Not in one metric: Neuroticism modulates different resting state metrics within distinctive brain regions.
Behav Brain Res. 2017 Mar 22;:
Authors: Gentili C, Cristea IA, Ricciardi E, Vanello N, Popita C, David D, Pietrini P
INTRODUCTION: Neuroticism is a complex personality trait encompassing diverse aspects. Notably, high levels of neuroticism are related to the onset of psychiatric conditions, including anxiety and mood disorders. Personality traits are stable individual features; therefore, they can be expected to be associated with stable neurobiological features, including the Brain Resting State (RS) activity as measured by fMRI. Several metrics have been used to describe RS properties, yielding rather inconsistent results. This inconsistency could be due to the fact that different metrics portray different RS signal properties and that these properties may be differently affected by neuroticism. To explore the distinct effects of neuroticism, we assessed several distinct metrics portraying different RS properties within the same population.
METHOD: Neuroticism was measured in 31 healthy subjects using the Zuckerman-Kuhlman Personality Questionnaire; RS was acquired by high-resolution fMRI. Using linear regression, we examined the modulatory effects of neuroticism on RS activity, as quantified by the Amplitude of low frequency fluctuations (ALFF, fALFF), regional homogeneity (REHO), Hurst Exponent (H), global connectivity (GC) and amygdalae functional connectivity.
RESULTS: Neuroticism modulated the different metrics across a wide network of brain regions, including emotional regulatory, default mode and visual networks. Except for some similarities in key brain regions for emotional expression and regulation, neuroticism affected different metrics in different ways.
DISCUSSION: Metrics more related to the measurement of regional intrinsic brain activity (fALFF, ALFF and REHO), or that provide a parsimonious index of integrated and segregated brain activity (HE), were more broadly modulated in regions related to emotions and their regulation. Metrics related to connectivity were modulated across a wider network of areas. Overall, these results show that neuroticism affects distinct aspects of brain resting state activity. More in general, these findings indicate that a multiparametric approach may be required to obtain a more detailed characterization of the neural underpinnings of a given psychological trait.
PMID: 28342970 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
FUNCTIONAL NEUROIMAGING FINDINGS IN HEALTHY MIDDLE-AGED ADULTS AT RISK OF ALZHEIMER's DISEASE.
Ageing Res Rev. 2017 Mar 22;:
Authors: Habib M, Mak E, Gabel S, Su L, Williams G, Waldman A, Wells K, Ritchie K, Ritchie C, O'Brien JT
It is well established that the neurodegenerative process of Alzheimer's disease (AD) begins many years before symptom onset. This preclinical phase provides a crucial time-window for therapeutic intervention, though this requires biomarkers that could evaluate the efficacy of future disease-modification treatments in asymptomatic individuals. The last decade has witnessed a proliferation of studies characterizing the temporal sequence of the earliest functional and structural brain imaging changes in AD. These efforts have focused on studying individuals who are highly vulnerable to develop AD, such as those with familial genetic mutations, susceptibility genes (i.e. apolipoprotein epsilon-4 allele), and/or a positive family history of AD. In this paper, we review the rapidly growing literature of functional imaging changes in cognitively intact individuals who are middle-aged: positron emission tomography (PET) studies of amyloid deposition, glucose metabolism, as well as arterial spin labeling (ASL), task-dependent, resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) studies. The prevailing evidence points to early brain functional changes in the relative absence of cognitive impairment and structural atrophy, although there is marked variability in the directionality of the changes, which could, in turn, be related to antagonistic pleiotropy early in life. A common theme across studies relates to the spatial extent of these changes, most of which overlap with brain regions that are implicated in established AD. Notwithstanding several methodological caveats, functional imaging techniques could be preferentially sensitive to the earliest events of AD pathology prior to macroscopic grey matter loss and clinical manifestations of AD. We conclude that while these techniques have great potential to serve as biomarkers to identify at-risk individuals, more longitudinal studies with greater sample size and robust correction for multiple comparisons are still warranted to establish their utility.
PMID: 28342882 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Altered interhemispheric functional connectivity in patients with anisometropic and strabismic amblyopia: a resting-state fMRI study.
