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Disconnectome prediction of long-term cognitive-behavioural symptoms in stroke

Talozzi et al., 2023

Try the Disconnectome Symptom Discoverer:

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Stroke significantly impacts the quality of life. However, the long-term cognitive evolution in stroke is poorly predictable at the individual level. There is an urgent need to better predict long-term symptoms based on acute clinical neuroimaging data.

Previous works have demonstrated a strong relationship between the location of white matter disconnections and clinical symptoms. However, rendering the entire space of possible disconnection-deficit associations optimally surveyable will allow for a systematic association between brain disconnections and cognitive-behavioural measures at the individual level. Here we present the most comprehensive framework, a composite morphospace of white matter disconnections (disconnectome) to predict neuropsychological scores 1 year after stroke. Linking the latent disconnectome morphospace to neuropsychological outcomes yields biological insights that are available as the first comprehensive atlas of disconnectome-deficit relations across 86 scores—a Neuropsychological White Matter Atlas.

Our novel predictive framework, the Disconnectome Symptoms Discoverer, achieved better predictivity performances than six other models, including functional disconnection, lesion topology and volume modelling. Out-of-sample prediction derived from this atlas presented a mean absolute error below 20% and allowed personalize neuropsychological predictions. Prediction on an external cohort achieved an R2 = 0.201 for semantic fluency. In addition, training and testing were replicated on two external cohorts achieving an R2 = 0.18 for visuospatial performance.

This framework is available as an interactive web application ( to provide the foundations for a new and practical approach to modelling cognition in stroke. We hope our atlas and web application will help to reduce the burden of cognitive deficits on patients, their families and wider society while also helping to tailor future personalized treatment programmes and discover new targets for treatments. We expect our framework’s range of assessments and predictive power to increase even further through future crowdsourcing.

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