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PLoS One. 2014 Feb 11;9(2):e88451. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0088451. eCollection 2014.

Resting-state EEG oscillatory dynamics in fragile X syndrome: abnormal functional connectivity and brain network organization.

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Institute of Psychology, Developmental Psychology Unit, Leiden University, Leiden, the Netherlands ; Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition. Leiden, the Netherlands.
Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands ; Neuroscience Campus Amsterdam, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Department of Developmental Psychology, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands ; Cognitive Science Center Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Disruptions in functional connectivity and dysfunctional brain networks are considered to be a neurological hallmark of neurodevelopmental disorders. Despite the vast literature on functional brain connectivity in typical brain development, surprisingly few attempts have been made to characterize brain network integrity in neurodevelopmental disorders. Here we used resting-state EEG to characterize functional brain connectivity and brain network organization in eight males with fragile X syndrome (FXS) and 12 healthy male controls. Functional connectivity was calculated based on the phase lag index (PLI), a non-linear synchronization index that is less sensitive to the effects of volume conduction. Brain network organization was assessed with graph theoretical analysis. A decrease in global functional connectivity was observed in FXS males for upper alpha and beta frequency bands. For theta oscillations, we found increased connectivity in long-range (fronto-posterior) and short-range (frontal-frontal and posterior-posterior) clusters. Graph theoretical analysis yielded evidence of increased path length in the theta band, suggesting that information transfer between brain regions is particularly impaired for theta oscillations in FXS. These findings are discussed in terms of aberrant maturation of neuronal oscillatory dynamics, resulting in an imbalance in excitatory and inhibitory neuronal circuit activity.

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