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The potential of the human connectome as a biomarker of brain disease

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Marcus Kaiser



The human connectome at the level of fiber tracts between brain regions has been shown to differ in patients with brain disorders compared to healthy control groups. Nonetheless, there is a potentially large number of different network organizations for individual patients that could lead to cognitive deficits prohibiting correct diagnosis. Therefore changes that can distinguish groups might not be sufficient to diagnose the disease that an individual patient suffers from and to indicate the best treatment option for that patient. We describe the challenges introduced by the large variability of connectomes within healthy subjects and patients and outline three common strategies to use connectomes as biomarkers of brain diseases. Finally, we propose a fourth option in using models of simulated brain activity (the dynamic connectome) based on structural connectivity rather than the structure (connectome) itself as a biomarker of disease. Dynamic connectomes, in addition to currently used structural, functional, or effective connectivity, could be an important future biomarker for clinical applications.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Kaiser M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience

Year: 2013

Volume: 7

Print publication date: 15/08/2013

Date deposited: 04/02/2014

ISSN (electronic): 1662-5161

Publisher: Frontiers Research Foundation


DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2013.00484


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Funder referenceFunder name
CARMEN e-science project
WCU program through the National Research Foundation of Korea
EP/ K026992/1EPSRC
R32-10142Ministry of Education, Science and Technology