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Johan Baijot, Denissen, Stijn, Costers, Lars, Jeroen Gielen, Melissa Cambron, Miguel D'haeseleer, Marie D'hooghe, Anne-Marie Vanbinst, De Mey, Johan, Jeroen Van Schependom, Nagels, Guy
 

Scientific Reports

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Abstract 

Background Graph-theoretical analysis is a novel tool to understand the organisation of the brain. Objective Assessing whether altered graph theoretical parameters, as observed in multiple sclerosis (MS), reflect pathology-induced restructuring of the brain's functioning or result from a reduced signal quality in functional MRI (fMRI). Methods In a cohort of 49 people with MS and a matched group of 25 healthy subjects (HS), we performed a cognitive evaluation and acquired fMRI. From the fMRI measurement, Pearson correlation-based networks were calculated and graph theoretical parameters reflecting global and local brain organisation were obtained. Additionally, we assessed metrics of scanning quality (signal to noise ratio (SNR)) and fMRI signal quality (temporal SNR and contrast to noise ratio (CNR)). Results In accordance with the literature, the network parameters were altered in MS compared to HS. Furthermore, no significant link was found with cognition. Scanning quality (SNR) did not differ between both cohorts. Yet measures of fMRI signal qualitywere significantly different and fully explained the differences observed in GTA parameters. Conclusion Our results suggest that differences in network parameters between MS and HS in fMRI do not reflect a functional reorganisation of the brain, but rather occur due to reduced fMRI signal quality.

Reference 
 
 
DOI scopus