New resting-state fMRI related studies at PubMed

Effective connectivity decreases in specific brain networks with postparalysis facial synkinesis: a dynamic causal modeling study

Wed, 09/22/2021 - 10:00

Brain Imaging Behav. 2021 Sep 22. doi: 10.1007/s11682-021-00547-z. Online ahead of print.


Currently, the treatments for postparalysis facial synkinesis are still inadequate. However, neuroimaging mechanistic studies are very limited and blurred. Instead of mapping activation regions, we were devoted to characterizing the organizational features of brain regions to develop new targets for therapeutic intervention. Eighteen patients with unilateral facial synkinesis and 19 healthy controls were enrolled. They were instructed to perform task functional magnetic resonance imaging (eye blinking and lip pursing) examinations and resting-state scans. Then, we characterized group differences in task-state fMRI to identify three foci, including the contralateral precentral gyrus (PreCG), supramarginal gyrus (SMG), and superior parietal gyrus (SPG). Next, we employed a novel approach (using dynamic causal modeling) to identify directed connectivity differences between groups in different modes. Significant patterns in multiple regions in terms of regionally specific actions following synkinetic movements were demonstrated, although the resting state was not significant. The couplings from the SMG to the PreCG (p = 0.03) was significant in the task of left blinking, whereas the coupling from the SMG to the SPG (p = 0.04) was significant in the task of left smiling. We speculated that facial synkinesis affects disruption among the brain networks, and specific couplings that are modulated simultaneously can compensate for motor deficits. Therefore, behavioral or brain stimulation technique treatment could be applied to alter reorganization within specific couplings in the rehabilitation of facial function.

PMID:34550534 | DOI:10.1007/s11682-021-00547-z

Abnormal within- and cross-networks functional connectivity in different outcomes of herpes zoster patients

Wed, 09/22/2021 - 10:00

Brain Imaging Behav. 2021 Sep 21. doi: 10.1007/s11682-021-00510-y. Online ahead of print.


Neuroimaging studies have displayed aberrant brain activities in individual sensory- and emotional-linked regions in postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) patients. However, multi-dimensional dysfunction in chronic pain may rely on the interplay between networks. Little is known about the changes in the functional architecture of resting state networks (RSNs) in PHN. In this cross-sectional study, we recruited 31 PHN patients, 33 RHZ patients and 34 HCs; all participants underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging scans. We investigated the differences of within- and cross-network connectivities between different outcomes of HZ patients [including PHN and recuperation from herpes zoster (RHZ)] and healthy controls (HCs) so as to extract a characteristic network pattern of PHN. The abnormal network connectivities were then correlated with clinical variables in respective groups. PHN and RHZ patients could be similarly characterized by abnormal within-default mode network (DMN), DMN-salience network (SN) and SN-basal ganglia network (BGN) connectivity relative to HCs. Of note, compared with RHZ patients, PHN patients could be characterized by abnormal DMN-BGN and within-BGN connectivity. Furthermore, the within-DMN connectivity was associated with pain-induced emotional scores among PHN patients. Our study presented that network-level imbalance could account for the pain-related dysfunctions in different outcomes of herpes zoster patients. These insights are potentially useful for understanding neuromechanism of PHN and providing central therapeutic targets for PHN.

PMID:34549378 | DOI:10.1007/s11682-021-00510-y

Disentangling early versus late audiovisual integration in adult ADHD: a combined behavioural and resting-state connectivity study

Wed, 09/22/2021 - 10:00

J Psychiatry Neurosci. 2021 Sep;46(5):E528-E537. doi: 10.1503/jpn.210017. Epub 2021 Sep 1.


BACKGROUND: Studies investigating sensory processing in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have shown altered visual and auditory processing. However, evidence is lacking for audiovisual interplay - namely, multisensory integration. As well, neuronal dysregulation at rest (e.g., aberrant within- or between-network functional connectivity) may account for difficulties with integration across the senses in ADHD. We investigated whether sensory processing was altered at the multimodal level in adult ADHD and included resting-state functional connectivity to illustrate a possible overlap between deficient network connectivity and the ability to integrate stimuli.

METHODS: We tested 25 patients with ADHD and 24 healthy controls using 2 illusionary paradigms: the sound-induced flash illusion and the McGurk illusion. We applied the Mann-Whitney U test to assess statistical differences between groups. We acquired resting-state functional MRIs on a 3.0 T Siemens magnetic resonance scanner, using a highly accelerated 3-dimensional echo planar imaging sequence.

