Most recent paper
Nat Commun. 2021 Sep 9;12(1):5346. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-25492-9.
Resting state functional connectivity (rs-fMRI) is impaired early in persons who subsequently develop Alzheimer's disease (AD) dementia. This impairment may be leveraged to aid investigation of the pre-clinical phase of AD. We developed a model that predicts brain age from resting state (rs)-fMRI data, and assessed whether genetic determinants of AD, as well as beta-amyloid (Aβ) pathology, can accelerate brain aging. Using data from 1340 cognitively unimpaired participants between 18-94 years of age from multiple sites, we showed that topological properties of graphs constructed from rs-fMRI can predict chronological age across the lifespan. Application of our predictive model to the context of pre-clinical AD revealed that the pre-symptomatic phase of autosomal dominant AD includes acceleration of functional brain aging. This association was stronger in individuals having significant Aβ pathology.
Enhanced functional connectivity between habenula and salience network in medication-overuse headache complicating chronic migraine positions it within the addiction disorders: an ICA-based resting-state fMRI study
J Headache Pain. 2021 Sep 9;22(1):107. doi: 10.1186/s10194-021-01318-3.
BACKGROUND: Medication-overuse headache (MOH) is a relatively frequently occurring secondary headache caused by overuse of analgesics and/or acute migraine medications. It is believed that MOH is associated with dependence behaviors and substance addiction, in which the salience network (SN) and the habenula may play an important role. This study aims to investigate the resting-state (RS) functional connectivity between the habenula and the SN in patients with MOH complicating chronic migraine (CM) compared with those with episodic migraine (EM) and healthy controls (HC).
METHODS: RS-fMRI and 3-dimensional T1-weighted images of 17 patients with MOH + CM, 18 patients with EM and 30 matched healthy HC were obtained. The RS-fMRI data were analyzed using the independent component analysis (ICA) method to investigate the group differences of functional connectivity between the habenula and the SN in three groups. Correlation analysis was performed thereafter with all clinical variables by Pearson correlation.
RESULTS: Increased functional connectivity between bilateral habenula and SN was detected in patients with MOH + CM compared with patients with EM and HC respectively. Correlation analysis showed significant correlation between medication overuse duration and habenula-SN connectivity in MOH + CM patients.
CONCLUSIONS: The current study supported MOH to be lying within a spectrum of dependence and addiction disorder. The enhanced functional connectivity of the habenula with SN may correlate to the development or chronification of MOH. Furthermore, the habenula may be an indicator or treatment target for MOH for its integrative role involved in multiple aspects of MOH.
Cognitive training modified age-related brain changes in older adults with subjective memory decline
Aging Ment Health. 2021 Sep 9:1-9. doi: 10.1080/13607863.2021.1972931. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVES: Neuroimaging findings suggest that older adults with subjective memory decline (SMD) demonstrate some neurodegenerative brain changes and have high risk of developing dementia, but relatively little is known about the effectiveness of interventions for SMD. This study aimed to examine the effects of cognitive training on resting-state brain activity in SMD.
METHOD: This study employed the amplitude of low frequency fluctuations (ALFF) and resting state functional connectivity (rs-FC) analyses. After baseline evaluations, participants were randomly allocated to the intervention and control group to receive a four-week cognitive training and lectures on health and aging, respectively. All participants were scanned before and after training with an interval of about three months.
RESULTS: (1) Participants in the intervention group showed significant improvements on the Associative Learning Test (ALT) and the Digit Span Forward task compared to the control group; (2) ALFF in the occipital lobe for the control group increased significantly, while that for the intervention group remained the same; ALFF changes were negatively correlated with ALT performance in the control group; (3) The mean value of rs-FC for the intervention group decreased, while that for the control group showed a trend of increase; rs-FC changes were also negatively correlated with ALT performance in the control group.
CONCLUSIONS: Resting-state brain activities in occipital region increased with aging. The cognitive training could counteract this brain function changes associated with aging or even reverse the changes. These findings provide new insights into the understanding of brain plasticity in posterior areas in SMD.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: ChiCTR-IOR-15006165 in the Chinese Clinical Trial Registry.
Structural and functional brain changes in X-linked Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease: insights from a multimodal neuroimaging study
Neuroradiology. 2021 Sep 9. doi: 10.1007/s00234-021-02730-x. Online ahead of print.
