New resting-state fMRI related studies at PubMed

Adenomyosis: Diagnosis and Management

Fri, 01/14/2022 - 11:00

Am Fam Physician. 2022 Jan 1;105(1):33-38.


Adenomyosis is a clinical condition where endometrial glands are found in the myometrium of the uterus. One in three patients with adenomyosis is asymptomatic, but the rest may present with heavy menstrual bleeding, pelvic pain, or infertility. Heavy menstrual bleeding is the most common symptom. Adenomyosis is distinct from endometriosis (the presence of endometrial glands outside of the uterus), but the two conditions often occur simultaneously. Risk factors for developing adenomyosis include increasing age, parity, and history of uterine procedures. Most patients are diagnosed from 40 to 50 years of age, but younger patients with infertility are increasingly being diagnosed with adenomyosis as imaging modalities improve. Diagnosis of adenomyosis begins with clinical suspicion and is confirmed with transvaginal ultrasonography and pelvic magnetic resonance imaging. Treatment of adenomyosis typically starts with hormonal menstrual suppression. Levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine systems have shown some effectiveness. Patients with adenomyosis may ultimately have a hysterectomy if symptoms are not controlled with medical therapy.


Functional MRI evidence for primary motor cortex plasticity contributes to the disease's severity and prognosis of cervical spondylotic myelopathy patients

Fri, 01/14/2022 - 11:00

Eur Radiol. 2022 Jan 14. doi: 10.1007/s00330-021-08488-3. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVE: To investigate the brain mechanism of non-correspondence between diseases severity and compression degree of the spinal cord in cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) patients and to test the utility of brain imaging biomarkers for predicting prognosis of CSM.

METHODS: We calculated voxel-wise zALFF from 54 CSM patients and 50 healthy controls using resting-state fMRI data. In analysis 1, we identified the brain regions exhibited significant differences of zALFF between CSM patients and healthy controls. In analyses 2 through 3, we investigated the zALFF differences between light-symptom CSM patients and severe-symptom CSM patients while carefully matching the degree of compression between these two groups. In analysis 4, we tested the utility of zALFF within the primary motor cortex (M1) for predicting the prognosis of CSM.

RESULTS: We found that (1) compared with the healthy controls, CSM patients exhibited higher ALFF within left M1, bilateral superior frontal gyrus, and lower zALFF within right precuneus and calcarine, suggesting altered brain neural activity in CSM patients; (2) after matching the compression degree, the CSM patients with more severe clinical symptoms exhibited higher zALFF within M1, indicating cortical function contributes to disease's severity of CSM; (3) taking the M1 zALFF as features in the prognosis prediction model improves the prediction accuracy, indicating that the M1 zALFF provide additional value for predicting the prognosis of CSM patients following decompression surgery.

CONCLUSION: The functional state of M1 contributes to the disease's severity of CSM and can provide complementary information for predicting the prognosis of CSM following decompression surgery.

KEY POINTS: • Cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) patients exhibited increased zALFF within the primary motor cortex (M1), bilateral superior frontal gyrus, and decreased zALFF within the right precuneus and calcarine. • After matching the compression degree, the CSM patients with more severe clinical symptoms exhibited higher zALFF within M1, indicating cortical function contributes to disease severity of CSM. • zALFF within M1 provided additional value for predicting the prognosis of CSM patients.

PMID:35029735 | DOI:10.1007/s00330-021-08488-3

Globally Aging Cortical Spontaneous Activity Revealed by Multiple Metrics and Frequency Bands Using Resting-State Functional MRI

Fri, 01/14/2022 - 11:00

Front Aging Neurosci. 2021 Dec 28;13:803436. doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2021.803436. eCollection 2021.


Most existing aging studies using functional MRI (fMRI) are based on cross-sectional data but misinterpreted their findings (i.e., age-related differences) as longitudinal outcomes (i.e., aging-related changes). To delineate aging-related changes the of human cerebral cortex, we employed the resting-state fMRI (rsfMRI) data from 24 healthy elders in the PREVENT-AD cohort, obtaining five longitudinal scans per subject. Cortical spontaneous activity is measured globally with three rsfMRI metrics including its amplitude, homogeneity, and homotopy at three different frequency bands (slow-5: 0.02-0.03 Hz, slow-4: 0.03-0.08 Hz, and slow-3 band: 0.08-0.22 Hz). General additive mixed models revealed a universal pattern of the aging-related changes for the global cortical spontaneous activity, indicating increases of these rsfMRI metrics during aging. This aging pattern follows specific frequency and spatial profiles where higher slow bands show more non-linear curves and the amplitude exhibits more extensive and significant aging-related changes than the connectivity. These findings provide strong evidence that cortical spontaneous activity is aging globally, inspiring its clinical utility as neuroimaging markers for neruodegeneration disorders.

