Most recent paper
Alterations in Spontaneous Neuronal Activity and Microvascular Density of the Optic Nerve Head in Active Thyroid-Associated Ophthalmopathy
Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2022 Jul 22;13:895186. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2022.895186. eCollection 2022.
PURPOSE: To investigate changes in local spontaneous brain activity in patients with active thyroid-associated ophthalmopathy (TAO) and explore the relationship between such alterations and microvascular indices.
METHODS: Thirty-six active TAO patients with active phase and 39 healthy controls (HCs) were enrolled in this study. All participants underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI), neuropsychological tests, and ophthalmological examinations. The rs-fMRI-based fractional low-frequency fluctuation amplitude (fALFF) analysis methods were used to assess spontaneous brain activity in both groups. The structure (peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer, pRNFL) and microvascular indices (the optic nerve head (ONH) whole image vessel density, ONH-wiVD, and peripapillary vessel density) were analyzed through optical coherence tomographic angiography imaging. The relationship between abnormal spontaneous brain activity and ophthalmological indices was analyzed using the Spearman's rank correlation analysis.
RESULTS: Compared with HCs, active TAO patients had increased fALFF in the right inferior temporal gyrus (R.ITG) and left posterior cingulate gyrus (L.PCC), but decreased fALFF in the right calcarine (R.CAL). The fALFF values in L.PCC were positively correlated with peripapillary vessel density, whereas fALFF values in R.CAL were negatively related to peripapillary vessel density.
CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates that changes in spontaneous brain activity of active TAO are accompanied by peripapillary microvascular variations. These results provide insights into the pathophysiological mechanisms of active TAO. In addition, the combination of fALFF values and peripapillary vessel density may be served as important references for better clinical decision making.
Inter-Network Brain Functional Connectivity in Adolescents Assigned Female at Birth Who Experience Gender Dysphoria
Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2022 Jul 22;13:903058. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2022.903058. eCollection 2022.
Gender dysphoria (GD) is characterized by distress due to an incongruence between experienced gender and sex assigned at birth. Brain functional connectivity in adolescents who experience GD may be associated with experienced gender (vs. assigned sex) and/or brain networks implicated in own-body perception. Furthermore, sexual orientation may be related to brain functional organization given commonalities in developmental mechanisms proposed to underpin GD and same-sex attractions. Here, we applied group independent component analysis to resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) BOLD timeseries data to estimate inter-network (i.e., between independent components) timeseries correlations, representing functional connectivity, in 17 GD adolescents assigned female at birth (AFAB) not receiving gender-affirming hormone therapy, 17 cisgender girls, and 15 cisgender boys (ages 12-17 years). Sexual orientation was represented by degree of androphilia-gynephilia and sexual attractions strength. Multivariate partial least squares analyses found that functional connectivity differed among cisgender boys, cisgender girls, and GD AFAB, with the largest difference between cisgender boys and GD AFAB. Regarding sexual orientation and age, the brain's intrinsic functional organization of GD AFAB was both similar to and different from cisgender girls, and both differed from cisgender boys. The pattern of group differences and the networks involved aligned with the hypothesis that brain functional organization is different among GD AFAB (vs. cisgender) adolescents, and certain aspects of this organization relate to brain areas implicated in own-body perception and self-referential thinking. Overall, brain functional organization of GD AFAB was generally more similar to that of cisgender girls than cisgender boys.
Front Psychiatry. 2022 Jul 22;13:929812. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2022.929812. eCollection 2022.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a common psychiatric condition associated with aberrant large-scale distributed brain networks. However, it is unclear how the network dysfunction in MDD patients is characterized by imbalance or derangement of network modular segregation. Fifty-one MDD patients and forty-three matched healthy controls (HC) were recruited in the present study. We analyzed intrinsic brain activity derived from resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (R-fMRI) and then examined brain network segregation by computing the participation coefficient (PC). Further intra- and inter-modular connections analysis were preformed to explain atypical PC. Besides, we explored the potential relationship between the above graph theory measures and symptom severity in MDD. Lower modular segregation of the frontal-parietal network (FPN) was found in MDD compared with the HC group. The MDD group exhibited increased inter-module connections between the FPN and cingulo-opercular network (CON), between the FPN and cerebellum (Cere), between the CON and Cere. At the nodal level, the PC of the anterior prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex, inferior parietal lobule (IPL), and intraparietal sulcus showed larger in MDD. Additionally, the inter-module connections between the FPN and CON and the PC values of the IPL were negatively correlated with depression symptom in the MDD group. These findings might give evidence about abnormal FPN in MDD from the perspective of modular segregation in brain networks.
