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Abidin, Anas Zainul; D'Souza, Adora M.; Nagarajan, Mahesh B.; Wismüller, Axel (2016): Detecting Altered connectivity patterns in HIV associated neurocognitive impairment using Mutual Connectivity Analysis. In: Gimi, Barjor; Krol, Andrzej (eds.) : Medical Imaging 2016: Biomedical Applications in Molecular, Structural, and Functional Imaging. Proceedings SPIE, Vol. 9788. SPIE.
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The use of functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) has provided interesting insights into our understanding of the brain. In clinical setups these scans have been used to detect and study changes in the brain network properties in various neurological disorders. A large percentage of subjects infected with HIV present cognitive deficits, which are known as HIV associated neurocognitive disorder (HAND). In this study we propose to use our novel technique named Mutual Connectivity Analysis (MCA) to detect differences in brain networks in subjects with and without HIV infection. Resting state functional MRI scans acquired from 10 subjects (5 HIV+ and 5 HIV-) were subject to standard preprocessing routines. Subsequently, the average time-series for each brain region of the Automated Anatomic Labeling (AAL) atlas are extracted and used with the MCA framework to obtain a graph characterizing the interactions between them. The network graphs obtained for different subjects are then compared using Network-Based Statistics (NBS), which is an approach to detect differences between graphs edges while controlling for the family-wise error rate when mass univariate testing is performed. Applying this approach on the graphs obtained yields a single network encompassing 42 nodes and 65 edges, which is significantly different between the two subject groups. Specifically connections to the regions in and around the basal ganglia are significantly decreased. Also some nodes corresponding to the posterior cingulate cortex are affected. These results are inline with our current understanding of pathophysiological mechanisms of HIV associated neurocognitive disease (HAND) and other HIV based fMRI connectivity studies. Hence, we illustrate the applicability of our novel approach with network-based statistics in a clinical case-control study to detect differences connectivity patterns.