PMID:35027890 | PMC:PMC8748263 | DOI:10.3389/fnagi.2021.803436

Resting-State Functional MRI Metrics in Patients With Chronic Mild Traumatic Brain Injury and Their Association With Clinical Cognitive Performance

Fri, 01/14/2022 - 11:00

Front Hum Neurosci. 2021 Dec 27;15:768485. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2021.768485. eCollection 2021.


Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) accounts for more than 80% of people experiencing brain injuries. Symptoms of mTBI include short-term and long-term adverse clinical outcomes. In this study, resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) was conducted to measure voxel-based indices including fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (fALFF), regional homogeneity (ReHo), and functional connectivity (FC) in patients suffering from chronic mTBI; 64 patients with chronic mTBI at least 3 months post injury and 40 healthy controls underwent rs-fMRI scanning. Partial correlation analysis controlling for age and gender was performed within mTBI cohort to explore the association between rs-fMRI metrics and neuropsychological scores. Compared with controls, chronic mTBI patients showed increased fALFF in the left middle occipital cortex (MOC), right middle temporal cortex (MTC), and right angular gyrus (AG), and increased ReHo in the left MOC and left posterior cingulate cortex (PCC). Enhanced FC was observed from left MOC to right precuneus; from right MTC to right superior temporal cortex (STC), right supramarginal, and left inferior parietal cortex (IPC); and from the seed located at right AG to left precuneus, left superior medial frontal cortex (SMFC), left MTC, left superior temporal cortex (STC), and left MOC. Furthermore, the correlation analysis revealed a significant correlation between neuropsychological scores and fALFF, ReHo, and seed-based FC measured from the regions with significant group differences. Our results demonstrated that alterations of low-frequency oscillations in chronic mTBI could be representative of disruption in emotional circuits, cognitive performance, and recovery in this cohort.

PMID:35027887 | PMC:PMC8751629 | DOI:10.3389/fnhum.2021.768485

Dynamic contrast enhanced - MRI efficiency in detecting embolization-induced perfusion defects in a rabbit model of critical-limb-ischemia

Thu, 01/13/2022 - 11:00

Magn Reson Imaging. 2022 Jan 10:S0730-725X(22)00001-7. doi: 10.1016/j.mri.2022.01.001. Online ahead of print.


Critical limb ischemia (CLI) is a severe disease which affects about 2 million people in the US. Its prevalence is assessed at 800/100,000 population. However, no reliable tools are currently available to assess perfusion defects at the muscle tissue level. DCE-MRI is a technique that holds the potential to be effective in achieving this goal. However, preclinical studies performed with DCE-MRI have indicated low sensitivity assessing perfusion at resting state. To improve these previous results, in this work we propose new methodologies for data acquisition and analysis and we also revisit the biological model used for evaluation. Eleven rabbits underwent embolization of a lower limb. They were imaged at day 7 after embolization using DCE-MRI, performed on a 4.7 T small imaging device. Among them, n = 4 rabbits were used for MRI sequence optimization and n = 6 for data analysis after one exclusion. Normalized Areas under the curve (AUCn), and kinetic parameters such as Ktrans and Vd resulting from the Tofts-Kety modeling (KTM) were calculated on the embolized and contralateral limbs. Average and heterogeneity features, consisting on standard-deviation and quantiles, were calculated on muscle groups and whole limbs. The Wilcoxon and Fisher-tests were performed to compare embolized and contralateral regions of interests. The Wilcoxon test was also used to compare features of parametric maps. Quantiles of 5 and 95% in the contralateral side were used to define low and high outliers. A P-value <0.05 was considered statistically significant. Average features were inefficient to identify injured muscles, in agreement with the low sensitivity of the technique previously reported by the literature. However, these findings were dramatically improved by the use of additional heterogeneity features (97% of total accuracy for group muscles, P < 0.01 and 100% of total accuracy for the total limbs). The mapping analysis and automatic outlier detection quantification improvement was explained by the presence of local hyperemia that impair the average calculations. The analysis with KTM did not provide any additional information compared to AUCn. The DCE technique can be effective in detecting embolization-induced disorders of limb muscles in a CLI model when heterogeneity is taken into account in the data processing, even without vascular stimulation. The simultaneous presence of areas of ischemia and hyperemia appeared as a signature of the injured limbs. These areas seem to reflect the simultaneous presence of infarcted areas and viable peripheral areas, characterized by a vascular response that is visible in DCE.