PURPOSE: Brain involvement in X-linked Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMTX) has been previously reported. We studied the brain structural and functional integrity using a multimodal neuroimaging approach in patients with no current central nervous system (CNS) symptoms, in order to further delineate the disease's phenotype.
METHODS: Seventeen CMTX patients with no current CNS symptoms and 24 matched healthy controls underwent brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Structural integrity was evaluated performing Gray matter analysis with voxel-based morphometry (VBM) and tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). Functional integrity was evaluated with resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI).
RESULTS: Decreased gray matter density was detected in CMTX patients compared to healthy controls in bilateral hippocampus, left thalamus, left postcentral gyrus, left superior parietal lobule, left cerebellum crus I and II, and vermis VI. DTI analysis showed increased fractional anisotropy and radial diffusivity in the right anterior insula and increased axial diffusivity in right cerebellum crus I in CMTX patients. rs-fMRI revealed decreased spontaneous neural activity on left precentral gyrus in patients compared to healthy controls.
CONCLUSION: Advanced magnetic resonance (MR) neuroimaging techniques in CMTX patients revealed structural and functional involvement of multiple motor and extra-motor brain areas. MR neuroimaging techniques have the potential to delineate the CNS phenotype of a peripheral neuropathy like CMTX.
Mentalizing imagery therapy for depressed family dementia caregivers: Feasibility, clinical outcomes and brain connectivity changes
J Affect Disord Rep. 2021 Jul;5:100155. doi: 10.1016/j.jadr.2021.100155. Epub 2021 May 29.
BACKGROUND: Family dementia caregivers experience high rates of depression and anxiety that often go untreated due to time demands. We aimed to determine the feasibility of a brief, 4-week Mentalizing Imagery Therapy intervention, which couples mindfulness with guided imagery practices aimed at bolstering mentalizing capacity, to reduce caregiver psychological symptoms and to explore potential impact on dorsolateral prefrontal cortex connectivity.
METHODS: Twenty-four family dementia caregivers with moderate depression symptoms (a score of 10 in Patient Health Questionnaire-9) were assigned to either group Mentalizing Imagery Therapy (MIT, n = 12) or a waitlist augmented by optional relaxation exercises (n = 12). Participants completed questionnaires to measure depression and anxiety at baseline and followup, and those eligible also underwent resting state functional magnetic resonance (fMRI) brain imaging at these time points.
RESULTS: Eleven of 12 caregivers assigned to MIT completed the intervention and attended weekly groups 98% of the time. MIT home practice logs indicated average practice of 5 ± 2 sessions per week for 23 ± 8 min per session. All participants in waitlist completed the post-assessment. MIT participants exhibited significantly greater improvement than waitlist on self-reported depression and anxiety symptoms (p<.05) after 4 weeks. Neuroimaging results revealed increased dorsolateral prefrontal cortex connectivity with a putative emotion regulation network in the MIT group (p = .05) but not in waitlist (p = 1.0).
LIMITATIONS: Sample size limitations necessitate validation of findings in larger, randomized controlled trials.
CONCLUSIONS: A 4-week group MIT program was feasible for caregivers, with high levels of participation in weekly group meetings and home practice exercises.
Abnormal Topological Network in Parkinson's Disease With Impulse Control Disorders: A Resting-State Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study
Front Neurosci. 2021 Aug 23;15:651710. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2021.651710. eCollection 2021.
In recent years, neuroimaging evidence shows that the brains of Parkinson disease (PD) with impulse control disorders (ICDs) patients have functional disconnection changes. However, so far, it is still unclear whether the topological organization is damaged in PD patients with ICD. In this study, we aimed to explore the functional brain network in 18 patients with PD with ICDs (PD-ICD) and 18 patients with PD without ICDs (PD-nICD) by using functional magnetic resonance imaging and graph theory approach. We found that the PD-ICD patients had increased clustering coefficient and characteristic path length, while decreased small-world index compared with PD-nICD patients. Furthermore, we explored the hypothesis whether the abnormality of the small-world network parameters of PD-ICD patients is accompanied by the change of nodal centrality. As we hypothesized, the nodal centralities of the default mode network, control network, and dorsal attention network were found to be significantly damaged in the PD-ICD group compared with the PD-nICD group. Our study provides more evidence for PD-ICD patients' brain network abnormalities from the perspective of information exchange, which may be the underlying pathophysiological basis of brain abnormalities in PD-ICD patients.
Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Modulates Connectivity of Left Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex with Distributed Cortical Networks
J Cogn Neurosci. 2021 Jun 1;33(7):1381-1395. doi: 10.1162/jocn_a_01725.
