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Modulatory effects of acupuncture on brain networks in mild cognitive impairment patients.

Thu, 04/13/2017 - 13:00
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Modulatory effects of acupuncture on brain networks in mild cognitive impairment patients.

Neural Regen Res. 2017 Feb;12(2):250-258

Authors: Tan TT, Wang D, Huang JK, Zhou XM, Yuan X, Liang JP, Yin L, Xie HL, Jia XY, Shi J, Wang F, Yang HB, Chen SJ

Abstract
Functional magnetic resonance imaging has been widely used to investigate the effects of acupuncture on neural activity. However, most functional magnetic resonance imaging studies have focused on acute changes in brain activation induced by acupuncture. Thus, the time course of the therapeutic effects of acupuncture remains unclear. In this study, 32 patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment were randomly divided into two groups, where they received either Tiaoshen Yizhi acupuncture or sham acupoint acupuncture. The needles were either twirled at Tiaoshen Yizhi acupoints, including Sishencong (EX-HN1), Yintang (EX-HN3), Neiguan (PC6), Taixi (KI3), Fenglong (ST40), and Taichong (LR3), or at related sham acupoints at a depth of approximately 15 mm, an angle of ± 60°, and a rate of approximately 120 times per minute. Acupuncture was conducted for 4 consecutive weeks, five times per week, on weekdays. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging indicated that connections between cognition-related regions such as the insula, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, thalamus, inferior parietal lobule, and anterior cingulate cortex increased after acupuncture at Tiaoshen Yizhi acupoints. The insula, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and hippocampus acted as central brain hubs. Patients in the Tiaoshen Yizhi group exhibited improved cognitive performance after acupuncture. In the sham acupoint acupuncture group, connections between brain regions were dispersed, and we found no differences in cognitive function following the treatment. These results indicate that acupuncture at Tiaoshen Yizhi acupoints can regulate brain networks by increasing connectivity between cognition-related regions, thereby improving cognitive function in patients with mild cognitive impairment.

PMID: 28400807 [PubMed - in process]

Reduced Resting-State Functional Connectivity in Current and Recovered Restrictive Anorexia Nervosa.

Thu, 04/13/2017 - 13:00
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Reduced Resting-State Functional Connectivity in Current and Recovered Restrictive Anorexia Nervosa.

Front Psychiatry. 2017;8:30

Authors: Scaife JC, Godier LR, Filippini N, Harmer CJ, Park RJ

Abstract
Functional connectivity studies based on resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) have shown alterations in brain networks associated with self-referential processing, cognitive control, and somatosensory processing in anorexia nervosa (AN). This study aimed to further investigate the functional connectivity of resting-state networks (RSNs) in homogenous subsamples of individuals with restrictive AN (current and recovered) and the relationship this has with core eating disorder psychopathology. rs-fMRI scans were obtained from 12 female individuals with restrictive AN, 14 females recovered from restrictive AN, and 16 female healthy controls. Independent components analysis revealed a set of functionally relevant RSNs, previously reported in the literature. Dual regression analysis showed decreased temporal coherence within the lateral visual and auditory RSNs in individuals with current AN and those recovered from AN compared to healthy individuals. This decreased connectivity was also found in regions associated with somatosensory processing, and is consistent with reduced interoceptive awareness and body image perception, characteristic of AN. Widespread gray matter (GM) reductions were also found in both the AN groups, and differences in functional connectivity were no longer significant when GM maps were added as a covariate in the dual regression analysis. This raises the possibility that deficits in somatosensory and interoceptive processing observed in AN may be in part underpinned or exacerbated by GM reductions.

PMID: 28400737 [PubMed - in process]

Listening to Rhythmic Music Reduces Connectivity within the Basal Ganglia and the Reward System.

Thu, 04/13/2017 - 13:00
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Listening to Rhythmic Music Reduces Connectivity within the Basal Ganglia and the Reward System.