Neuroradiology. 2017 Mar 24;:
Authors: Liang M, Xie B, Yang H, Yin X, Wang H, Yu L, He S, Wang J
PURPOSE: Altered brain functional connectivity has been reported in patients with amblyopia by recent neuroimaging studies. However, relatively little is known about the alterations in interhemispheric functional connectivity in amblyopia. The present study aimed to investigate the functional connectivity patterns between homotopic regions across hemispheres in patients with anisometropic and strabismic amblyopia under resting state.
METHODS: Nineteen monocular anisometropic amblyopia (AA), 18 strabismic amblyopia (SA), and 20 normal-sight controls (NC) were enrolled in this study. After a comprehensive ophthalmologic examination, resting-state fMRI scanning was performed in all participants. The pattern of the interhemispheric functional connectivity was measured with the voxel-mirrored homotopic connectivity (VMHC) approach. VMHC values differences within and between three groups were compared, and correlations between VMHC values and each the clinical variable were also analyzed.
RESULTS: Altered VMHC was observed in AA and SA patients in lingual gyrus and fusiform gyrus compared with NC subjects. The altered VMHC of lingual gyrus showed a pattern of AA > SA > NC, while the altered VMHC of fusiform gyrus showed a pattern of AA > NC > SA. Moreover, the VMHC values of lingual gyrus were positively correlated with the stereoacuity both in AA and SA patients, and the VMHC values of fusiform gyrus were positively correlated with the amount of anisometropia just in AA patients.
CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that interhemispheric functional coordination between several homotopic visual-related brain regions is impaired both in AA and SA patients under resting state and revealed the similarities and differences in interhemispheric functional connectivity between the anisometropic and strabismic amblyopia.
PMID: 28341991 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Stress Cardiac MRI in Women With Myocardial Infarction and Nonobstructive Coronary Artery Disease.
Clin Cardiol. 2016 Oct;39(10):596-602
Authors: Mauricio R, Srichai MB, Axel L, Hochman JS, Reynolds HR
BACKGROUND: In a prospective study, cardiac MRI (CMR) and intravascular ultrasound were performed in women with myocardial infarction (MI) and nonobstructive coronary artery disease (MINOCA). Forty participants underwent adenosine-stress CMR (sCMR).
HYPOTHESIS: Abnormal perfusion may co-localize with ischemic late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) and T2-weighted signal hyperintensity (T2+), suggesting microvascular dysfunction contributed to MI.
METHODS: Qualitative perfusion analysis was performed by 2 independent readers. Abnormal myocardial perfusion reserve index (MPRI) was defined as global average ≤1.84.
RESULTS: Abnormal rest perfusion was present in 10 patients (25%) and stress perfusion abnormalities in 25 (63%). Abnormal stress perfusion was not associated with LGE but tended to occur with T2+. Among patients with abnormal perfusion and LGE, the LGE pattern was ischemic in half. The locations of abnormal perfusion and LGE matched in 75%, T2+ in 100%. Abnormal stress perfusion was not associated with plaque disruption and matched in location in 63%. MPRI was abnormal in 10 patients (25%) and was not associated with LGE, T2+ or plaque disruption.
CONCLUSIONS: Abnormal perfusion on sCMR is common among women with MINOCA. Abnormal perfusion usually co-localized with LGE and/or T2+ when present. Variability in LGE pattern leads to uncertainty about whether the finding of abnormal perfusion was cause or consequence of the tissue state leading to LGE. Low MPRI, possibly indicating diffuse microvascular disease, was observed with and without LGE and T2+. Multiple mechanisms may lead to abnormal perfusion on sCMR. Microvascular dysfunction may contribute to the pathogenesis of and coexist with other causes of MINOCA.
PMID: 27459149 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Reorganization of anterior and posterior hippocampal networks associated with memory performance in mesial temporal lobe epilepsy.
Clin Neurophysiol. 2017 Mar 04;128(5):830-838
Authors: Li H, Ji C, Zhu L, Huang P, Jiang B, Xu X, Sun J, Chen Z, Ding M, Zhang M, Wang S
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the pattern of functional demarcation of hippocampal network and its relationship with memory performance in mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (mTLE) with unilateral hippocampal sclerosis.
METHODS: Resting state fMRI data were acquired from fifteen left mTLE patients, fourteen right mTLE patients and twenty healthy subjects. We explore the hippocampal-cortical alterations and corresponding inter-hemispheric functional connectivity (FC) across anterior and posterior hippocampal networks. The association between FC and memory performance was assessed.
