Disrupted Brain Network Links Psychiatric Disorders

Psychiatric disorders share a common network modification across three core brain networks involved in cognition, researchers say.

AsianScientist (Jan. 17, 2019) – According to a meta-analysis published in Biological Psychiatry, alterations in connectivity between three core brain networks underlie multiple psychiatric disorders.

Although psychiatric illnesses are considered to be distinct disorders, cognitive dysfunction appears in most of them. This overlap of symptoms across psychiatric disorders has been a major challenge to precisely categorizing patients. Although enormous progress has been made in characterizing the neural correlates of diagnoses and symptoms over the past 25 years, neuroimaging biomarkers have yet to contribute to the psychiatric diagnostic process.

In the present study, a team of researchers led by Dr. He Yong of Beijing Normal University, China performed a meta-analysis of 242 functional brain imaging studies in patients with a variety of psychiatric disorders. They found that three large-scale networks were particularly important for complex cognition, namely the default mode network, the frontoparietal network and the salience network.

A further analysis of 363 structural brain imaging studies revealed reduced gray matter that was confined to the altered networks, tightly linking structural and functional alterations.
Importantly, the study provides the first evidence from a meta-analysis of common functional connectivity alterations in neurocognitive networks across psychiatric disorders.

“This new knowledge calls for studying brain-based diagnostic biomarkers of psychiatric disorders that are beyond traditional diagnostic boundaries,” said He.

The article can be found at: Sha et al. (2018) Common Dysfunction of Large-Scale Neurocognitive Networks across Psychiatric Disorders.


Source: Elsevier; Photo: Shutterstock.
Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.

Asian Scientist Magazine is an award-winning science and technology magazine that highlights R&D news stories from Asia to a global audience. The magazine is published by Singapore-headquartered Wildtype Media Group.

Related Stories from Asian Scientist