Abnormal regional signal in the left cerebellum as a potential neuroimaging biomarker of sudden sensorineural hearing loss
Front Psychiatry. 2022 Jul 22;13:967391. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2022.967391. eCollection 2022.
OBJECTIVE: While prior reports have characterized visible changes in neuroimaging findings in individuals suffering from sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL), the utility of regional homogeneity (ReHo) as a means of diagnosing SSNHL has yet to be established. The present study was thus conducted to assess ReHo abnormalities in SSNHL patients and to establish whether these abnormalities offer value as a diagnostic neuroimaging biomarker of SSNHL through a support vector machine (SVM) analysis approach.
METHODS: Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) analyses of 27 SSNHL patients and 27 normal controls were conducted, with the resultant imaging data then being analyzed based on a combination of ReHo and SVM approaches.
RESULTS: Relative to normal control individuals, patients diagnosed with SSNHL exhibited significant reductions in ReHo values in the left cerebellum, bilateral inferior temporal gyrus (ITG), left superior temporal pole (STP), right parahippocampal gyrus (PHG), left posterior cingulum cortex (PCC), and right superior frontal gyrus (SFG). SVM analyses suggested that reduced ReHo values in the left cerebellum were associated with high levels of diagnostic accuracy (96.30%, 52/54), sensitivity (92.59%, 25/27), and specificity (100.00%, 27/27) when distinguishing between SSNHL patients and control individuals.
CONCLUSION: These data suggest that SSNHL patients exhibit abnormal resting-state neurological activity, with changes in the ReHo of the left cerebellum offering value as a diagnostic neuroimaging biomarker associated with this condition.
Altered Brain Function in Treatment-Resistant and Non-treatment-resistant Depression Patients: A Resting-State Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study
Front Psychiatry. 2022 Jul 22;13:904139. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2022.904139. eCollection 2022.
OBJECTIVE: In this study, we used amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (ALFF) and regional homogeneity (ReHo) to observe differences in local brain functional activity and its characteristics in patients with treatment-resistant depression (TRD) and non-treatment-resistant depression (nTRD), and to explore the correlation between areas of abnormal brain functional activity and clinical symptoms.
METHOD: Thirty-seven patients with TRD, 36 patients with nTRD, and 35 healthy controls (HCs) were included in resting-state fMRI scans. ALFF and ReHo were used for image analysis and further correlation between abnormal brain regions and clinical symptoms were analyzed.
RESULTS: ANOVA revealed that the significantly different brain regions of ALFF and ReHo among the three groups were mainly concentrated in the frontal and temporal lobes. Compared with the nTRD group, the TRD group had decreased ALFF in the left/right inferior frontal triangular gyrus, left middle temporal gyrus, left cuneus and bilateral posterior lobes of the cerebellum, and increased ALFF in the left middle frontal gyrus and right superior temporal gyrus, and the TRD group had decreased ReHo in the left/right inferior frontal triangular gyrus, left middle temporal gyrus, and increased ReHo in the right superior frontal gyrus. Compared with the HC group, the TRD group had decreased ALFF/ReHo in both the right inferior frontal triangular gyrus and the left middle temporal gyrus. Pearson correlation analysis showed that both ALFF and ReHo values in these abnormal brain regions were positively correlated with HAMD-17 scores (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: Although the clinical symptoms were similar in the TRD and nTRD groups, abnormal neurological functional activity were present in some of the same brain regions. Compared with the nTRD group, ALFF and ReHo showed a wider range of brain area alterations and more complex neuropathological mechanisms in the TRD group, especially in the inferior frontal triangular gyrus of the frontal lobe and the middle temporal gyrus of the temporal lobe.
