Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is highly prevalent in children. Attention deficits are among the most common and persistent post-TBI cognitive and behavioral sequalae that can contribute to adverse outcomes. This study investigated the topological properties of the functional brain network for sustained attention processing and their dynamics in 42 children with severe post-TBI attention deficits (TBI-A) and 47 matched healthy controls. Functional MRI data during a block-designed sustained attention task was collected for each subject, with each full task block further divided into the pre-, early, late-, and post-stimulation stages. The task-related functional brain network was constructed using the graph theoretic technique. Then, the sliding-window-based method was utilized to assess the dynamics of the topological properties in each stimulation stage. Relative to the controls, the TBI-A group had significantly reduced nodal efficiency and/or degree of left postcentral, inferior parietal, inferior temporal, and fusiform gyri and their decreased stability during the early and late-stimulation stages. The left postcentral inferior parietal network anomalies were found to be significantly associated with elevated inattentive symptoms in children with TBI-A. These results suggest that abnormal functional network characteristics and their dynamics associated with the left parietal lobe may significantly link to the onset of the severe post-TBI attention deficits in children.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Attention deficits
- Dynamic functional connectivity
- Functional MRI (fMRI)
- Graph theory
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)