional connections may be the epiphenomena or causative agents of FD, which may be affected by clinical severity and its related emotional dimension of the disease rather than the clinical course.

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