CNS Neurosci Ther. 2022 Aug 7. doi: 10.1111/cns.13933. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Neuroimaging studies have shown that the functional connectivity (FC) of corticostriatal circuits in nonmanifesting leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) G2019S mutation carriers mirrors neural changes in idiopathic Parkinson's disease (PD). In contrast, neural network changes in LRRK2 G2385R and R1628P mutations are unclear. We aimed to investigate the FC of corticostriatal circuits in nonmanifesting LRRK2 G2385R and R1628P mutation carriers (NMCs).
METHODS: Twenty-three NMCs, 28 PD patients, and 29 nonmanifesting noncarriers (NMNCs) were recruited. LRRK2 mutation analysis was performed on all participants. Clinical evaluation included MDS-UPDRS.
RESULTS: When compared to NMNCs, NMCs showed significantly reduced FC between the caudate nucleus and superior frontal gyrus and cerebellum, and between the nucleus accumbens and parahippocampal gyrus, amygdala, and insula. We also found increased striatum-cortical FC in NMCs.
CONCLUSIONS: Although the corticostriatal circuits have characteristic changes similar to PD, the relatively intact function of the sensorimotor striatum-cortical loop may result in less possibility of developing parkinsonian motor symptoms for the NMCs. This study helps explain why LRRK2 G2385R and R1628P mutations are risk factors rather than pathogenic mutations for PD and suggests that various LRRK2 mutations have distinct effects on neural networks.
Magn Reson Imaging. 2022 Aug 4:S0730-725X(22)00138-2. doi: 10.1016/j.mri.2022.08.005. Online ahead of print.
Previous resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have revealed highly reproducible latency structures, reflecting the lead/lag relationship of BOLD fMRI signals in white matter (WM). With simultaneous electroencephalography and fMRI data from 35 healthy subjects who were instructed to sleep during imaging, we explored alterations of latency structures in the WM across wakefulness and nonrapid eye movement (NREM) sleep stages. Lagged cross-covariance was computed among voxelwise time series, followed by parabolic interpolation to determine the actual in-between latencies. WM regions, including the brainstem, internal capsule, optic radiation, genu of corpus callosum, and corona radiata, inconsistently changed temporal dynamics with respect to the rest of the WM across wakefulness and NREM sleep stages, as demonstrated when these regions were used as seeds for seed-based latency analysis. Latency analysis of resting-state networks, obtained by applying K-means clustering to a group-level functional connectivity matrix, identified a dominant direction of signaling, starting from the brainstem up to the internal capsule and then the corona radiata during wakefulness, which was reorganized according to stage transitions, e.g., the temporal organization of the internal capsule and corona radiata switched from unidirectional to bidirectional in the wakefulness to N3 transition. These findings suggest that WM BOLD signals are slow, dynamically modulated across wakefulness and NREM sleep stages and that they are involved in maintaining different levels of consciousness.
The neural effects of oxytocin administration in autism spectrum disorders studied by fMRI: A systematic review
J Psychiatr Res. 2022 Aug 4;154:80-90. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2022.06.033. Online ahead of print.
PURPOSE: Oxytocin (OXT) is a hypothalamic neuropeptide that is released from the posterior pituitary gland and at specific targets in the central nervous system (CNS). The prosocial effects of OXT acting in the CNS present it as a potential therapeutic agent for the treatment of aspects of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In this article, we systematically review the functional MRI (fMRI) literature that reports task-state and resting-state fMRI (rsfMRI) studies of the neural effects of single or multiple dose intranasal OXT (IN-OXT) administration in individuals with ASD.
METHOD: We searched four databases for relevant documents (PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, and Google Scholar) using the keywords "autism spectrum disorder", "Asperger Syndrome", "oxytocin", and "fMRI". Moreover, we made a manual search to assess the quality of our automatic search. The search was confined to English language articles published in the interval February 2013 until March 2021.
