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Structural and functional brain network alterations in prenatal alcohol exposed neonates

Roos, A.
Fouche, J.P.
Ipser, J.C.
Narr, K.L.
Woods, R.P.
Zar, H.J.
Stein, D.J.
Donald, K.A.
Abstract
Prenatal alcohol exposure leads to alterations in cognition, behavior and underlying brain architecture. However, prior studies have not integrated structural and functional imaging data in children with prenatal alcohol exposure. The aim of this study was to characterize disruptions in both structural and functional brain network organization after prenatal alcohol exposure in very early life. A group of 11 neonates with prenatal alcohol exposure and 14 unexposed controls were investigated using diffusion weighted structural and resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging. Covariance networks were created using graph theoretical analyses for each data set, controlling for age and sex. Group differences in global hub arrangement and regional connectivity were determined using nonparametric permutation tests. Neonates with prenatal alcohol exposure and controls exhibited similar global structural network organization. However, global functional networks of neonates with prenatal alcohol exposure comprised of temporal and limbic hubs, while hubs were more distributed in controls representing an early default mode network. On a regional level, controls showed prominent structural and functional connectivity in parietal and occipital regions. Neonates with prenatal alcohol exposure showed regionally, predominant structural and functional connectivity in several subcortical regions and occipital regions. The findings suggest early functional disruption on a global and regional level after prenatal alcohol exposure and indicate suboptimal organization of functional networks. These differences likely underlie sensory dysregulation and behavioral difficulties in prenatal alcohol exposure.
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Date
2020-04-18
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Publisher
Springer Nature
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Keywords
Prenatal alcohol exposure , Neonate , Multimodal brain imaging , Structural brain network , Functional brain network , Graph theoretic alanalysis
Citation
Roos A, Fouche JP, Ipser JC, Narr KL, Woods RP, Zar HJ, Stein DJ, Donald KA. Structural and functional brain network alterations in prenatal alcohol exposed neonates. Brain Imaging Behav. 2021 Apr;15(2):689-699. doi: 10.1007/s11682-020-00277-8.
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