Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is characterized by a complex pattern of abnormalities in resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) and network dysfunction, which can potentially be ameliorated by rehabilitation. In our previous randomized controlled trial, we found that a 3-month neurological music therapy intervention enhanced executive function (EF) and increased grey matter volume in the right inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) in patients with moderate-to-severe TBI (N = 40). Extending this study, we performed longitudinal rsFC analyses of resting-state fMRI data using a ROI-to-ROI approach assessing within-network and between-network rsFC in the frontoparietal (FPN), dorsal attention (DAN), default mode (DMN), and salience (SAL) networks, which all have been associated with cognitive impairment after TBI. We also performed a seed-based connectivity analysis between the right IFG and whole-brain rsFC. The results showed that neurological music therapy increased the coupling between the FPN and DAN as well as between these networks and primary sensory networks. By contrast, the DMN was less connected with sensory networks after the intervention. Similarly, there was a shift towards a less connected state within the FPN and SAL networks, which are typically hyperconnected following TBI. Improvements in EF were correlated with rsFC within the FPN and between the DMN and sensorimotor networks. Finally, in the seed-based connectivity analysis, the right IFG showed increased rsFC with the right inferior parietal and left frontoparietal (Rolandic operculum) regions. Together, these results indicate that the rehabilitative effects of neurological music therapy after TBI are underpinned by a pattern of within- and between-network connectivity changes in cognitive networks as well as increased connectivity between frontal and parietal regions associated with music processing.
Fields of Science
- 515 Psychology
- 3112 Neurosciences
- 3124 Neurology and psychiatry