New resting-state fMRI related studies at PubMed

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Engagement of the left extrastriate body area during body-part metaphor comprehension.

Tue, 12/13/2016 - 21:55

Engagement of the left extrastriate body area during body-part metaphor comprehension.

Brain Lang. 2016 Dec 09;166:1-18

Authors: Lacey S, Stilla R, Deshpande G, Zhao S, Stephens C, McCormick K, Kemmerer D, Sathian K

Abstract
Grounded cognition explanations of metaphor comprehension predict activation of sensorimotor cortices relevant to the metaphor's source domain. We tested this prediction for body-part metaphors using functional magnetic resonance imaging while participants heard sentences containing metaphorical or literal references to body parts, and comparable control sentences. Localizer scans identified body-part-specific motor, somatosensory and visual cortical regions. Both subject- and item-wise analyses showed that, relative to control sentences, metaphorical but not literal sentences evoked limb metaphor-specific activity in the left extrastriate body area (EBA), paralleling the EBA's known visual limb-selectivity. The EBA focus exhibited resting-state functional connectivity with ipsilateral semantic processing regions. In some of these regions, the strength of resting-state connectivity correlated with individual preference for verbal processing. Effective connectivity analyses showed that, during metaphor comprehension, activity in some semantic regions drove that in the EBA. These results provide converging evidence for grounding of metaphor processing in domain-specific sensorimotor cortical activity.

PMID: 27951437 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Increased inter-hemispheric resting-state functional connectivity in acute lacunar stroke patients with aphasia.

Tue, 12/13/2016 - 21:55

Increased inter-hemispheric resting-state functional connectivity in acute lacunar stroke patients with aphasia.

Exp Brain Res. 2016 Dec 10;

Authors: Yang H, Bai L, Zhou Y, Kang S, Liang P, Wang L, Zhu Y

Abstract
Aphasia is a devastating neurological condition affecting a person's ability to communicate and reintegrate into the society. It may occur in 20% or more of patients after stroke. The recovery of language function is accompanied by brain reorganization, and identifying the inter-hemispheric interaction post-stroke will conduce to more targeted treatments. Previous studies suggested that robust homotopic resting-state functional connectivity is a key characteristic of the brain's intrinsic functional architecture, and communication between the left and right cerebral hemispheres is important for language processing. In this study, voxel-mirrored homotopic connectivity (VMHC) was used to examine the inter-hemispheric resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) differences between 37 patients with acute lacunar stroke in the left hemisphere and 28 healthy controls. Besides, correlation analyses were carried out to investigate the relationship between VMHC values of brain regions showing abnormal inter-hemispheric RSFC and clinical variables [i.e., aphasia quotient (AQ) scores, National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) and Mini-Mental State Examination of patients]. Compared with healthy controls, patients showed significantly increased VMHC in the pars orbitalis of the inferior frontal gyrus, anterior part of the superior temporal gyrus (STG) and lingual gyrus. No brain region showed decreased VMHC in the patient group than in the healthy control group. The AQ scores were negatively correlated with VMHC values in the STG. NIHSS scores were positively correlated with VMHC values in the lingual gyrus. We hope these results could shed new insights into the pathology of aphasia in patients with acute lacunar stroke.

PMID: 27942764 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Resting state functional network disruptions in a kainic acid model of temporal lobe epilepsy.

Tue, 12/13/2016 - 21:55

Resting state functional network disruptions in a kainic acid model of temporal lobe epilepsy.

Neuroimage Clin. 2017;13:70-81

Authors: Gill RS, Mirsattari SM, Leung LS

Abstract
We studied the graph topological properties of brain networks derived from resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging in a kainic acid induced model of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) in rats. Functional connectivity was determined by temporal correlation of the resting-state Blood Oxygen Level Dependent (BOLD) signals between two brain regions during 1.5% and 2% isoflurane, and analyzed as networks in epileptic and control rats. Graph theoretical analysis revealed a significant increase in functional connectivity between brain areas in epileptic than control rats, and the connected brain areas could be categorized as a limbic network and a default mode network (DMN). The limbic network includes the hippocampus, amygdala, piriform cortex, nucleus accumbens, and mediodorsal thalamus, whereas DMN involves the medial prefrontal cortex, anterior and posterior cingulate cortex, auditory and temporal association cortex, and posterior parietal cortex. The TLE model manifested a higher clustering coefficient, increased global and local efficiency, and increased small-worldness as compared to controls, despite having a similar characteristic path length. These results suggest extensive disruptions in the functional brain networks, which may be the basis of altered cognitive, emotional and psychiatric symptoms in TLE.

