Abnormal degree centrality of functional hubs associated with negative coping in older Chinese adults who lost their only child.

Biological psychology

PubMedID: 26391339

Liu W, Wei D, Sun J, Yang J, Meng J, Wang L, Qiu J. Abnormal degree centrality of functional hubs associated with negative coping in older Chinese adults who lost their only child. Biol Psychol. 2015;.
The loss of an only child is a negative life event and may potentially increase the risk of psychiatric disorders. However, the psychological consequences of the loss of an only child and the associated neural mechanisms remain largely unexplored. Degree centrality (DC), derived from resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), was used to examine network communication in 22 older adults who lost their only child and 23 matched controls. The older adults who lost their only child exhibited an ineffective coping style. They also showed decreased distant and local DC in the precuneus and left inferior parietal lobule and decreased distant DC in the bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). Furthermore, the decreased local and distant DC of these regions and the decreased DLPFC-precuneus connectivity strength were negatively correlated with negative coping scores in the loss group but not in the controls. Overall, the results suggested a model that the impaired neural network communication of brain hubs within the default mode network (DMN) and central executive network (CEN) were associated with a negative coping style in older adults who lost their only child. The decreased connectivity of the hubs can be identified as a neural risk factor that is related to future psychopathology.