RESULTS: The search yielded 12 fMRI studies with OXT intervention, including 288 individuals with ASD (age 8-55 years) enrolled in randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel designs, within-subject-crossover experimental OXT trials. Studies reporting activation task and rsfMRI were summarized with region of interest (ROI) or whole-brain voxel wise analysis. The systematic review of the 12 studies supported the proposition that IN-OXT administration alters brain activation in individuals with ASD. The effects of IN-OXT interacted with the type of the task and the overall results did not indicate restoration of normal brain activation in ASD signature regions albeit the lack of statistical evidence.
CONCLUSION: A large body of evidence consistently indicates that OXT alters activation to fMRI in brain networks of individuals with ASD, but with uncertain implications for alleviation of their social deficits.
Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2022 Jul 31;49:101653. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2022.101653. Online ahead of print.
This clinical trial investigated the effect of an Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) intervention on brain activation in chronic pain sufferers using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). EFT is a brief stress reduction technique which combines stating a cognitive statement with somatic tapping on acupressure points. Twenty-four adults were allocated to a six-week online group EFT treatment and underwent resting-state fMRI pre and post the intervention. A repeated measures MANOVA indicated significant differences in the levels of pain severity (-21%), pain interference (-26%), quality of life (+7%), somatic symptoms (-28%), depression (-13.5%), anxiety (-37.1%), happiness (+17%), and satisfaction with life (+8.8%) from pre-to post-test. Cohen's effect sizes ranged from small (0.2) to large (0.75) values suggesting significance for the intervention. fMRI analysis showed post-EFT treatment significantly decreased connectivity between the medial prefrontal cortex (a pain modulating area) and bilateral grey matter areas in the posterior cingulate cortex and thalamus, both areas being related to modulating and catastrophizing of pain. There were no brain areas that showed significantly increased connectivity post-EFT treatment. Coupled with the psychological measures the findings support the effects of the EFT intervention in reducing chronic pain and its impacts. Recommendations for future research are discussed.
Associated factors and abnormal dorsal raphe nucleus connectivity patterns of freezing of gait in Parkinson's disease
J Neurol. 2022 Aug 6. doi: 10.1007/s00415-022-11294-6. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Freezing of gait (FOG) is a common, disabling symptom of Parkinson's disease (PD), and its exact pathophysiological mechanism is still poorly understood. The control of gait is a complex process that may be influenced by emotions modulated by serotonergic networks. Therefore, this study aimed to determine factors associated with FOG in PD patients and to evaluate the importance of the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN; central node in the serotoninergic system) in FOG pathophysiology.
METHODS: We combined cross-sectional survey data from 453 PD patients. According to the Freezing of Gait Questionnaire (FOGQ), patients were divided into two groups: the "PD with frozen gait (PD-FOG)" and "PD without frozen gait (PD-nFOG)" groups. Demographic characteristics, clinical features, and motor and nonmotor symptoms (NMS) assessments of PD patients were recorded. Univariate statistical analysis was performed between the two groups, and then regression analysis was performed on related factors. We also acquired resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) data from 20 PD-FOG, 21 PD-nFOG, and 22 healthy controls (HCs) who were randomly chosen. We defined seeds in the DRN to evaluate functional connectivity (FC) patterns.
RESULTS: The overall frequency of FOG was 11.9% patients in the PD-FOG group were older, had a longer disease duration, had a higher levodopa equivalent daily dose, had more severe motor symptoms and worse quality of life, had a higher proportion of dyskinesia, wearing-off and postural instability/gait difficulty (PIGD) clinical phenotype, and experienced more depression and impaired sleep function than those in the PD-nFOG group. Logistic regression analysis showed that H&Ystage ≥ 3, UPDRS-III scores, PIGD clinical phenotype and excessive daytime sleepiness were associated with FOG. In addition, there was significantly lower FC between the DRN and some cortical structures, including the supplementary motor area (SMA), left superior frontal gyrus (SFG), and left median cingulated cortex (MCC) in PD-FOG patients than HCs and PD-nFOG patients.