PMID: 27942449 [PubMed - in process]

Brain connectivity aberrations in anabolic-androgenic steroid users.

Tue, 12/13/2016 - 21:55

Brain connectivity aberrations in anabolic-androgenic steroid users.

Neuroimage Clin. 2017;13:62-69

Authors: Westlye LT, Kaufmann T, Alnæs D, Hullstein IR, Bjørnebekk A

Abstract
Sustained anabolic-androgenic steroid (AAS) use has adverse behavioral consequences, including aggression, violence and impulsivity. Candidate mechanisms include disruptions of brain networks with high concentrations of androgen receptors and critically involved in emotional and cognitive regulation. Here, we tested the effects of AAS on resting-state functional brain connectivity in the largest sample of AAS-users to date. We collected resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data from 151 males engaged in heavy resistance strength training. 50 users tested positive for AAS based on the testosterone to epitestosterone (T/E) ratio and doping substances in urine. 16 previous users and 59 controls tested negative. We estimated brain network nodes and their time-series using ICA and dual regression and defined connectivity matrices as the between-node partial correlations. In line with the emotional and behavioral consequences of AAS, current users exhibited reduced functional connectivity between key nodes involved in emotional and cognitive regulation, in particular reduced connectivity between the amygdala and default-mode network (DMN) and between the dorsal attention network (DAN) and a frontal node encompassing the superior and inferior frontal gyri (SFG/IFG) and the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), with further reductions as a function of dependency, lifetime exposure, and cycle state (on/off).

PMID: 27942448 [PubMed - in process]

Altered structural and functional thalamocortical networks in secondarily generalized extratemporal lobe seizures.

Tue, 12/13/2016 - 21:55

Altered structural and functional thalamocortical networks in secondarily generalized extratemporal lobe seizures.

Neuroimage Clin. 2017;13:55-61

Authors: Peng SJ, Hsin YL

Abstract
Structural and functional abnormalities in the thalamocortical network in primary generalized epilepsies or mesial temporal lobe epilepsy have recently been identified by voxel-wise analyses of neuroimaging. However, evidence is needed regarding the profiles of the thalamocortical network in patients with secondarily generalized seizures from focal neocortical sources. We used high-resolution T1-weighted, diffusion-tensor and resting-state functional MR imaging (rs-fMRI) to examine 16 patients with secondarily generalized extratemporal lobe seizures and 16 healthy controls. All the patients were medically effective and MRI-negative. Using whole brain voxel-based morphometry (VBM) to compare the patients with the normal controls, we observed significantly decreased gray matter (GM) density in the thalamus and 3 frontal gyri and significantly reduced white matter (WM) fractional anisotropy (FA) in the bilateral anterior corona radiata of the patients. Alterations in the thalamocortical functional connectivity with different cortices were identified by the rs-fMRI analysis seeding of the whole thalamus. The prefrontal gyri with the greatest functional connectivity were also traced by seeding a sub-thalamic region that is demarcated in an atlas, in which the thalamic parcellation is based on the WM connectivity to the cortices. This sub-thalamic region anatomically contains the mediodorsal thalamic nucleus where, concordantly, there was a significant decrease in thalamic GM density in the VBM study. In contrast to the negative correlation between the disease duration and reduced thalamic densities and subcortical FA values, the strength of the functional thalamocortical connectivity had a paradoxical correlation. Our results conclusively indicate that generalized seizures with a focal cortical source are associated with structural and functional alterations in the thalamocortical network.

PMID: 27942447 [PubMed - in process]

Sedation of Patients With Disorders of Consciousness During Neuroimaging: Effects on Resting State Functional Brain Connectivity.

Tue, 12/13/2016 - 21:55

Sedation of Patients With Disorders of Consciousness During Neuroimaging: Effects on Resting State Functional Brain Connectivity.

Anesth Analg. 2016 Dec 08;

Authors: Kirsch M, Guldenmund P, Ali Bahri M, Demertzi A, Baquero K, Heine L, Charland-Verville V, Vanhaudenhuyse A, Bruno MA, Gosseries O, Di Perri C, Ziegler E, Brichant JF, Soddu A, Bonhomme V, Laureys S