RESULTS: For the sound-induced flash illusion, susceptibility and reaction time were not different between the 2 groups. For the McGurk illusion, susceptibility was significantly lower for patients with ADHD, and reaction times were significantly longer. At a neuronal level, resting-state functional connectivity in the ADHD group was more highly regulated in polymodal regions that play a role in binding unimodal sensory inputs from different modalities and enabling sensory-to-cognition integration.

LIMITATIONS: We did not explicitly screen for autism spectrum disorder, which has high rates of comorbidity with ADHD and also involves impairments in multisensory integration. Although the patients were carefully screened by our outpatient department, we could not rule out the possibility of autism spectrum disorder in some participants.

CONCLUSION: Unimodal hypersensitivity seems to have no influence on the integration of basal stimuli, but it might have negative consequences for the multisensory integration of complex stimuli. This finding was supported by observations of higher resting-state functional connectivity between unimodal sensory areas and polymodal multisensory integration convergence zones for complex stimuli.

PMID:34548387 | DOI:10.1503/jpn.210017

Multiparametric MRI for the improved diagnostic accuracy of Alzheimer's disease and mild cognitive impairment: Research protocol of a case-control study design

Tue, 09/21/2021 - 10:00

PLoS One. 2021 Sep 21;16(9):e0252883. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0252883. eCollection 2021.


BACKGROUND: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a major neurocognitive disorder identified by memory loss and a significant cognitive decline based on previous level of performance in one or more cognitive domains that interferes in the independence of everyday activities. The accuracy of imaging helps to identify the neuropathological features that differentiate AD from its common precursor, mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Identification of early signs will aid in risk stratification of disease and ensures proper management is instituted to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with AD. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) using structural MRI (sMRI), functional MRI (fMRI), diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS) performed alone is inadequate. Thus, the combination of multiparametric MRI is proposed to increase the accuracy of diagnosing MCI and AD when compared to elderly healthy controls.

METHODS: This protocol describes a non-interventional case control study. The AD and MCI patients and the healthy elderly controls will undergo multi-parametric MRI. The protocol consists of sMRI, fMRI, DTI, and single-voxel proton MRS sequences. An eco-planar imaging (EPI) will be used to perform resting-state fMRI sequence. The structural images will be analysed using Computational Anatomy Toolbox-12, functional images will be analysed using Statistical Parametric Mapping-12, DPABI (Data Processing & Analysis for Brain Imaging), and Conn software, while DTI and 1H-MRS will be analysed using the FSL (FMRIB's Software Library) and Tarquin respectively. Correlation of the MRI results and the data acquired from the APOE genotyping, neuropsychological evaluations (i.e. Montreal Cognitive Assessment [MoCA], and Mini-Mental State Examination [MMSE] scores) will be performed. The imaging results will also be correlated with the sociodemographic factors. The diagnosis of AD and MCI will be standardized and based on the DSM-5 criteria and the neuropsychological scores.

DISCUSSION: The combination of sMRI, fMRI, DTI, and MRS sequences can provide information on the anatomical and functional changes in the brain such as regional grey matter volume atrophy, impaired functional connectivity among brain regions, and decreased metabolite levels specifically at the posterior cingulate cortex/precuneus. The combination of multiparametric MRI sequences can be used to stratify the management of MCI and AD patients. Accurate imaging can decide on the frequency of follow-up at memory clinics and select classifiers for machine learning that may aid in the disease identification and prognostication. Reliable and consistent quantification, using standardised protocols, are crucial to establish an optimal diagnostic capability in the early detection of Alzheimer's disease.

PMID:34547018 | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0252883

Correlation Analysis between Regional Homogeneity and Executive Dysfunction in Anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor Encephalitis Patients

Tue, 09/21/2021 - 10:00

Eur J Neurol. 2021 Sep 21. doi: 10.1111/ene.15119. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) encephalitis is characterized by a range of cognitive impairments, especially in executive function. Our study aims to identify the abnormal regional homogeneity (ReHo) in anti-NMDAR encephalitis patients and its relationship with the executive function.

METHODS: Forty patients and forty-two healthy volunteers undertook the Attention Network Test (ATN) and resting-state fMRI scan. ReHo analysis was performed to investigate the neuronal activity synchronization in all subjects. Based on ReHo analysis, a multivariate pattern analysis (MVPA) was carried out to identify the brain regions that differed the most between the two groups.