PMID:35026346 | DOI:10.1016/j.mri.2022.01.001

The backbone network of dynamic functional connectivity

Thu, 01/13/2022 - 11:00

Netw Neurosci. 2021 Nov 30;5(4):851-873. doi: 10.1162/netn_a_00209. eCollection 2021.


Temporal networks have become increasingly pervasive in many real-world applications, including the functional connectivity analysis of spatially separated regions of the brain. A major challenge in analysis of such networks is the identification of noise confounds, which introduce temporal ties that are nonessential, or links that are formed by chance due to local properties of the nodes. Several approaches have been suggested in the past for static networks or temporal networks with binary weights for extracting significant ties whose likelihood cannot be reduced to the local properties of the nodes. In this work, we propose a data-driven procedure to reveal the irreducible ties in dynamic functional connectivity of resting-state fMRI data with continuous weights. This framework includes a null model that estimates the latent characteristics of the distributions of temporal links through optimization, followed by a statistical test to filter the links whose formation can be reduced to the activities and local properties of their interacting nodes. We demonstrate the benefits of this approach by applying it to a resting-state fMRI dataset, and provide further discussion on various aspects and advantages of it.

PMID:35024533 | PMC:PMC8746122 | DOI:10.1162/netn_a_00209

Fast acquisition of resting motor threshold with a stimulus-response curve - Possibility or hazard for transcranial magnetic stimulation applications?

Thu, 01/13/2022 - 11:00

Clin Neurophysiol Pract. 2021 Dec 17;7:7-15. doi: 10.1016/j.cnp.2021.10.005. eCollection 2022.


OBJECTIVE: Previous research has suggested that transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) related cortical excitability measures could be estimated quickly using stimulus-response curves with short interstimulus intervals (ISIs). Here we evaluated the resting motor threshold (rMT) estimated with these curves.

METHODS: Stimulus-response curves were measured with three ISIs: 1.2-2 s, 2-3 s, and 3-4 s. Each curve was formed with 108 stimuli using stimulation intensities ranging from 0.75 to 1.25 times the rMTguess, which was estimated based on motor evoked potential (MEP) amplitudes of three scout responses.

RESULTS: The ISI did not affect the rMT estimated from the curves (F = 0.235, p = 0.683) or single-trial MEP amplitudes at the group level (F = 0.90, p = 0.405), but a significant subject by ISI interaction (F = 3.64; p < 0.001) was detected in MEP amplitudes. No trend was observed which ISI was most excitable, as it varied between subjects.

CONCLUSIONS: At the group level, the stimulus-response curves are unaffected by the short ISI. At the individual level, these curves are highly affected by the ISI.

SIGNIFICANCE: Estimating rMT using stimulus-response curves with short ISIs impacts the rMT estimate and should be avoided in clinical and research TMS applications.

PMID:35024510 | PMC:PMC8733273 | DOI:10.1016/j.cnp.2021.10.005

Personalized fMRI delineates functional regions preserved within brain tumors

Thu, 01/13/2022 - 11:00

Ann Neurol. 2022 Jan 13. doi: 10.1002/ana.26303. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVE: Accumulating evidence from invasive cortical stimulation mapping and non-invasive neuroimaging studies indicates that brain function may be preserved within brain tumors. However, a non-invasive approach to accurately and comprehensively delineate individual-specific functional networks in the whole brain, especially in brain tissues within and surrounding tumors, is still lacking. The purpose of the study is to develop a clinically useful technique that can map functional regions within tumoral brains.

METHODS: We developed an individual-specific functional network parcellation approach using resting state functional MRI (rsfMRI) that effectively captured functional networks within and nearby tumors in 20 patients. We examined the accuracy of the functional maps using invasive cortical stimulation and task response.