Front Neurosci. 2017;11:153

Authors: Brodal HP, Osnes B, Specht K

Abstract
Music can trigger emotional responses in a more direct way than any other stimulus. In particular, music-evoked pleasure involves brain networks that are part of the reward system. Furthermore, rhythmic music stimulates the basal ganglia and may trigger involuntary movements to the beat. In the present study, we created a continuously playing rhythmic, dance floor-like composition where the ambient noise from the MR scanner was incorporated as an additional instrument of rhythm. By treating this continuous stimulation paradigm as a variant of resting-state, the data was analyzed with stochastic dynamic causal modeling (sDCM), which was used for exploring functional dependencies and interactions between core areas of auditory perception, rhythm processing, and reward processing. The sDCM model was a fully connected model with the following areas: auditory cortex, putamen/pallidum, and ventral striatum/nucleus accumbens of both hemispheres. The resulting estimated parameters were compared to ordinary resting-state data, without an additional continuous stimulation. Besides reduced connectivity within the basal ganglia, the results indicated a reduced functional connectivity of the reward system, namely the right ventral striatum/nucleus accumbens from and to the basal ganglia and auditory network while listening to rhythmic music. In addition, the right ventral striatum/nucleus accumbens demonstrated also a change in its hemodynamic parameter, reflecting an increased level of activation. These converging results may indicate that the dopaminergic reward system reduces its functional connectivity and relinquishing its constraints on other areas when we listen to rhythmic music.

PMID: 28400717 [PubMed - in process]

Electrical Stimulation Reduces Smokers' Craving by Modulating the Coupling between Dorsal Lateral Prefrontal Cortex and Parahippocampal Gyrus.

Wed, 04/12/2017 - 12:00
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Electrical Stimulation Reduces Smokers' Craving by Modulating the Coupling between Dorsal Lateral Prefrontal Cortex and Parahippocampal Gyrus.

Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci. 2017 Apr 04;:

Authors: Yang LZ, Shi B, Li H, Liu Y, Zhang W, Wang Y, Lv W, Ji X, Hudak J, Zhou Y, Fallgatter AJ, Zhang X

Abstract
Applying electrical stimulation over the prefrontal cortex can help nicotine dependents reduce cigarette craving. However, the underlying mechanism remains ambiguous. The present study investigates this issue with functional magnetic resonance imaging. Thirty-two male chronic smokers received real and sham stimulation over dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex separated by 1 week. The neuroimaging data of the resting state, the smoking cue reactivity task and the emotion task after stimulation were collected. The craving across the cue reactivity task was diminished during real stimulation as compared to sham stimulation. The whole-brain analysis on the cue reactivity task revealed a significant interaction between the stimulation condition (real vs. sham) and the cue type (smoking vs. neutral) in the left superior frontal gyrus and the left middle frontal gyrus. The functional connectivity between the left dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex and the right parahippocampal gyrus, as revealed by both psychophysical interaction analysis and the resting state functional connectivity, is altered by electrical stimulation. Moreover, the craving change across the real and sham condition is predicted by alteration of functional connectivity revealed by psychophysical interaction analysis. The local and long-distance coupling, altered by the electrical stimulation, might be the underlying neural mechanism of craving regulation.

PMID: 28398588 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Frequency Specific Effects of ApoE ε4 Allele on Resting-State Networks in Nondemented Elders.

Wed, 04/12/2017 - 12:00
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Frequency Specific Effects of ApoE ε4 Allele on Resting-State Networks in Nondemented Elders.

Biomed Res Int. 2017;2017:9823501

Authors: Liang Y, Li Z, Wei J, Li C, Zhang X, Neuroimaging Initiative AD

Abstract
We applied resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine the Apolipoprotein E (ApoE) ε4 allele effects on functional connectivity of the default mode network (DMN) and the salience network (SN). Considering the frequency specific effects of functional connectivity, we decomposed the brain network time courses into two bands: 0.01-0.027 Hz and 0.027-0.08 Hz. All scans were acquired by the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroscience Initiative (ADNI). Thirty-two nondemented subjects were divided into two groups based on the presence (n = 16) or absence (n = 16) of the ApoE ε4 allele. We explored the frequency specific effects of ApoE ε4 allele on the default mode network (DMN) and the salience network (SN) functional connectivity. Compared to ε4 noncarriers, the DMN functional connectivity of ε4 carriers was significantly decreased while the SN functional connectivity of ε4 carriers was significantly increased. Many functional connectivities showed significant differences at the lower frequency band of 0.01-0.027 Hz or the higher frequency band of 0.027-0.08 Hz instead of the typical range of 0.01-0.08 Hz. The results indicated a frequency dependent effect of resting-state signals when investigating RSNs functional connectivity.

PMID: 28396874 [PubMed - in process]

A million variables and more: the Fast Greedy Equivalence Search algorithm for learning high-dimensional graphical causal models, with an application to functional magnetic resonance images.

