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Front Hum Neurosci. 2016 Sep 16;10:463. eCollection 2016.

Resting-State Time-Varying Analysis Reveals Aberrant Variations of Functional Connectivity in Autism.

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Ubiquitous Awareness and Intelligent Solutions Lab, School of Information Science and Engineering, Lanzhou University Lanzhou, China.
Department of Magnetic Resonance, Lanzhou University Second Hospital Lanzhou, China.


Recently, studies based on time-varying functional connectivity have unveiled brain states diversity in some neuropsychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia and major depressive disorder. However, time-varying functional connectivity analysis of resting-state functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) have been rarely performed on the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Hence, we performed time-varying connectivity analysis on resting-state fMRI data to investigate brain states mutation in ASD children. ASD showed an imbalance of connectivity state and aberrant ratio of connectivity with different strengths in the whole brain network, and decreased connectivity associated precuneus/posterior cingulate gyrus with medial prefrontal gyrus in default mode network. As compared to typical development children, weak relevance condition (the strength of a large number of connectivities in the state was less than means minus standard deviation of all connection strength) was maintained for a longer time between brain areas of ASD children, and ratios of weak connectivity in brain states varied dramatically in the ASD. In the ASD, the abnormal brain state might be related to repetitive behaviors and stereotypical interests, and macroscopically reflect disruption of gamma-aminobutyric acid at the cellular level. The detection of brain states based on time-varying functional connectivity analysis of resting-state fMRI might be conducive for diagnosis and early intervention of ASD before obvious clinical symptoms.


autism; brain state; divergence; fMRI; functional connectivity; time-varying

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