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  1. Abstract

    White matter structural connections are likely to support flow of functional activation or functional connectivity. While the relationship between structural and functional connectivity profiles, here called SC-FC coupling, has been studied on a whole-brain, global level, few studies have investigated this relationship at a regional scale. Here we quantify regional SC-FC coupling in healthy young adults using diffusion-weighted MRI and resting-state functional MRI data from the Human Connectome Project and study how SC-FC coupling may be heritable and varies between individuals. We show that regional SC-FC coupling strength varies widely across brain regions, but was strongest in highly structurally connected visual and subcortical areas. We also show interindividual regional differences based on age, sex and composite cognitive scores, and that SC-FC coupling was highly heritable within certain networks. These results suggest regional structure-function coupling is an idiosyncratic feature of brain organisation that may be influenced by genetic factors.

  2. Thung, Kim Han (Ed.)
    Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative condition that progresses over decades. Early detection of individuals at high risk of future progression toward AD is likely to be of critical significance for the successful treatment and/or prevention of this devastating disease. In this paper, we present an empirical study to characterize how predictable an individual subjects’ future AD trajectory is, several years in advance, based on rich multi-modal data, and using modern deep learning methods. Crucially, the machine learning strategy we propose can handle different future time horizons and can be trained with heterogeneous data that exhibit missingness and non-uniform follow-up visit times. Our experiments demonstrate that our strategy yields predictions that are more accurate than a model trained on a single time horizon (e.g. 3 years), which is common practice in prior literature. We also provide a comparison between linear and nonlinear models, verifying the well-established insight that the latter can offer a boost in performance. Our results also confirm that predicting future decline for cognitively normal (CN) individuals is more challenging than for individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Intriguingly, however, we discover that prediction accuracy decreases with increasing time horizon for CN subjects, but the trend is inmore »the opposite direction for MCI subjects. Additionally, we quantify the contribution of different data types in prediction, which yields novel insights into the utility of different biomarkers. We find that molecular biomarkers are not as helpful for CN individuals as they are for MCI individuals, whereas magnetic resonance imaging biomarkers (hippocampus volume, specifically) offer a significant boost in prediction accuracy for CN individuals. Finally, we show how our model’s prediction reveals the evolution of individual-level progression risk over a five-year time horizon. Our code is available at .« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 16, 2023
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2023
  4. Human cortex is patterned by a complex and interdigitated web of large-scale functional networks. Recent methodological breakthroughs reveal variation in the size, shape, and spatial topography of cortical networks across individuals. While spatial network organization emerges across development, is stable over time, and is predictive of behavior, it is not yet clear to what extent genetic factors underlie interindividual differences in network topography. Here, leveraging a nonlinear multidimensional estimation of heritability, we provide evidence that individual variability in the size and topographic organization of cortical networks are under genetic control. Using twin and family data from the Human Connectome Project ( n = 1,023), we find increased variability and reduced heritability in the size of heteromodal association networks ( h 2 : M = 0.34, SD = 0.070), relative to unimodal sensory/motor cortex ( h 2 : M = 0.40, SD = 0.097). We then demonstrate that the spatial layout of cortical networks is influenced by genetics, using our multidimensional estimation of heritability ( h 2 - multi; M = 0.14, SD = 0.015). However, topographic heritability did not differ between heteromodal and unimodal networks. Genetic factors had a regionally variable influence on brain organization, such that the heritability ofmore »network topography was greatest in prefrontal, precuneus, and posterior parietal cortex. Taken together, these data are consistent with relaxed genetic control of association cortices relative to primary sensory/motor regions and have implications for understanding population-level variability in brain functioning, guiding both individualized prediction and the interpretation of analyses that integrate genetics and neuroimaging.« less