Studies have shown that transcranial direct current stimulation increases neuronal excitability of the targeted region and general connectivity of relevant functional networks. However, relatively little is understood of how the stimulation affects the connectivity relationship of the target with regions across the network structure of the brain. Here, we investigated the effects of transcranial direct current stimulation on the functional connectivity of the targeted region using resting-state fMRI scans of the human brain. Anodal direct current stimulation was applied to the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (lDLPFC; cathode on the right bicep), which belongs to the frontoparietal control network (FPCN) and is commonly targeted for neuromodulation of various cognitive functions including short-term memory, long-term memory, and cognitive control. lDLPFC's connectivity characteristics were quantified as graph theory measures, from the resting-state fMRI scans obtained prior to and following the stimulation. Critically, we tested pre- to poststimulation changes of the lDLPFC connectivity metrics following an active versus sham stimulation. We found that the stimulation had two distinct effects on the connectivity of lDLPFC: for Brodmann's area (BA) 9, it increased the functional connectivity between BA 9 and other nodes within the FPCN; for BA 46, net connectivity strength was not altered within FPCN, but connectivity distribution across networks (participation coefficient) was decreased. These findings provide insights that the behavioral changes as the functional consequences of stimulation may come about because of the increased role of lDLPFC in the FPCN.
Mental fatigue correlates with depression of task-related network and augmented DMN activity but spares the reward circuit
Neuroimage. 2021 Sep 5:118532. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2021.118532. Online ahead of print.
Long-lasting and demanding cognitive activity typically leads to mental fatigue (MF). Indirect evidence suggests that MF may be caused by altered motivational processes. Here, we hypothesized that if MF consists in an alteration of motivational states, brain functional changes induced by MF could specifically affect the brain motivation circuit. In order to test this hypothesis, we devised a functional neuroimaging protocol to detect altered brain activity in reward-related brain regions in relation to cognitively induced mental fatigue. Twenty-five healthy participants underwent a FATIGUE and a CONTROL session on different days. In the FATIGUE session, MF was induced by performing a demanding cognitive task (adapted Stroop task) during 90 minutes, whereas in the CONTROL session, participants were asked to read magazines for the same period of time. We measured the neural consequences of the MF induction during a working memory task (Missing Number task) while modulating extrinsic motivation with block-wise variations in monetary reward. We also tracked participants' momentary fatigue, anxiety state and intrinsic motivation prior to and following the MF inducement and measurement. Accuracy on the Missing Number Task was lower in the FATIGUE than in the CONTROL condition. Furthermore, subjective MF, but not its behavioral manifestations, was associated with hypoactivity of the task-evoked neural responses. Importantly, activity in regions modulated by reward showed no differences between FATIGUE and CONTROL sessions. In parallel, subjective MF correlated with increased on-task activity and resting-state functional connectivity in the default mode network. These results indicate that subjective mental fatigue is not associated with altered activity in the brain motivation circuit but rather with hypoactivity in task-specific brain regions as well as relative increases of activity and connectivity in the default mode network during and after the task.
Interspecies activation correlations reveal functional correspondences between marmoset and human brain areas
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Sep 14;118(37):e2110980118. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2110980118.
The common marmoset has enormous promise as a nonhuman primate model of human brain functions. While resting-state functional MRI (fMRI) has provided evidence for a similar organization of marmoset and human cortices, the technique cannot be used to map the functional correspondences of brain regions between species. This limitation can be overcome by movie-driven fMRI (md-fMRI), which has become a popular tool for noninvasively mapping the neural patterns generated by rich and naturalistic stimulation. Here, we used md-fMRI in marmosets and humans to identify whole-brain functional correspondences between the two primate species. In particular, we describe functional correlates for the well-known human face, body, and scene patches in marmosets. We find that these networks have a similar organization in both species, suggesting a largely conserved organization of higher-order visual areas between New World marmoset monkeys and humans. However, while face patches in humans and marmosets were activated by marmoset faces, only human face patches responded to the faces of other animals. Together, the results demonstrate that higher-order visual processing might be a conserved feature between humans and New World marmoset monkeys but that small, potentially important functional differences exist.
Blood pressure, executive function, and network connectivity in middle-aged adults at risk of dementia in late life
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Sep 14;118(37):e2024265118. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2024265118.
