Network Analyses and Nervous System Disorders
This is an advance summary of a forthcoming article in the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Neuroscience. Please check back later for the full article.
Network analysis in nervous system disorders involves constructing and analyzing anatomical and functional brain networks to describe and predict the clinical syndromes that result from neuropathology. A network view of neurological disease and clinical syndromes allows researchers to quantify and model complex nervous system disorders with relatively simple and mathematically robust tools developed in graph theory. Researchers predominantly examine networks constructed from in vivo data acquired using physiological and neuroimaging techniques at the macroscale of organization in the human nervous system. Studies support the emerging view that neuropsychiatric and neurological disorders result from pathological processes that disrupt the brain’s economically wired small-world organization. Through the lens of network science, researchers gain theoretical insight into progressive neurodegeneration, neuropsychological dysfunction, and potential translational targets.