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Using connectivity-based real-time fMRI neurofeedback to modulate attentional and resting state networks in people with high trait anxiety.

Wed, 02/12/2020 - 20:37
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Using connectivity-based real-time fMRI neurofeedback to modulate attentional and resting state networks in people with high trait anxiety.

Neuroimage Clin. 2020 Jan 23;25:102191

Authors: Morgenroth E, Saviola F, Gilleen J, Allen B, Lührs M, W Eysenck M, Allen P

Abstract
High levels of trait anxiety are associated with impaired attentional control, changes in brain activity during attentional control tasks and altered network resting state functional connectivity (RSFC). Specifically, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex to anterior cingulate cortex (DLPFC - ACC) functional connectivity, thought to be crucial for effective and efficient attentional control, is reduced in high trait anxious individuals. The current study examined the potential of connectivity-based real-time functional magnetic imaging neurofeedback (rt-fMRI-nf) for enhancing DLPFC - ACC functional connectivity in trait anxious individuals. We specifically tested if changes in DLPFC - ACC connectivity were associated with reduced anxiety levels and improved attentional control. Thirty-two high trait anxious participants were assigned to either an experimental group (EG), undergoing veridical rt-fMRI-nf, or a control group (CG) that received sham (yoked) feedback. RSFC (using resting state fMRI), anxiety levels and Stroop task performance were assessed pre- and post-rt-fMRI-nf training. Post-rt-fMRI-nf training, relative to the CG, the EG showed reduced anxiety levels and increased DLPFC-ACC functional connectivity as well as increased RSFC in the posterior default mode network. Moreover, in the EG, changes in DLPFC - ACC functional connectivity during rt-fMRI-nf training were associated with reduced anxiety levels. However, there were no group differences in Stroop task performance. We conclude that rt-fMRI-nf targeting DLPFC - ACC functional connectivity can alter network connectivity and interactions and is a feasible method for reducing trait anxiety.

PMID: 32044712 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Hormone levels are related to functional compensation in prolactinomas: A resting-state fMRI study.

Wed, 02/12/2020 - 20:37
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Hormone levels are related to functional compensation in prolactinomas: A resting-state fMRI study.

J Neurol Sci. 2020 Feb 01;411:116720

Authors: Yao S, Lin P, Vera M, Akter F, Zhang RY, Zeng A, Golby AJ, Xu G, Tie Y, Song J

Abstract
Prolactinomas are tumors of the pituitary gland, which overproduces prolactin leading to dramatic fluctuations of endogenous hormone levels throughout the body. While it is not fully understood how endogenous hormone disorders affect a patient's brain, it is well known that fluctuating hormone levels can have negative neuropsychological effects. Using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI), we investigated whole-brain functional connectivity (FC) and its relationship with hormone levels in prolactinomas. By performing seed-based FC analyses, we compared FC metrics between 33 prolactinoma patients and 31 healthy controls matched for age, sex, and hand dominance. We then carried out a partial correlation analysis to examine the relationship between FC metrics and hormone levels. Compared to healthy controls, prolactinoma patients showed significantly increased thalamocortical and cerebellar-cerebral FC. Endogenous hormone levels were also positively correlated with increased FC metrics, and these hormone-FC relationships exhibited sex differences in prolactinoma patients. Our study is the first to reveal altered FC patterns in prolactinomas and to quantify the hormone-FC relationships. These results indicate the importance of endogenous hormones on functional compensation of the brain in patients with prolactinomas.

PMID: 32044686 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Abnormal functional connectivity of habenula in untreated patients with first-episode major depressive disorder.

Wed, 02/12/2020 - 20:37
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Abnormal functional connectivity of habenula in untreated patients with first-episode major depressive disorder.

Psychiatry Res. 2020 Jan 31;285:112837

Authors: Wu Z, Wang C, Ma Z, Pang M, Wu Y, Zhang N, Zhong Y

Abstract
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is associated with abnormalities in emotional/cognitive processing and low reward sensitivity. The habenula has a pivotal role in these processes that may contribute to depression. However, there has been little research on the abnormal connectivity between the habenula and whole brain of first-onset MDD. We aimed to explore the differences of functional connectivity between patients and healthy controls using functional magnetic resonance imaging. We used seed-based resting-state fMRI to examine functional connectivity between the habenula and whole-brain in 49 first-episode depressive patients and 25 healthy controls. Compared to controls, patients with MDD demonstrated significant increases in functional connectivity between the habenula and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC). Furthermore, the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve proved that connectivity between the habenula and dlPFC was highly predictive. Additionally, there was a positive correlation between Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAMD) score and functional connectivity between the habenula and right dlPFC. We found that the aberrant functional connectivity to the habenula and dlPFC can distinguish MDD patients from the normal.