Tue, 04/11/2017 - 10:55
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A million variables and more: the Fast Greedy Equivalence Search algorithm for learning high-dimensional graphical causal models, with an application to functional magnetic resonance images.

Int J Data Sci Anal. 2017 Mar;3(2):121-129

Authors: Ramsey J, Glymour M, Sanchez-Romero R, Glymour C

Abstract
We describe two modifications that parallelize and reorganize caching in the well-known Greedy Equivalence Search (GES) algorithm for discovering directed acyclic graphs on random variables from sample values. We apply one of these modifications, the Fast Greedy Search (FGS) assuming faithfulness, to an i.i.d. sample of 1,000 units to recover with high precision and good recall an average degree 2 directed acyclic graph (DAG) with one million Gaussian variables. We describe a modification of the algorithm to rapidly find the Markov Blanket of any variable in a high dimensional system. Using 51,000 voxels that parcellate an entire human cortex, we apply the FGS algorithm to Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent (BOLD) time series obtained from resting state fMRI.

PMID: 28393106 [PubMed - in process]

Neural substrates of motor and cognitive dysfunctions in SCA2 patients: A network based statistics analysis.

Tue, 04/11/2017 - 10:55
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Neural substrates of motor and cognitive dysfunctions in SCA2 patients: A network based statistics analysis.

Neuroimage Clin. 2017;14:719-725

Authors: Olivito G, Cercignani M, Lupo M, Iacobacci C, Clausi S, Romano S, Masciullo M, Molinari M, Bozzali M, Leggio M

Abstract
Spinocerebellar ataxia type 2 (SCA2) is an autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disease characterized by a progressive cerebellar syndrome, which can be isolated or associated with extracerebellar signs. It has been shown that patients affected by SCA2 present also cognitive impairments and psychiatric symptoms. The cerebellum is known to modulate cortical activity and to contribute to distinct functional networks related to higher-level functions beyond motor control. It is therefore conceivable that one or more networks, rather than isolated regions, may be dysfunctional in cerebellar degenerative diseases and that an abnormal connectivity within specific cerebello-cortical regions might explain the widespread deficits typically observed in patients. In the present study, the network-based statistics (NBS) approach was used to assess differences in functional connectivity between specific cerebellar and cerebral "nodes" in SCA2 patients. Altered inter-nodal connectivity was found between more posterior regions in the cerebellum and regions in the cerebral cortex clearly related to cognition and emotion. Furthermore, more anterior cerebellar lobules showed altered inter-nodal connectivity with motor and somatosensory cerebral regions. The present data suggest that in SCA2 a cerebellar dysfunction affects long-distance cerebral regions and that the clinical symptoms may be specifically related with connectivity changes between motor and non-motor cerebello-cortical nodes.

PMID: 28393013 [PubMed - in process]

The effect of repetitive subconcussive collisions on brain integrity in collegiate football players over a single football season: A multi-modal neuroimaging study.

Tue, 04/11/2017 - 10:55
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The effect of repetitive subconcussive collisions on brain integrity in collegiate football players over a single football season: A multi-modal neuroimaging study.

Neuroimage Clin. 2017;14:708-718

Authors: Slobounov SM, Walter A, Breiter HC, Zhu DC, Bai X, Bream T, Seidenberg P, Mao X, Johnson B, Talavage TM

Abstract
The cumulative effect of repetitive subconcussive collisions on the structural and functional integrity of the brain remains largely unknown. Athletes in collision sports, like football, experience a large number of impacts across a single season of play. The majority of these impacts, however, are generally overlooked, and their long-term consequences remain poorly understood. This study sought to examine the effects of repetitive collisions across a single competitive season in NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision athletes using advanced neuroimaging approaches. Players were evaluated before and after the season using multiple MRI sequences, including T1-weighted imaging, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), arterial spin labeling (ASL), resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI), and susceptibility weighted imaging (SWI). While no significant differences were found between pre- and post-season for DTI metrics or cortical volumes, seed-based analysis of rs-fMRI revealed significant (p < 0.05) changes in functional connections to right isthmus of the cingulate cortex (ICC), left ICC, and left hippocampus. ASL data revealed significant (p < 0.05) increases in global cerebral blood flow (CBF), with a specific regional increase in right postcentral gyrus. SWI data revealed that 44% of the players exhibited outlier rates (p < 0.05) of regional decreases in SWI signal. Of key interest, athletes in whom changes in rs-fMRI, CBF and SWI were observed were more likely to have experienced high G impacts on a daily basis. These findings are indicative of potential pathophysiological changes in brain integrity arising from only a single season of participation in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision, even in the absence of clinical symptoms or a diagnosis of concussion. Whether these changes reflect compensatory adaptation to cumulative head impacts or more lasting alteration of brain integrity remains to be further explored.

