Structural Connectivity Networks of Transgender People

Structural Connectivity Networks of Transgender People:

Although previous investigations of transsexual people have focusedon regional brain alterations, evaluations on a network level, especiallythose structural in nature, are largely missing. Therefore, weinvestigated the structural connectome of 23 female-to-male (FtM)and 21 male-to-female (MtF) transgender patients before hormonetherapy as compared with 25 female and 25 male healthy controls.Graph theoretical analysis of whole-brain probabilistic tractographynetworks (adjusted for differences in intracranial volume) showeddecreased hemispheric connectivity ratios of subcortical/limbicareas for both transgender groups. Subsequent analysis revealedthat this finding was driven by increased interhemispheric lobar connectivityweights (LCWs) in MtF transsexuals and decreased intrahemisphericLCWs in FtM patients. This was further reflected on aregional level, where the MtF group showed mostly increased localefficiencies and FtM patients decreased values. Importantly, theseparameters separated each patient group from the remaining subjectsfor the majority of significant findings. This work complementspreviously established regional alterations with important findings ofstructural connectivity. Specifically, our data suggest that networkparameters may reflect unique characteristics of transgender patients,whereas local physiological aspects have been shown torepresent the transition from the biological sex to the actual genderidentity.

(Via. Oxford Journals)

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