PMID: 32044600 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Prospective motion correction of fMRI: Improving the quality of resting state data affected by large head motion.

Wed, 02/12/2020 - 20:37
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Prospective motion correction of fMRI: Improving the quality of resting state data affected by large head motion.

Neuroimage. 2020 Feb 07;:116594

Authors: Maziero D, Rondinoni C, Marins T, Stenger VA, Ernst T

Abstract
The quality of functional MRI (fMRI) data is affected by head motion. It has been shown that fMRI data quality can be improved by prospectively updating the gradients and radio-frequency pulses in response to head motion during image acquisition by using an MR-compatible optical tracking system (prospective motion correction, or PMC). Recent studies showed that PMC improves the temporal Signal to Noise Ratio (tSNR) of resting state fMRI data (rs-fMRI) acquired from subjects not moving intentionally. Besides that, the time courses of Independent Components (ICs), resulting from Independent Component Analysis (ICA), were found to present significant temporal correlation with the motion parameters recorded by the camera. However, the benefits of applying PMC for improving the quality of rs-fMRI acquired under large head movements and its effects on resting state networks (RSN) and connectivity matrices are still unknown. In this study, subjects were instructed to cross their legs at will while rs-fMRI data with and without PMC were acquired, which generated head motion velocities ranging from 4 to 30 mm/s. We also acquired fMRI data without intentional motion. Independent component analysis of rs-fMRI was performed to evaluate IC maps and time courses of RSNs. We also calculated the temporal correlation among different brain regions and generated connectivity matrices for the different motion and PMC conditions. In our results we verified that the crossing leg movements reduced the tSNR of sessions without and with PMC by 45 and 20%, respectively, when compared to sessions without intentional movements. We have verified an interaction between head motion speed and PMC status, showing stronger attenuation of tSNR for acquisitions without PMC than for those with PMC. Additionally, the spatial definition of major RSNs, such as default mode, visual, left and right central executive networks, was improved when PMC was enabled. Furthermore, motion altered IC-time courses by decreasing power at low frequencies and increasing power at higher frequencies (typically associated with artefacts). PMC partially reversed these alterations of the power spectra. Finally, we showed that PMC provides temporal correlation matrices for data acquired under motion conditions more comparable to those obtained by fMRI sessions where subjects were instructed not to move.

PMID: 32044436 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

The neural basis of executive functioning deficits in adolescents with epilepsy: a resting-state fMRI connectivity study of working memory.

Wed, 02/12/2020 - 20:37
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The neural basis of executive functioning deficits in adolescents with epilepsy: a resting-state fMRI connectivity study of working memory.

Brain Imaging Behav. 2020 Feb 10;:

Authors: Gutierrez-Colina AM, Vannest J, Maloney T, Wade SL, Combs A, Horowitz-Kraus T, Modi AC

Abstract
Working memory deficits are common in youth with epilepsy and consistently associated with long-term negative outcomes. Existing research on the neural basis of working memory disruptions in pediatric epilepsy is limited. The question of whether differences in the functional connectivity of neural networks underlie working memory disruptions in pediatric patients with epilepsy remains unanswered. A total of 49 adolescents between the ages of 13-17 years participated in this study. Twenty-nine adolescents had confirmed epilepsy (n = 17 generalized epilepsy, n = 6 localization-related, n = 6 unclassified). The control group included 20 healthy adolescents. A total of 10-min resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging was obtained for all participants. NeuroSynth-derived regions of interest were used as nodes that comprise working memory neural networks. Group differences in resting state functional connectivity were examined between adolescents with epilepsy and controls. Functional connectivity was computed as the temporal correlation of functional magnetic resonance imaging signal fluctuations between any two regions of interest. Compared to controls, adolescents in the epilepsy group demonstrated both hypoconnectivity and hyperconnectivity in cortical areas that map onto fronto-parietal and cingulo-opercular networks, as well as cerebellar regions. Functional connectivity between pairs of regions of interest was also significantly associated with behavioral measures of working memory across epilepsy and control groups. This study demonstrates that the presence of abnormal patterns in resting state neural network connectivity may underlie the working memory disruptions that frequently characterize the neurocognitive profile of youth with epilepsy.

PMID: 32043232 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Cognitive Impairment and Diminished Neural Responses Constitute a Biomarker Signature of Negative Symptoms in Psychosis.

Wed, 02/12/2020 - 20:37
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Cognitive Impairment and Diminished Neural Responses Constitute a Biomarker Signature of Negative Symptoms in Psychosis.

