Longitudinal study of functional brain network reorganization in clinically isolated syndrome.
Mult Scler. 2018-11-27; 26(2): 188-200
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Background: There is a lack of longitudinal studies exploring the topological organization of functional brain networks at the early stages of multiple sclerosis (MS).
Objective: This study aims to assess potential brain functional reorganization at rest in patients with CIS (PwCIS) after 1 year of evolution and to characterize the dynamics of functional brain networks at the early stage of the disease. Methods: We prospectively included 41 PwCIS and 19 matched healthy controls (HCs). They were scanned at baseline and after 1 year. Using graph theory, topological metrics were calculated for each region. Hub disruption index was computed for each metric.
Results: Hub disruption indexes of degree and betweenness centrality were negative at baseline in patients ( p < 0.05), suggesting brain reorganization. After 1 year, hub disruption indexes for degree and betweenness centrality were still negative ( p < 0.00001), but such reorganization appeared more pronounced than at baseline. Different brain regions were driving these alterations. No global efficiency differences were observed between PwCIS and HCs either at baseline or at 1 year.
Conclusion: Dynamic changes in functional brain networks appear at the early stages of MS and are associated with the maintenance of normal global efficiency in the brain, suggesting a compensatory effect.