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Oncotarget. 2017 Jul 8;8(39):65506-65524. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.19098. eCollection 2017 Sep 12.

Disrupted small-world brain network topology in pure conduct disorder.

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Bioimaging Core, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Macau, Macau SAR, China.
Mental Health Institute, Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Hunan Province Technology Institute of Psychiatry, Key Laboratory of Psychiatry and Mental Health of Hunan Province, Changsha, China.
School of Electrical Engineering and Information, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China.



Conduct disorder (CD) is characterized by the violation of the rights of others or basic social rules and a repetitive, persistent pattern of antisocial and aggressive behaviors. A large number of functional and structural neuroimaging studies have identified widely abnormalities in specific brain regions in CD, but the alterations in the topological organization of functional networks among them remain largely unknown.


Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging was applied to investigate the intrinsic functional connectivity in 18 pure CD patients and eighteen typically developing healthy controls. We first constructed the functional networks and then examined the CD-related alteration in topology properties using graph theoretical analysis.


Both the CD group and healthy controls exhibited small-world topology. However, the CD group showed decreased global and local efficiency. Changes in the nodal characteristics in CD group were found predominantly in the default-mode network, visual, and striatum regions. In addition, altered fronto-limbic-striatum network topology was found to have a relationship with clinical scores.


Our findings indicate the altered nodal topology of brain functional connectivity networks in CD.


The results provide unequivocal evidence of a topological disruption in the brain networks that suggest some possible pathophysiological mechanisms underlying CD.


conduct disorder; functional networks; graph theoretical analysis; resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging; small-world

Conflict of interest statement

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST The authors have declared that no potential conflicts of interest.

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