Dynamic modular-level alterations of structural-functional coupling in clinically isolated syndrome

Ismail Koubiyr, Pierre Besson, Mathilde Deloire, Julie Charre-Morin, Aurore Saubusse, Thomas Tourdias, Bruno Brochet*, Aurélie Ruet

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Structural and functional connectivity abnormalities have been reported previously in multiple sclerosis. However, little is known about how each modality evolution relates to the other. Recent studies in other neurological disorders have suggested that structural- functional coupling may be more sensitive in detecting brain alterations than any single modality. Accordingly, this study aimed to investigate the longitudinal evolution of structural-functional coupling, both at the global and modular levels, in the first year following clinically isolated syndrome. We hypothesized that during the course of multiple sclerosis, patients exhibit a decoupling between functional and structural connectivity due to the disruptive nature of the disease. Forty-one consecutive patients with clinically isolated syndrome were prospectively enrolled in this study, along with 19 age-, sex- and educational level-matched healthy control subjects. These participants were followed for 1 year and underwent resting-state functional MRI and diffusion tensor imaging at each time point, along with an extensive neuropsychological assessment. Graph theory analysis revealed structural reorganization at baseline that appeared as an increase in the clustering coefficient in patients compared to controls (P<0.05), as well as modular-specific alterations. After 1 year of follow-up, both structural and functional reorganization was depicted with abnormal modular-specific connectivity and an increase of the functional betweenness centrality in patients compared to controls (P<0.01). More importantly, structural-functional decoupling was observed in the salience, visual and somatomotor networks. These alterations were present along with preserved cognitive performance at this stage. These results depict structural damage preceding functional reorganization at a global and modular level during the first year following clinically isolated syndrome along with normal cognitive performance, suggesting a compensation mechanism at this stage of the disease. Principally, structural-functional decoupling observed for the first time in multiple sclerosis suggests that functional reorganization occurs along indirect anatomical pathways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3428-3439
Number of pages12
JournalBrain
Volume142
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019

Keywords

  • Clinically isolated syndrome
  • Diffusion tensor imaging
  • Functional MRI
  • Graph theory
  • Multiple sclerosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

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