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Front. Neurosci. | doi: 10.3389/fnins.2018.00860

Abnormal topology of the structural connectome in the limbic cortico-basal-ganglia circuit and default-mode network among primary insomnia patients

 Yunfan Wu1, 2, Mengchen Liu1, Shaoqing Zeng2,  Xiaofen Ma2, Jianhao Yan2, Chulan Lin2, Guang Xu2,  Guomin Li1, Yi Yin1, Shishun Fu1, Kelei Hua1,  Chao Li2, Tianyue Wang2, Cheng Li2 and  Guihua Jiang2*
  • 1Southern Medical University, China
  • 2Guangdong Second Provincial General Hospital, China

Purpose Insomnia is the second most common mental disorder. However, the topologic alterations in structural brain connectome in patients with primary insomnia (PI) remain largely unknown.
Methods A total of 44 PI patients and 46 age-, gender- and education level matched healthy control (HC) participants were recruited in this study. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and resting state MRI were used to construct structural connectome for each participant, and the network parameters were employed by nonparametric permutations to evaluate the significant differences between the two groups. Relationships between abnormal network metrics and clinical characteristics, including the disease duration, the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), the Insomnia Severity Index (ISI), the Self-Rating Anxiety Scale (SAS) and the Self-Rating Depression Scale (SDS), were investigated with Spearman’s correlation analysis in PI patients.
Results PI patients demonstrated small-world architecture with lower global (P=0.005) and local (P=0.035) efficiencies compared with the HC group. The unique hub nodal properties in PI patients were mainly in the right limbic cortico-basal-ganglia circuit. Five disrupted subnetworks in PI patients were observed in the limbic cortico-basal-ganglia circuit and left default-mode networks (DMN) (P<0.05, NBS corrected). Moreover, most unique hub nodal properties in the right limbic cortico-basal-ganglia circuit were significantly correlated with disease duration, and clinical characteristics (SAS, SDS, ISI scores) in PI processing.
Conclusions These findings suggested the abnormal anatomical network architecture may be closely linked to clinical characteristics in PI. The study provided novel insights into the neural substrates underlying symptoms and neurophysiologic mechanisms of PI.

Keywords: Primary insomnia, Diffusion Tensor Imaging, human connectome, fMRI, Limbic System

Received: 12 Sep 2018; Accepted: 05 Nov 2018.

Edited by:

Roberto Esposito, A.O. Ospedali Riuniti Marche Nord, Italy

Reviewed by:

Sheng Zhang, Yale University, United States
Alexander N. Savostyanov, State Scientific-Research Institute of Physiology & Basic Medicine, Russia  

Copyright: © 2018 Wu, Liu, Zeng, Ma, Yan, Lin, Xu, Li, Yin, Fu, Hua, Li, Wang, Li and Jiang. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Guihua Jiang, Guangdong Second Provincial General Hospital, Guangzhou, 510317, China,