Schizophr Bull. 2020 Feb 11;:

Authors: Hudgens-Haney ME, Clementz BA, Ivleva EI, Keshavan MS, Pearlson GD, Gershon ES, Keedy SK, Sweeney JA, Gaudoux F, Bunouf P, Canolle B, Tonner F, Gatti-McArthur S, Tamminga CA

Abstract
The treatment of negative symptoms (NS) in psychosis represents an urgent unmet medical need given the significant functional impairment it contributes to psychosis syndromes. The lack of progress in treating NS is impacted by the lack of known pathophysiology or associated quantitative biomarkers, which could provide tools for research. This current analysis investigated potential associations between NS and an extensive battery of behavioral and brain-based biomarkers in 932 psychosis probands from the B-SNIP database. The current analyses examined associations between PANSS-defined NS and (1) cognition, (2) pro-/anti-saccades, (3) evoked and resting-state electroencephalography (EEG), (4) resting-state fMRI, and (5) tractography. Canonical correlation analyses yielded symptom-biomarker constructs separately for each biomarker modality. Biomarker modalities were integrated using canonical discriminant analysis to summarize the symptom-biomarker relationships into a "biomarker signature" for NS. Finally, distinct biomarker profiles for 2 NS domains ("diminished expression" vs "avolition/apathy") were computed using step-wise linear regression. NS were associated with cognitive impairment, diminished EEG response amplitudes, deviant resting-state activity, and oculomotor abnormalities. While a connection between NS and poor cognition has been established, association to neurophysiology is novel, suggesting directions for future mechanistic studies. Each biomarker modality was related to NS in distinct and complex ways, giving NS a rich, interconnected fingerprint and suggesting that any one biomarker modality may not adequately capture the full spectrum of symptomology.

PMID: 32043133 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Questions and controversies in the study of time-varying functional connectivity in resting fMRI.

Wed, 02/12/2020 - 20:37
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Questions and controversies in the study of time-varying functional connectivity in resting fMRI.

Netw Neurosci. 2020;4(1):30-69

Authors: Lurie DJ, Kessler D, Bassett DS, Betzel RF, Breakspear M, Kheilholz S, Kucyi A, Liégeois R, Lindquist MA, McIntosh AR, Poldrack RA, Shine JM, Thompson WH, Bielczyk NZ, Douw L, Kraft D, Miller RL, Muthuraman M, Pasquini L, Razi A, Vidaurre D, Xie H, Calhoun VD

Abstract
The brain is a complex, multiscale dynamical system composed of many interacting regions. Knowledge of the spatiotemporal organization of these interactions is critical for establishing a solid understanding of the brain's functional architecture and the relationship between neural dynamics and cognition in health and disease. The possibility of studying these dynamics through careful analysis of neuroimaging data has catalyzed substantial interest in methods that estimate time-resolved fluctuations in functional connectivity (often referred to as "dynamic" or time-varying functional connectivity; TVFC). At the same time, debates have emerged regarding the application of TVFC analyses to resting fMRI data, and about the statistical validity, physiological origins, and cognitive and behavioral relevance of resting TVFC. These and other unresolved issues complicate interpretation of resting TVFC findings and limit the insights that can be gained from this promising new research area. This article brings together scientists with a variety of perspectives on resting TVFC to review the current literature in light of these issues. We introduce core concepts, define key terms, summarize controversies and open questions, and present a forward-looking perspective on how resting TVFC analyses can be rigorously and productively applied to investigate a wide range of questions in cognitive and systems neuroscience.

PMID: 32043043 [PubMed]

Psychological resilience negatively correlates with resting-state brain network flexibility in young healthy adults: a dynamic functional magnetic resonance imaging study.

Wed, 02/12/2020 - 20:37
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Psychological resilience negatively correlates with resting-state brain network flexibility in young healthy adults: a dynamic functional magnetic resonance imaging study.

Ann Transl Med. 2019 Dec;7(24):809

Authors: Long Y, Chen C, Deng M, Huang X, Tan W, Zhang L, Fan Z, Liu Z

Abstract
Background: Psychological resilience is an important personality trait whose decrease is associated with many common psychiatric disorders, but the neural mechanisms underlying it remain largely unclear. In this study, we aimed to explore the neural correlates of psychological resilience in healthy adults by investigating its relationship with functional brain network flexibility, a fundamental dynamic feature of brain network defined by switching frequency of its modular community structures.
Methods: Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans were acquired from 41 healthy adults, whose psychological resilience was quantified by the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC). Dynamic functional brain network was constructed for each subject, whose flexibility was calculated at all the global, subnetwork and region-of-interest (ROI) levels. After that, the associations between CD-RISC score and brain network flexibility were assessed at all levels by partial correlations controlling for age, sex, education and head motion. Correlation was also tested between the CD-RISC score and modularity of conventional static brain network for comparative purposes.
Results: The CD-RISC score was significant negatively correlated with the brain network flexibility at global level (r=-0.533, P=0.001), and with flexibility of the visual subnetwork at subnetwork level (r=-0.576, corrected P=0.002). Moreover, significant (corrected P<0.05) or trends for (corrected P<0.10) negative correlations were found between the CD-RISC score and flexibilities of a number of visual and default-mode areas at ROI level. Meanwhile, the modularity of static brain network did not reveal significant correlation with CD-RISC score (P>0.05).
Conclusions: Our results suggest that excessive fluctuations of the functional brain community structures during rest may be indicative of a lower psychological resilience, and the visual and default-mode systems may play crucial roles in such relationship. These findings may provide important implications for improving our understanding of the psychological resilience.

