Brain pathology recapitulates physiology: A network meta-analysis

Thomas J. Vanasse, Peter T. Fox, P. Mickle Fox, Franco Cauda, Tommaso Costa, Stephen M. Smith, Simon B. Eickhoff, Jack L. Lancaster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Network architecture is a brain-organizational motif present across spatial scales from cell assemblies to distributed systems. Structural pathology in some neurodegenerative disorders selectively afflicts a subset of functional networks, motivating the network degeneration hypothesis (NDH). Recent evidence suggests that structural pathology recapitulating physiology may be a general property of neuropsychiatric disorders. To test this possibility, we compared functional and structural network meta-analyses drawing upon the BrainMap database. The functional meta-analysis included results from >7,000 experiments of subjects performing >100 task paradigms; the structural meta-analysis included >2,000 experiments of patients with >40 brain disorders. Structure-function network concordance was high: 68% of networks matched (pFWE < 0.01), confirming the broader scope of NDH. This correspondence persisted across higher model orders. A positive linear association between disease and behavioral entropy (p = 0.0006;R2 = 0.53) suggests nodal stress as a common mechanism. Corroborating this interpretation with independent data, we show that metabolic 'cost' significantly differs along this transdiagnostic/multimodal gradient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)301
Number of pages1
JournalCommunications Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 8 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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