Abstract
BACKGROUND: To reduce head movement during resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging, post-coma patients with disorders of consciousness (DOC) are frequently sedated with propofol. However, little is known about the effects of this sedation on the brain connectivity patterns in the damaged brain essential for differential diagnosis. In this study, we aimed to assess these effects.
METHODS: Using resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging 3T data obtained over several years of scanning patients for diagnostic and research purposes, we employed a seed-based approach to examine resting state connectivity in higher-order (default mode, bilateral external control, and salience) and lower-order (auditory, sensorimotor, and visual) resting state networks and connectivity with the thalamus, in 20 healthy unsedated controls, 8 unsedated patients with DOC, and 8 patients with DOC sedated with propofol. The DOC groups were matched for age at onset, etiology, time spent in DOC, diagnosis, standardized behavioral assessment scores, movement intensities, and pattern of structural brain injury (as assessed with T1-based voxel-based morphometry).
RESULTS: DOC were associated with severely impaired resting state network connectivity in all but the visual network. Thalamic connectivity to higher-order network regions was also reduced. Propofol administration to patients was associated with minor further decreases in thalamic and insular connectivity.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings indicate that connectivity decreases associated with propofol sedation, involving the thalamus and insula, are relatively small compared with those already caused by DOC-associated structural brain injury. Nonetheless, given the known importance of the thalamus in brain arousal, its disruption could well reflect the diminished movement obtained in these patients. However, more research is needed on this topic to fully address the research question.

PMID: 27941576 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Evaluation of whole-brain resting-state functional connectivity in spinal cord injury - a large-scale network analysis using network based statistic.

Tue, 12/13/2016 - 21:55

Evaluation of whole-brain resting-state functional connectivity in spinal cord injury - a large-scale network analysis using network based statistic.

J Neurotrauma. 2016 Dec 09;

Authors: Kaushal M, Oni-Orisan A, Chen G, Li W, Leschke J, Ward BD, Kalinosky BT, Budde MD, Schmit BD, Li SJ, Muqeet V, Kurpad SN

Abstract
Large-scale network analysis characterizes the brain as a complex network of nodes and edges to evaluate functional connectivity patterns. The utility of graph-based techniques has been demonstrated in an increasing number of resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) studies in the normal and diseased brain. However, to our knowledge, graph theory has not been used to study the reorganization pattern of resting-state brain networks in patients with traumatic complete spinal cord injury (SCI). In the present analysis, we applied a graph-theoretical approach to explore changes to global brain network architecture as a result of SCI. Fifteen subjects with chronic (> 2 years) complete (ASIA A) cervical SCI and 15 neurologically intact controls were scanned using rs-fMRI. The data was preprocessed followed by parcellation of the brain into 116 regions of interest (ROI) or nodes. The average time series was extracted at each node and correlation analysis was performed between every pair of nodes. A functional connectivity matrix for each subject was then generated. Subsequently, the matrices were averaged across groups and network changes were evaluated between groups using the network-based statistic (NBS) method. Our results showed decreased connectivity in a subnetwork of the whole brain in SCI compared to control subjects. Upon further examination, increased connectivity was observed in a subnetwork of the sensorimotor cortex and cerebellum network in SCI. In conclusion, our findings emphasize the applicability of NBS to study functional connectivity architecture in diseased brain states. Further, we show reorganization of large-scale resting-state brain networks in traumatic SCI with potential prognostic and therapeutic implications.

PMID: 27937140 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Let's Not Waste Time: Using Temporal Information in Clustered Activity Estimation with Spatial Adjacency Restrictions (CAESAR) for Parcellating FMRI Data.

Sat, 12/10/2016 - 21:05
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Let's Not Waste Time: Using Temporal Information in Clustered Activity Estimation with Spatial Adjacency Restrictions (CAESAR) for Parcellating FMRI Data.

PLoS One. 2016;11(12):e0164703

Authors: Janssen RJ, Jylänki P, van Gerven MA

Abstract
We have proposed a Bayesian approach for functional parcellation of whole-brain FMRI measurements which we call Clustered Activity Estimation with Spatial Adjacency Restrictions (CAESAR). We use distance-dependent Chinese restaurant processes (dd-CRPs) to define a flexible prior which partitions the voxel measurements into clusters whose number and shapes are unknown a priori. With dd-CRPs we can conveniently implement spatial constraints to ensure that our parcellations remain spatially contiguous and thereby physiologically meaningful. In the present work, we extend CAESAR by using Gaussian process (GP) priors to model the temporally smooth haemodynamic signals that give rise to the measured FMRI data. A challenge for GP inference in our setting is the cubic scaling with respect to the number of time points, which can become computationally prohibitive with FMRI measurements, potentially consisting of long time series. As a solution we describe an efficient implementation that is practically as fast as the corresponding time-independent non-GP model with typically-sized FMRI data sets. We also employ a population Monte-Carlo algorithm that can significantly speed up convergence compared to traditional single-chain methods. First we illustrate the benefits of CAESAR and the GP priors with simulated experiments. Next, we demonstrate our approach by parcellating resting state FMRI data measured from twenty participants as taken from the Human Connectome Project data repository. Results show that CAESAR affords highly robust and scalable whole-brain clustering of FMRI timecourses.