PMID: 32042825 [PubMed]

Evaluation of the brain functional activities in rats various location-endometriosis pain model.

Wed, 02/12/2020 - 20:37
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Evaluation of the brain functional activities in rats various location-endometriosis pain model.

Ann Transl Med. 2019 Dec;7(23):767

Authors: Zheng P, Mei J, Leng J, Jia S, Gu Z, Chen S, Zhang W, Cheng A, Guo D, Lang J

Abstract
Background: Endometriosis (EM) is a common gynecological disease in women of reproductive age. These patients in approximately 80% suffer the various degree pain. This study will investigate synergistically the mechanism of the higher-position central sensitization and offer a pre-clinical experiment evidence for treatment of various location-EM patients with pain.
Methods: Twenty Sprague-Dawley rats were induced three types EM including abdominal EM (n=5), gastrocnemius EM (n=5) and ovary EM group (n=5) and one sham control group (n=5). All groups were measured the pain sensitization by hotplate test, then scanned by the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The resting-state fMRI (rs-fMRI) date was analyzed using regional homogeneity (ReHo) approach to find out the abnormal functional activity brain regions. Nissl staining method observed the state of neurons in aberrant ReHo signal brain regions.
Results: Rats with EM pain sensitization were increased in abdominal EM and gastrocnemius EM than ovary EM group and sham control. The ReHo value is decreased in gastrocnemius EM in right thalamus and left olfactory tubercle compared with other three groups. The number of neurons was decreased; cavitation around nucleus, and pyknotic homogenous nuclei. Nissl bodies were stained deeply, and the shape was irregular in gastrocnemius EM by Nissl staining in right thalamus. In left olfactory tubercle, there was no significant difference in 4 groups.
Conclusions: The thalamus may be the potential key brain region for the central sensitization mechanism of various location-EM pain. The oxidative activation may be weakened in thalamus in gastrocnemius EM group with more severe pain. This finding could lend support for future research on the imageology and pathology of various location-EM pain.

PMID: 32042783 [PubMed]

Animal Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging: Trends and Path Toward Standardization.

Wed, 02/12/2020 - 02:29
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Animal Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging: Trends and Path Toward Standardization.

Front Neuroinform. 2019;13:78

Authors: Mandino F, Cerri DH, Garin CM, Straathof M, van Tilborg GAF, Chakravarty MM, Dhenain M, Dijkhuizen RM, Gozzi A, Hess A, Keilholz SD, Lerch JP, Shih YI, Grandjean J

Abstract
Animal whole-brain functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) provides a non-invasive window into brain activity. A collection of associated methods aims to replicate observations made in humans and to identify the mechanisms underlying the distributed neuronal activity in the healthy and disordered brain. Animal fMRI studies have developed rapidly over the past years, fueled by the development of resting-state fMRI connectivity and genetically encoded neuromodulatory tools. Yet, comparisons between sites remain hampered by lack of standardization. Recently, we highlighted that mouse resting-state functional connectivity converges across centers, although large discrepancies in sensitivity and specificity remained. Here, we explore past and present trends within the animal fMRI community and highlight critical aspects in study design, data acquisition, and post-processing operations, that may affect the results and influence the comparability between studies. We also suggest practices aimed to promote the adoption of standards within the community and improve between-lab reproducibility. The implementation of standardized animal neuroimaging protocols will facilitate animal population imaging efforts as well as meta-analysis and replication studies, the gold standards in evidence-based science.

PMID: 32038217 [PubMed]

Comparing Cyclicity Analysis With Pre-established Functional Connectivity Methods to Identify Individuals and Subject Groups Using Resting State fMRI.

Wed, 02/12/2020 - 02:29
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Comparing Cyclicity Analysis With Pre-established Functional Connectivity Methods to Identify Individuals and Subject Groups Using Resting State fMRI.