RESULTS: We found that approximately 33.2% of the tumoral mass appeared to be functionally active and demonstrated robust functional connectivity with non-tumoral brain regions. Functional networks nearby tumors were validated by invasive cortical stimulation mapping. Intratumoral sensorimotor networks mapped by our technique could be distinguished by their distinct cortico-cerebellar connectivity patterns and were consistent with hand movement evoked fMRI task activations. Furthermore, in some patients, cognitive networks that were detected in the tumor mass showed long-distance and distributed functional connectivity.

INTERPRETATION: Our non-invasive approach to mapping individual-specific functional networks using rsfMRI represents a promising new tool for identifying regions with preserved functional connectivity within and surrounding brain tumors, and could be used as a complement to presurgical planning for patients undergoing tumor resection surgery. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

PMID:35023218 | DOI:10.1002/ana.26303

Cerebello-cerebral Functional Connectivity Networks in Major Depressive Disorder: a CAN-BIND-1 Study Report

Thu, 01/13/2022 - 11:00

Cerebellum. 2022 Jan 13. doi: 10.1007/s12311-021-01353-5. Online ahead of print.


Neuroimaging studies have demonstrated aberrant structure and function of the "cognitive-affective cerebellum" in major depressive disorder (MDD), although the specific role of the cerebello-cerebral circuitry in this population remains largely uninvestigated. The objective of this study was to delineate the role of cerebellar functional networks in depression. A total of 308 unmedicated participants completed resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging scans, of which 247 (148 MDD; 99 healthy controls, HC) were suitable for this study. Seed-based resting-state functional connectivity (RsFc) analysis was performed using three cerebellar regions of interest (ROIs): ROI1 corresponded to default mode network (DMN)/inattentive processing; ROI2 corresponded to attentional networks, including frontoparietal, dorsal attention, and ventral attention; ROI3 corresponded to motor processing. These ROIs were delineated based on prior functional gradient analyses of the cerebellum. A general linear model was used to perform within-group and between-group comparisons. In comparison to HC, participants with MDD displayed increased RsFc within the cerebello-cerebral DMN (ROI1) and significantly elevated RsFc between the cerebellar ROI1 and bilateral angular gyrus at a voxel threshold (p < 0.001, two-tailed) and at a cluster level (p < 0.05, FDR-corrected). Group differences were non-significant for ROI2 and ROI3. These results contribute to the development of a systems neuroscience approach to the diagnosis and treatment of MDD. Specifically, our findings confirm previously reported associations between MDD, DMN, and cerebellum, and highlight the promising role of these functional and anatomical locations for the development of novel imaging-based biomarkers and targets for neuromodulation therapies. TRN: NCT01655706; Date of Registration: August 2nd, 2012.

PMID:35023065 | DOI:10.1007/s12311-021-01353-5

Longitudinal resting-state functional connectivity and regional brain atrophy-based biomarkers of preclinical cognitive impairment in healthy old adults

Thu, 01/13/2022 - 11:00

Aging Clin Exp Res. 2022 Jan 12. doi: 10.1007/s40520-021-02067-8. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Intervention against age-related neurodegenerative diseases may be difficult once extensive structural and functional deteriorations have already occurred in the brain.

AIM: Investigating 6-year longitudinal changes and implications of regional brain atrophy and functional connectivity in the triple-network model as biomarkers of preclinical cognitive impairment in healthy aging.

METHODS: We acquired longitudinal cognitive scores and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data from 74 healthy old adults. Resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) analysis was conducted using FSL6.0.1 to examine functional connectivity changes and regional brain morphometries were quantified using FreeSurfer5.3. Finally, we cross-validated and compared two support vector machine (SVM) regression models to predict future 6-year cognition score from the baseline regional brain atrophy and resting-state functional connectivity (rs-FC) measures.

RESULTS: After a 6-year follow-up, our results (P < 0.05-corrected) indicated significant connectivity reduction within all the three brain networks, significant differences in regional brain volumes and cortical thickness. We also observed significant improvement in episodic memory and significant decline in executive functions. Finally, comparing the two models, we observed that regional brain atrophy predictors were more efficient in approximating future 6-year cognitive scores (R = 0.756, P < 0.0001) than rs-FC predictors (R = 0.6, P < 0.0001).

CONCLUSION: This study used longitudinal data to keep subject variability low and to increase the validity of the results. We demonstrated significant changes in structural and functional MRI over 6 years. Our findings present a potential neuroimaging-based biomarker to detect cognitive impairment and prevent risks of neurodegenerative diseases in healthy old adults.