RESULTS: Compared to controls, the patients had higher executive control (EC) scores (p < 0.05). The patients presented reduced ReHo values in the bilateral posterior cerebellar lobe, anterior cerebellar lobe, midbrain, bilateral caudate nucleus, right superior frontal gyrus, right middle temporal gyrus, bilateral inferior parietal lobule (IPL), and the left middle frontal gyrus. The ReHo values of bilateral IPL in patients were found to be negatively associated with the EC scores. The classification of patients and controls using MVPA had an accuracy of 76.83%,a sensitivity of 82.50%, a specificity of 71.43% and the area under the curve (AUC) was 0.83.

CONCLUSIONS: Our study provides evidence of abnormal cerebral function in anti-NMDAR encephalitis patients, which may contribute to unveil the neuropathological mechanisms of anti-NMDAR encephalitis and their influences on executive dysfunction. The MVPA classifier, based on ReHo, is helpful in identifying anti-NMDAR encephalitis patients from healthy controls.

PMID:34546615 | DOI:10.1111/ene.15119

Remote Corticospinal Tract Degeneration After Cortical Stroke in Rats May Not Preclude Spontaneous Sensorimotor Recovery

Tue, 09/21/2021 - 10:00

Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2021 Sep 21:15459683211041318. doi: 10.1177/15459683211041318. Online ahead of print.


Background. Recovery of motor function after stroke appears to be related to the integrity of axonal connections in the corticospinal tract (CST) and corpus callosum, which may both be affected after cortical stroke. Objective. In the present study, we aimed to elucidate the relationship of changes in measures of the CST and transcallosal tract integrity, with the interhemispheric functional connectivity and sensorimotor performance after experimental cortical stroke. Methods. We conducted in vivo diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), resting-state functional MRI, and behavior testing in twenty-five male Sprague Dawley rats recovering from unilateral photothrombotic stroke in the sensorimotor cortex. Twenty-three healthy rats served as controls. Results. A reduction in the number of reconstructed fibers, a lower fractional anisotropy, and higher radial diffusivity in the ipsilesional but intact CST, reflected remote white matter degeneration. In contrast, transcallosal tract integrity remained preserved. Functional connectivity between the ipsi- and contralesional forelimb regions of the primary somatosensory cortex significantly reduced at week 8 post-stroke. Comparably, usage of the stroke-affected forelimb was normal at week 28, following significant initial impairment between day 1 and week 8 post-stroke. Conclusions. Our study shows that post-stroke motor recovery is possible despite degeneration in the CST and may be supported by intact neuronal communication between hemispheres.

PMID:34546138 | DOI:10.1177/15459683211041318

Stroke-related alterations in inter-areal communication

Mon, 09/20/2021 - 10:00

Neuroimage Clin. 2021 Sep 11;32:102812. doi: 10.1016/j.nicl.2021.102812. Online ahead of print.


Beyond causing local ischemia and cell damage at the site of injury, stroke strongly affects long-range anatomical connections, perturbing the functional organization of brain networks. Several studies reported functional connectivity abnormalities parallelling both behavioral deficits and functional recovery across different cognitive domains. FC alterations suggest that long-range communication in the brain is altered after stroke. However, standard FC analyses cannot reveal the directionality and time scale of inter-areal information transfer. We used resting-state fMRI and covariance-based Granger causality analysis to quantify network-level information transfer and its alteration in stroke. Two main large-scale anomalies were observed in stroke patients. First, inter-hemispheric information transfer was significantly decreased with respect to healthy controls. Second, stroke caused inter-hemispheric asymmetries, as information transfer within the affected hemisphere and from the affected to the intact hemisphere was significantly reduced. Both anomalies were more prominent in resting-state networks related to attention and language, and they correlated with impaired performance in several behavioral domains. Overall, our findings support the hypothesis that stroke provokes asymmetries between the affected and spared hemisphere, with different functional consequences depending on which hemisphere is lesioned.

PMID:34544032 | DOI:10.1016/j.nicl.2021.102812

Treatment of upper limb spasticity with inhibitory repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation: A randomized placebo-controlled trial

Mon, 09/20/2021 - 10:00

NeuroRehabilitation. 2021 Sep 13. doi: 10.3233/NRE-210088. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Upper limb dysfunction is a frequent complication after stroke impairing outcome. Inhibitory repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) applied over the contralesional hemisphere is supposed to enhance the positive effects of conventional rehabilitative treatment.

OBJECTIVE: This double-blind randomized placebo-controlled trial investigated whether inhibitory rTMS as add-on to standard therapy improves upper limb spasticity.

