Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Regional homogeneity (ReHo) is a measure of local functional brain connectivity that has been reported to be altered in a wide range of neuropsychiatric disorders. Computed from brain resting-state functional MRI time series, ReHo is also sensitive to fluctuations in cerebral blood flow (CBF) that in turn may be influenced by cerebrovascular health. We accessed cerebrovascular health with Framingham cardiovascular risk score (FCVRS). We hypothesize that ReHo signal may be influenced by regional CBF; and that these associations can be summarized as FCVRS→CBF→ReHo. We used three independent samples to test this hypothesis. A test-retest sample of N = 30 healthy volunteers was used for test-retest evaluation of CBF effects on ReHo. Amish Connectome Project (ACP) sample (N = 204, healthy individuals) was used to evaluate association between FCVRS and ReHo and testing if the association diminishes given CBF. The UKBB sample (N = 6,285, healthy participants) was used to replicate the effects of FCVRS on ReHo. We observed strong CBF→ReHo links (p<2.5 × 10-3) using a three-point longitudinal sample. In ACP sample, marginal and partial correlations analyses demonstrated that both CBF and FCVRS were significantly correlated with the whole-brain average (p<10-6) and regional ReHo values, with the strongest correlations observed in frontal, parietal, and temporal areas. Yet, the association between ReHo and FCVRS became insignificant once the effect of CBF was accounted for. In contrast, CBF→ReHo remained significantly linked after adjusting for FCVRS and demographic covariates (p<10-6). Analysis in N = 6,285 replicated the FCVRS→ReHo effect (p = 2.7 × 10-27). In summary, ReHo alterations in health and neuropsychiatric illnesses may be partially driven by region-specific variability in CBF, which is, in turn, influenced by cardiovascular factors.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, Department of Psychiatry, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21228.


Brain, Humans, Cardiovascular Diseases, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Risk Factors, Cerebrovascular Circulation, Connectome, Heart Disease Risk Factors