PMID:35023051 | DOI:10.1007/s40520-021-02067-8

Acute effects of ketamine on the pregenual anterior cingulate: linking spontaneous activation, functional connectivity, and glutamate metabolism

Wed, 01/12/2022 - 11:00

Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2022 Jan 12. doi: 10.1007/s00406-021-01377-2. Online ahead of print.


Ketamine exerts its rapid antidepressant effects via modulation of the glutamatergic system. While numerous imaging studies have investigated the effects of ketamine on a functional macroscopic brain level, it remains unclear how altered glutamate metabolism and changes in brain function are linked. To shed light on this topic we here conducted a multimodal imaging study in healthy volunteers (N = 23) using resting state fMRI and proton (1H) magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) to investigate linkage between metabolic and functional brain changes induced by ketamine. Subjects were investigated before and during an intravenous ketamine infusion. The MRS voxel was placed in the pregenual anterior cingulate cortex (pgACC), as this region has been repeatedly shown to be involved in ketamine's effects. Our results showed functional connectivity changes from the pgACC to the right frontal pole and anterior mid cingulate cortex (aMCC). Absolute glutamate and glutamine concentrations in the pgACC did not differ significantly from baseline. However, we found that stronger pgACC activation during ketamine was linked to lower glutamine concentration in this region. Furthermore, reduced functional connectivity between pgACC and aMCC was related to increased pgACC activation and reduced glutamine. Our results thereby demonstrate how multimodal investigations in a single brain region could help to advance our understanding of the association between metabolic and functional changes.

PMID:35020021 | DOI:10.1007/s00406-021-01377-2

Effects of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation combined with cognitive training on resting-state brain activity in Alzheimer's disease

Wed, 01/12/2022 - 11:00

Neuroradiol J. 2022 Jan 12:19714009211067409. doi: 10.1177/19714009211067409. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVES: Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is a promising tool to modulate brain plasticity, but the neural basis has been little addressed. The purpose was to investigate the effects of rTMS on resting-state brain activity in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD).

METHODS: Seventeen patients with mild or moderate AD were enrolled and randomly divided into one of the two intervention groups: (1) real rTMS combined with cognitive training (real group, n = 9); (2) sham rTMS with cognitive training (sham group, n = 8). 10 Hz rTMS was used to stimulate the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and then the left lateral temporal lobe for 20 min each day for 4 weeks. Each patient underwent neuropsychological assessment and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rsfMRI) before and after treatment. The fractional amplitude of low frequency fluctuation (fALFF) of rsfMRI data in real group were: (1) compared to sham; (2) correlated with rTMS-induced cognitive alterations.

RESULTS: Significantly increased fALFF in right cerebellum/declive, left lingual/cuneus and left cingulate gyrus, as well as decreased fALFF in left middle frontal gyrus were found after 10 Hz rTMS, but not after sham stimulation. Using these suprathreshold regions, we found that rTMS increased functional connectivity between the right cerebellum/declive and left precentral/postcentral gyrus. The fALFF increase in left lingual/cuneus and right cerebellum/declive was associated with significant improvement in cognitive function.

CONCLUSIONS: rTMS combined with cognitive training induced increased low frequency fluctuation neural oscillations and functional connectivity in brain regions subserving cognition, suggesting a possible neuronal mechanism of the beneficial effects of rTMS.

PMID:35019804 | DOI:10.1177/19714009211067409

Brain Connectivity Changes in Post-Concussion Syndrome as the Neural Substrate of a Heterogeneous Syndrome

Wed, 01/12/2022 - 11:00

Brain Connect. 2022 Jan 12. doi: 10.1089/brain.2021.0127. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Post-concussion syndrome (PCS) or persistent symptoms of concussion refers to a constellation of symptoms that persist for weeks and months after a concussion. To better capture the heterogeneity of the symptoms of patients with post-concussion syndrome, we aimed to separate patients into clinical subtypes based on brain connectivity changes.

METHODS: Subject-specific structural and functional connectomes were created based on Diffusion Weighted and Resting State Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging, respectively. Following an informed dimensionality reduction, a gaussian mixture model was used on patient specific structural and functional connectivity matrices to find potential patient clusters. For validation, the resulting patient subtypes were compared in terms of cognitive, neuropsychiatric, and post-concussive symptom differences.

RESULTS: Multimodal analyses of brain connectivity were predictive of behavioural outcomes. Our modelling revealed 2 patient subtypes; mild and severe. The severe group showed significantly higher levels of depression, anxiety, aggression, and a greater number of symptoms than the mild patient subgroup.

