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Volume 2017, Article ID 9514369, 11 pages
Research Article

A Resting-State Brain Functional Network Study in MDD Based on Minimum Spanning Tree Analysis and the Hierarchical Clustering

1School of Information Science & Engineering, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, China
2International WIC Institute, Beijing University of Technology, Beijing, China
3The Third People’s Hospital of Tianshui City, Tianshui, China
4Lanzhou University Second Hospital, Lanzhou, China
5Beijing Anding Hospital of Capital Medical University, Beijing, China
6Computer Systems Institute, ETH Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland

Correspondence should be addressed to Bin Hu; nc.ude.uzl@hb

Received 31 March 2017; Revised 3 June 2017; Accepted 12 June 2017; Published 25 July 2017

Academic Editor: Jianxin Wang

Copyright © 2017 Xiaowei Li et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A large number of studies demonstrated that major depressive disorder (MDD) is characterized by the alterations in brain functional connections which is also identifiable during the brain’s “resting-state.” But, in the present study, the approach of constructing functional connectivity is often biased by the choice of the threshold. Besides, more attention was paid to the number and length of links in brain networks, and the clustering partitioning of nodes was unclear. Therefore, minimum spanning tree (MST) analysis and the hierarchical clustering were first used for the depression disease in this study. Resting-state electroencephalogram (EEG) sources were assessed from 15 healthy and 23 major depressive subjects. Then the coherence, MST, and the hierarchical clustering were obtained. In the theta band, coherence analysis showed that the EEG coherence of the MDD patients was significantly higher than that of the healthy controls especially in the left temporal region. The MST results indicated the higher leaf fraction in the depressed group. Compared with the normal group, the major depressive patients lost clustering in frontal regions. Our findings suggested that there was a stronger brain interaction in the MDD group and a left-right functional imbalance in the frontal regions for MDD controls.