CONCLUSIONS: These results demonstrate that the severity of PD and PIGD clinical phenotype are associated factors for freezing and that DRN dysfunction may play a key role in PD-related NMS and FOG. An abnormal cortical and brainstem networks may contribute to the mechanisms underlying FOG.
Altered Effective Connectivity Among the Cerebellum and Cerebrum in Patients with Major Depressive Disorder Using Multisite Resting-State fMRI
Cerebellum. 2022 Aug 6. doi: 10.1007/s12311-022-01454-9. Online ahead of print.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a serious and widespread psychiatric disorder. Previous studies mainly focused on cerebrum functional connectivity, and the sample size was relatively small. However, functional connectivity is undirected. And, there is increasing evidence that the cerebellum is also involved in emotion and cognitive processing and makes outstanding contributions to the symptomology and pathology of depression. Therefore, we used a large sample size of resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) data to investigate the altered effective connectivity (EC) among the cerebellum and other cerebral cortex in patients with MDD. Here, from the perspective of data-driven analysis, we used two different atlases to divide the whole brain into different regions and analyzed the alterations of EC and EC networks in the MDD group compared with healthy controls group (HCs). The results showed that compared with HCs, there were significantly altered EC in the cerebellum-neocortex and cerebellum-basal ganglia circuits in MDD patients, which implied that the cerebellum may be a potential biomarker of depressive disorders. And, the alterations of EC brain networks in MDD patients may provide new insights into the pathophysiological mechanisms of depression.
Altered anterior insula-superior frontal gyrus functional connectivity is correlated with cognitive impairment following total sleep deprivation
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2022 Jul 31;624:47-52. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2022.07.078. Online ahead of print.
Sleep deprivation is an important cause of cognitive impairment, and anterior insular subregions are core brain regions linked to cognitive function. However, the relationship between anterior insular subregions functional connectivity (FC) and the cognitive impairment that occurs following total sleep deprivation (TSD) remains unknown. As such, this study was designed to evaluate how such anterior insular subregions FC alterations are linked with impaired cognitive activity after TSD. This study recruited 20 healthy volunteers who underwent two rounds of resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI), with one being conducted while in a state of rested wakefulness (RW) and the other being conducted following 24 h of TSD. These rs-fMRI data were then used to conduct seed-based FC analyses for the bilateral anterior insular subregions, including the dorsal anterior insula (dAI) and the ventral anterior insula (vAI). The Psychomotor Vigilance Test (PVT) was used to gauge cognitive performance, and associations between altered FC in these anterior insular subregions and PVT performance following TSD were measured using Pearson correlation analyses. Significant changes in the FC of these bilateral insular subregions were observed following 24 h of TSD relative to the RW state. Significantly enhanced FC was evident between the left dAI and right superior frontal gyrus (SFG), right dAI and bilateral SFG and right putamen, and right vAI and left medial SFG. Moreover, the observed enhancement of FC between the left vAI and right SFG functional connectivity was positively correlated with worse PVT performance. These data suggest that altered FC in the anterior insular subregions represents a prominent neuroimaging biomarker associated with cognitive impairment following TSD.
Orbitofrontal neural dissociation of healthy and unhealthy food reward sensitivity in normal-weight binge eaters
Psychiatry Res. 2022 Jul 22;316:114736. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2022.114736. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVE: The orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) has been repeatedly found to play an important role in food reward processing and binge eating (BE) episodes. However, most studies have focused mainly on reward-related neural alterations in clinical binge eating patients, with little consideration of preclinical individuals with BE that are more likely to develop from non-clinical individuals to clinical patients in the future. This study aimed to examine whether preclinical binge eaters exhibited OFC-related resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) in the context of food reward.