RESULTS: Left mTLE showed increased intra-hemispheric FC in anterior hippocampal networks, including left anterior hippocampal-entorhinal cortex and right anterior hippocampal-orbitofrontal cortex, and decreased inter-hemispheric FC between anterior hippocampus, entorhinal cortex and posterior cingulate cortex. Right mTLE was associated with extensive reduction in inter-hemispheric FC along the areas of anterior and posterior hippocampal networks. Intra-hemispheric FC between left anterior hippocampus and entorhinal cortex was positively correlated with verbal memory in left mTLE. Inter-hemispheric FC between posterior parahippocampal gyrus was negatively correlated with verbal memory in right mTLE.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggested that left and right mTLE exhibit different neural reorganization patterns of anterior and posterior hippocampal networks associated with verbal memory.
SIGNIFICANCE: The findings may facilitate the characterization of mTLE associated with memory deficit.
PMID: 28340432 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Bupropion administration increases resting-state functional connectivity in dorso-medial prefrontal cortex.
Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2017 Mar 11;:
Authors: Rzepa E, Dean Z, McCabe C
Background: Patients on the selective serotonergic re-uptake inhibitors (SSRI) like citalopram report emotional blunting. We have shown previously that citalopram reduces resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) in healthy volunteers in a number of brain regions including the dorso-medial prefrontal cortex, which may be related to its clinical effects. Bupropion is a dopaminergic and noradrenergic re-uptake inhibitor (DNRI) and is not reported to cause emotional blunting. However how bupropion affects RSFC in healthy controls remains unknown.
Methods: Using a within subjects, repeated measures, double-blind, cross-over design we examined 17 healthy volunteers (9 female, 8 male). Volunteers received 7 days of bupropion (150 mg/day) and 7 days of placebo treatment and underwent resting-state functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging. We selected seed regions in the salience network (SN: amygdala and pregenual anterior cingulate cortex (pgACC)) and the central executive network (CEN: dorsal medial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC)). Mood and anhedonia measures were also recorded and examined in relation to RSFC.
Results: Relative to placebo, bupropion increased RSFC in healthy volunteers between the dmPFC seed region and the posterior cingulate cortex and the precuneus cortex, key parts of the default mode network.
Conclusions: These results are opposite to that which we found with 7 days treatment of citalopram in healthy volunteers. These results reflect a different mechanism of action of bupropion compared to SSRIs. These results help explain the apparent lack of emotional blunting caused by bupropion in depressed patients.
PMID: 28340244 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Does Conservative Treatment Change the Brain in Patients with Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain? A Systematic Review.
Pain Physician. 2017 Mar;20(3):139-154
Authors: Kregel J, Coppieters I, DePauw R, Malfliet A, Danneels L, Nijs J, Cagnie B, Meeus M
BACKGROUND: Chronic musculoskeletal pain is characterized by maladaptive central neuroplastic changes. Many observational studies have demonstrated that chronic pain states are associated with brain alterations regarding structure and/or function. Rehabilitation of patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain may include cognitive, exercise, or multimodal therapies.
OBJECTIVE: The current review aims to provide a constructive overview of the existing literature reporting neural correlates, based on brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques, following conservative treatment in chronic musculoskeletal pain patients.
STUDY DESIGN: Systematic review of the literature.
SETTING: University medical centers in Belgium.
METHODS: The current review was conducted according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) statement. Literature was searched from 3 databases and screened for eligibility. Methodological quality across studies was assessed with Cochrane Collaboration's tool for assessing risk of bias and quality of evidence was determined applying the Grades of Recommendation, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach.
RESULTS: A total of 9 eligible studies were identified with a predominant high risk of bias. Cognitive behavioral therapy induced several structural and functional changes predominantly in prefrontal cortical regions and a shift from affective to sensory-discriminative brain activity after behavioral extinction training. Multidisciplinary treatment in pediatric complex regional pain syndrome facilitated normalization of functional connectivity of resting-state networks and the amygdala, and increased gray matter in prefrontal and specific subcortical areas. Exercise therapy led to specific for resting-state functional connectivity and a trend towards pressure-induced brain activity changes.
LIMITATIONS: A very small number of studies was available, which furthermore exhibited small study samples. Moreover, only 2 of the included studies were randomized controlled trials.