Midlife blood pressure is associated with structural brain changes, cognitive decline, and dementia in late life. However, the relationship between early adulthood blood pressure exposure, brain structure and function, and cognitive performance in midlife is not known. A better understanding of these relationships in the preclinical stage may advance our mechanistic understanding of vascular contributions to late-life cognitive decline and dementia and may provide early therapeutic targets. To identify resting-state functional connectivity of executive control networks (ECNs), a group independent components analysis was performed of functional MRI scans of 600 individuals from the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults longitudinal cohort study, with cumulative systolic blood pressure (cSBP) measured at nine visits over the preceding 30 y. Dual regression analysis investigated performance-related connectivity of ECNs in 578 individuals (mean age 55.5 ± 3.6 y, 323 female, 243 Black) with data from the Stroop color-word task of executive function. Greater connectivity of a left ECN to the bilateral anterior gyrus rectus, right posterior orbitofrontal cortex, and nucleus accumbens was associated with better executive control performance on the Stroop. Mediation analyses showed that while the relationship between cSBP and Stroop performance was mediated by white matter hyperintensities (WMH), resting-state connectivity of the ECN mediated the relationship between WMH and executive function. Increased connectivity of the left ECN to regions involved in reward processing appears to compensate for the deleterious effects of WMH on executive function in individuals across the burden of cumulative systolic blood pressure exposure in midlife.
Altered trigeminothalamic spontaneous low-frequency oscillations in migraine without aura: a resting-state fMRI study
BMC Neurol. 2021 Sep 7;21(1):342. doi: 10.1186/s12883-021-02374-7.
BACKGROUND: Recent resting-state fMRI studies demonstrated functional dysconnectivity within the central pain matrix in migraineurs. This study aimed to investigate the spatial distribution and amplitude of low-frequency oscillations (LFOs) using fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (fALFF) analysis in migraine patients without aura, and to examine relationships between regional LFOs and clinical variables.
METHODS: Resting-state fMRI data were obtained and preprocessed in 44 migraine patients without aura and 31 matched controls. fALFF was computed according to the original method, z-transformed for standardization, and compared between migraineurs and controls. Correlation analysis between regional fALFF and clinical variables was performed in migraineurs as well.
RESULTS: Compared with controls, migraineurs had significant fALFF increases in bilateral ventral posteromedial (VPM) thalamus and brainstem encompassing rostral ventromedial medulla (RVM) and trigeminocervical complex (TCC). Regional fALFF values of bilateral VPM thalamus and brainstem positively correlated with disease duration, but not with migraine attack frequency or Migraine Disability Assessment Scale score.
CONCLUSIONS: We have provided evidence for abnormal LFOs in the brainstem including RVM/TCC and thalamic VPM nucleus in migraine without aura, implicating trigeminothalamic network oscillations in migraine pathophysiology. Our results suggest that enhanced LFO activity may underpin the interictal trigeminothalamic dysrhythmia that could contribute to the impairments of pain transmission and modulation in migraine. Given our finding of increasing fALFF in relation to increasing disease duration, the observed trigeminothalamic dysrhythmia may indicate either an inherent pathology leading to migraine headaches or a consequence of repeated attacks on the brain.
Using Multiband Multi-echo Imaging to Improve the Robustness and Repeatability of Co-activation Pattern Analysis for Dynamic Functional Connectivity
Neuroimage. 2021 Sep 4:118555. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2021.118555. Online ahead of print.
Emerging evidence has shown that functional connectivity is dynamic and changes over the course of a scan. Furthermore, connectivity patterns can arise from short periods of co-activation on the order of seconds. Recently, a dynamic co-activation patterns (CAPs) analysis was introduced to examine the co-activation of voxels resulting from individual timepoints. The goal of this study was to apply CAPs analysis on resting state fMRI data collected using an advanced multiband multi-echo (MBME) sequence, in comparison with a multiband (MB) sequence with a single echo. Data from 28 healthy control subjects were examined. Subjects underwent two resting state scans, one MBME and one MB, and 19 subjects returned within two weeks for a repeat scan session. Data preprocessing included advanced denoising namely multi-echo independent component analysis (ME-ICA) for the MBME data and an ICA-based strategy for Automatic Removal of Motion Artifacts (ICA-AROMA) for the MB data. The CAPs analysis was conducted using the newly published TbCAPs toolbox. CAPs were extracted using both seed-based and seed-free approaches. Timepoints were clustered using k-means clustering. The following metrics were compared between MBME and MB datasets: mean activation in each CAP, the spatial correlation and mean squared error (MSE) between each timepoint and the centroid CAP it was assigned to, within-dataset variance across timepoints assigned to the same CAP, and the between-session spatial correlation of each CAP. Co-activation was heightened for MBME data for the majority of CAPs. Spatial correlation and MSE between each timepoint and its assigned centroid CAP were higher and lower respectively for MBME data. The within-dataset variance was also lower for MBME data. Finally, the between-session spatial correlation was higher for MBME data. Overall, our findings suggest that the advanced MBME sequence is a promising avenue for the measurement of dynamic co-activation patterns by increasing the robustness and reproducibility of the CAPs.