PMID: 27935937 [PubMed - in process]

Cortico-limbic connectivity in MAOA-L carriers is vulnerable to acute tryptophan depletion.

Sat, 12/10/2016 - 21:05
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Cortico-limbic connectivity in MAOA-L carriers is vulnerable to acute tryptophan depletion.

Hum Brain Mapp. 2016 Dec 09;:

Authors: Eisner P, Klasen M, Wolf D, Zerres K, Eggermann T, Eisert A, Zvyagintsev M, Sarkheil P, Mathiak KA, Zepf F, Mathiak K

Abstract
INTRODUCTION: A gene-environment interaction between expression genotypes of the monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) and adverse childhood experience increases the risk of antisocial behavior. However, the neural underpinnings of this interaction remain uninvestigated. A cortico-limbic circuit involving the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and the amygdala is central to the suppression of aggressive impulses and is modulated by serotonin (5-HT). MAOA genotypes may modulate the vulnerability of this circuit and increase the risk for emotion regulation deficits after specific life events. Acute tryptophan depletion (ATD) challenges 5-HT regulation and may identify vulnerable neuronal circuits, contributing to the gene-environment interaction.
METHODS: Functional magnetic resonance imaging measured the resting-state state activity in 64 healthy males in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Cortical maps of amygdala correlation identified the impact of ATD and its interaction with low- (MAOA-L) and high-expression variants (MAOA-H) of MAOA on cortico-limbic connectivity.
RESULTS: Across all Regions of Interest (ROIs) exhibiting an ATD effect on cortico-limbic connectivity, MAOA-L carriers were more susceptible to ATD than MAOA-H carriers. In particular, the MAOA-L group exhibited a larger reduction of amygdala connectivity with the right prefrontal cortex and a larger increase of amygdala connectivity with the insula and dorsal PCC.
CONCLUSION: MAOA-L carriers were more susceptable to a central 5-HT challenge in cortico-limbic networks. Such vulnerability of the cortical serotonergic system may contribute to the emergence of antisocial behavior after systemic challenges, observed as gene-environment interaction. Hum Brain Mapp, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

PMID: 27935229 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Gender Specific Re-organization of Resting-State Networks in Older Age.

Sat, 12/10/2016 - 21:05
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Gender Specific Re-organization of Resting-State Networks in Older Age.

Front Aging Neurosci. 2016;8:285

Authors: Goldstone A, Mayhew SD, Przezdzik I, Wilson RS, Hale JR, Bagshaw AP

Abstract
Advancing age is commonly associated with changes in both brain structure and function. Recently, the suggestion that alterations in brain connectivity may drive disruption in cognitive abilities with age has been investigated. However, the interaction between the effects of age and gender on the re-organization of resting-state networks is not fully understood. This study sought to investigate the effect of both age and gender on intra- and inter-network functional connectivity (FC) and the extent to which resting-state network (RSN) node definition may alter with older age. We obtained resting-state functional magnetic resonance images from younger (n = 20) and older (n = 20) adults and assessed the FC of three main cortical networks: default mode (DMN), dorsal attention (DAN), and saliency (SN). Older adults exhibited reduced DMN intra-network FC and increased inter-network FC between the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and nodes of the DAN, in comparison to younger participants. Furthermore, this increase in ACC-DAN inter-network FC with age was driven largely by male participants. However, further analyses suggested that the spatial location of ACC, bilateral anterior insula and orbitofrontal cortex RSN nodes changed with older age and that age-related gender differences in FC may reflect spatial re-organization rather than increases or decreases in FC strength alone. These differences in both the FC and spatial distribution of RSNs between younger and older adults provide evidence of re-organization of fundamental brain networks with age, which is modulated by gender. These results highlight the need to further investigate changes in both intra- and inter-network FC with age, whilst also exploring the modifying effect of gender. They also emphasize the difficulties in directly comparing the FC of RSN nodes between groups and suggest that caution should be taken when using the same RSN node definitions for different age or patient groups to investigate FC.

PMID: 27932978 [PubMed - in process]

Functional cortical changes in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis at amplitude configuration: a resting-state fMRI study.

