Brain network dynamics in people with visual snow syndrome

Myrte Strik, Meaghan Clough, Emma J. Solly, Rebecca Glarin, Owen B. White, Scott C. Kolbe, Joanne Fielding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Visual snow syndrome (VSS) is a neurological disorder characterized by a range of continuous visual disturbances. Little is known about the functional pathological mechanisms underlying VSS and their effect on brain network topology, studied using high-resolution resting-state (RS) 7 T MRI. Forty VSS patients and 60 healthy controls underwent RS MRI. Functional connectivity matrices were calculated, and global efficiency (network integration), modularity (network segregation), local efficiency (LE, connectedness neighbors) and eigenvector centrality (significance node in network) were derived using a dynamic approach (temporal fluctuations during acquisition). Network measures were compared between groups, with regions of significant difference correlated with known aberrant ocular motor VSS metrics (shortened latencies and higher number of inhibitory errors) in VSS patients. Lastly, nodal co-modularity, a binary measure of node pairs belonging to the same module, was studied. VSS patients had lower modularity, supramarginal centrality and LE dynamics of multiple (sub)cortical regions, centered around occipital and parietal lobules. In VSS patients, lateral occipital cortex LE dynamics correlated positively with shortened prosaccade latencies (p =.041, r =.353). In VSS patients, occipital, parietal, and motor nodes belonged more often to the same module and demonstrated lower nodal co-modularity with temporal and frontal regions. This study revealed reduced dynamic variation in modularity and local efficiency strength in the VSS brain, suggesting that brain network dynamics are less variable in terms of segregation and local clustering. Further investigation of these changes could inform our understanding of the pathogenesis of the disorder and potentially lead to treatment strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1868-1875
Number of pages8
JournalHuman Brain Mapping
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2023


  • 7 T MRI
  • network topology
  • ocular motor behavior
  • resting-state functional MRI
  • ultra-high field MRI
  • visual snow
  • visual snow syndrome

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