PMID: 28393012 [PubMed - in process]

Dynamic abnormalities of spontaneous brain activity in women with primary dysmenorrhea.

Tue, 04/11/2017 - 10:55
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Dynamic abnormalities of spontaneous brain activity in women with primary dysmenorrhea.

J Pain Res. 2017;10:699-707

Authors: Jin L, Yang X, Liu P, Sun J, Chen F, Xu Z, Qin W, Tian J

Abstract
PURPOSE: This study aimed to investigate the regional spontaneous brain activity changes in primary dysmenorrhea (PD) patients in different phases of the menstrual cycle by regional homogeneity (ReHo) analysis.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Thirty-three PD patients and 32 healthy controls (HCs) separately received resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging during menstrual phase and follicular phase (non-menstrual phase). Cox retrospective symptom scale (RSS), Self-Rating Anxiety Scale (SAS) and Self-Rating Depression Scale (SDS) were applied to assess related symptoms and emotions.
RESULTS: There was no significant difference between the two groups in demographic data. The PD patients obtained higher RSS score, SAS score and SDS score than HCs. Compared with HCs, the ReHo values of the PD patients were increased in left midbrain and hippocampus, right posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), insula and middle temporal cortex (MTC) and decreased in left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and right medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in menstrual phase. In non-menstrual phase, enhanced ReHo values were found in bilateral S1 and precuneus, left S2 and MTC, and reduced ReHo values were observed in left mPFC and orbital frontal cortex. RSS score positively correlated with ReHo values of midbrain and negatively correlated with mPFC and PCC.
CONCLUSION: Our results suggested that PD is accompanied by dynamic regional spontaneous activity changes across the menstrual cycle, and the altered regions were involved in descending pain modulation, default mode network and sensory modulation. These abnormal activations might contribute to maintain the menstrual pain.

PMID: 28392711 [PubMed - in process]

Intrinsic Functional Connectivity of the Central Nucleus of the Amygdala and Bed Nucleus of the Stria Terminalis.

Tue, 04/11/2017 - 10:55
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Intrinsic Functional Connectivity of the Central Nucleus of the Amygdala and Bed Nucleus of the Stria Terminalis.

Neuroimage. 2017 Apr 06;:

Authors: Gorka AX, Torrisi S, Shackman AJ, Grillon C, Ernst M

Abstract
The central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA) and bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST), two nuclei within the central extended amygdala, function as critical relays within the distributed neural networks that coordinate sensory, emotional, and cognitive responses to threat. These structures have overlapping anatomical projections to downstream targets that initiate defensive responses. Despite these commonalities, researchers have also proposed a functional dissociation between the CeA and BNST, with the CeA promoting responses to discrete stimuli and the BNST promoting responses to diffuse threat. Intrinsic functional connectivity (iFC) provides a means to investigate the functional architecture of the brain, unbiased by task demands. Using ultra-high field neuroimaging (7-Tesla fMRI), which provides increased spatial resolution, this study compared the iFC networks of the CeA and BNST in 27 healthy individuals. Both structures were coupled with areas of the medial prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, thalamus, and periaqueductal gray matter. Compared to the BNST, the bilateral CeA was more strongly coupled with the insula and regions that support sensory processing, including thalamus and fusiform gyrus. In contrast, the bilateral BNST was more strongly coupled with regions involved in cognitive and motivational processes, including the dorsal paracingulate gyrus, posterior cingulate cortex, and striatum. Collectively, these findings suggest that responses to sensory stimulation are preferentially coordinated by the CeA and cognitive and motivational responses are preferentially coordinated by the BNST.

PMID: 28392491 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Improved 7 Tesla resting-state fMRI connectivity measurements by cluster-based modeling of respiratory volume and heart rate effects.

Tue, 04/11/2017 - 10:55
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Improved 7 Tesla resting-state fMRI connectivity measurements by cluster-based modeling of respiratory volume and heart rate effects.