Sat, 12/10/2016 - 21:05
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Functional cortical changes in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis at amplitude configuration: a resting-state fMRI study.

Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2016;12:3031-3039

Authors: Liu H, Chen H, Wu B, Zhang T, Wang J, Huang K, Song G, Zhan J

Abstract
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to explore the amplitude of spontaneous brain activity fluctuations in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) using the amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (ALFF) method.
METHODS: ALFF and SPM8 were utilized to assess alterations in regional spontaneous brain activities in patients with RRMS in comparison with healthy controls (HCs). The beta values of altered brain regions between patients with RRMS and HCs were extracted, and a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was generated to calculate the sensitivities and specificities of these different brain areas for distinguishing patients with RRMS from HCs. Pearson correlation analyses were applied to assess the relationships between the beta values of altered brain regions and disease duration and Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score.
PATIENTS AND PARTICIPANTS: A total of 18 patients with RRMS (13 females; five males) and 18 sex-, age-, and education-matched HCs (14 females; four males) were recruited for this study.
MEASUREMENTS AND RESULTS: Compared with HCs, patients with RRMS showed higher ALFF responses in the right fusiform gyrus (Brodmann area [BA] 37) and lower ALFF responses in the bilateral anterior cingulate cortices (BA 24 and 32), bilateral heads of the caudate nuclei, and bilateral brainstem. The ROC analysis revealed that the beta values of these abnormal brain areas showed high degrees of sensitivity and specificity for distinguishing patients with RRMS from HCs. The EDSS score showed a significant negative Pearson correlation with the beta value of the caudate head (r=-0.474, P=0.047).
CONCLUSION: RRMS is associated with disturbances in spontaneous regional brain activity in specific areas, and these specific abnormalities may provide important information about the neural mechanisms underlying behavioral impairment in RRMS.

PMID: 27932883 [PubMed - in process]

Structural and Functional Integrity of the Intraparietal Sulcus in Moderate and Severe Traumatic Brain Injury.

Sat, 12/10/2016 - 21:05
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Structural and Functional Integrity of the Intraparietal Sulcus in Moderate and Severe Traumatic Brain Injury.

J Neurotrauma. 2016 Dec 08;

Authors: Sours C, Raghavan P, Medina de Jesus A, Roys SR, Jiang L, Zhuo J, Gullapalli RP

Abstract
Severe and Moderate TBI (sTBI) often results in long-term cognitive deficits such as reduced processing speed and attention. The intraparietal sulcus (IPS) is a neocortical structure that plays a crucial role in the deeply interrelated processes of multisensory processing and top down attention. Therefore, we hypothesized that disruptions in the functional and structural connections of the IPS may play a role in the development of such deficits. To examine these connections we used resting state fMRI (rsfMRI) and diffusion kurtosis imaging (DKI) in a cohort of 27 sTBI patients (29.3±8.9yrs) and 27 control participants (29.8±10.3yrs). Participants were prospectively recruited and received rsfMRI and neuropsychological assessments including the Automated Neuropsychological Assessment Metrics (ANAM) at greater than 6 months post injury. A subset of participants received a DKI scan. Results suggest that sTBI patients performed worse than controls on multiple subtests of the ANAM suggesting reduced cognitive performance. Reduced resting state functional between the IPS and cortical regions associated with multisensory processing and the dorsal attention network was observed in the sTBI patients. The patients also showed reduced structural integrity of the Superior Longitudinal Fasciculus (SLF), a key white matter tract connecting the IPS to anterior frontal areas, as measured by reduced mean kurtosis (MK) and fractional anisotropy (FA) and increased mean diffusivity (MD). Furthermore, this reduced structural integrity of the SLF was associated with a reduction in overall cognitive performance. These findings suggest that disruptions in the structural and functional connectivity of the IPS may contribute to chronic cognitive deficits experienced by these patients.

PMID: 27931179 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Changed crossmodal functional connectivity in older adults with hearing loss.

Fri, 12/09/2016 - 12:45

Changed crossmodal functional connectivity in older adults with hearing loss.

