Disruption in structural-functional network repertoire and time-resolved subcortical fronto-temporoparietal connectivity in disorders of consciousness

Rajanikant Panda, Aurore Thibaut, Ane Lopez-Gonzalez, Anira Escrichs, Mohamed Ali Bahri, Arjan Hillebrand, Gustavo Deco, Steven Laureys, Olivia Gosseries, Jitka Annen, Prejaas Tewarie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Understanding recovery of consciousness and elucidating its underlying mechanism is believed to be crucial in the field of basic neuroscience and medicine. Ideas such as the global neuronal workspace (GNW) and the mesocircuit theory hypothesize that failure of recovery in conscious states coincide with loss of connectivity between subcortical and frontoparietal areas, a loss of the repertoire of functional networks states and metastable brain activation. We adopted a time-resolved functional connectivity framework to explore these ideas and assessed the repertoire of functional network states as a potential marker of consciousness and its potential ability to tell apart patients in the unresponsive wakefulness syndrome (UWS) and minimally conscious state (MCS). In addition, the prediction of these functional network states by underlying hidden spatial patterns in the anatomical network, that is so-called eigenmodes, was supplemented as potential markers. By analysing time-resolved functional connectivity from functional MRI data, we demonstrated a reduction of metastability and functional network repertoire in UWS compared to MCS patients. This was expressed in terms of diminished dwell times and loss of nonstationarity in the default mode network and subcortical fronto-temporoparietal network in UWS compared to MCS patients. We further demonstrated that these findings co-occurred with a loss of dynamic interplay between structural eigenmodes and emerging time-resolved functional connectivity in UWS. These results are, amongst others, in support of the GNW theory and the mesocircuit hypothesis, underpinning the role of time-resolved thalamo-cortical connections and metastability in the recovery of consciousness.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere77462
JournaleLife
Volume11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Aug 2022

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