Neuroimage. 2017 Apr 06;:

Authors: Pinto J, Nunes S, Bianciardi M, Dias A, Silveira LM, Wald LL, Figueiredo P

Abstract
Several strategies have been proposed to model and remove physiological noise from resting-state fMRI (rs-fMRI) data, particularly at ultrahigh fields (7 T), including contributions from respiratory volume (RV) and heart rate (HR) signal fluctuations. Recent studies suggest that these contributions are highly variable across subjects and that physiological noise correction may thus benefit from optimization at the subject or even voxel level. Here, we systematically investigated the impact of the degree of spatial specificity (group, subject, newly proposed cluster, and voxel levels) on the optimization of RV and HR models. For each degree of spatial specificity, we measured the fMRI signal variance explained (VE) by each model, as well as the functional connectivity underlying three well-known resting-state networks (RSNs) obtained from the fMRI data after removal of RV+HR contributions. Whole-brain, high-resolution rs-fMRI data were acquired from twelve healthy volunteers at 7 T, while simultaneously recording their cardiac and respiratory signals. Although VE increased with spatial specificity up to the voxel level, the accuracy of functional connectivity measurements improved only up to the cluster level, and subsequently decreased at the voxel level. This suggests that voxelwise modeling over-fits to local fluctuations with no physiological meaning. In conclusion, our results indicate that 7 T rs-fMRI connectivity measurements improve if a cluster-based physiological noise correction approach is employed in order to take into account the individual spatial variability in the HR and RV contributions.

PMID: 28392488 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Functional MRI Correlates of Resting-State Temporal Theta and Delta EEG Rhythms.

Tue, 04/11/2017 - 10:55
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Functional MRI Correlates of Resting-State Temporal Theta and Delta EEG Rhythms.

J Clin Neurophysiol. 2017 Jan;34(1):69-76

Authors: Marawar RA, Yeh HJ, Carnabatu CJ, Stern JM

Abstract
PURPOSE: The EEG rhythms demonstrate changes in frequency and power with spontaneous changes in behavioral state that do not have well-understood metabolic correlates within the brain. To investigate this question and compare the temporal lobe theta and delta rhythms, resting-state functional MRI was obtained with simultaneous EEG.
METHODS: Simultaneous EEG-functional MRI was recorded from 14 healthy sleep-deprived subjects in awake and drowsy states. Scalp electrodes corresponding to bilateral temporal lobes were used to calculate delta and theta band power. The resulting time series was used as input in a general linear model, and the final power curves were convolved with the standard hemodynamic response function. Resulting images were thresholded at Z > 2.0.
RESULTS: Positive and negative correlations for unilateral theta and delta rhythms were present bilaterally in different structures and with differing correlation signs. Theta rhythm positive correlation was present in hindbrain, peri-opercular, and frontoparietal regions and subcortical gray structures, whereas negative correlation was present in parietooccipital cortex. Delta rhythm positive correlation was present in parietooccipital cortex, and negative correlation roughly resembled positive correlations for the theta rhythm.
CONCLUSIONS: Temporal lobe theta and delta rhythms are correlated with functional MRI signal in an almost mutually exclusive distribution. The different distributions indicate different corresponding networks. These normal findings supplement the understanding of theta and delta rhythm significance.

PMID: 27763967 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Resting-state networks associated with cognitive processing show more age-related decline than those associated with emotional processing.

Mon, 04/10/2017 - 10:45
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Resting-state networks associated with cognitive processing show more age-related decline than those associated with emotional processing.

Neurobiol Aging. 2017 Mar 11;:

Authors: Nashiro K, Sakaki M, Braskie MN, Mather M

Abstract
Correlations in activity across disparate brain regions during rest reveal functional networks in the brain. Although previous studies largely agree that there is an age-related decline in the "default mode network," how age affects other resting-state networks, such as emotion-related networks, is still controversial. Here we used a dual-regression approach to investigate age-related alterations in resting-state networks. The results revealed age-related disruptions in functional connectivity in all 5 identified cognitive networks, namely the default mode network, cognitive-auditory, cognitive-speech (or speech-related somatosensory), and right and left frontoparietal networks, whereas such age effects were not observed in the 3 identified emotion networks. In addition, we observed age-related decline in functional connectivity in 3 visual and 3 motor/visuospatial networks. Older adults showed greater functional connectivity in regions outside 4 out of the 5 identified cognitive networks, consistent with the dedifferentiation effect previously observed in task-based functional magnetic resonance imaging studies. Both reduced within-network connectivity and increased out-of-network connectivity were correlated with poor cognitive performance, providing potential biomarkers for cognitive aging.