CONCLUSIONS: It is likely that conservative treatments may induce mainly functional and structural brain changes in prefrontal regions in patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain. Due to the relatively high risk of bias across the included studies, future studies with randomized designs are needed to confirm the current findings. In addition, more research evaluating the treatment-induced effects on white matter and whole-brain network dynamics are warranted.Key words: Chronic pain, musculoskeletal pain, MRI, functional MRI, therapy, rehabilitation, cognitive behavioral therapy, exercise therapy.
PMID: 28339428 [PubMed - in process]
Dysfunction of Large-Scale Brain Networks in Schizophrenia: A Meta-analysis of Resting-State Functional Connectivity.
Schizophr Bull. 2017 Mar 11;:
Authors: Dong D, Wang Y, Chang X, Luo C, Yao D
Schizophrenia is a complex mental disorder with disorganized communication among large-scale brain networks, as demonstrated by impaired resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC). Individual rsFC studies, however, vary greatly in their methods and findings. We searched for consistent patterns of network dysfunction in schizophrenia by using a coordinate-based meta-analysis. Fifty-six seed-based voxel-wise rsFC datasets from 52 publications (2115 patients and 2297 healthy controls) were included in this meta-analysis. Then, coordinates of seed regions of interest (ROI) and between-group effects were extracted and coded. Seed ROIs were categorized into seed networks by their location within an a priori template. Multilevel kernel density analysis was used to identify brain networks in which schizophrenia was linked to hyper-connectivity or hypo-connectivity with each a priori network. Our results showed that schizophrenia was characterized by hypo-connectivity within the default network (DN, self-related thought), affective network (AN, emotion processing), ventral attention network (VAN, processing of salience), thalamus network (TN, gating information) and somatosensory network (SS, involved in sensory and auditory perception). Additionally, hypo-connectivity between the VAN and TN, VAN and DN, VAN and frontoparietal network (FN, external goal-directed regulation), FN and TN, and FN and DN were found in schizophrenia. Finally, the only instance of hyper-connectivity in schizophrenia was observed between the AN and VAN. Our meta-analysis motivates an empirical foundation for a disconnected large-scale brain networks model of schizophrenia in which the salience processing network (VAN) plays the core role, and its imbalanced communication with other functional networks may underlie the core difficulty of patients to differentiate self-representation (inner world) and environmental salience processing (outside world).
PMID: 28338943 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Washing away your sins in the brain: physical cleaning and priming of cleaning recruit different brain networks after moral threat.
Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci. 2017 Mar 08;:
Authors: Tang H, Lu X, Su R, Liang Z, Mai X, Liu C
a wipe: The association between moral purity and physical cleanliness has been widely discussed recently. Studies found that moral threat initiates the need of physical cleanliness, but actual physical cleaning and priming of cleaning have inconsistent effects on subsequent attitudes and behaviors. Here we used resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to explore the underlying neural mechanism of actual physical cleaning and priming of cleaning. After recalling moral transgression with strong feelings of guilt and shame, participants either actually cleaned their faces with or were primed with cleanliness through . Results showed that actual physical cleaning reduced the spontaneous brain activities in the right insula and MPFC, regions that involved in embodied moral emotion processing, while priming of cleaning decreased activities in the right SFG and MFG, regions that participated in executive control processing. Additionally, actual physical cleaning also changed functional connectivity between insula/MPFC and emotion regions, whereas priming of cleaning modified connectivity within both moral and sensorimotor areas. These findings revealed that actual physical cleaning and priming of cleaning led to changes in different brain regions and networks, providing neural evidence for the inconsistent effects of cleanliness on subsequent attitudes and behaviors.
PMID: 28338887 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Sensitivity to perception level differentiates two subnetworks within the mirror neuron system.
Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci. 2017 Feb 17;:
Authors: Simon S, Mukamel R
Mirror neurons are a subset of brain cells that discharge during action execution and passive observation of similar actions. An open question concerns the functional role of their ability to match observed and executed actions. Since understanding of goals requires conscious perception of actions, we expect that mirror neurons potentially involved in action goal coding, will be modulated by changes in action perception level. Here, we manipulated perception level of action videos depicting short hand movements and measured the corresponding fMRI BOLD responses in mirror regions. Our results show that activity levels within a network of regions, including the sensorimotor cortex, primary motor cortex, dorsal premotor cortex and posterior superior temporal sulcus, are sensitive to changes in action perception level, whereas activity levels in the inferior frontal gyrus, ventral premotor cortex, supplementary motor area and superior parietal lobule are invariant to such changes. In addition, this parcellation to two sub-networks manifest as smaller functional distances within each group of regions during task and resting state. Our results point to functional differences between regions within the mirror neurons system which may have implications with respect to their possible role in action understanding.
PMID: 28338793 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Disrupted intrinsic connectivity of the periaqueductal gray in patients with functional dyspepsia: A resting-state fMRI study.
Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2017 Mar 24;:
Authors: Liu P, Wang G, Liu Y, Zeng F, Lin D, Yang X, Liang F, Calhoun VD, Qin W
BACKGROUND: Functional dyspepsia (FD) is a common functional gastrointestinal disorder. Accumulating evidence suggests the crucial role of central nervous system in the development and maintenance of FD. In particular, periaqueductal gray (PAG) has demonstrated an important role in modulation of pain and emotion, which may be related to FD. However, the study of the PAG in FD is still limited. This study aimed to assess intrinsic connectivity of the PAG in FD patients.
METHODS: Resting-state functional magnetic imaging (fMRI) data were collected from 66 FD patients and 42 healthy controls (HCs). Functional connectivity analysis was performed to investigate the PAG connectivity pattern differences between the patients and HCs. We then examined the relationships between functional connectivity within the PAG networks and FD symptoms.
KEY RESULTS: Compared to HCs, patients had increased PAG connectivity with the insula, and decreased PAG connectivity with the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) and hippocampus/parahippocampus (HIPP/paraHIPP). There were positive correlations between disease duration and PAG connectivity with the putamen and supplementary motor area (SMA), and positive correlations between symptom severity and PAG connectivity with the insula. FD patients with high level of anxiety and depression had altered PAG connectivity with the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), precuneus, dlPFC and caudate, compared to other patients.
CONCLUSIONS & INFERENCES: These findings indicate that abnormal intrinsic network of the PAG might be associated with abnormality of pain processing and disruption of emotion processing in FD patients. Our study further complements neuroimaging findings about FD.
PMID: 28338267 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Clinical utility of resting-state functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging for mood and cognitive disorders.
J Neural Transm (Vienna). 2017 Mar 23;:
Authors: Takamura T, Hanakawa T
Although functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has long been used to assess task-related brain activity in neuropsychiatric disorders, it has not yet become a widely available clinical tool. Resting-state fMRI (rs-fMRI) has been the subject of recent attention in the fields of basic and clinical neuroimaging research. This method enables investigation of the functional organization of the brain and alterations of resting-state networks (RSNs) in patients with neuropsychiatric disorders. Rs-fMRI does not require participants to perform a demanding task, in contrast to task fMRI, which often requires participants to follow complex instructions. Rs-fMRI has a number of advantages over task fMRI for application with neuropsychiatric patients, for example, although applications of task fMR to participants for healthy are easy. However, it is difficult to apply these applications to patients with psychiatric and neurological disorders, because they may have difficulty in performing demanding cognitive task. Here, we review the basic methodology and analysis techniques relevant to clinical studies, and the clinical applications of the technique for examining neuropsychiatric disorders, focusing on mood disorders (major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder) and dementia (Alzheimer's disease and mild cognitive impairment).
PMID: 28337552 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Altered spontaneous brain activity in chronic smokers revealed by fractional ramplitude of low-frequency fluctuation analysis: a preliminary study.
Sci Rep. 2017 Mar 23;7(1):328
Authors: Wang C, Shen Z, Huang P, Yu H, Qian W, Guan X, Gu Q, Yang Y, Zhang M
Although a substantial body of previous functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have revealed different brain responses to external stimuli in chronic cigarette smokers compared with nonsmokers, only a few studies assessed brain spontaneous activity in the resting state in chronic smokers. The aim of this study was to investigate alterations of brain activity during the resting state in chronic smokers using fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (fALFF). In the present study, 55 smokers and 49 healthy nonsmokers were included. All the subjects underwent resting-state fMRI scans and the data were analyzed by the fALFF approach. The smokers showed significantly decreased fALFF in the left precuneus, right inferior temporal and occipital gyrus(ITG/IOG), while significantly increased fALFF in the right caudate. Subsequent correlation analysis revealed that the fALFF values of the left precuneus and right ITG/IOG were positively correlated with years of smoking across the smokers. This resting-state fMRI study suggests that the changed spontaneous neuronal activity, as reflected by the fALFF, in these regions may be implicated in the underlying the pathophysiology of smoking.
