Default-mode network disruption in mild traumatic brain injury

Yongxia Zhou, Michael P. Milham, Yvonne W. Lui, Laura Miles, Joseph Reaume, Daniel K. Sodickson, Robert I. Grossman, Yulin Ge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To investigate the integrity of the default-mode network (DMN) by using independent component analysis (ICA) methods in patients shortly after mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) and healthy control subjects, and to correlate DMN connectivity changes with neurocognitive tests and clinical symptoms. Materials and Methods: This study was approved by the institutional review board and complied with HIPAA regulations. Twenty-three patients with MTBI who had posttraumatic symptoms shortly after injury (<2 months) and 18 age-matched healthy control subjects were included in this study. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging was performed at 3 T to characterize the DMN by using ICA methods, including a single-participant ICA on the basis of a comprehensive template from core seeds in the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) and medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) nodes. ICA z images of DMN components were compared between the two groups and correlated with neurocognitive tests and clinical performance in patients by using Pearson and Spearman rank correlation. Results: When compared with the control subjects, there was significantly reduced connectivity in the PCC and parietal regions and increased frontal connectivity around the MPFC in patients with MTBI (P < .01). These frontoposterior opposing changes within the DMN were significantly correlated (r = -0.44, P = .03). The reduced posterior connectivity correlated positively with neurocognitive dysfunction (eg, cognitive flexibility), while the increased frontal connectivity correlated negatively with posttraumatic symptoms (ie, depression, anxiety, fatigue, and postconcussion syndrome). Conclusion: These results showed abnormal DMN connectivity patterns in patients with MTBI, which may provide insight into how neuronal communication and information integration are disrupted among DMN key structures after mild head injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)882-892
Number of pages11
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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