PMID: 28390824 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Sources of disconnection in neurocognitive aging: cerebral white-matter integrity, resting-state functional connectivity, and white-matter hyperintensity volume.

Sun, 04/09/2017 - 10:25
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Sources of disconnection in neurocognitive aging: cerebral white-matter integrity, resting-state functional connectivity, and white-matter hyperintensity volume.

Neurobiol Aging. 2017 Mar 18;:

Authors: Madden DJ, Parks EL, Tallman CW, Boylan MA, Hoagey DA, Cocjin SB, Packard LE, Johnson MA, Chou YH, Potter GG, Chen NK, Siciliano RE, Monge ZA, Honig JA, Diaz MT

Abstract
Age-related decline in fluid cognition can be characterized as a disconnection among specific brain structures, leading to a decline in functional efficiency. The potential sources of disconnection, however, are unclear. We investigated imaging measures of cerebral white-matter integrity, resting-state functional connectivity, and white-matter hyperintensity volume as mediators of the relation between age and fluid cognition, in 145 healthy, community-dwelling adults 19-79 years of age. At a general level of analysis, with a single composite measure of fluid cognition and single measures of each of the 3 imaging modalities, age exhibited an independent influence on the cognitive and imaging measures, and the imaging variables did not mediate the age-cognition relation. At a more specific level of analysis, resting-state functional connectivity of sensorimotor networks was a significant mediator of the age-related decline in executive function. These findings suggest that different levels of analysis lead to different models of neurocognitive disconnection, and that resting-state functional connectivity, in particular, may contribute to age-related decline in executive function.

PMID: 28389085 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

BDNF-Dependent Effects on Amygdala-Cortical Circuitry and Depression Risk in Children and Youth.

Sat, 04/08/2017 - 10:05

BDNF-Dependent Effects on Amygdala-Cortical Circuitry and Depression Risk in Children and Youth.

Cereb Cortex. 2017 Apr 06;:1-11

Authors: Wheeler AL, Felsky D, Viviano JD, Stojanovski S, Ameis SH, Szatmari P, Lerch JP, Chakravarty MM, Voineskos AN

Abstract
The brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is critical for brain development, and the functional BDNF Val66Met polymorphism is implicated in risk for mood disorders. The objective of this study was to determine how the Val66Met polymorphism influences amygdala-cortical connectivity during neurodevelopment and assess the relevance for mood disorders. Age- and sex-specific effects of the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism on amygdala-cortical connectivity were assessed by examining covariance of amygdala volumes with thickness throughout the cortex in a sample of Caucasian youths ages 8-22 that were part of the Philadelphia Neurodevelopmental Cohort (n = 339). Follow-up analyses assessed corresponding BDNF genotype effects on resting-state functional connectivity (n = 186) and the association between BDNF genotype and major depressive disorder (MDD) (n = 2749). In adolescents, amygdala-cortical covariance was significantly stronger in Met allele carriers compared with Val/Val homozygotes in amygdala-cortical networks implicated in depression; these differences were driven by females. In follow-up analyses, the Met allele was also associated with stronger resting-state functional connectivity in adolescents and increased likelihood of MDD in adolescent females. The BDNF Val66Met polymorphism may confer risk for mood disorders in females through effects on amygdala-cortical connectivity during adolescence, coinciding with a period in the lifespan when onset of depression often occurs, more commonly in females.

PMID: 28387866 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

GABA content within medial prefrontal cortex predicts the variability of fronto-limbic effective connectivity.

Sat, 04/08/2017 - 10:05
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GABA content within medial prefrontal cortex predicts the variability of fronto-limbic effective connectivity.