METHODS: Twenty-eight patients (aged 44 to 80 years) with unilateral stroke in the middle cerebral artery territory were analyzed. Participants were randomly assigned to inhibitory, low-frequency (LF-) rTMS (n = 14) or sham-rTMS (n = 14). The primary outcome measure was the spasticity grade, which was assessed with the Modified Ashworth Scale (MAS). In addition, the Fugl-Meyer-Assessment (FMA) for the upper extremity (UE) and a resting-state fMRI were performed to measure motor functions and the sensorimotor network, respectively.

RESULTS: The MAS score was reduced in the LF-rTMS group only, whereas the FMA score improved in both groups over time. Regarding the fMRI data, both groups activated typical regions of the sensorimotor network. In the LF-rTMS group, however, connectivity to the left angular gyrus increased after treatment.

CONCLUSION: Changes in functional connectivity in patients receiving inhibitory rTMS over the contralesional motor cortex suggest that processes of neuronal plasticity are stimulated.

PMID:34542038 | DOI:10.3233/NRE-210088

Multi-model Order ICA: A Data-driven Method for Evaluating Brain Functional Network Connectivity Within and Between Multiple Spatial Scales

Mon, 09/20/2021 - 10:00

Brain Connect. 2021 Sep 19. doi: 10.1089/brain.2021.0079. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: While functional connectivity is widely studied, there has been little work studying functional connectivity at different spatial scales. Likewise, the relationship of functional connectivity between spatial scales is unknown.

METHODS: We proposed an independent component analysis (ICA) - based approach to capture information at multiple model orders (component numbers) and to evaluate functional network connectivity (FNC) both within and between model orders. We evaluated the approach by studying group differences in the context of a study of resting fMRI (rsfMRI) data collected from schizophrenia (SZ) individuals and healthy controls (HC). The predictive ability of FNC at multiple spatial scales was assessed using support vector machine (SVM)-based classification.

RESULTS: In addition to consistent predictive patterns at both multiple-model orders and single model orders, unique predictive information was seen at multiple-model orders and in the interaction between model orders. We observed that the FNC between model order 25 and 50 maintained the highest predictive information between HC and SZ. Results highlighted the predictive ability of the somatomotor and visual domains both within and between model orders compared to other functional domains. Also, subcortical-somatomotor, temporal-somatomotor, and temporal-subcortical FNCs had relatively high weights in predicting SZ.

CONCLUSIONS: In sum, multi-model order ICA provides a more comprehensive way to study FNC, produces meaningful and interesting results which are applicable to future studies. We shared the spatial templates from this work at different model orders to provide a reference for the community, which can be leveraged in regression-based or fully automated (spatially constrained) ICA approaches.

PMID:34541879 | DOI:10.1089/brain.2021.0079

Altered Functional Connectivity Strength at Rest in Medication-Free Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Mon, 09/20/2021 - 10:00

Neural Plast. 2021 Sep 8;2021:3741104. doi: 10.1155/2021/3741104. eCollection 2021.


BACKGROUND: Previous studies explored the whole-brain functional connectome using the degree approach in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). However, whether the altered degree values can be used to discriminate OCD from healthy controls (HCs) remains unclear.

METHODS: A total of 40 medication-free patients with OCD and 38 HCs underwent a resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) scan. Data were analyzed with the degree approach and a support vector machine (SVM) classifier.

RESULTS: Patients with OCD showed increased degree values in the left thalamus and left cerebellum Crus I and decreased degree values in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, right precuneus, and left postcentral gyrus. SVM classification analysis indicated that the increased degree value in the left thalamus is a marker of OCD, with an acceptable accuracy of 88.46%, sensitivity of 87.50%, and specificity of 89.47%.

CONCLUSION: Altered degree values within and outside the cortical-striatal-thalamic-cortical (CSTC) circuit may cocontribute to the pathophysiology of OCD. Increased degree values of the left thalamus can be used as a future marker for OCD understanding-classification.

PMID:34539777 | PMC:PMC8443365 | DOI:10.1155/2021/3741104

A Treatment-Response Comparison Study of Resting-State Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Between Standard Treatment of SSRI and Standard Treatment of SSRI Plus Non-dominant Hand-Writing Task in Patients With Major Depressive Disorder

Mon, 09/20/2021 - 10:00

Front Psychiatry. 2021 Sep 3;12:698954. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2021.698954. eCollection 2021.