PMID: 28336919 [PubMed - in process]
Temporal Changes in Local Functional Connectivity Density Reflect the Temporal Variability of the Amplitude of Low Frequency Fluctuations in Gray Matter.
PLoS One. 2016;11(4):e0154407
Authors: Tomasi D, Shokri-Kojori E, Volkow ND
Data-driven functional connectivity density (FCD) mapping is being increasingly utilized to assess brain connectomics at rest in the healthy brain and its disruption in neuropsychiatric diseases with the underlying assumption that the spatiotemporal hub distribution is stationary. However, recent studies show that functional connectivity is highly dynamic. Here we study the temporal variability of the local FCD (lFCD) at high spatiotemporal resolution (2-mm isotropic; 0.72s) using a sliding-window approach and 'resting-state' datasets from 40 healthy subjects collected under the Human Connectome Project. Prominent functional connectivity hubs in visual and posterior parietal cortices had pronounced temporal changes in local FCD. These dynamic patterns in the strength of the lFCD hubs occurred in cortical gray matter with high sensitivity (up to 85%) and specificity (> 85%) and showed high reproducibility (up to 72%) across sessions and high test-retest reliability (ICC(3,1) > 0.5). The temporal changes in lFCD predominantly occurred in medial occipitoparietal regions and were proportional to the strength of the connectivity hubs. The temporal variability of the lFCD was associated with the amplitude of the low frequency fluctuations (ALFF). Pure randomness did not account for the probability distribution of lFCD. Shannon entropy increased in proportion to the strength of the lFCD hubs suggesting high average flow of information per unit of time in the lFCD hubs, particularly in medial occipitoparietal regions. Thus, the higher dynamic range of the lFCD hubs is consistent with their role in the complex orchestration of interacting brain networks.
PMID: 27116610 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Photosensitive epilepsy is associated with reduced inhibition of alpha rhythm generating networks.
Brain. 2017 Feb 20;:
Authors: Elisabetta Vaudano A, Ruggieri A, Avanzini P, Gessaroli G, Cantalupo G, Coppola A, Sisodiya SM, Meletti S
Photosensitivity is a condition in which lights induce epileptiform activities. This abnormal electroencephalographic response has been associated with hyperexcitability of the visuo-motor system. Here, we evaluate if intrinsic dysfunction of this network is present in brain activity at rest, independently of any stimulus and of any paroxysmal electroencephalographic activity. To address this issue, we investigated the haemodynamic correlates of the spontaneous alpha rhythm, which is considered the hallmark of the brain resting state, in photosensitive patients and in people without photosensitivity. Second, we evaluated the whole-brain functional connectivity of the visual thalamic nuclei in the various populations of subjects under investigation. Forty-four patients with epilepsy and 16 healthy control subjects underwent an electroencephalography-correlated functional magnetic resonance imaging study, during an eyes-closed condition. The following patient groups were included: (i) genetic generalized epilepsy with photosensitivity, 16 subjects (mean age 25 ± 10 years); (ii) genetic generalized epilepsy without photosensitivity, 13 patients (mean age 25 ± 11 years); (iii) focal epilepsy, 15 patients (mean age 25 ± 9 years). For each subject, the posterior alpha power variations were convolved with the standard haemodynamic response function and used as a regressor. Within- and between-groups second level analyses were performed. Whole brain functional connectivity was evaluated for two thalamic regions of interest, based on the haemodynamic findings, which included the posterior thalamus (pulvinar) and the medio-dorsal thalamic nuclei. Genetic generalized epilepsy with photosensitivity demonstrated significantly greater mean alpha-power with respect to controls and other epilepsy groups. In photosensitive epilepsy, alpha-related blood oxygen level-dependent signal changes demonstrated lower decreases relative to all other groups in the occipital, sensory-motor, anterior cingulate and supplementary motor cortices. Coherently, the same brain regions demonstrated abnormal connectivity with the visual thalamus only in epilepsy patients with photosensitivity. As predicted, our findings indicate that the cortical-subcortical network generating the alpha oscillation at rest is different in people with epilepsy and visual sensitivity. This difference consists of a decreased alpha-related inhibition of the visual cortex and sensory-motor networks at rest. These findings represent the substrate of the clinical manifestations (i.e. myoclonus) of the photoparoxysmal response. Moreover, our results provide the first evidence of the existence of a functional link between the circuits that trigger the visual sensitivity phenomenon and those that generate the posterior alpha rhythm.
