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Abnormal resting-state functional connectivity within the default mode network subregions in male patients with obstructive sleep apnea

Authors Li H, Nie X, Gong H, Zhang W, Nie S, Peng D

Received 30 September 2015

Accepted for publication 15 December 2015

Published 19 January 2016 Volume 2016:12 Pages 203—212

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S97449

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Xiang Mou

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Wai Kwong Tang


Hai-Jun Li,1 Xiao Nie,1 Hong-Han Gong,1 Wei Zhang,2 Si Nie,1 De-Chang Peng1

1Department of Radiology, 2Department of Pneumology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University, Nanchang, Jiangxi Province, People’s Republic of China

Background and objective: Abnormal resting-state functional connectivity (rs-FC) between the central executive network and the default mode network (DMN) in patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) has been reported. However, the effect of OSA on rs-FC within the DMN subregions remains uncertain. This study was designed to investigate whether the rs-FC within the DMN subregions was disrupted and determine its relationship with clinical symptoms in patients with OSA.
Methods: Forty male patients newly diagnosed with severe OSA and 40 male education- and age-matched good sleepers (GSs) underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) examinations and clinical and neuropsychologic assessments. Seed-based region of interest rs-FC method was used to analyze the connectivity between each pair of subregions within the DMN, including the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC), posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), hippocampus formation (HF), inferior parietal cortices (IPC), and medial temporal lobe (MTL). The abnormal rs-FC strength within the DMN subregions was correlated with clinical and neuropsychologic assessments using Pearson correlation analysis in patients with OSA.
Results: Compared with GSs, patients with OSA had significantly decreased rs-FC between the right HF and the PCC, MPFC, and left MTL. However, patients with OSA had significantly increased rs-FC between the MPFC and left and right IPC, and between the left IPC and right IPC. The rs-FC between the right HF and left MTL was positively correlated with rapid eye movement (r=0.335, P=0.035). The rs-FC between the PCC and right HF was negatively correlated with delayed memory (r=-0.338, P=0.033).
Conclusion: OSA selectively impairs the rs-FC between right HF and PCC, MPFC, and left MTL within the DMN subregions, and provides an imaging indicator for assessment of cognitive dysfunction in OSA patients.

Keywords: obstructive sleep apnea, functional connectivity, default mode network, functional MRI, cognitive impairment

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