Reduced betweenness centrality of a sensory-motor vestibular network in subclinical agoraphobia

I. Indovina, A. Conti, F. Lacquaniti, J. P. Staab, L. Passamonti, N. Toschi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Agoraphobic patients feel dizzy in crowded open spaces and respond to this symptom with excessive fear and avoidance. These clinical features show great similitude with the newly defined syndrome of persistent postural perceptual dizziness (PPPD). Patients with PPPD show decreased activity and connectivity in regions of the vestibular cortex. Due to the great overlap between these two conditions, we hypothesized that individuals with sub-clinical agoraphobia would show reduction in the connectivity features of these regions. We selected a group of healthy individuals from the Human Connectome Project that self-reported agoraphobia episodes, and compared it with a control group. We accurately matched the two groups for psychological measures and personality traits in order to study the neural correlates of vestibular symptoms independently of possible psychiatric vulnerabilities. We found that the agoraphobia group showed reduced betweenness centrality of a network encompassing key regions of the vestibular cortex. Dysfunctions of the vestibular cortex may explain the dizziness symptom for a disorder previously labelled as psychogenic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2019 41st Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBC 2019
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages4342-4345
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781538613115
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2019
Event41st Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBC 2019 - Berlin, Germany
Duration: Jul 23 2019Jul 27 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBS
ISSN (Print)1557-170X

Conference

Conference41st Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBC 2019
CountryGermany
CityBerlin
Period7/23/197/27/19

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Health Informatics

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