A Study on Resting EEG Effective Connectivity Difference before and after Neurofeedback for Children with ADHD

Shanshan Wang, Dujuan Zhang, Bei Fang, Xingping Liu, Guoli Yan, Guanghong Sui, Qingwei Huang, Ling Sun, Suogang Wang
Neuroscience 2021 January 18
Altered functional networks in attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have been frequently reported, but effective connectivity has hardly been studied. Especially the differences of effective connectivity in children with ADHD after receiving neurofeedback (NF) training have been merely reported. Therefore, this study aimed to explore the effective networks of ADHD and the positive influence of NF on the effective networks. Electroencephalogram (EEG) data were recorded from 22 children with ADHD (including data from children pretraining and posttraining) and 15 age-matched healthy controls during an eyes-closed resting state. Phase transfer entropy (PTE) was used to construct the effective connectivity. The topological properties of networks and flow gain were measured separately in four bands (delta, theta, alpha, and beta). Results revealed the following: pretraining children with ADHD manifested a higher clustering coefficient and lower characteristic path length in the delta band than healthy controls; weakened anterior-to-posterior flow gain in the delta band, strengthened posterior-to-anterior flow gain in the alpha band and strengthened anterior-to-posterior flow gain in the beta band were observed in pretraining children with ADHD; The topological properties and flow gain in posttraining children with ADHD were close to those of healthy controls. Moreover, parent's SWAN presented significant improvements of ADHD symptoms after NF. Our findings revealed that the effective connectivity of ADHD was altered and that NF could improve the brain function of ADHD. The present study provided the first evidence that children with ADHD differed from healthy children in phase-based effective connectivity and that NF could reduce the differences.

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