METHOD: Binge eaters (BE group, n = 28) and healthy controls (HCs, n = 28) matched for age and body mass index (BMI) underwent rs-fMRI scans and completed self-reported assessment of BE symptoms. Food reward sensitivity was measured using the modified food incentive delay task. Analysis of covariance was used to assess the between-group differences in the medial and lateral OFC (a priori selected regions of interest) connectivity patterns in the context of food reward, while controlling for age, sex, and BMI.
RESULTS: Lower unhealthy food (UF) reward sensitivity was significantly associated with stronger inverse OFC-putamen connectivity for HCs, while the BE group showed no association between UF reward sensitivity and the OFC-putamen connectivity. Higher healthy food (HF) reward sensitivity in the BE group was significantly correlated with stronger positive OFC-middle frontal gyrus and OFC-inferior parietal gyrus connectivity, while the opposite was found for HCs.
CONCLUSIONS: Binge eaters showed less functional synchrony within reward regions contributing to the UF reward sensitivity, but enhanced neural interactions between reward and inhibitory control regions correlated with the HF reward sensitivity. These novel findings may demonstrate the potential orbitofrontal neural dissociation of unhealthy and healthy food reward sensitivity in normal-weight binge eaters.
Peripheral Interleukin-18 is negatively correlated with abnormal brain activity in patients with depression: a resting-state fMRI study
BMC Psychiatry. 2022 Aug 5;22(1):531. doi: 10.1186/s12888-022-04176-8.
BACKGROUND: Interleukin-18 (IL-18) may participate in the development of major depressive disorder, but the specific mechanism remains unclear. This study aimed to explore whether IL-18 correlates with areas of the brain associated with depression.
METHODS: Using a case-control design, 68 subjects (34 patients and 34 healthy controls) underwent clinical assessment, blood sampling, and resting-state functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI). The total Hamilton depression-17 (HAMD-17) score was used to assess depression severity. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was used to detect IL-18 levels. Rest-state fMRI was conducted to explore spontaneous brain activity.
RESULTS: The level of IL-18 was higher in patients with depression in comparison with healthy controls. IL-18 was negatively correlated with degree centrality of the left posterior cingulate gyrus in the depression patient group, but no correlation was found in the healthy control group.
CONCLUSION: This study suggests the involvement of IL-18 in the pathophysiological mechanism for depression and interference with brain activity.
Resting state functional networks predict different aspects of postural control in Parkinson's disease
Gait Posture. 2022 Jul 8;97:122-129. doi: 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2022.07.003. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder causing postural control impairments. Postural control involves multiple domains, such as control of postural sway in stance, automatic postural responses (APRs) and anticipatory postural adjustments (APAs). We hypothesize that impairments in each postural domain is associated with resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC), accounted by predictive modeling and that cortical and cerebellar networks would predict postural control in people with PD (PwPD).
OBJECTIVE: To determine whether rsFC can predict three domains of postural control independently in PwPD and older adults (OA) based on predictive accuracy of models.
METHODS: The cohort consisted of 65 PwPD (67.7 +8.1 age) tested in their OFF-state and 42 OA (69.7 +8.2 age). Six body-worn, inertial sensors measured postural sway area while standing on foam, step length of APRs to a backward push-and-release perturbation, and magnitude of lateral APAs prior to voluntary gait initiation. Resting state-fMRI data was reported on 384 regions of interest that were grouped into 13 functional brain networks. Associations between rsFC and postural metrics were characterized using predictive modeling, with an independent training (n = 67) and validation (n = 40) dataset. Models were trained in the training sample and performance of the best model was validated in the independent test dataset.
RESULTS: rsFC of different brain networks predicted each domain of postural control in PD: Frontoparietal and Ventral Attention rsFC for APAs; Cerebellar-Subcortical and Visual rsFC and Auditory and Cerebellar-Subcortical rsFC for APRs; Ventral Attention and Ventral Multimodal rsFC for postural sway. In OA, CinguloOpercular and Somatomotor rsFC predicted APAs.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that cortical networks predict postural control in PD and there is little overlap in brain network connectivities that predict different domains of postural control, given the rsFC methodology used. PwPD use different cortical networks for APAs compared to OA.