PMID: 28334965 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Decreased integration and information capacity in stroke measured by whole brain models of resting state activity.
Brain. 2017 Feb 20;:
Authors: Adhikari MH, Hacker CD, Siegel JS, Griffa A, Hagmann P, Deco G, Corbetta M
While several studies have shown that focal lesions affect the communication between structurally normal regions of the brain, and that these changes may correlate with behavioural deficits, their impact on brain's information processing capacity is currently unknown. Here we test the hypothesis that focal lesions decrease the brain's information processing capacity, of which changes in functional connectivity may be a measurable correlate. To measure processing capacity, we turned to whole brain computational modelling to estimate the integration and segregation of information in brain networks. First, we measured functional connectivity between different brain areas with resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging in healthy subjects (n = 26), and subjects who had suffered a cortical stroke (n = 36). We then used a whole-brain network model that coupled average excitatory activities of local regions via anatomical connectivity. Model parameters were optimized in each healthy or stroke participant to maximize correlation between model and empirical functional connectivity, so that the model's effective connectivity was a veridical representation of healthy or lesioned brain networks. Subsequently, we calculated two model-based measures: 'integration', a graph theoretical measure obtained from functional connectivity, which measures the connectedness of brain networks, and 'information capacity', an information theoretical measure that cannot be obtained empirically, representative of the segregative ability of brain networks to encode distinct stimuli. We found that both measures were decreased in stroke patients, as compared to healthy controls, particularly at the level of resting-state networks. Furthermore, we found that these measures, especially information capacity, correlate with measures of behavioural impairment and the segregation of resting-state networks empirically measured. This study shows that focal lesions affect the brain's ability to represent stimuli and task states, and that information capacity measured through whole brain models is a theory-driven measure of processing capacity that could be used as a biomarker of injury for outcome prediction or target for rehabilitation intervention.
PMID: 28334882 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Testosterone Effects on the Brain in Transgender Men.
Cereb Cortex. 2017 Mar 10;:1-15
Authors: Burke SM, Manzouri AH, Dhejne C, Bergström K, Arver S, Feusner JD, Savic-Berglund I
Transgender individuals experience incongruence between their gender identity and birth-assigned sex. The resulting gender dysphoria (GD), which some gender-incongruent individuals experience, is theorized to be a consequence of atypical cerebral sexual differentiation, but support for this assertion is inconsistent. We recently found that GD is associated with disconnected networks involved in self-referential thinking and own body perception. Here, we investigate how these networks in trans men (assigned female at birth with male gender identity) are affected by testosterone. In 22 trans men, we obtained T1-weighted, diffusion-weighted, and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging scans before and after testosterone treatment, measuring cortical thickness (Cth), subcortical volumes, fractional anisotropy (FA), and functional connectivity. Nineteen cisgender controls (male and female) were also scanned twice. The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) was thicker in trans men than controls pretreatment, and remained unchanged posttreatment. Testosterone treatment resulted in increased Cth in the insular cortex, changes in cortico-cortical thickness covariation between mPFC and occipital cortex, increased FA in the fronto-occipital tract connecting these regions, and increased functional connectivity between mPFC and temporo-parietal junction, compared with controls. Concluding, in trans men testosterone treatment resulted in functional and structural changes in self-referential and own body perception areas.
PMID: 28334217 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
PCA leverage: outlier detection for high-dimensional functional magnetic resonance imaging data.
