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A Connectome Wide Functional Signature of Transdiagnostic Risk for Mental Illness

By Maxwell L Elliott, Adrienne Romer, Annchen R. Knodt, Ahmad R Hariri

Posted 29 Sep 2017
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/196220 (published DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2018.03.012)

Background: High rates of comorbidity, shared risk, and overlapping therapeutic mechanisms have led psychopathology research towards transdiagnostic dimensional investigations of clustered symptoms. One influential framework accounts for these transdiagnostic phenomena through a single general factor, sometimes referred to as the 'p' factor, associated with risk for all common forms of mental illness. Methods: Here we build on past research identifying unique structural neural correlates of the p factor by conducting a data-driven analysis of connectome wide intrinsic functional connectivity (n = 605). Results: We demonstrate that higher p factor scores and associated risk for common mental illness maps onto hyper-connectivity between visual association cortex and both frontoparietal and default mode networks. Conclusions: These results provide initial evidence that the transdiagnostic risk for common forms of mental illness is associated with patterns of inefficient connectome wide intrinsic connectivity between visual association cortex and networks supporting executive control and self-referential processes, networks which are often impaired across categorical disorders.

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