Research Papers:

Disrupted small-world brain network topology in pure conduct disorder

Feng-Mei Lu, Jian-Song Zhou, Jiang Zhang, Xiao-Ping Wang and Zhen Yuan _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:65506-65524. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.19098

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Feng-Mei Lu1, Jian-Song Zhou2, Jiang Zhang3, Xiao-Ping Wang2 and Zhen Yuan1

1Bioimaging Core, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Macau, Macau SAR, China

2Mental 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

3School of Electrical Engineering and Information, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China

Correspondence to:

Zhen Yuan, email: [email protected]

Jian-Song Zhou, email: [email protected]

Keywords: conduct disorder, resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging, functional networks, small-world, graph theoretical analysis

Received: March 28, 2017    Accepted: May 06, 2017    Published: July 08, 2017


Objectives: 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.

Methods: 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.

Results: 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.

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

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

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