Cortex. 2016 Oct 31;86:109-122

Authors: Puschmann S, Thiel CM

Abstract
Previous work compellingly demonstrates a crossmodal plastic reorganization of auditory cortex in deaf individuals, leading to increased neural responses to non-auditory sensory input. Recent data indicate that crossmodal adaptive plasticity is not restricted to severe hearing impairments, but may also occur as a result of high-frequency hearing loss in older adults and affect audiovisual processing in these subjects. We here used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study the effect of hearing loss in older adults on auditory cortex response patterns as well as on functional connectivity between auditory and visual cortex during audiovisual processing. Older participants with a varying degree of high frequency hearing loss performed an auditory stimulus categorization task, in which they had to categorize frequency-modulated (FM) tones presented alone or in the context of matching or non-matching visual motion. A motion only condition served as control for a visual take-over of auditory cortex. While the individual hearing status did not affect auditory cortex responses to auditory, visual, or audiovisual stimuli, we observed a significant hearing loss-related increase in functional connectivity between auditory cortex and the right motion-sensitive visual area MT+ when processing matching audiovisual input. Hearing loss also modulated resting state connectivity between right area MT+ and parts of the left auditory cortex, suggesting the existence of permanent, task-independent changes in coupling between visual and auditory sensory areas with an increasing degree of hearing loss. Our data thus indicate that hearing loss impacts on functional connectivity between sensory cortices in older adults.

PMID: 27930898 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Long-range projections coordinate distributed brain-wide neural activity with a specific spatiotemporal profile.

Fri, 12/09/2016 - 12:45

Long-range projections coordinate distributed brain-wide neural activity with a specific spatiotemporal profile.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 Dec 05;:

Authors: Leong AT, Chan RW, Gao PP, Chan YS, Tsia KK, Yung WH, Wu EX

Abstract
One challenge in contemporary neuroscience is to achieve an integrated understanding of the large-scale brain-wide interactions, particularly the spatiotemporal patterns of neural activity that give rise to functions and behavior. At present, little is known about the spatiotemporal properties of long-range neuronal networks. We examined brain-wide neural activity patterns elicited by stimulating ventral posteromedial (VPM) thalamo-cortical excitatory neurons through combined optogenetic stimulation and functional MRI (fMRI). We detected robust optogenetically evoked fMRI activation bilaterally in primary visual, somatosensory, and auditory cortices at low (1 Hz) but not high frequencies (5-40 Hz). Subsequent electrophysiological recordings indicated interactions over long temporal windows across thalamo-cortical, cortico-cortical, and interhemispheric callosal projections at low frequencies. We further observed enhanced visually evoked fMRI activation during and after VPM stimulation in the superior colliculus, indicating that visual processing was subcortically modulated by low-frequency activity originating from VPM. Stimulating posteromedial complex thalamo-cortical excitatory neurons also evoked brain-wide blood-oxygenation-level-dependent activation, although with a distinct spatiotemporal profile. Our results directly demonstrate that low-frequency activity governs large-scale, brain-wide connectivity and interactions through long-range excitatory projections to coordinate the functional integration of remote brain regions. This low-frequency phenomenon contributes to the neural basis of long-range functional connectivity as measured by resting-state fMRI.

PMID: 27930323 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Functional connectivity changes resemble patterns of pTDP-43 pathology in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Fri, 12/09/2016 - 12:45

Functional connectivity changes resemble patterns of pTDP-43 pathology in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Sci Rep. 2016 Dec 08;6:38391

Authors: Schulthess I, Gorges M, Müller HP, Lulé D, Del Tredici K, Ludolph AC, Kassubek J

Abstract
'Resting-state' fMRI allows investigation of alterations in functional brain organization that are associated with an underlying pathological process. We determine whether abnormal connectivity in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in a priori-defined intrinsic functional connectivity networks, according to a neuropathological staging scheme and its DTI-based tract correlates, permits recognition of a sequential involvement of functional networks. 'Resting-state' fMRI data from 135 ALS patients and 56 matched healthy controls were investigated for the motor network (corresponding to neuropathological stage 1), brainstem (stage 2), ventral attention (stage 3), default mode/hippocampal network (stage 4), and primary visual network (as the control network) in a cross-sectional analysis and longitudinally in a subgroup of 27 patients after 6 months. Group comparison from cross-sectional and longitudinal data revealed significantly increased functional connectivity (p < 0.05, corrected) in all four investigated networks (but not in the control network), presenting as a network expansion that was correlated with physical disability. Increased connectivity of functional networks, as investigated in a hypothesis-driven approach, is characterized by network expansions and resembled the pattern of pTDP-43 pathology in ALS. However, our data did not allow for the recognition of a sequential involvement of functional connectivity networks at the individual level.

PMID: 27929102 [PubMed - in process]

Cognitive Functioning in Temporal Lobe Epilepsy: A BOLD-fMRI Study.

Thu, 12/08/2016 - 12:25
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Cognitive Functioning in Temporal Lobe Epilepsy: A BOLD-fMRI Study.

