Dynamic hub load predicts cognitive decline after resective neurosurgery

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Abstract

Resective neurosurgery carries the risk of postoperative cognitive deterioration. The concept of 'hub (over)load', caused by (over)use of the most important brain regions, has been theoretically postulated in relation to symptomatology and neurological disease course, but lacks experimental confirmation. We investigated functional hub load and postsurgical cognitive deterioration in patients undergoing lesion resection. Patients (n = 28) underwent resting-state magnetoencephalography and neuropsychological assessments preoperatively and 1-year after lesion resection. We calculated stationary hub load score (SHub) indicating to what extent brain regions linked different subsystems; high SHub indicates larger processing pressure on hub regions. Dynamic hub load score (DHub) assessed its variability over time; low values, particularly in combination with high SHub values, indicate increased load, because of consistently high usage of hub regions. Hypothetically, increased SHub and decreased DHub relate to hub overload and thus poorer/deteriorating cognition. Between time points, deteriorating verbal memory performance correlated with decreasing upper alpha DHub. Moreover, preoperatively low DHub values accurately predicted declining verbal memory performance. In summary, dynamic hub load relates to cognitive functioning in patients undergoing lesion resection: postoperative cognitive decline can be tracked and even predicted using dynamic hub load, suggesting it may be used as a prognostic marker for tailored treatment planning.

Original languageEnglish
Article number42117
JournalScientific Reports
Volume7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Feb 2017

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