Biostatistics. 2017 Feb 27;:
Authors: Mejia AF, Nebel MB, Eloyan A, Caffo B, Lindquist MA
Outlier detection for high-dimensional (HD) data is a popular topic in modern statistical research. However, one source of HD data that has received relatively little attention is functional magnetic resonance images (fMRI), which consists of hundreds of thousands of measurements sampled at hundreds of time points. At a time when the availability of fMRI data is rapidly growing-primarily through large, publicly available grassroots datasets-automated quality control and outlier detection methods are greatly needed. We propose principal components analysis (PCA) leverage and demonstrate how it can be used to identify outlying time points in an fMRI run. Furthermore, PCA leverage is a measure of the influence of each observation on the estimation of principal components, which are often of interest in fMRI data. We also propose an alternative measure, PCA robust distance, which is less sensitive to outliers and has controllable statistical properties. The proposed methods are validated through simulation studies and are shown to be highly accurate. We also conduct a reliability study using resting-state fMRI data from the Autism Brain Imaging Data Exchange and find that removal of outliers using the proposed methods results in more reliable estimation of subject-level resting-state networks using independent components analysis.
PMID: 28334131 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Structural and functional connectional fingerprints in mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease patients.
PLoS One. 2017;12(3):e0173426
Authors: Son SJ, Kim J, Park H
Regional volume atrophy and functional degeneration are key imaging hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD) in structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), respectively. We jointly explored regional volume atrophy and functional connectivity to better characterize neuroimaging data of AD and mild cognitive impairment (MCI). All data were obtained from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) database. We compared regional volume atrophy and functional connectivity in 10 subcortical regions using structural MRI and resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI). Neuroimaging data of normal controls (NC) (n = 35), MCI (n = 40), and AD (n = 30) were compared. Significant differences of regional volumes and functional connectivity measures between groups were assessed using permutation tests in 10 regions. The regional volume atrophy and functional connectivity of identified regions were used as features for the random forest classifier to distinguish among three groups. The features of the identified regions were also regarded as connectional fingerprints that could distinctively separate a given group from the others. We identified a few regions with distinctive regional atrophy and functional connectivity patterns for NC, MCI, and AD groups. A three label classifier using the information of regional volume atrophy and functional connectivity of identified regions achieved classification accuracy of 53.33% to distinguish among NC, MCI, and AD. We identified distinctive regional atrophy and functional connectivity patterns that could be regarded as a connectional fingerprint.
PMID: 28333946 [PubMed - in process]
Altered functional brain connectivity in patients with visually induced dizziness.
Neuroimage Clin. 2017;14:538-545
Authors: Van Ombergen A, Heine L, Jillings S, Roberts RE, Jeurissen B, Van Rompaey V, Mucci V, Vanhecke S, Sijbers J, Vanhevel F, Sunaert S, Bahri MA, Parizel PM, Van de Heyning PH, Laureys S, Wuyts FL
BACKGROUND: Vestibular patients occasionally report aggravation or triggering of their symptoms by visual stimuli, which is called visually induced dizziness (VID). These patients therefore experience dizziness, discomfort, disorientation and postural unsteadiness. The underlying pathophysiology of VID is still poorly understood.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of the current explorative study was to gain a first insight in the underlying neural aspects of VID.
METHODS: We included 10 VID patients and 10 healthy matched controls, all of which underwent a resting state fMRI scan session. Changes in functional connectivity were explored by means of the intrinsic connectivity contrast (ICC). Seed-based analysis was subsequently performed in visual and vestibular seeds.
RESULTS: We found a decreased functional connectivity in the right central operculum (superior temporal gyrus), as well as increased functional connectivity in the occipital pole in VID patients as compared to controls in a hypothesis-free analysis. A weaker functional connectivity between the thalamus and most of the right putamen was measured in VID patients in comparison to controls in a seed-based analysis. Furthermore, also by means of a seed-based analysis, a decreased functional connectivity between the visual associative area and the left parahippocampal gyrus was found in VID patients. Additionally, we found increased functional connectivity between thalamus and occipital and cerebellar areas in the VID patients, as well as between the associative visual cortex and both middle frontal gyrus and precuneus.
CONCLUSIONS: We found alterations in the visual and vestibular cortical network in VID patients that could underlie the typical VID symptoms such as a worsening of their vestibular symptoms when being exposed to challenging visual stimuli. These preliminary findings provide the first insights into the underlying functional brain connectivity in VID patients. Future studies should extend these findings by employing larger sample sizes, by investigating specific task-based paradigms in these patients and by exploring the implications for treatment.
PMID: 28331800 [PubMed - in process]