Front Comput Neurosci. 2019;13:94

Authors: Shahsavarani S, Abraham IT, Zimmerman BJ, Baryshnikov YM, Husain FT

Abstract
The resting state fMRI time series appears to have cyclic patterns, which indicates presence of cyclic interactions between different brain regions. Such interactions are not easily captured by pre-established resting state functional connectivity methods including zero-lag correlation, lagged correlation, and dynamic time warping distance. These methods formulate the functional interaction between different brain regions as similar temporal patterns within the time series. To use information related to temporal ordering, cyclicity analysis has been introduced to capture pairwise interactions between multiple time series. In this study, we compared the efficacy of cyclicity analysis with aforementioned similarity-based techniques in representing individual-level and group-level information. Additionally, we investigated how filtering and global signal regression interacted with these techniques. We obtained and analyzed fMRI data from patients with tinnitus and neurotypical controls at two different days, a week apart. For both patient and control groups, we found that the features generated by cyclicity and correlation (zero-lag and lagged) analyses were more reliable than the features generated by dynamic time warping distance in identifying individuals across visits. The reliability of all features, except those generated by dynamic time warping, improved as the global signal was regressed. Nevertheless, removing fluctuations >0.1 Hz deteriorated the reliability of all features. These observations underscore the importance of choosing appropriate preprocessing steps while evaluating different analytical methods in describing resting state functional interactivity. Further, using different machine learning techniques including support vector machines, discriminant analyses, and convolutional neural networks, our results revealed that the manifestation of the group-level information within all features was not sufficient enough to dissociate tinnitus patients from controls with high sensitivity and specificity. This necessitates further investigation regarding the representation of group-level information within different features to better identify tinnitus-related alternation in the functional organization of the brain. Our study adds to the growing body of research on developing diagnostic tools to identify neurological disorders, such as tinnitus, using resting state fMRI data.

PMID: 32038211 [PubMed]

Revealing Changes in Brain Functional Networks Caused by Focused-Attention Meditation Using Tucker3 Clustering.

Wed, 02/12/2020 - 02:29
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Revealing Changes in Brain Functional Networks Caused by Focused-Attention Meditation Using Tucker3 Clustering.

Front Hum Neurosci. 2019;13:473

Authors: Miyoshi T, Tanioka K, Yamamoto S, Yadohisa H, Hiroyasu T, Hiwa S

Abstract
This study examines the effects of focused-attention meditation on functional brain states in novice meditators. There are a number of feature metrics for functional brain states, such as functional connectivity, graph theoretical metrics, and amplitude of low frequency fluctuation (ALFF). It is necessary to choose appropriate metrics and also to specify the region of interests (ROIs) from a number of brain regions. Here, we use a Tucker3 clustering method, which simultaneously selects the feature vectors (graph theoretical metrics and fractional ALFF) and the ROIs that can discriminate between resting and meditative states based on the characteristics of the given data. In this study, breath-counting meditation, one of the most popular forms of focused-attention meditation, was used and brain activities during resting and meditation states were measured by functional magnetic resonance imaging. The results indicated that the clustering coefficients of the eight brain regions, Frontal Inf Oper L, Occipital Inf R, ParaHippocampal R, Cerebellum 10 R, Cingulum Mid R, Cerebellum Crus1 L, Occipital Inf L, and Paracentral Lobule R increased through the meditation. Our study also provided the framework of data-driven brain functional analysis and confirmed its effectiveness on analyzing neural basis of focused-attention meditation.

PMID: 32038204 [PubMed]

Sex Effect on Presurgical Language Mapping in Patients With a Brain Tumor.

Wed, 02/12/2020 - 02:29
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Sex Effect on Presurgical Language Mapping in Patients With a Brain Tumor.

Front Neurosci. 2020;14:4

Authors: Yao S, Liebenthal E, Juvekar P, Bunevicius A, Vera M, Rigolo L, Golby AJ, Tie Y

Abstract
Differences between males and females in brain development and in the organization and hemispheric lateralization of brain functions have been described, including in language. Sex differences in language organization may have important implications for language mapping performed to assess, and minimize neurosurgical risk to, language function. This study examined the effect of sex on the activation and functional connectivity of the brain, measured with presurgical functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) language mapping in patients with a brain tumor. We carried out a retrospective analysis of data from neurosurgical patients treated at our institution who met the criteria of pathological diagnosis (malignant brain tumor), tumor location (left hemisphere), and fMRI paradigms [sentence completion (SC); antonym generation (AG); and resting-state fMRI (rs-fMRI)]. Forty-seven patients (22 females, mean age = 56.0 years) were included in the study. Across the SC and AG tasks, females relative to males showed greater activation in limited areas, including the left inferior frontal gyrus classically associated with language. In contrast, males relative to females showed greater activation in extended areas beyond the classic language network, including the supplementary motor area (SMA) and precentral gyrus. The rs-fMRI functional connectivity of the left SMA in the females was stronger with inferior temporal pole (TP) areas, and in the males with several midline areas. The findings are overall consistent with theories of greater reliance on specialized language areas in females relative to males, and generalized brain areas in males relative to females, for language function. Importantly, the findings suggest that sex could affect fMRI language mapping. Thus, considering sex as a variable in presurgical language mapping merits further investigation.

