Consciousness and the dimensionality of DOC patients via the generalized ising model

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Journal of Clinical Medicine





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The data from patients with severe brain injuries show complex brain functions. Due to the difficulties associated with these complex data, computational modeling is an especially useful tool to examine the structure–function relationship in these populations. By using computational modeling for patients with a disorder of consciousness (DoC), not only we can understand the changes of information transfer, but we also can test changes to different states of consciousness by hypothetically changing the anatomical structure. The generalized Ising model (GIM), which specializes in using structural connectivity to simulate functional connectivity, has been proven to effectively capture the relationship between anatomical structures and the spontaneous fluctuations of healthy controls (HCs). In the present study we implemented the GIM in 25 HCs as well as in 13 DoC patients diagnosed at three different states of consciousness. Simulated data were analyzed and the criticality and dimensionality were calculated for both groups; together, those values capture the level of information transfer in the brain. Ratifying previous studies, criticality was observed in simulations of HCs. We were also able to observe criticality for DoC patients, concluding that the GIM is generalizable for DoC patients. Furthermore, dimensionality increased for the DoC group as compared to healthy controls, and could distinguish different diagnostic groups of DoC patients.