Mol Neurobiol. 2016 Dec 06;

Authors: Guo L, Bai G, Zhang H, Lu D, Zheng J, Xu G

Abstract
We aimed to analyze the association between resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (re-fMRI) and cognitive function (including language, executive, and memory functions) in temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) patients, which will help to explore the mechanism of brain function in patients. 15 TLE patients and 15 non-TLE patients were recruited. All subjects underwent neuropsychological testing and memory functional evaluation. Changes in verbal intelligence quotient (VIQ), performance intelligence quotient (PIQ), full intelligence quotient (FIQ), and memory quotient (MQ) were compared between two groups. Re-fMRI data were also collected from two groups to evaluate these changes. Each individual score of neuropsychological testing and memory functional evaluation were higher in control group, which was statistically different (all P < 0.01) while the VIQ, PIQ, FIQ, and MQ showed the same trend (all P < 0.01). The data showed the positive activation differences in brain regions between experimental and control group, namely right frontal lobe, the left middle temporal gyrus back, right superior temporal gyrus, left cerebellum, left angular gyrus, left wedge anterior lobe, and left central back; while the negatively activated brain regions were left prefrontal, right cerebellum, right corner back, and right anterior cingulate gyrus. During the language task, the activated brain regions of the TLE patients were right prefrontal lobe, the lateral temporal gyri, the left cerebellum, left cornu laterale gyrus, left precuneus, and the left postcentral gyrus, whereas the negatively activated brain areas were the left prefrontal cortex, the right cerebellum, right cornu laterale gyrus, and the right anterior cingulate gyrus. During the executive task, epilepsy patients showed activation difference in right prefrontal and right frontal lobe and right brain, left superior temporal gyrus, and right cerebellum anterior lobe compared with the control group; no negatively activated differences in brain areas. During the memory task, the difference lay in bilateral anterior cingulate gyrus and bilateral wedge anterior lobe while the negatively activated brain areas were the left inferior frontal gyrus and postcentral gyrus. The cognitive functioning is related to the functional connectivity within the cortex. There is a significant difference in the activation of brain areas during different tasks between the TLE patients and the non-TLE patients.

PMID: 27924527 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Regional homogeneity associated with overgeneral autobiographical memory of first-episode treatment-naive patients with major depressive disorder in the orbitofrontal cortex: A resting-state fMRI study.

Wed, 12/07/2016 - 12:15

Regional homogeneity associated with overgeneral autobiographical memory of first-episode treatment-naive patients with major depressive disorder in the orbitofrontal cortex: A resting-state fMRI study.

J Affect Disord. 2016 Nov 30;209:163-168

Authors: Liu Y, Zhao X, Cheng Z, Zhang F, Chang J, Wang H, Xie R, Wang Z, Cao L, Wang G

Abstract
BACKGROUND: Overgeneral autobiographical memory (OGM) is involved in the onset and maintenance of depression. Recent studies have shown correlations between OGM and alterations of some brain regions by using task-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). However, the correlation between OGM and spontaneous brain activity in depression remains unclear. The purpose of this study was to determine whether patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) show abnormal regional homogeneity (ReHo) and, if so, whether the brain areas with abnormal ReHo are associated with OGM.
METHODS: Twenty five patients with MDD and 25 age-matched, sex-matched, and education-matched healthy controls underwent resting-state fMRI. All participants were also assessed by 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale and autobiographical memory test. The ReHo method was used to analyze regional synchronization of spontaneous neuronal activity.
RESULTS: Patients with MDD, compared to healthy controls, exhibited extensive ReHo abnormalities in some brain regions, including the frontal, temporal, and occipital cortex. Moreover, ReHo value of the orbitofrontal cortex was negatively correlated with OGM scores in patients with MDD.
LIMITATIONS: The sample size of this study was relatively small, and the influence of physiological noise was not completely excluded.
CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that abnormal ReHo of spontaneous brain activity in the orbitofrontal cortex may be involved in the pathophysiology of OGM in patients with MDD.

PMID: 27923192 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Brain network reorganization differs in response to stress in rats genetically predisposed to depression and stress-resilient rats.

Wed, 12/07/2016 - 12:15

Brain network reorganization differs in response to stress in rats genetically predisposed to depression and stress-resilient rats.