CONCLUSION: This study suggests that structural and functional connectivity changes together can help us better understand the symptom severity and neuropsychiatric profiles of patients with post-concussion syndrome. This work allows us to move towards precision medicine in concussions and provides a novel machine learning approach that can be applicable to other heterogeneous conditions.

PMID:35018791 | DOI:10.1089/brain.2021.0127

Exploring the functional connectivity characteristics of brain networks in post-stroke patients with global aphasia: a healthy control based resting-state fMRI study

Wed, 01/12/2022 - 11:00

Ann Palliat Med. 2021 Dec;10(12):12113-12128. doi: 10.21037/apm-21-2750.


BACKGROUND: In this study, resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) was used to investigate the characteristics of functional connectivity of brain networks in patients with post-stroke global aphasia (PGA).

METHODS: PGA patients hospitalized in Wuxi Tongren Rehabilitation Hospital during their subacute stage were selected as a case group, and healthy volunteers with matching age, sex, and education level were selected as healthy controls (HCs). rs-fMRI scans were performed to compare the differences of functional connectivity in resting-state networks (RSNs) and in the whole brain between the two groups.

RESULTS: A total of 11 patients with PGA and 11 HCs were included in this study. PGA patients showed decreased inter-hemispheric connectivity of homologs within the sensorimotor network (SMN), salience network, and language network. In the analysis of the whole brain functional connections, PGA patients exhibited both inter-hemispheric and intra-hemispheric hypoconnectivity when compared with HCs. However, they exhibited some stronger connections than HCs between the language network and cerebellar network, which may indicate compensatory mechanisms.

CONCLUSIONS: Using rs-fMRI to research differences in the functional connectivity of brain networks in post-stroke global aphasia will help us further understand it's neurological mechanism and provide an important basis for the accurate selection of therapeutic targets in the future to promote better recovery of language function.

PMID:35016467 | DOI:10.21037/apm-21-2750

Functional connectivity in Parkinson's disease candidates for deep brain stimulation

Tue, 01/11/2022 - 11:00

NPJ Parkinsons Dis. 2022 Jan 10;8(1):4. doi: 10.1038/s41531-021-00268-6.


This study aimed to identify functional neuroimaging patterns anticipating the clinical indication for deep brain stimulation (DBS) in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). A cohort of prospectively recruited patients with PD underwent neurological evaluations and resting-state functional MRI (RS-fMRI) at baseline and annually for 4 years. Patients were divided into two groups: 19 patients eligible for DBS over the follow-up and 41 patients who did not meet the criteria to undergo DBS. Patients selected as candidates for DBS did not undergo surgery at this stage. Sixty age- and sex-matched healthy controls performed baseline evaluations. Graph analysis and connectomics assessed global and local topological network properties and regional functional connectivity at baseline and at each time point. At baseline, network analysis showed a higher mean nodal strength, local efficiency, and clustering coefficient of the occipital areas in candidates for DBS over time relative to controls and patients not eligible for DBS. The occipital hyperconnectivity pattern was confirmed by regional analysis. At baseline, a decreased functional connectivity between basal ganglia and sensorimotor/frontal networks was found in candidates for DBS compared to patients not eligible for surgery. In the longitudinal analysis, patient candidate for DBS showed a progressively decreased topological brain organization and functional connectivity, mainly in the posterior brain networks, and a progressively increased connectivity of basal ganglia network compared to non-candidates for DBS. RS-fMRI may support the clinical indication to DBS and could be useful in predicting which patients would be eligible for DBS in the earlier stages of PD.

PMID:35013326 | DOI:10.1038/s41531-021-00268-6

Transdiagnostic phenotypes of compulsive behavior and associations with psychological, cognitive, and neurobiological affective processing

Tue, 01/11/2022 - 11:00

Transl Psychiatry. 2022 Jan 10;12(1):10. doi: 10.1038/s41398-021-01773-1.


