Feng Shi1, Yong Fan1, Pew-Thian Yap1, Weili Lin1, John Gilmore2, Dinggang Shen1
1Department of Radiology and BRIC, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, United States; 2Department of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, United States
We evaluated the brain structural networks on three groups of subjects, as high risk newborns of schizophrenic parents, healthy newborns, and healthy adults. All three groups showed small-world network properties. From healthy newborns to healthy adults as brain develops, global efficiency is increased while local efficiency is decreased, with reduced regularity and enhanced randomness. This suggests that brain networks develop from a local to distributed organization. However, high risk newborns showed a more localized pattern and lack global integration compared with healthy newborns. This indicates that a delay might have occurred during brain development of the high risk group.