Virtual Adversarial Training based Deep Feature Aggregation Network from Dynamic Effective Connectivity for MCI Identification
IEEE Trans Med Imaging. 2021 Sep 7;PP. doi: 10.1109/TMI.2021.3110829. Online ahead of print.
Dynamic functional connectivity (dFC) network inferred from resting-state fMRI reveals macroscopic dynamic neural activity patterns for brain disease identification. However, dFC methods ignore the causal influence between the brain regions. Furthermore, due to the complex non-Euclidean structure of brain networks, advanced deep neural networks are difficult to be applied for learning high-dimensional representations from brain networks. In this paper, a group constrained Kalman filter (gKF) algorithm is proposed to construct dynamic effective connectivity (dEC), where the gKF provides a more comprehensive understanding of the directional interaction within the dynamic brain networks than the dFC methods. Then, a novel virtual adversarial training convolutional neural network (VAT-CNN) is employed to extract the local features of dEC. The VAT strategy improves the robustness of the model to adversarial perturbations, and therefore avoids the overfitting problem effectively. Finally, we propose the high-order connectivity weight-guided graph attention networks (cwGAT) to aggregate features of dEC. By injecting the weight information of high-order connectivity into the attention mechanism, the cwGAT provides more effective high-level feature representations than the conventional GAT. The high-level features generated from the cwGAT are applied for binary classification and multiclass classification tasks of mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Experimental results indicate that the proposed framework achieves the classification accuracy of 90.9%, 89.8%, and 82.7% for normal control (NC) vs. early MCI (EMCI), EMCI vs. late MCI (LMCI), and NC vs. EMCI vs. LMCI classification respectively, outperforming the state-of-the-art methods significantly.
Atypical Integration of Sensory-to-Transmodal Functional Systems Mediates Symptom Severity in Autism
Front Psychiatry. 2021 Aug 20;12:699813. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2021.699813. eCollection 2021.
A notable characteristic of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is co-occurring deficits in low-level sensory processing and high-order social interaction. While there is evidence indicating detrimental cascading effects of sensory anomalies on the high-order cognitive functions in ASD, the exact pathological mechanism underlying their atypical functional interaction across the cortical hierarchy has not been systematically investigated. To address this gap, here we assessed the functional organisation of sensory and motor areas in ASD, and their relationship with subcortical and high-order trandmodal systems. In a resting-state fMRI data of 107 ASD and 113 neurotypical individuals, we applied advanced connectopic mapping to probe functional organization of primary sensory/motor areas, together with targeted seed-based intrinsic functional connectivity (iFC) analyses. In ASD, the connectopic mapping revealed topological anomalies (i.e., excessively more segregated iFC) in the motor and visual areas, the former of which patterns showed association with the symptom severity of restricted and repetitive behaviors. Moreover, the seed-based analysis found diverging patterns of ASD-related connectopathies: decreased iFCs within the sensory/motor areas but increased iFCs between sensory and subcortical structures. While decreased iFCs were also found within the higher-order functional systems, the overall proportion of this anomaly tends to increase along the level of cortical hierarchy, suggesting more dysconnectivity in the higher-order functional networks. Finally, we demonstrated that the association between low-level sensory/motor iFCs and clinical symptoms in ASD was mediated by the high-order transmodal systems, suggesting pathogenic functional interactions along the cortical hierarchy. Findings were largely replicated in the independent dataset. These results highlight that atypical integration of sensory-to-high-order systems contributes to the complex ASD symptomatology.
Abnormal Neural Activity in Different Frequency Bands in Parkinson's Disease With Mild Cognitive Impairment
Front Aging Neurosci. 2021 Aug 20;13:709998. doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2021.709998. eCollection 2021.
