Functional connectivity and temporal variability of brain connections in adults with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and bipolar disorder

Pablo Barttfeld, Agustín Petroni, Sandra Báez, Hugo Urquina, Mariano Sigman, Marcelo Cetkovich, Teresa Torralva, Fernando Torrente, Alicia Lischinsky, Xavier Castellanos, Facundo Manes, Agustín Ibañez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Objectives: To assess brain functional connectivity and variability in adults with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or euthymic bipolar disorder (BD) relative to a control (CT) group. Methods: Electroencephalography (EEG) was measured in 35 participants (BD = 11; ADHD = 9; CT = 15) during an eyes-closed 10-min rest period, and connectivity and graph theory metrics were computed. A coefficient of variation (CV) computed also the connectivity's temporal variability of EEG. Multivariate associations between functional connectivity and clinical and neuropsychological profiles were evaluated. Results: An enhancement of functional connectivity was observed in the ADHD (fronto-occipital connections) and BD (diffuse connections) groups. However, compared with CTs, intrinsic variability (CV) was enhanced in the ADHD group and reduced in the BD group. Graph theory metrics confirmed the existence of several abnormal network features in both affected groups. Significant associations of connectivity with symptoms were also observed. In the ADHD group, temporal variability of functional connections was associated with executive function and memory deficits. Depression, hyperactivity and impulsivity levels in the ADHD group were associated with abnormal intrinsic connectivity. In the BD group, levels of anxiety and depression were related to abnormal frontotemporal connectivity. Conclusions: In the ADHD group, we found that intrinsic variability was associated with deficits in cognitive performance and that connectivity abnormalities were related to ADHD symptomatology. The BD group exhibited less intrinsic variability and more diffuse long-range brain connections, and those abnormalities were related to interindividual differences in depression and anxiety. These preliminary results are relevant for neurocognitive models of abnormal brain connectivity in both disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-75
Number of pages11
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2014


  • Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Electroencephalography
  • Functional connectivity
  • Intrinsic variability


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