PMID: 32038154 [PubMed]

Functional network connectivity in early-stage schizophrenia.

Wed, 02/12/2020 - 02:29
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Functional network connectivity in early-stage schizophrenia.

Schizophr Res. 2020 Feb 06;:

Authors: Hummer TA, Yung MG, Goñi J, Conroy SK, Francis MM, Mehdiyoun NF, Breier A

Abstract
Schizophrenia is a disorder of altered neural connections resulting in impaired information integration. Whole brain assessment of within- and between-network connections may determine how information processing is disrupted in schizophrenia. Patients with early-stage schizophrenia (n = 56) and a matched control sample (n = 32) underwent resting-state fMRI scans. Gray matter regions were organized into nine distinct functional networks. Functional connectivity was calculated between 278 gray matter regions for each subject. Network connectivity properties were defined by the mean and variance of correlations of all regions. Whole-brain network measures of global efficiency (reflecting overall interconnectedness) and locations of hubs (key regions for communication) were also determined. The control sample had greater connectivity between the following network pairs: somatomotor-limbic, somatomotor-default mode, dorsal attention-default mode, ventral attention-limbic, and ventral attention-default mode. The patient sample had greater variance in interactions between ventral attention network and other functional networks. Illness duration was associated with overall increases in the variability of network connections. The control group had higher global efficiency and more hubs in the cerebellum network, while patient group hubs were more common in visual, frontoparietal, or subcortical networks. Thus, reduced functional connectivity in patients was largely present between distinct networks, rather than within-networks. The implications of these findings for the pathophysiology of schizophrenia are discussed.

PMID: 32037204 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Cerebral functional activity and connectivity changes in anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor encephalitis: A resting-state fMRI study.

Mon, 02/10/2020 - 23:28
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Cerebral functional activity and connectivity changes in anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor encephalitis: A resting-state fMRI study.

Neuroimage Clin. 2020 Jan 23;25:102189

Authors: Cai L, Liang Y, Huang H, Zhou X, Zheng J

Abstract
BACKGROUND: Anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) encephalitis showing severe neuropsychiatric symptoms is the most common type of autoimmune encephalitis. However, the corresponding standard clinical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) presents normal or atypical in the majority of patients with anti-NMDAR encephalitis. Here, this study aimed to investigate the alterations in brain functional activity in patients with anti-NMDAR encephalitis and whether these alterations contributed to cognition and mood disorders.
METHODS: Seventeen patients with anti-NMDAR encephalitis and eighteen gender, age and education-matched healthy controls were recruited. All participants underwent neuropsychological tests (including Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), Hamilton Anxiety Scale (HAMA), and Hamilton Depression Scale (HAMD24)) and resting-state functional MRI. MRI data was firstly analyzed by amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (ALFF), and brain regions with altered ALFF between groups were selected as regions of interest for the further functional connectivity (FC) analysis. Correlation analyses were performed to investigate the associations between brain dysfunction and neuropsychological performance.
RESULTS: Relative to the healthy controls, patients with anti-NMDAR encephalitis performed inferiorly in the MoCA score, and showed anxiety and depression disorders with higher HAMA and HAMD24 scores (all p < 0.05). In the brain functional activity analysis, the patients showed decreased ALFF values in the bilateral posterior cingulate gyrus, left precuneus, and bilateral cerebellum (false- discovery- rate corrected, p < 0.05). Furthermore, relative to the control group, the patients showed significantly increased FC between the left posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) and the bilateral lingual gyrus, right calcarine, right cuneus, also between the right PCC and the right fusiform gyrus, bilateral lingual gyrus, left calcarine, left cuneus, and right posterior central gyrus (false- discovery- rate corrected, p < 0.05). FC strength between the left posterior cingulate gyrus and right cuneus, and between the right posterior cingulate gyrus and left cuneus were both positively correlated with MoCA memory scores (r = 0.485, p = 0.048; r = 0.550, p = 0.022).
CONCLUSION: The present study highlight that decreased spontaneous neural activities and abnormal FC exhibited in the patients with anti-NMDAR encephalitis, which may participate in the process of cognition and emotion deficits. These results may help to elucidate the clinical radiological contradictions in anti-NMDAR encephalitis and contribute to deeper understanding of the pathophysiological mechanism of the disease.

PMID: 32036276 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

The relationship of genetic susceptibilities for psychosis with physiological fluctuation in functional MRI data.

Mon, 02/10/2020 - 02:27
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The relationship of genetic susceptibilities for psychosis with physiological fluctuation in functional MRI data.