Anatomy-Guided Spatio-Temporal Graph Convolutional Networks (AG-STGCNs) for Modeling Functional Connectivity Between Gyri and Sulci Across Multiple Task Domains
IEEE Trans Neural Netw Learn Syst. 2022 Aug 5;PP. doi: 10.1109/TNNLS.2022.3194733. Online ahead of print.
The cerebral cortex is folded as gyri and sulci, which provide the foundation to unveil anatomo-functional relationship of brain. Previous studies have extensively demonstrated that gyri and sulci exhibit intrinsic functional difference, which is further supported by morphological, genetic, and structural evidences. Therefore, systematically investigating the gyro-sulcal (G-S) functional difference can help deeply understand the functional mechanism of brain. By integrating functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) with advanced deep learning models, recent studies have unveiled the temporal difference in functional activity between gyri and sulci. However, the potential difference of functional connectivity, which represents functional dependency between gyri and sulci, is much unknown. Moreover, the regularity and variability of the G-S functional connectivity difference across multiple task domains remains to be explored. To address the two concerns, this study developed new anatomy-guided spatio-temporal graph convolutional networks (AG-STGCNs) to investigate the regularity and variability of functional connectivity differences between gyri and sulci across multiple task domains. Based on 830 subjects with seven different task-based and one resting state fMRI (rs-fMRI) datasets from the public Human Connectome Project (HCP), we consistently found that there are significant differences of functional connectivity between gyral and sulcal regions within task domains compared with resting state (RS). Furthermore, there is considerable variability of such functional connectivity and information flow between gyri and sulci across different task domains, which are correlated with individual cognitive behaviors. Our study helps better understand the functional segregation of gyri and sulci within task domains as well as the anatomo-functional-behavioral relationship of the human brain.
Aberrant Dynamic Functional Connectivity of Posterior Cingulate Cortex Subregions in Major Depressive Disorder With Suicidal Ideation
Front Neurosci. 2022 Jul 19;16:937145. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2022.937145. eCollection 2022.
Accumulating evidence indicates the presence of structural and functional abnormalities of the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) with suicidal ideation (SI). Nevertheless, the subregional-level dynamic functional connectivity (dFC) of the PCC has not been investigated in MDD with SI. We therefore sought to investigate the presence of aberrant dFC variability in PCC subregions in MDD patients with SI. We analyzed resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data from 31 unmedicated MDD patients with SI (SI group), 56 unmedicated MDD patients without SI (NSI group), and 48 matched healthy control (HC) subjects. The sliding-window method was applied to characterize the whole-brain dFC of each PCC subregion [the ventral PCC (vPCC) and dorsal PCC (dPCC)]. In addition, we evaluated associations between clinical variables and the aberrant dFC variability of those brain regions showing significant between-group differences. Compared with HCS, the SI and the NSI groups exhibited higher dFC variability between the left dPCC and left fusiform gyrus and between the right vPCC and left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG). The SI group showed higher dFC variability between the left vPCC and left IFG than the NSI group. Furthermore, the dFC variability between the left vPCC and left IFG was positively correlated with Scale for Suicidal Ideation (SSI) score in patients with MDD (i.e., the SI and NSI groups). Our results indicate that aberrant dFC variability between the vPCC and IFG might provide a neural-network explanation for SI and may provide a potential target for future therapeutic interventions in MDD patients with SI.
Respective Involvement of the Right Cerebellar Crus I and II in Syntactic and Semantic Processing for Comprehension of Language
Cerebellum. 2022 Aug 4. doi: 10.1007/s12311-022-01451-y. Online ahead of print.
