4 years ago

Dynamic brain connectivity is a better predictor of PTSD than static connectivity

Tianming Liu, D Rangaprakash, Pradyumna Lanka, Hao Jia, Xiaoping Hu, Changfeng Jin, Gopikrishna Deshpande, Lingjiang Li
Using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging, we test the hypothesis that subjects with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are characterized by reduced temporal variability of brain connectivity compared to matched healthy controls. Specifically, we test whether PTSD is characterized by elevated static connectivity, coupled with decreased temporal variability of those connections, with the latter providing greater sensitivity toward the pathology than the former. Static functional connectivity (FC; nondirectional zero-lag correlation) and static effective connectivity (EC; directional time-lagged relationships) were obtained over the entire brain using conventional models. Dynamic FC and dynamic EC were estimated by letting the conventional models to vary as a function of time. Statistical separation and discriminability of these metrics between the groups and their ability to accurately predict the diagnostic label of a novel subject were ascertained using separate support vector machine classifiers. Our findings support our hypothesis that PTSD subjects have stronger static connectivity, but reduced temporal variability of connectivity. Further, machine learning classification accuracy obtained with dynamic FC and dynamic EC was significantly higher than that obtained with static FC and static EC, respectively. Furthermore, results also indicate that the ease with which brain regions engage or disengage with other regions may be more sensitive to underlying pathology than the strength with which they are engaged. Future studies must examine whether this is true only in the case of PTSD or is a general organizing principle in the human brain. Hum Brain Mapp 38:4479–4496, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/hbm.23676

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