Brain Struct Funct. 2017 Apr 06;:

Authors: Delli Pizzi S, Chiacchieretta P, Mantini D, Bubbico G, Edden RA, Onofrj M, Ferretti A, Bonanni L

Abstract
The amygdala-medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) circuit plays a key role in social behavior. The amygdala and mPFC are bidirectionally connected, functionally and anatomically, via the uncinate fasciculus. Recent evidence suggests that GABA-ergic neurotransmission within the mPFC could be central to the regulation of amygdala activity related to emotions and anxiety processing. However, the functional and neurochemical interactions within amygdala-mPFC circuits are unclear. In the current study, multimodal magnetic resonance imaging techniques were combined to investigate effective connectivity within the amygdala-mPFC network and its relationship with mPFC neurotransmission in 22 healthy subjects aged between 41 and 88 years. Effective connectivity in the amygdala-mPFC circuit was assessed on resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data using spectral dynamic causal modelling. State and trait anxiety were also assessed. The mPFC was shown to be the target of incoming outputs from the amygdalae and the source of exciting inputs to the limbic system. The amygdalae were reciprocally connected by excitatory projections. About half of the variance relating to the strength of top-down endogenous connection between right amygdala and mPFC was explained by mPFC GABA levels. State anxiety was correlated with the strength of the endogenous connections between right amygdala and mPFC. We suggest that mPFC GABA content predicts variability in the effective connectivity within the mPFC-amygdala circuit, providing new insights on emotional physiology and the underlying functional and neurochemical interactions.

PMID: 28386778 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Concurrent tACS-fMRI reveals causal influence of power synchronized neural activity on resting state fMRI connectivity.

Sat, 04/08/2017 - 10:05
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Concurrent tACS-fMRI reveals causal influence of power synchronized neural activity on resting state fMRI connectivity.

J Neurosci. 2017 Apr 06;:

Authors: Bächinger M, Zerbi V, Moisa M, Polania R, Liu Q, Mantini D, Ruff C, Wenderoth N

Abstract
Resting state fMRI (rs-fMRI) is commonly used to study the brain's intrinsic neural coupling, which reveals specific spatiotemporal patterns in the form of resting state networks (RSN). It has been hypothesized that slow rs-fMRI oscillations (<0.1 Hz) are driven by underlying electrophysiological rhythms that typically occur at much faster timescales (>5 Hz); however, causal evidence for this relationship is currently lacking. Here we measured rs-fMRI in humans while applying transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) to entrain brain rhythms in left and right sensorimotor cortices.The two driving tACS signals were tailored to the individual's alpha rhythm (8-12 Hz) and fluctuated in amplitude according to a 1 Hz power envelope. We entrained the left versus right hemisphere in accordance to two different coupling modes where either alpha oscillations were synchronized between hemispheres (phase-synchronized tACS) or the slower oscillating power envelopes (power-synchronized tACS).Power-synchronized tACS significantly increased rs-fMRI connectivity within the stimulated RSN compared to phase-synchronized or no tACS. This effect outlasted the stimulation period and tended to be more effective in individuals who exhibited a naturally weak interhemispheric coupling. Using this novel approach, our data provide causal evidence that synchronized power fluctuations contribute to the formation of fMRI-based RSNs. Moreover, our findings demonstrate that the brain's intrinsic coupling at rest can be selectively modulated by choosing appropriate tACS signals, which could lead to new interventions for patients with altered rs-fMRI connectivity.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENTResting state fMRI has become an important tool to estimate brain connectivity. However, relatively little is known about how slow hemodynamic oscillations measured with fMRI relate to electrophysiological processes.It was suggested that slowly fluctuating power envelopes of electrophysiological signals synchronize across brain areas and that the topography of this activity is spatially correlated to resting state networks derived from rs-fMRI. Here we take a novel approach to address this problem and establish a causal link between the power fluctuations of electrophysiological signals and rs-fMRI via a new neuromodulation paradigm, which exploits these power-synchronization mechanisms.These novel mechanistic insights bridge different scientific domains and are of broad interest to researchers in the fields of Medical Imaging, Neuroscience, Physiology and Psychology.

PMID: 28385876 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Patterns of striatal functional connectivity differ in early and late onset Parkinson's disease.

Sat, 04/08/2017 - 10:05
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Patterns of striatal functional connectivity differ in early and late onset Parkinson's disease.

