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Small-world properties of the whole-brain functional networks in patients with obstructive sleep apnea-hypopnea syndrome.




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Small-world properties of the whole-brain functional networks in patients with obstructive sleep apnea-hypopnea syndrome.

Sleep Med. 2019 10;62:53-58

Authors: Huang Y, Liu Y, Zhao D, Liu B, Zhang H, Huang Z, Babourina-Brooks B, Peet AC, Zhang L, Feng Y, Cheng T, Yang M, Sun Y

Abstract
OBJECTIVE: To explore the small-world properties of brain functional networks in patients with obstructive sleep apnea-hypopnea syndrome (OSAHS) to aid diagnosis.
METHODS: A total of 29 OSAHS patients and 26 matched healthy volunteers were scanned with blood oxygen level-dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging (BOLD-fMRI) separately, and the whole brain was divided into 90 districts via automated anatomical labeling. The matrix Z was then built through a Fisher Z transformation. Two-sample t tests were applied to evaluate the changes in small-world properties in OSAHS patients compared to the control group. The properties included Eglobal, Elocal, and small-world parameters Lp, Cp, γ, λ, and σ.
RESULTS: Both groups satisfied the small-world properties (σ > 1) within the sparsity range of 0.1-0.2. However, compared with the control group, the OSAHS group performed significantly lower in Cp, Elocal, and Eglobal (p < 0.05) and higher in Lp (p < 0.05). The γ, σ, and λ values were not significantly different between the two groups.
CONCLUSION: Both healthy and OSAHS patients exhibited small-world properties in functional networks, but a subset of these small-world properties in OSAHS patients performed differently. These changes will not only provide a new perspective for pathophysiological mechanisms of OSAHS but will also help in understanding the disease in terms of whole-brain functional networks.

PMID: 31557687 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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