Background: Researches have recently shifted from functional/structural imaging studies to functional connectivity (FC) studies in major depressive disorder (MDD). We aimed to compare treatment response of two treatment groups before and after treatment, in terms of both with psychiatric evaluation scales and resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) changes in order to objectively demonstrate the possible contribution of the non-dominant hand-writing exercise (NHE) effect on depression treatment. Methods: A total of 26 patients who were right-handed women with similar sociodemographic characteristics were enrolled. Their pre-treatment resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) and neuropsychiatric tests were recorded, and then, patients were divided into two groups randomly. A standard treatment (ST) (fix sertraline 50 mg/day) was given to both groups. One randomly selected group was given the NHE in addition to the ST. After 8 weeks of treatment, all patients were reevaluated with rs-fMRI and neuropsychiatric tests. Pre- and post-treatment FC changes within the groups and post-treatment connectivity changes between groups were evaluated. Results: Post-treatment neuropsychiatric tests were significantly different in both groups. Post-treatment, two brain regions' connectivity changed in the ST group, whereas 10 brain regions' connectivity changed significantly in the ST + NHE group. When treatment groups were compared with each other after the treatment, the FC of 13 regions changed in the ST + NHE group compared to the ST group (p-unc/p-PFD <0.05). The density of connectivity changes in the frontal and limbic regions, especially connectivities shown to change in depression treatment, in the ST + NHE group indicates a positive contribution to depression treatment, which is also supported by neuropsychiatric scale changes. Conclusion: NHE, which we developed with inspiration from the Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) method, showed significantly more connecitivity changes related with MDD treatment. Beyond offering a new additional treatment method, our study will also contribute to the current literature with our efforts to evaluate all brain regions and networks that may be related to MDD and its treatment together, without being limited to a few regions. Trial Registration: The rs-fMRI and treatment registers were recorded in the BizMed system, which is the patient registration system of Bezmialem Vakif University Medicine Faculty, under the BAP support project approval code and the registration number 3.2018/8.

PMID:34539460 | PMC:PMC8446543 | DOI:10.3389/fpsyt.2021.698954

Aberrant Intraregional Brain Activity and Functional Connectivity in Patients With Diarrhea-Predominant Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Mon, 09/20/2021 - 10:00

Front Neurosci. 2021 Sep 3;15:721822. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2021.721822. eCollection 2021.


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The appearance and aggravation of diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS-D) have proven to be closely related to psychosocial factors. We aimed to measure altered spontaneous brain activity and functional connectivity (FC) in patients with IBS-D using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (RS-fMRI) and to analyze the relationship between these parameters and emotional symptoms.

METHODS: Thirty-six adult IBS-D patients and thirty-six demographic-matched healthy controls (HCs) underwent RS-fMRI scans. After processing RS-fMRI data, the values of the amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (ALFF) and regional homogeneity (ReHo) of the two groups were compared. The abnormal regions were selected as the regions of interest to compare whole-brain seed-based FC between the groups. The relationships between RS-fMRI data and mood and gastrointestinal symptoms were analyzed using correlation and mediation analyses.

RESULTS: Compared with HCs, IBS-D patients showed increased ALFF in the right cerebellum posterior lobe, the right lingual gyrus/calcarine, the right postcentral gyrus, the right superior frontal gyrus (SFG), and middle frontal gyrus (MFG), with decreased ALFF in the right inferior parietal lobule, the right striatum, the right anterior cingulated cortex, the right insula, the right hippocampus, the right thalamus, the right midbrain, and the left precuneus. IBS-D patients showed increased ReHo in the bilateral lingual gyrus/calcarine, the bilateral SFG, the right MFG, and the right postcentral gyrus, with decreased ReHo in the orbital part of the left inferior frontal gyrus and the right supplementary motor area. Patients showed enhanced FC between the left precuneus and the bilateral orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). There was a positive correlation between increased ALFF values in the right midbrain and anxiety-depression symptoms in IBS-D patients, and the mediating effect of gastrointestinal symptoms indirectly caused this correlation.

CONCLUSION: IBS-D patients had dysregulated spontaneous activity and FC in regions related to pain regulation and emotional arousal involved in prefrontal-limbic-midbrain circuit and somatosensory processing. The development of mood disorders in IBS-D patients may be partly related to the dysfunction of components in the dopamine pathway (especially the midbrain, OFC) due to visceral pain.

PMID:34539337 | PMC:PMC8446353 | DOI:10.3389/fnins.2021.721822

Individual localization value of resting-state fMRI in epilepsy presurgical evaluation: A combined study with stereo-EEG

Mon, 09/20/2021 - 10:00

Clin Neurophysiol. 2021 Aug 30:S1388-2457(21)00707-0. doi: 10.1016/j.clinph.2021.07.028. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVE: To examine the individual-patient-level localization value of resting-state functional MRI (rsfMRI) metrics for the seizure onset zone (SOZ) defined by stereo-electroencephalography (SEEG) in patients with medically intractable focal epilepsies.