J Neurol. 2016 Oct;263(10):1993-2003

Authors: Hou Y, Yang J, Luo C, Ou R, Song W, Liu W, Gong Q, Shang H

Abstract
To map functional connectivity (FC) patterns of early onset Parkinson's disease (EOPD) and late onset PD (LOPD) in drug-naïve early stage. MRI was used to assess atrophy and resting-state FC focusing on striatal subregions of EOPD and LOPD in two subgroups of 18 patients matched for disease duration and severity, relative to age- and sex- matched healthy controls. Compared with controls, both PD subgroups showed FC alterations in cortico-striatal and cerebello-striatal loops but with different patterns in resting state. EOPD patients showed widespread increased FC between striatum and sensorimotor cortex, middle frontal gyrus, superior and inferior parietal lobules, superior and inferior temporal gyri, and cerebellum. While LOPD patients were evidenced with increased FC in cerebello-striatal circuit and decreased FC between orbitofrontal gyrus and striatum. In addition, Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale part III scores were negatively correlated with the increased FC between the caudate nucleus and sensorimotor cortex (r = -0.571, p = 0.013) in EOPD patients, while negatively correlated with the increased FC between the putamen and cerebellum (r = -0.478, p = 0.045) in LOPD patients, suggesting that increased FC is here likely to reflect compensatory mechanism. FC changes in EOPD and LOPD share common features and have differences, which may suggest that the responses to defective basal ganglia are different between the two subtypes. Improved insights into the onset-related subtypes of PD and its disruptive FC pattern will be valuable for improving our understanding of the pathogenesis of the disease.

PMID: 27394147 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations in first-episode, drug-naïve depressive patients: A 5-year retrospective study.

Fri, 04/07/2017 - 15:50
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Amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations in first-episode, drug-naïve depressive patients: A 5-year retrospective study.

PLoS One. 2017;12(4):e0174564

Authors: Zhang K, Liu Z, Cao X, Yang C, Xu Y, Xu T, Xu C, Yang Z

Abstract
Despite different treatments and courses of illness, depressive symptoms appear similar in bipolar disorder (BD) and major depressive disorder (MDD), causing BD with an onset of depressive episode being frequently misdiagnosed as MDD, and leading to inappropriate treatment and poor clinical outcomes. Therefore, there is an urgent need to explore underlying neural basis to distinguish BD from MDD. The medical records of 80 first-episode, drug-naïve depressive patients with an initial diagnosis of MDD and illness duration of at least 5 years were reviewed retrospectively for this study. Fourteen bipolar depressed patients with a diagnosis conversion from MDD to BD, 14 patients with diagnosis of MDD, and 14 healthy subjects demographically matched with the BD group, were selected to participate in the study. Firstly, we examined whether there were differences among the three groups in whole brain fALFF during resting state. Secondly, clusters showing group differences in fALFF in any two groups were chosen as regions of interest (ROI) and then correlation between clinical features and fALFF values of ROIs were calculated. The BD group showed increased fALFF in bilateral putamen relative to both the MDD group and controls, while the MDD group exhibited decreased fALFF in left superior frontal gyrus (SFG) relative to both the BD group and controls (p < 0.05, corrected). Positive correlations between abnormality in the putamen and symptom severity were observed (significant for the MDD group, p = 0.043; marginally significant for the BD group, p = 0.060/0.076). These results implicate that abnormalities of key regions in the striatum and prefrontal areas may be trait markers for BD and MDD.

PMID: 28384269 [PubMed - in process]

Human Genomic Signatures of Brain Oscillations During Memory Encoding.

Fri, 04/07/2017 - 15:50
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Human Genomic Signatures of Brain Oscillations During Memory Encoding.

Cereb Cortex. 2017 Apr 05;:1-16

Authors: Berto S, Wang GZ, Germi J, Lega BC, Konopka G

Abstract
Memory encoding is an essential step for all learning. However, the genetic and molecular mechanisms underlying human memory encoding remain poorly understood, and how this molecular framework permits the emergence of specific patterns of brain oscillations observed during mnemonic processing is unknown. Here, we directly compare intracranial electroencephalography recordings from the neocortex in individuals performing an episodic memory task with human gene expression from the same areas. We identify genes correlated with oscillatory memory effects across 6 frequency bands. These genes are enriched for autism-related genes and have preferential expression in neurons, in particular genes encoding synaptic proteins and ion channels, supporting the idea that the genes regulating voltage gradients are involved in the modulation of oscillatory patterns during successful memory encoding across brain areas. Memory-related genes are distinct from those correlated with other forms of cognitive processing and resting state fMRI. These data are the first to identify correlations between gene expression and active human brain states as well as provide a molecular window into memory encoding oscillations in the human brain.

PMID: 28383644 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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