OPINION

A cross-disorder connectome landscape of brain dysconnectivity

Abstract

Many human brain disorders are associated with characteristic alterations in the structural and functional connectivity of the brain. In this article, we explore how commonalities and differences in connectome alterations can reveal relationships across disorders. We survey recent literature on connectivity changes in neurological and psychiatric disorders in the context of key organizational principles of the human connectome and observe that several disturbances to network properties of the human brain have a common role in a wide range of brain disorders and point towards potentially shared network mechanisms underpinning disorders. We hypothesize that the distinct dimensions along which connectome networks are organized (for example, ‘modularity’ and ‘integration’) provide a general coordinate system that allows description and categorization of relationships between seemingly disparate disorders. We outline a cross-disorder ‘connectome landscape of dysconnectivity’ along these principal dimensions of network organization that may place shared connectome alterations between brain disorders in a common framework.

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Fig. 1: Modular and hub organization of the human connectome-shaping disease processes.
Fig. 2: Connectome landscape of dysconnectivity.

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Acknowledgements

The authors thank A. Griffa and A. Zalesky for helpful comments and discussions on earlier versions of the manuscript. M.P.v.d.H. was funded by VIDI (NWO-VIDI 452-16-015) and ALWopen (ALWOP.179) grants from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research and by a fellowship from MQ. O.S. was supported by the US National Institutes of Health (grant R01 AT009036-01).

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Nature Reviews Neuroscience thanks D. Fair and the other anonymous reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work.

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van den Heuvel, M.P., Sporns, O. A cross-disorder connectome landscape of brain dysconnectivity. Nat Rev Neurosci 20, 435–446 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41583-019-0177-6

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