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Children orphaned by HIV/AIDS (“AIDS orphans”) suffer numerous early-life adverse events which have a long-lasting effect on brain function. Although previous studies found altered electroencephalography (EEG) oscillation during resting state in children orphaned by HIV/AIDS, data are limited regarding the alterations in connectivity and microstate. The current study aimed to investigate the functional connectivity (FC) and microstate in children orphaned by HIV/AIDS with resting-state EEG data. Data were recorded from 63 children orphaned by HIV/AIDS and 65 non-orphan controls during a close-eyes resting state. The differences in phase-locking value (PLV) of global average FC and temporal dynamics of microstate were compared between groups. For functional connectivity, children orphaned by HIV/AIDS showed decreased connectivity in alpha, beta, theta, and delta band compared with non-orphan controls. For microstate, EEG results demonstrated that children orphaned by HIV/AIDS show increased duration and coverage of microstate C, decreased occurrence and coverage of microstate B, and decreased occurrence of microstate D than non-orphan controls. These findings suggest that the microstate and functional connectivity has altered in children orphaned by HIV/AIDS compared with non-orphan controls and provide additional evidence that early life stress (ELS) would alter the structure and function of the brain and increase the risk of psychiatric disorders.

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© 2022 Gu, Shan, He, Zhao and Li. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

APA Citation

Gu, H., Shan, X., He, H., Zhao, J., & Li, X. (2022). EEG Evidence of Altered Functional Connectivity and Microstate in Children Orphaned by HIV/AIDS. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 13.