Compulsivity is a poorly understood transdiagnostic construct thought to underlie multiple disorders, including obsessive-compulsive disorder, addictions, and binge eating. Our current understanding of the causes of compulsive behavior remains primarily based on investigations into specific diagnostic categories or findings relying on one or two laboratory measures to explain complex phenotypic variance. This proof-of-concept study drew on a heterogeneous sample of community-based individuals (N = 45; 18-45 years; 25 female) exhibiting compulsive behavioral patterns in alcohol use, eating, cleaning, checking, or symmetry. Data-driven statistical modeling of multidimensional markers was utilized to identify homogeneous subtypes that were independent of traditional clinical phenomenology. Markers were based on well-defined measures of affective processing and included psychological assessment of compulsivity, behavioral avoidance, and stress, neurocognitive assessment of reward vs. punishment learning, and biological assessment of the cortisol awakening response. The neurobiological validity of the subtypes was assessed using functional magnetic resonance imaging. Statistical modeling identified three stable, distinct subtypes of compulsivity and affective processing, which we labeled "Compulsive Non-Avoidant", "Compulsive Reactive" and "Compulsive Stressed". They differed meaningfully on validation measures of mood, intolerance of uncertainty, and urgency. Most importantly, subtypes captured neurobiological variance on amygdala-based resting-state functional connectivity, suggesting they were valid representations of underlying neurobiology and highlighting the relevance of emotion-related brain networks in compulsive behavior. Although independent larger samples are needed to confirm the stability of subtypes, these data offer an integrated understanding of how different systems may interact in compulsive behavior and provide new considerations for guiding tailored intervention decisions.

PMID:35013101 | DOI:10.1038/s41398-021-01773-1

Multivariate patterns of brain-behavior associations across the adult lifespan

Tue, 01/11/2022 - 11:00

Aging (Albany NY). 2022 Jan 10;14(undefined). doi: 10.18632/aging.203815. Online ahead of print.


The nature of brain-behavior covariations with increasing age is poorly understood. In the current study, we used a multivariate approach to investigate the covariation between behavioral-health variables and brain features across adulthood. We recruited healthy adults aged 20-73 years-old (29 younger, mean age = 25.6 years; 30 older, mean age = 62.5 years), and collected structural and functional MRI (s/fMRI) during a resting-state and three tasks. From the sMRI, we extracted cortical thickness and subcortical volumes; from the fMRI, we extracted activation peaks and functional network connectivity (FNC) for each task. We conducted canonical correlation analyses between behavioral-health variables and the sMRI, or the fMRI variables, across all participants. We found significant covariations for both types of neuroimaging phenotypes (ps = 0.0004) across all individuals, with cognitive capacity and age being the largest opposite contributors. We further identified different variables contributing to the models across phenotypes and age groups. Particularly, we found behavior was associated with different neuroimaging patterns between the younger and older groups. Higher cognitive capacity was supported by activation and FNC within the executive networks in the younger adults, while it was supported by the visual networks' FNC in the older adults. This study highlights how the brain-behavior covariations vary across adulthood and provides further support that cognitive performance relies on regional recruitment that differs between older and younger individuals.

PMID:35013005 | DOI:10.18632/aging.203815

NeuroSmog: Determining the Impact of Air Pollution on the Developing Brain: Project Protocol

Tue, 01/11/2022 - 11:00

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Dec 28;19(1):310. doi: 10.3390/ijerph19010310.


Exposure to airborne particulate matter (PM) may affect neurodevelopmental outcomes in children. The mechanisms underlying these relationships are not currently known. We aim to assess whether PM affects the developing brains of schoolchildren in Poland, a country characterized by high levels of PM pollution. Children aged from 10 to 13 years (n = 800) are recruited to participate in this case-control study. Cases (children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)) are being recruited by field psychologists. Population-based controls are being sampled from schools. The study area comprises 18 towns in southern Poland characterized by wide-ranging levels of PM. Comprehensive psychological assessments are conducted to assess cognitive and social functioning. Participants undergo structural, diffusion-weighted, task, and resting-state magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). PM concentrations are estimated using land use regression models, incorporating information from air monitoring networks, dispersion models, and characteristics of roads and other land cover types. The estimated concentrations will be assigned to the prenatal and postnatal residential and preschool/school addresses of the study participants. We will assess whether long-term exposure to PM affects brain function, structure, and connectivity in healthy children and in those diagnosed with ADHD. This study will provide novel, in-depth understanding of the neurodevelopmental effects of PM pollution.

PMID:35010570 | DOI:10.3390/ijerph19010310

Efficient non-contrast enhanced 3D Cartesian cardiovascular magnetic resonance angiography of the thoracic aorta in 3 min

Mon, 01/10/2022 - 11:00

J Cardiovasc Magn Reson. 2022 Jan 10;24(1):5. doi: 10.1186/s12968-021-00839-9.