METHODS: We retrospectively included 19 patients who underwent SEEG implantation for epilepsy presurgical evaluation. Voxel-wise whole-brain analysis was performed on 3.0 T rsfMRI to generate clusters for amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (ALFF), regional homogeneity (ReHo) and degree centrality (DC), which were co-registered with the SEEG-defined SOZ to evaluate their spatial overlap. Subgroup and correlation analyses were conducted for various clinical characteristics.

RESULTS: ALFF demonstrated concordant clusters with SEEG-defined SOZ in 73.7% of patients, with 93.3% sensitivity and 77.8% PPV. The concordance rate showed no significant difference when subgrouped by lesional/non-lesional MRI, SOZ location, interictal epileptiform discharges on scalp EEG, pathology or seizure outcomes. No significant correlation was seen between ALFF concordance rate and epilepsy duration, seizure-onset age, seizure frequency or number of antiseizure medications. ReHo and DC did not achieve favorable concordance results (10.5% and 15.8%, respectively). All concordant clusters showed regional activation, representing increased neural activities.

CONCLUSION: ALFF had high concordance rate with SEEG-defined SOZ at individual-patient level.

SIGNIFICANCE: ALFF activation on rsfMRI can add localizing information for the noninvasive presurgical workup of intractable focal epilepsies.

PMID:34538574 | DOI:10.1016/j.clinph.2021.07.028

The neural foundation of associative memory: a dynamic functional connectivity study for right-handed young adults

Sun, 09/19/2021 - 10:00

Exp Brain Res. 2021 Sep 18. doi: 10.1007/s00221-021-06222-5. Online ahead of print.


The medial temporal lobe (MTL) is the core neural construction related to associative memory. This study sought to explore the dynamic functional connectivity (dFC) between the subdivisions of MTL and other regions in the whole brain. Additionally, it sought to determine relationships between connectivity stability and associative memory function, to elucidate the neural foundation of associative memory from the perspectives of dFC. A Wechsler Memory Scale China revised edition (WMS-RC) measurement and a resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging were conducted to clarify adults' function of associative memory and dFC patterns in subdivisions of the MTL. A multiple regression analysis was carried out to analyze the relationships described above. The results demonstrated that (i) connectivity in the left brain included the anterior hippocampus (aHIP) and right fusiform (Fusiform_R), middle hippocampus (mHIP) and right inferior parietal lobule (IPL_R), posterior hippocampus (pHIP) and left inferior parietal lobule (IPL_L), perirhinal cortex (PRC) and left supramarginal gyrus (SMG_L), entorhinal cortex (ERC) and [left middle temporal gyrus (MTG_L), left superior parietal lobule (SPL_L), right fusiform (Fusiform_R)], anterior parahippocampal cortex (aPHC) and right precentral gyrus (PCG_R); (ii) connectivity in the right brain included the aHIP and right supramarginal gyrus (SMG_R), mHIP and left paracentral lobule (PCL_L), pHIP and left superior occipital gyrus (SOG_L), PRC and left middle occipital gyrus (MOG_L), ERC and right middle occipital gyrus (MOG_R); (iii) for most connectivity patterns, the more stable the dFC, the better are the associative memory functions. This study elucidates the neural foundations of associative memory in terms of dFC patterns.

PMID:34537860 | DOI:10.1007/s00221-021-06222-5

Altered regional activity and connectivity of functional brain networks in congenital unilateral conductive hearing loss

Sun, 09/19/2021 - 10:00

Neuroimage Clin. 2021 Sep 11;32:102819. doi: 10.1016/j.nicl.2021.102819. Online ahead of print.


Neuroimaging studies have shown marked alterations in brain function after auditory deprivation, with these alterations mainly caused by sensorineural hearing loss. To date, however, little is known about the patterns of functional brain reorganization in conductive hearing loss (CHL). The effects of congenital unilateral CHL on human brain were assessed by resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging in 24 patients with unilateral microtia (UM) and 25 healthy controls. Focal brain function and seed-based functional connectivity were analyzed to characterize spontaneous activity and network changes in UM. Patients with UM showed common alterations in focal brain activities in the left inferior temporal gyrus across different measurements, with these alterations significantly associated with the duration of hearing loss. Additionally, focal brain activities were decreased in the auditory system and increased in the visual system, with a disassociated pattern shown in the default-mode system. Using the left inferior temporal gyrus as the seed region, patients with UM showed lower connectivity with the default-mode system and right visual regions but higher connectivity with the left frontoparietal regions when compared with controls. These results indicate that congenital partial hearing deprivation, despite normal bone conduction hearing, can induce widespread reorganizations that continue into adolescence and adulthood.

