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Mult Scler. 2019 Mar 19:1352458519837707. doi: 10.1177/1352458519837707. [Epub ahead of print]

Reduced dynamics of functional connectivity and cognitive impairment in multiple sclerosis.

Author information

1
Neuroimaging Research Unit, Institute of Experimental Neurology, Division of Neuroscience, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milan, Italy.
2
I Division of Neurology, Department of Medical, Surgical, Neurological, Metabolic and Aging Sciences, University of Campania "L. Vanvitelli," Naples, Italy.
3
Department of Medicine, Surgery and Neuroscience, University of Siena, Siena, Italy.
4
Magnetic Resonance Unit, Department of Radiology, Hospital Universitari Vall d'Hebron, Barcelona, Spain.
5
Department of Radiology & Nuclear Medicine, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands/Queen Square MS Centre, Department of Neuroinflammation, UCL Institute of Neurology, University College London (UCL), London, UK.
6
Queen Square MS Centre, Department of Neuroinflammation, UCL Institute of Neurology, University College London (UCL), London, UK.
7
Department of Neurology, Medical University of Graz, Graz, Austria.
8
Department of Neurology/Neuroimmunology, Multiple Sclerosis Centre of Catalonia (Cemcat), Hospital Universitari Vall d'Hebron, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.
9
Department of Anatomy & Neurosciences, VU University Medical Center, MS Center Amsterdam, Amsterdam Neuroscience, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
10
Neuroimaging Research Unit, Institute of Experimental Neurology, Division of Neuroscience, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milan, Italy/Department of Neurology, Institute of Experimental Neurology, Division of Neuroscience, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milan, Italy.

Abstract

BACKGROUND::

In multiple sclerosis (MS), abnormalities of brain network dynamics and their relevance for cognitive impairment have never been investigated.

OBJECTIVES::

The aim of this study was to assess the dynamic resting state (RS) functional connectivity (FC) on 62 relapsing-remitting MS patients and 65 sex-matched healthy controls enrolled at 7 European sites.

METHODS::

MS patients underwent clinical and cognitive evaluation. Between-group network FC differences were evaluated using a dynamic approach (based on sliding-window correlation analysis) and grouping correlation matrices into recurrent FC states.

RESULTS::

Dynamic FC analysis revealed, in healthy controls and MS patients, three recurrent FC states: two characterized by strong intra- and inter-network connectivity and one characterized by weak inter-network connectivity (State 3). A total of 23 MS patients were cognitively impaired (CI). Compared to cognitively preserved (CP), CI-MS patients had reduced RS-FC between subcortical and default-mode networks in the low-connectivity State 3 and lower dwell time (i.e. time spent in a given state) in the high-connectivity State 2. CI-MS patients also exhibited a lower number and a less frequent switching between meta-states, as well as a smaller distance traveled through connectivity states.

CONCLUSION::

Time-varying RS-FC was markedly less dynamic in CI- versus CP-MS patients, suggesting that slow inter-network connectivity contributes to cognitive dysfunction in MS.

KEYWORDS:

Cognitive impairment; brain dynamics; functional connectivity; functional magnetic resonance imaging; multiple sclerosis; resting state

PMID:
30887862
DOI:
10.1177/1352458519837707

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