Altered anatomical network in early blindness revealed by diffusion tensor tractography

Shu, Ni, Liu, Yong, Li, Jun, Li, Yonghui, Yu, Chunshui and Jiang, Tianzi (2009) Altered anatomical network in early blindness revealed by diffusion tensor tractography. PLoS One, 4 9: . doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0007228

Author Shu, Ni
Liu, Yong
Li, Jun
Li, Yonghui
Yu, Chunshui
Jiang, Tianzi
Title Altered anatomical network in early blindness revealed by diffusion tensor tractography
Journal name PLoS One   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1932-6203
Publication date 2009-09-28
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0007228
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 4
Issue 9
Total pages 13
Place of publication San Francisco, CA, United States
Publisher Public Library of Science
Language eng
Abstract The topological architecture of the cerebral anatomical network reflects the structural organization of the human brain. Recently, topological measures based on graph theory have provided new approaches for quantifying large-scale anatomical networks. Diffusion MRI studies have revealed the efficient small-world properties and modular structure of the anatomical network in normal subjects. However, no previous study has used diffusion MRI to reveal changes in the brain anatomical network in early blindness. Here, we utilized diffusion tensor imaging to construct binary anatomical networks for 17 early blind subjects and 17 age- and gender-matched sighted controls. We established the existence of structural connections between any pair of the 90 cortical and sub-cortical regions using deterministic tractography. Compared with controls, early blind subjects showed a decreased degree of connectivity, a reduced global efficiency, and an increased characteristic path length in their brain anatomical network, especially in the visual cortex. Moreover, we revealed some regions with motor or somatosensory function have increased connections with other brain regions in the early blind, which suggested experience-dependent compensatory plasticity. This study is the first to show alterations in the topological properties of the anatomical network in early blindness. From the results, we suggest that analyzing the brain's anatomical network obtained using diffusion MRI data provides new insights into the understanding of the brain's re-organization in the specific population with early visual deprivation.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ
Additional Notes Article # e7228

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Queensland Brain Institute Publications
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Created: Fri, 21 Oct 2011, 21:39:12 EST by Debra McMurtrie on behalf of Queensland Brain Institute