Background: Abnormal spontaneous neural activity is often found in patients with Parkinson's disease with mild cognitive impairment (PD-MCI). However, the frequency dependence of neuronal interaction activities, especially the fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (fALFF) and degree centrality (DC), in PD-MCI is still unclear. Thus, this study aimed to explore the frequency dependence of PD-MCI based on fALFF and DC maps. Methods: Twenty-four patients with PD-MCI, 42 PD patients with normal cognition (PD-NC), and 33 healthy controls (HCs) were enrolled. Neuropsychological assessments and resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) were performed. The fALFF and DC values in the conventional, slow4 and slow5 frequency bands were compared among the groups. Results: In the conventional frequency band, the DC value in the left precentral area was decreased in PD-MCI patients, while that in the right fusiform area was increased in PD-NC patients compared with HCs. Regarding fALFFs, both the PD-MCI and PD-NC patients had decreased values in the right precentral area compared with those of the HCs. The fALFFs did not differ between PD-MCI and PD-NC patients. The fALFF results in the slow4 subfrequency band were consistent with those in the conventional frequency band. In the slow5 band, the DC value in the left middle temporal lobe was higher in PD-MCI patients than in PD-NC patients and was positively correlated with the performance of the PD-MCI patients on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA). Additionally, both PD-MCI and PD-NC patients showed lower fALFF values in the bilateral putamen than the HCs, and the fALFF in the bilateral putamen was negatively correlated with the Hoehn and Yahr stages of PD-MCI. The fALFF in the left putamen was negatively correlated with the scores of PD-MCI patients on the Movement Disorder Society-Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale Part III (MDS-UPRDS-III). Conclusion: Our results suggested that abnormal neuronal activities, such as fALFF and DC, are dependent on frequency in PD-MCI. Some subfrequency bands could distinguish PD-MCI from PD. Our findings may be helpful for further revealing the frequency-dependent resting functional disruption in PD-MCI.
Progress of Acupuncture Therapy in Diseases Based on Magnetic Resonance Image Studies: A Literature Review
Front Hum Neurosci. 2021 Aug 20;15:694919. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2021.694919. eCollection 2021.
The neural mechanisms of acupuncture are not well-understood. Over the past decades, an increasing number of studies have used MRI to investigate the response of the brain to acupuncture. The current review aims to provide an update on acupuncture therapy in disease. The PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, and Cochrane Library databases were searched from inception to January 31, 2021. Article selection and data extraction were conducted by two review authors. A total of 107 publications about MRI in acupuncture were included, the collective findings of which were as follows: (1) stroke and GB34 (Yanglingquan) are the most studied disease and acupoint. Related studies suggested that the mechanism of acupuncture treatment for stroke may associate with structural and functional plasticity, left and right hemispheres balance, and activation of brain areas related to movement and cognition. GB34 is mainly used in stroke and Parkinson's disease, which mainly activates brain response in the premotor cortex, the supplementary motor area, and the supramarginal gyrus; (2) resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) and functional connectivity (FC) analysis are the most frequently used approaches; (3) estimates of efficacy and brain response to acupuncture depend on the type of sham acupuncture (SA) used for comparison. Brain processing after acupuncture differs between patients and health controls (HC) and occurs mainly in disorder-related areas. Factors that influence the effect of acupuncture include depth of needling, number and locations of acupoints, and deqi and expectation effect, each contributing to the brain response. While studies using MRI have increased understanding of the mechanism underlying the effects of acupuncture, there is scope for development in this field. Due to the small sample sizes, heterogeneous study designs, and analytical methods, the results were inconsistent. Further studies with larger sample sizes, careful experimental design, multimodal neuroimaging techniques, and standardized methods should be conducted to better explain the efficacy and specificity of acupuncture, and to prepare for accurate efficacy prediction in the future.
Resting state functional connectivity subtypes predict discrete patterns of cognitive-affective functioning across levels of analysis among patients with treatment-resistant depression
Behav Res Ther. 2021 Sep 2;146:103960. doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2021.103960. Online ahead of print.