PMID:34537683 | DOI:10.1016/j.nicl.2021.102819

Where in the brain is "the other's" hand? Mapping dysfunctional neural networks in somatoparaphrenia

Sun, 09/19/2021 - 10:00

Neuroscience. 2021 Sep 16:S0306-4522(21)00459-0. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2021.09.007. Online ahead of print.


Somatoparaphrenia refers to the delusional belief, typically observed in right brain-damaged patients, that the contralesional limbs belong to someone else. Here, we aimed to uncover the neural activity associated with this productive, i.e. confabulatory, component in a patient, S.P.P., with a large right-sided lesion of both cortical and subcortical gray and white matter. He claimed that his left paralyzed hand belonged to his mother. In a block-design functional magnetic resonance (fMRI) experiment, S.P.P. imagined that the mother would move her (i.e. his left) hand (condition "mother"). Subtraction of the activity elicited by control conditions (imagery of self-generated movement of either left or right hand) from that in the "mother" condition resulted in the focal activation of the pars opercularis of the right inferior frontal gyrus (rIFG). In a separate, resting-state fMRI experiment with S.P.P. and 21 healthy controls, we examined the functional connectivity of the rIFG and the affected hand somatosensory network to the rest of the brain. We found a negative correlation between the activity in the rIFG and that of Broca area and the temporo-parietal junction in the left hemisphere. Furthermore, the affected hand somatosensory network was disconnected from the left secondary somatosensory cortex. Our results link the productive component of somatoparaphrenia to the activity of crucial hubs for integrating the multimodal signals of the affected hand. Furthermore, they provide the first direct evidence supporting the "left narrator model", proposed by Halligan et al. (1995), according to which the confabulations of somatoparaphrenia are due to a disconnection of left hemisphere language areas from right hemisphere parieto-temporal cortex.

PMID:34537314 | DOI:10.1016/j.neuroscience.2021.09.007

The Connectomes: Methods of White Matter Tractography and Contributions of Resting State fMRI

Sun, 09/19/2021 - 10:00

Semin Ultrasound CT MR. 2021 Oct;42(5):507-522. doi: 10.1053/j.sult.2021.07.007. Epub 2021 Aug 1.


A comprehensive mapping of the structural and functional circuitry of the brain is a major unresolved problem in contemporary neuroimaging research. Diffusion-weighted and functional MRI have provided investigators with the capability to assess structural and functional connectivity in-vivo, driven primarily by methods of white matter tractography and resting-state fMRI, respectively. These techniques have paved the way for the construction of the functional and structural connectomes, which are quantitative representations of brain architecture as neural networks, comprised of nodes and edges. The connectomes, typically depicted as matrices or graphs, possess topological properties that inherently characterize the strength, efficiency, and organization of the connections between distinct brain regions. Graph theory, a general mathematical framework for analyzing networks, can be implemented to derive metrics from the connectomes that are sensitive to changes in brain connectivity associated with age, sex, cognitive function, and disease. These quantities can be assessed at either the global (whole brain) or local levels, allowing for the identification of distinct regional connectivity hubs and associated localized brain networks, which together serve crucial roles in establishing the structural and functional architecture of the brain. As a result, structural and functional connectomes have each been employed to study the brain circuitry underlying early brain development, neuroplasticity, developmental disorders, psychopathology, epilepsy, aging, neurodegenerative disorders, and traumatic brain injury. While these studies have yielded important insights into brain structure, function, and pathology, a precise description of the innate relationship between functional and structural networks across the brain remains unachieved. To date, connectome research has merely scratched the surface of potential clinical applications and related characterizations of brain-wide connectivity. Continued advances in diffusion and functional MRI acquisition, the delineation of functional and structural networks, and the quantification of neural network properties in specific brain regions, will be invaluable to future progress in neuroimaging science.

PMID:34537118 | DOI:10.1053/j.sult.2021.07.007

Disturbance of functional and effective connectivity of the salience network involved in attention deficits in right temporal lobe epilepsy

Sat, 09/18/2021 - 10:00

Epilepsy Behav. 2021 Sep 15;124:108308. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2021.108308. Online ahead of print.


