Federated Analysis in COINSTAC Reveals Functional Network Connectivity and Spectral Links to Smoking and Alcohol Consumption in Nearly 2,000 Adolescent Brains
Neuroinformatics. 2023 Apr;21(2):287-301. doi: 10.1007/s12021-022-09604-4. Epub 2022 Nov 25.
With the growth of decentralized/federated analysis approaches in neuroimaging, the opportunities to study brain disorders using data from multiple sites has grown multi-fold. One such initiative is the Neuromark, a fully automated spatially constrained independent component analysis (ICA) that is used to link brain network abnormalities among different datasets, studies, and disorders while leveraging subject-specific networks. In this study, we implement the neuromark pipeline in COINSTAC, an open-source neuroimaging framework for collaborative/decentralized analysis. Decentralized exploratory analysis of nearly 2000 resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging datasets collected at different sites across two cohorts and co-located in different countries was performed to study the resting brain functional network connectivity changes in adolescents who smoke and consume alcohol. Results showed hypoconnectivity across the majority of networks including sensory, default mode, and subcortical domains, more for alcohol than smoking, and decreased low frequency power. These findings suggest that global reduced synchronization is associated with both tobacco and alcohol use. This proof-of-concept work demonstrates the utility and incentives associated with large-scale decentralized collaborations spanning multiple sites.