Resting state functional connectivity (RSFC) in ventral affective (VAN), default mode (DMN) and cognitive control (CCN) networks may partially underlie heterogeneity in depression. The current study used data-driven parsing of RSFC to identify subgroups of patients with treatment-resistant depression (TRD; n = 70) and determine if subgroups generalized to transdiagnostic measures of cognitive-affective functioning relevant to depression (indexed across self-report, behavioral, and molecular levels of analysis). RSFC paths within key networks were characterized using Subgroup-Group Iterative Multiple Model Estimation. Three connectivity-based subgroups emerged: Subgroup A, the largest subset and containing the fewest pathways; Subgroup B, containing unique bidirectional VAN/DMN negative feedback; and Subgroup C, containing the most pathways. Compared to other subgroups, subgroup B was characterized by lower self-reported positive affect and subgroup C by higher self-reported positive affect, greater variability in induced positive affect, worse response inhibition, and reduced striatal tissue iron concentration. RSFC-based categorization revealed three TRD subtypes associated with discrete aberrations in transdiagnostic cognitive-affective functioning that were largely unified across levels of analysis and were maintained after accounting for the variability captured by a disorder-specific measure of depressive symptoms. Findings advance understanding of transdiagnostic brain-behavior heterogeneity in TRD and may inform novel treatment targets for this population.
Causal interactions between the default mode network and central executive network in patients with major depression
Neuroscience. 2021 Sep 3:S0306-4522(21)00448-6. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2021.08.033. Online ahead of print.
Two different but interacting neural systems exist in the human brain: the task positive networks and task negative networks. One of the most important task positive networks is the central executive network (CEN), while the task negative network generally refers to the default mode network (DMN), which usually demonstrates task-induced deactivation. Although previous studies have clearly shown the association of both the CEN and DMN with major depressive disorder (MDD), how the causal interactions between these two networks change in depressed patients remains unclear. In the current study, 99 subjects (43 patients with MDD and 56 healthy controls) were recruited with their resting-state fMRI data collected. After data preprocessing, spectral dynamic causal modeling (spDCM) was used to investigate the causal interactions within and between the DMN and CEN. Group commonalities and differences in causal interaction patterns within and between the CEN and DMN in patients and controls were assessed by a parametric empirical Bayes (PEB) model. Both subject groups demonstrated significant effective connectivity between regions of the CEN and DMN. In particular, we detected inhibitory influences from the CEN to the DMN with node-level PEB analyses, which may help to explain the anticorrelations between these two networks consistently reported in previous studies. Compared with healthy controls, patients with MDD showed increased effective connectivity within the CEN and decreased connectivity from regions of the CEN to DMN, suggesting impaired control of the DMN by the CEN in these patients. These findings might provide new insights into the neural substrates of MDD.
Alteration of regional heterogeneity and functional connectivity for obese undergraduates: evidence from resting-state fMRI
Brain Imaging Behav. 2021 Sep 6. doi: 10.1007/s11682-021-00542-4. Online ahead of print.
Obesity was found to be related with the changes of brain functions in human beings. There were several brain areas that were verified to be correlated with the obesity, including the parietal cortex, frontal cortex and so on. However, the cortical regions found from different studies were discrepant due to the different ages, gender distribution and satiation degree of participants. We found that the regional homogeneity of right angular gyrus were smaller in obese undergraduates than that in normal-weight undergraduates. Moreover, functional connectivity of the left middle temporal cortex and the right angular gyrus were found to be smaller in obese group than that in normal-weight group by setting the right angular gyrus as seed region. In addition, multiple regression analysis suggested that the right superior frontal gyrus and left middle temporal gyrus were significantly correlated with their body mass index for normal-weight undergraduates, but no significant correlation was found for obese group. In summary, these findings indicated the functional changes of the cortex in obese undergraduates, which might be significant for providing imaging-based biomarkers for intervention and therapy of obesity.
J Vis Exp. 2021 Aug 17;(174). doi: 10.3791/60305.
A combined regional homogeneity (ReHo) and functional connectivity (FC) method, a type of noninvasive functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) method, has been used to evaluate synchronous neuronal activity changes in retinitis pigmentosa (RP). The purpose of this study is to describe our method for analysis of intra- and interregional synchronizations of changes in neuronal activity in RP patients. The advantages of the combined ReHo and FC method are that it is both noninvasive and sufficiently sensitive to investigate changes in cerebral synchronous neuronal activity changes in vivo. Here, 16 RP patients and 14 healthy controls closely matched in age, sex, and education underwent resting-state fMRI scans. Two sample t-tests were conducted to compare ReHo and FC across groups. Our results showed that visual network disconnection and reorganization of the retino-thalamocortical pathway and dorsal visual stream occurred in the RP patients. Here, we describe the details of this method, its use, and the impact of its key parameters in a step-by-step manner.