Transl Psychiatry. 2016 Dec 06;6(12):e970

Authors: Gass N, Becker R, Schwarz AJ, Weber-Fahr W, Clemm von Hohenberg C, Vollmayr B, Sartorius A

Abstract
Treatment-resistant depression (TRD) remains a pressing clinical problem. Optimizing treatment requires better definition of the specificity of the involved brain circuits. The rat strain bred for negative cognitive state (NC) represents a genetic animal model of TRD with high face, construct and predictive validity. Vice versa, the positive cognitive state (PC) strain represents a stress-resilient phenotype. Although NC rats show depressive-like behavior, some symptoms such as anhedonia require an external trigger, i.e. a stressful event, which is similar to humans when stressful event induces a depressive episode in genetically predisposed individuals (gene-environment interaction). We aimed to distinguish neurobiological predisposition from the depressogenic pathology at the level of brain-network reorganization. For this purpose, resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging time series were acquired at 9.4 Tesla scanner in NC (N=11) and PC (N=7) rats before and after stressful event. We used a graph theory analytical approach to calculate the brain-network global and local properties. There was no difference in the global characteristics between the strains. At the local level, the response in the risk strain was characterized with an increased internodal role and reduced local clustering and efficiency of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and prelimbic cortex compared to the stress-resilient strain. We suggest that the increased internodal role of these prefrontal regions could be due to the enhancement of some of their long-range connections, given their connectivity with the amygdala and other default-mode-like network hubs, which could create a bias to attend to negative information characteristic for depression.

PMID: 27922640 [PubMed - in process]

Resting-state theta band connectivity and graph analysis in generalized social anxiety disorder.

Wed, 12/07/2016 - 12:15
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Resting-state theta band connectivity and graph analysis in generalized social anxiety disorder.

Neuroimage Clin. 2017;13:24-32

Authors: Xing M, Tadayonnejad R, MacNamara A, Ajilore O, DiGangi J, Phan KL, Leow A, Klumpp H

Abstract
BACKGROUND: Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) resting-state studies show generalized social anxiety disorder (gSAD) is associated with disturbances in networks involved in emotion regulation, emotion processing, and perceptual functions, suggesting a network framework is integral to elucidating the pathophysiology of gSAD. However, fMRI does not measure the fast dynamic interconnections of functional networks. Therefore, we examined whole-brain functional connectomics with electroencephalogram (EEG) during resting-state.
METHODS: Resting-state EEG data was recorded for 32 patients with gSAD and 32 demographically-matched healthy controls (HC). Sensor-level connectivity analysis was applied on EEG data by using Weighted Phase Lag Index (WPLI) and graph analysis based on WPLI was used to determine clustering coefficient and characteristic path length to estimate local integration and global segregation of networks.
RESULTS: WPLI results showed increased oscillatory midline coherence in the theta frequency band indicating higher connectivity in the gSAD relative to HC group during rest. Additionally, WPLI values positively correlated with state anxiety levels within the gSAD group but not the HC group. Our graph theory based connectomics analysis demonstrated increased clustering coefficient and decreased characteristic path length in theta-based whole brain functional organization in subjects with gSAD compared to HC.
CONCLUSIONS: Theta-dependent interconnectivity was associated with state anxiety in gSAD and an increase in information processing efficiency in gSAD (compared to controls). Results may represent enhanced baseline self-focused attention, which is consistent with cognitive models of gSAD and fMRI studies implicating emotion dysregulation and disturbances in task negative networks (e.g., default mode network) in gSAD.

PMID: 27920976 [PubMed - in process]

Donepezil Enhances Frontal Functional Connectivity in Alzheimer's Disease: A Pilot Study.

Wed, 12/07/2016 - 12:15
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Donepezil Enhances Frontal Functional Connectivity in Alzheimer's Disease: A Pilot Study.

Dement Geriatr Cogn Dis Extra. 2016 Sep-Dec;6(3):518-528

Authors: Griffanti L, Wilcock GK, Voets N, Bonifacio G, Mackay CE, Jenkinson M, Zamboni G

Abstract
BACKGROUND: We have previously shown that increased resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)-based functional connectivity (FC) within the frontal resting-state networks in Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients reflects residual, possibly compensatory, function. This suggests that symptomatic treatments should aim to enhance FC specifically in these networks.
METHODS: 18 patients with probable AD underwent brain MRI and neuropsychological assessment at baseline and after 12 weeks of treatment with donepezil. We tested if changes in cognitive performance after treatment correlated with changes in FC in resting-state networks known to be altered in AD.
RESULTS: We found increases in FC in the orbitofrontal network that correlated with cognitive improvement after treatment. The increased FC was greatest in patients who responded most to treatment.
CONCLUSION: This 'proof of concept' study suggests that changes in network-specific FC might be a biomarker of pharmacological intervention efficacy in AD.

PMID: 27920795 [PubMed - in process]

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