Psychiatry Res Neuroimaging. 2020 Jan 25;297:111031

Authors: Saarinen A, Lieslehto J, Kiviniemi V, Tuovinen T, Veijola J, Hintsanen M

Abstract
Previously, schizophrenia is found to be related to the variability of the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) signal in the white matter. However, evidence about the relationship between genetic vulnerabilities and physiological fluctuation in the brain is lacking. We investigated whether familial risk for psychosis (FR) and polygenic risk score for schizophrenia (PRS) are linked with physiological fluctuation in fMRI data. We used data from the Oulu Brain and Mind study (n = 140-149, aged 20-24 years) that is a substudy of the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1986. The participants underwent a resting-state fMRI scan. Coefficient of variation (CV) of blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signal (CVBOLD) was used as a proxy of physiological fluctuation in the brain. Familial risk was defined to be present if at least one parent had been diagnosed with psychosis previously. PRS was computed based on the results of the prior GWAS by the Schizophrenia Working Group. FR or PRS were not associated with CVBOLD in cerebrospinal fluid, white matter, or grey matter. The findings did not provide evidence for the previous suggestions that genetic vulnerabilities for schizophrenia become apparent in alterations of the variation of the BOLD signal in the brain.

PMID: 32035357 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Resting-State Functional Connectivity of the Anterior Cingulate Cortex in Young Adults Depressed Patients with and without Suicidal Behavior.

Mon, 02/10/2020 - 02:27
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Resting-State Functional Connectivity of the Anterior Cingulate Cortex in Young Adults Depressed Patients with and without Suicidal Behavior.

Behav Brain Res. 2020 Feb 05;:112544

Authors: Qiu H, Cao B, Cao J, Li X, Chen J, Wang W, Lv Z, Zhang S, Fang W, Ai M, Kuang L

Abstract
Functional alterations in the subregions of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) have been observed in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). Studies have shown that higher depressive symptoms are associated with altered functional connectivity (FC) in different ACC sub-regions. Suicide is highly prevalent in patients with MDD; however, it is unclear whether suicidal behavior is associated with the FC alterations in the subregions of the ACC in these indibiduals. Seventy-six patients with MDD (41 with and 35 without a history of suicidal behavior) underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and were assessed using the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAMD), the Scale for Suicide Ideation (SSI), and the Columbia Scale for Rating of Suicide Severity. We investigated the FC between the ACC subregions and other brain regions in young MDD patients with and without a history of suicidal behavior. The FC in the subregions of the ACC-superior frontal gyrus differed significantly between the two groups. Additionally, the anterior sgACC-right caudate FC and the pgACC-left insula FC were found to be abnormal in the suicidal MDD group. Interestingly, the suicidal ideation score positively correlated with decreased FC in the pgACC-superior frontal gyrus in both groups, but it negatively correlated with increased FC in the anterior sgACC-superior frontal gyrus in the non-suicidal MDD group. Our findings indicate that altered connections of subregions in the ACC may be involved in the neurological mechanisms underlying suicide in young adults with MDD.

PMID: 32035184 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

The association between resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging and aortic pulse-wave velocity in healthy adults.

Mon, 02/10/2020 - 02:27
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The association between resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging and aortic pulse-wave velocity in healthy adults.

Hum Brain Mapp. 2020 Feb 07;:

Authors: Hussein A, Matthews JL, Syme C, Macgowan C, MacIntosh BJ, Shirzadi Z, Pausova Z, Paus T, Chen JJ

Abstract
Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) is frequently used to study brain function; but, it is unclear whether BOLD-signal fluctuation amplitude and functional connectivity are associated with vascular factors, and how vascular-health factors are reflected in rs-fMRI metrics in the healthy population. As arterial stiffening is a known age-related cardiovascular risk factor, we investigated the associations between aortic stiffening (as measured using pulse-wave velocity [PWV]) and rs-fMRI metrics. We used cardiac MRI to measure aortic PWV (an established indicator of whole-body vascular stiffness), as well as dual-echo pseudo-continuous arterial-spin labeling to measure BOLD and CBF dynamics simultaneously in a group of generally healthy adults. We found that: (1) higher aortic PWV is associated with lower variance in the resting-state BOLD signal; (2) higher PWV is also associated with lower BOLD-based resting-state functional connectivity; (3) regions showing lower connectivity do not fully overlap with those showing lower BOLD variance with higher PWV; (4) CBF signal variance is a significant mediator of the above findings, only when averaged across regions-of-interest. Furthermore, we found no significant association between BOLD signal variance and systolic blood pressure, which is also a known predictor of vascular stiffness. Age-related vascular stiffness, as measured by PWV, provides a unique scenario to demonstrate the extent of vascular bias in rs-fMRI signal fluctuations and functional connectivity. These findings suggest that a substantial portion of age-related rs-fMRI differences may be driven by vascular effects rather than directly by brain function.