The right posterolateral portions of the cerebellum (crus-I/II) are involved in language processing. However, their functional role in language remains unknown. The cerebellum is hypothesized to acquire an internal model that is a functional copy of mental representations in the cerebrum and to contribute to cognitive function. In this research, based on the cerebellar internal model hypothesis, we conducted task-based and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) experiments to investigate the role of the cerebellum in the syntactic and semantic aspects of comprehension of sentences. In a syntactic task, participants read sentences with center-embedded hierarchical structures. The hierarchical level-dependent activity was found in the right crus-I as well as Broca's area (p < 0.05, voxel-based small volume correction (SVC)). In a semantic task, the participants read three types of sentences for investigation of sentence-level, phrase-level, and word-level semantic processing. The semantic level-dependent activity was found in the right crus-II as well as in the left anterior temporal lobe and the left angular gyrus (p < 0.05, voxel-based SVC). Moreover, the right crus-I/II showed significant activity when the cognitive load was high. Resting-state fMRI demonstrated intrinsic functional connectivity between the right crus-I/II and language-related regions in the left cerebrum (p < 0.05, voxel-based SVC). These findings suggest that the right crus-I and crus-II are involved, respectively, in the syntactic and semantic aspects of sentence processing. The cerebellum assists processing of language in the cerebrum when the cognitive load is high.
Aesthet Surg J. 2022 Aug 4:sjac216. doi: 10.1093/asj/sjac216. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Some women with breast implants report systemic and cognitive symptoms known as breast implant illness (BII), which are very similar to those of fibromyalgia. Functional MRI has shown altered brain activity in fibromyalgia patients.
OBJECTIVES: In this pilot study, we investigated whether brain alterations could be observed in BII patients using fMRI.
METHODS: Women aged 18 to 76 with silicone breast implants for cosmetic reasons were recruited through a Dutch online BII support organization (MKS) and through Maastricht University Medical Center. Twelve women with BII and twelve women without symptoms were included. Participants completed questionnaires regarding demographic characteristics, medical history, psychosocial complaints (4DSQ), cognitive failure (MSSE), pain intensity and pain-related disability (CPGS). Subsequently, brain images of all participants were obtained using resting-state fMRI (rs-fMRI) and Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) at a 3 Tesla MRI scanner (Siemens Medical System, Erlangen, Germany).
RESULTS: Eleven BII patients and 12 healthy controls were included for analysis. Baseline characteristics were similar in the two groups and the mean silicone exposure was 15 years. Patients scored significantly higher on both pain intensity and disability than controls. Patients scored worse on depression, somatization, distress, and anxiety compared to asymptomatic women. MMSE scores were normal. However, the analyses of both functional connectivity and structural integrity showed no significant differences between the two groups.
CONCLUSIONS: This pilot study showed no evidence of brain alterations in BII patients. However, patients scored significantly worse on psychosocial symptoms than controls. Psychological factors appear to play an important role in BII and should be further investigated.
Electroconvulsive therapy changes temporal dynamics of intrinsic brain activity in depressed patients
Psychiatry Res. 2022 Jul 21;316:114732. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2022.114732. Online ahead of print.
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) has been demonstrated to be effective in treating depressed patients. Previous neuroimaging studies have focused mainly on alterations in static brain activity and connectivity to study the effects of ECT in depressed patients. However, it remains unclear whether the temporal dynamics of brain activity are associated with mechanisms of ECT in depressed patients. We measured the dynamics of spontaneous brain activity using dynamic amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (dALFF) in healthy controls (n = 40) and patients diagnosed with unipolar depression (UD, n = 36) or bipolar disorder (BD, n = 9) before and after ECT. Furthermore, the temporal variability of intrinsic brain activity (iBA) was quantified as the variance of dALFF across sliding window. In addition, correlation analysis was performed to investigate the relationships among dALFF, depressive symptoms, and cognitive function in depressed patients. We lack second resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) data for healthy controls. After ECT, patients showed decreased brain dynamics (less temporal variability) in the right dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) and the right precuneus, whereas they showed increased brain dynamics in the bilateral superior medial frontal cortex (mSFC). No significant correlation was found between the dALFF and clinical variables in depressed patients. Our findings suggest that right dACC, right precuneus, and bilateral mSFC play an important role in response to ECT depressed patients from the perspective of dynamic local brain activity, indicating that the dALFF variability may be useful in further understanding the mechanisms of ECT's antidepressant effects.