Exploration of the Brain in Rest: Resting-State Functional MRI Abnormalities in Patients with Classic Galactosemia

Britt van Erven, Bernadette M Jansma, M Estela Rubio-Gozalbo, Inge Timmers*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Patients with classic galactosemia, a genetic metabolic disorder, encounter cognitive impairments, including motor (speech), language, and memory deficits. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to evaluate spontaneous functional connectivity during rest to investigate potential abnormalities in neural networks. We characterized networks using seed-based correlation analysis in 13 adolescent patients and 13 matched controls. Results point towards alterations in several networks, including well-known resting-state networks (e.g. default mode, salience, visual network). Particularly, patients showed alterations in networks encompassing medial prefrontal cortex, parietal lobule and (pre)cuneus, involved in spatial orientation and attention. Furthermore, altered connectivity of networks including the insula and superior frontal gyrus -important for sensory-motor integration and motor (speech) planning- was demonstrated. Lastly, abnormalities were found in networks involving occipital regions, linked to visuospatial capacities and working memory. Importantly, across several seeds, altered functional connectivity to the superior frontal cortex, anterior insula, parietal lobule and the (pre)cuneus was observed in patients, suggesting special importance of these brain regions. Moreover, these alterations correlated with neurocognitive test results, supporting a relation with the clinical phenotype. Our findings contribute to improved characterization of brain impairments in classic galactosemia and provide directions for further investigations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9095
Number of pages13
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 22 Aug 2017


  • Journal Article


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