Studies on antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) subjects focus on brain functional alterations in relation to antisocial behaviors. Neuroimaging research has identified a number of focal brain regions with abnormal structures or functions in ASPD. However, little is known about the connections among brain regions in terms of inter-regional whole-brain networks in ASPD patients, as well as possible alterations of brain functional topological organization. In this study, we employ resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (R-fMRI) to examine functional connectome of 32 ASPD patients and 35 normal controls by using a variety of network properties, including small-worldness, modularity, and connectivity. The small-world analysis reveals that ASPD patients have increased path length and decreased network efficiency, which implies a reduced ability of global integration of whole-brain functions. Modularity analysis suggests ASPD patients have decreased overall modularity, merged network modules, and reduced intra- and inter-module connectivities related to frontal regions. Also, network-based statistics show that an internal sub-network, composed of 16 nodes and 16 edges, is significantly affected in ASPD patients, where brain regions are mostly located in the fronto-parietal control network. These results suggest that ASPD is associated with both reduced brain integration and segregation in topological organization of functional brain networks, particularly in the fronto-parietal control network. These disruptions may contribute to disturbances in behavior and cognition in patients with ASPD. Our findings may provide insights into a deeper understanding of functional brain networks of ASPD.
Brain Imaging and Behavior – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 19, 2016
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