PMID: 32034832 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Human lateral Frontal Pole contributes to control over emotional approach-avoidance actions.

Mon, 02/10/2020 - 02:27
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Human lateral Frontal Pole contributes to control over emotional approach-avoidance actions.

J Neurosci. 2020 Feb 06;:

Authors: Bramson B, Folloni D, Verhagen L, Hartogsveld B, Mars RB, Toni I, Roelofs K

Abstract
Regulation of emotional behavior is essential for human social interactions. Recent work has exposed its cognitive complexity, as well as its unexpected reliance on portions of the anterior prefrontal cortex (aPFC) also involved in exploration, relational reasoning, and counterfactual choice, rather than on dorsolateral and medial prefrontal areas involved in several forms of cognitive control. This study anatomically qualifies the contribution of aPFC territories to the regulation of prepotent approach-avoidance action-tendencies elicited by emotional faces, and explores a possible structural pathway through which this emotional action regulation might be implemented.We provide converging evidence from task-based fMRI, diffusion-weighted imaging, and functional connectivity fingerprints for a novel neural element in emotional regulation. Task-based fMRI in human male participants (N = 40) performing an emotional approach-avoidance task identified aPFC territories involved in the regulation of action-tendencies elicited by emotional faces. Connectivity fingerprints, based on diffusion-weighted imaging and resting-state connectivity, localized those task-defined frontal regions to the lateral frontal pole (FPl), an anatomically-defined portion of the aPFC that lacks a homologous counterpart in macaque brains. Probabilistic tractography indicated that 10-20% of inter-individual variation in emotional regulation abilities is accounted for by the strength of structural connectivity between FPl and amygdala. Evidence from an independent replication sample (N = 50; 10 females) further substantiated this result. These findings provide novel neuroanatomical evidence for incorporating FPl in models of control over human action-tendencies elicited by emotional faces.Significance statementSuccessful regulation of emotional behaviors is a prerequisite for successful participation in human society, as is evidenced by the social isolation and loss of occupational opportunities often encountered by people suffering from emotion-regulation disorders such as social-anxiety disorder and psychopathy. Knowledge about the precise cortical regions and connections supporting this control is crucial for understanding both the nature of computations needed to successfully traverse the space of possible actions in social situations, and the potential interventions that might result in efficient treatment of social-emotional disorders. This study provides evidence for a precise cortical region (FPl) and a structural pathway (the ventral amygdalofugal bundle) through which a cognitively complex form of emotional action regulation might be implemented in the human brain.

PMID: 32034069 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Preliminary Report on the Effects of a Low Dose of LSD on Resting-State Amygdala Functional Connectivity.

Mon, 02/10/2020 - 02:27
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Preliminary Report on the Effects of a Low Dose of LSD on Resting-State Amygdala Functional Connectivity.

Biol Psychiatry Cogn Neurosci Neuroimaging. 2019 Dec 20;:

Authors: Bershad AK, Preller KH, Lee R, Keedy S, Wren-Jarvis J, Bremmer MP, de Wit H

Abstract
BACKGROUND: The practice of "microdosing," or the use of repeated, very low doses of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) to improve mood or cognition, has received considerable public attention, but empirical studies are lacking. Controlled studies are needed to investigate both the therapeutic potential and the neurobiological underpinnings of this pharmacologic treatment.
METHODS: The present study was designed to examine the effects of a single low dose of LSD (13 μg) versus placebo on resting-state functional connectivity and cerebral blood flow in healthy young adults. Twenty men and women, 18 to 35 years old, participated in 2 functional magnetic resonance imaging scanning sessions in which they received placebo or LSD under double-blind conditions. During each session, the participants completed drug effect and mood questionnaires, and physiological measures were recorded. During expected peak drug effect, they underwent resting-state blood oxygen level-dependent and arterial spin labeling scans. Cerebral blood flow as well as amygdala and thalamic connectivity were analyzed.
RESULTS: LSD increased amygdala seed-based connectivity with the right angular gyrus, right middle frontal gyrus, and the cerebellum, and decreased amygdala connectivity with the left and right postcentral gyrus and the superior temporal gyrus. This low dose of LSD had weak and variable effects on mood, but its effects on positive mood were positively correlated with the increase in amygdala-middle frontal gyrus connectivity strength.
CONCLUSIONS: These preliminary findings show that a very low dose of LSD, which produces negligible subjective changes, alters brain connectivity in limbic circuits. Additional studies, especially with repeated dosing, will reveal whether these neural changes are related to the drug's purported antidepressant effect.

PMID: 32033922 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]