BACKGROUND: The application of cardiovascular magnetic resonance angiography (CMRA) for the assessment of thoracic aortic disease is often associated with prolonged and unpredictable acquisition times and residual motion artefacts. To overcome these limitations, we have integrated undersampled acquisition with image-based navigators and inline non-rigid motion correction to enable a free-breathing, contrast-free Cartesian CMRA framework for the visualization of the thoracic aorta in a short and predictable scan of 3 min.

METHODS: 35 patients with thoracic aortic disease (36 ± 13y, 14 female) were prospectively enrolled in this single-center study. The proposed 3D T2-prepared balanced steady state free precession (bSSFP) sequence with image-based navigator (iNAV) was compared to the clinical 3D T2-prepared bSSFP with diaphragmatic-navigator gating (dNAV), in terms of image acquisition time. Three cardiologists blinded to iNAV vs. dNAV acquisition, recorded image quality scores across four aortic segments and their overall diagnostic confidence. Contrast ratio (CR) and relative standard deviation (RSD) of signal intensity (SI) in the corresponding segments were estimated. Co-axial aortic dimensions in six landmarks were measured by two readers to evaluate the agreement between the two methods, along with inter-observer and intra-observer agreement. Kolmogorov-Smirnov test, Mann-Whitney U (MWU), Bland-Altman analysis (BAA), intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) were used for statistical analysis.

RESULTS: The scan time for the iNAV-based approach was significantly shorter (3.1 ± 0.5 min vs. 12.0 ± 3.0 min for dNAV, P = 0.005). Reconstruction was performed inline in 3.0 ± 0.3 min. Diagnostic confidence was similar for the proposed iNAV versus dNAV for all three reviewers (Reviewer 1: 3.9 ± 0.3 vs. 3.8 ± 0.4, P = 0.7; Reviewer 2: 4.0 ± 0.2 vs. 3.9 ± 0.3, P = 0.4; Reviewer 3: 3.8 ± 0.4 vs. 3.7 ± 0.6, P = 0.3). The proposed method yielded higher image quality scores in terms of artefacts from respiratory motion, and non-diagnostic images due to signal inhomogeneity were observed less frequently. While the dNAV approach outperformed the iNAV method in the CR assessment, the iNAV sequence showed improved signal homogeneity along the entire thoracic aorta [RSD SI 5.1 (4.4, 6.5) vs. 6.5 (4.6, 8.6), P = 0.002]. BAA showed a mean difference of < 0.05 cm across the 6 landmarks between the two datasets. ICC showed excellent inter- and intra-observer reproducibility.

CONCLUSIONS: Thoracic aortic iNAV-based CMRA with fast acquisition (~ 3 min) and inline reconstruction (3 min) is proposed, resulting in high diagnostic confidence and reproducible aortic measurements.

PMID:35000609 | PMC:PMC8744314 | DOI:10.1186/s12968-021-00839-9

Assessing brain activity in male heroin-dependent individuals under methadone maintenance treatment: A resting-state fMRI study

Mon, 01/10/2022 - 11:00

Psychiatry Res Neuroimaging. 2021 Dec 24;320:111431. doi: 10.1016/j.pscychresns.2021.111431. Online ahead of print.


Methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) is recognized as an effective and mainstream alternative treatment for heroin addiction. However, the effect of long-term MMT on the local and global brain activity of heroin-dependent individuals during resting state remains unknown. Twenty-five heroin-dependent individuals under MMT, 26 heroin-dependent individuals after short-term abstinence (HA) and 42 healthy controls (HC) were included in the resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging study. The craving before and after heroin cue exposure were evaluated among HA and MMT subjects. The difference in craving, regional homogeneity (ReHo) and related functional connectivity were analyzed among the three groups. We found that the craving before and after heroin cue exposure of MMT group was significantly lower than that of HA group. Compared with HA group, the MMT group showed higher ReHo value in the right orbitofrontal cortex and bilateral posterior central cortex. No significant difference in global brain connectivity based on differential ReHo regions was found among the three groups. This study demonstrated the long-term MMT could improve the local activity of executive control and somatosensory brain regions in heroin-dependent individuals. It suggested that MMT might be beneficial to restoring executive control and somatosensory function in the direction towards that of healthy controls.

PMID:35007942 | DOI:10.1016/j.pscychresns.2021.111431