Limbic hyperconnectivity in the vegetative state

C. di Perri, S. Bastianello, A.J. Bartsch, C. Pistarini, G. Maggioni, L. Magrassi, R. Imberti, A. Pichiecchio, P. Vitali, S. Laureys, F. di Salle*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To investigate functional connectivity between the default mode network (DMN) and other networks in disorders of consciousness. METHODS: We analyzed MRI data from 11 patients in a vegetative state and 7 patients in a minimally conscious state along with age- and sex-matched healthy control subjects. MRI data analysis included nonlinear spatial normalization to compensate for disease-related anatomical distortions. We studied brain connectivity data from resting-state MRI temporal series, combining noninferential (independent component analysis) and inferential (seed-based general linear model) methods. RESULTS: In DMN hypoconnectivity conditions, a patient's DMN functional connectivity shifts and paradoxically increases in limbic structures, including the orbitofrontal cortex, insula, hypothalamus, and the ventral tegmental area. CONCLUSIONS: Concurrently with DMN hypoconnectivity, we report limbic hyperconnectivity in patients in vegetative and minimally conscious states. This hyperconnectivity may reflect the persistent engagement of residual neural activity in self-reinforcing neural loops, which, in turn, could disrupt normal patterns of connectivity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1417-1424
Number of pages8
JournalNeurology
Volume81
Issue number16
Early online date18 Sep 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2013

Keywords

  • DEFAULT-MODE NETWORK
  • INDEPENDENT COMPONENT ANALYSIS
  • BRAIN-FUNCTION
  • REWARD
  • CONNECTIVITY
  • CONSCIOUSNESS
  • WAKEFULNESS
  • MOTIVATION
  • DISORDERS
  • AWARENESS

Cite this