The salience network (SN) acts as a switch that generates transient control signals to regulate the executive control network (ECN) and the default mode network (DMN) and has been implicated in cognitive processes. Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is usually accompanied by different types of cognitive deficits, but whether it is associated with dysfunctional connectivity of the SN remains unknown. To address this, thirty-six patients with right TLE (rTLE) and thirty-six healthy controls (HCs) were recruited for the present study. All of the participants were subjected to attention network test (ANT) and resting-state functional resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) scanning. The patient group showed deficits in attention performance. Moreover, the functional connectivity (FC) and effective connectivity (EC) were analyzed based on key SN hubs (the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and the bilateral anterior insula (AI)). When compared with those in the HC group, the ACC showed increased FC with the left middle frontal gyrus and the left precentral gyrus, and the right AI showed decreased FC with the right precuneus and the right superior occipital gyrus in the patient group. The EC analysis revealed an increased inflow of information from the left middle temporal gyrus to the ACC and the right AI and an increased outflow of information from the bilateral AI to the left middle frontal gyrus. Furthermore, in the correlation analysis, the abnormal EC from the right AI to the left middle temporal gyrus was positively correlated with the executive control effect. These findings demonstrated aberrant modulation of the SN in rTLE, which was particularly characterized by dysfunctional connectivity between the SN and key brain regions in the DMN and ECN. Elucidation of this effect may further contribute to the comprehensive understanding of the neural mechanisms of the SN in regard to attention deficits in patients with TLE.

PMID:34536737 | DOI:10.1016/j.yebeh.2021.108308

The resting-state cerebro-cerebellar function connectivity and associations with verbal working memory performance

Sat, 09/18/2021 - 10:00

Behav Brain Res. 2021 Sep 15:113586. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2021.113586. Online ahead of print.


The cerebellum plays an important role in cognitive functions through connecting with the cerebral areas. However, the relationship between the resting-state functional connectivity (FC) pattern of human cerebro-cerebellar circuits and cognition is not fully understood. The present study investigated the FC pattern of human cerebro-cerebellar circuits and their associations with verbal working memory performance (an n-back task with three subtasks: 0-back, 1-back, and 2-back) through resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data from 37 healthy subjects. The whole-brain connectivity analysis was used to identify the cortical hubs as regions of interest (ROI). Then ROI-based FC analysis was performed to investigate the connectivity characteristics within the key cortical hubs and their associations with n-back task performance. The results showed that the bilateral cerebellar lobule VI as central hubs had increased FC with the default mode network (DMN) node (e.g., right posterior cingulate cortex) and salient network (SN) node (e.g., right anterior cingulate cortex), while decreased FC with the executive control network (ECN) node (e.g., the bilateral superior frontal gyrus). Furthermore, FC values of the cerebellum lobule VI with DMN and ECN nodes correlated with verbal working memory performance (response time of 2-back task). The results suggest that the cerebro-cerebellar circuits involve the underlying neural basis of verbal working memory processing during the resting state.

PMID:34536430 | DOI:10.1016/j.bbr.2021.113586

Peripheral inflammation is associated with micro-structural and functional connectivity changes in depression-related brain networks

Sat, 09/18/2021 - 10:00

Mol Psychiatry. 2021 Sep 17. doi: 10.1038/s41380-021-01272-1. Online ahead of print.


Inflammation is associated with depressive symptoms and innate immune mechanisms are likely causal in some cases of major depression. Systemic inflammation also perturbs brain function and microstructure, though how these are related remains unclear. We recruited N = 46 healthy controls, and N = 83 depressed cases stratified by CRP (> 3 mg/L: N = 33; < 3 mg/L: N = 50). All completed clinical assessment, venous blood sampling for C-reactive protein (CRP) assay, and brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Micro-structural MRI parameters including proton density (PD), a measure of tissue water content, were measured at 360 cortical and 16 subcortical regions. Resting-state fMRI time series were correlated to estimate functional connectivity between individual regions, as well as the sum of connectivity (weighted degree) of each region. Multiple tests for regional analysis were controlled by the false discovery rate (FDR = 5%). We found that CRP was significantly associated with PD in precuneus, posterior cingulate cortex (pC/pCC) and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC); and with functional connectivity between pC/pCC, mPFC and hippocampus. Depression was associated with reduced weighted degree of pC/pCC, mPFC, and other nodes of the default mode network (DMN). Thus CRP-related increases in proton density-a plausible marker of extracellular oedema-and changes in functional connectivity were anatomically co-localised with DMN nodes that also demonstrated significantly reduced hubness in depression. We suggest that effects of peripheral inflammation on DMN node micro-structure and connectivity may mediate inflammatory effects on depression.

PMID:34535766 | DOI:10.1038/s41380-021-01272-1