Most recent paper
Front Neurosci. 2022 Aug 1;16:920765. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2022.920765. eCollection 2022.
OBJECTIVE: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a sleep-related breathing disorder with high prevalence and is associated with cognitive impairment. Previous neuroimaging studies have reported abnormal brain functional connectivity (FC) in patients with OSA that might contribute to their neurocognitive impairments. However, it is unclear whether patients with OSA have a characteristic pattern of FC changes that can serve as a neuroimaging biomarker for identifying OSA.
METHODS: A total of 21 patients with OSA and 21 healthy controls (HCs) were included in this study and scanned using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The automated anatomical labeling (AAL) atlas was used to divide the cerebrum into 90 regions, and FC between each pair of regions was calculated. Univariate analyses were then performed to detect abnormal FCs in patients with OSA compared with controls, and multivariate pattern analyses (MVPAs) were applied to classify between patients with OSA and controls.
RESULTS: The univariate comparisons did not detect any significantly altered FC. However, the MVPA showed a successful classification between patients with OSA and controls with an accuracy of 83.33% (p = 0.0001). Furthermore, the selected FCs were associated with nearly all brain regions and widely distributed in the whole brain, both within and between, many resting-state functional networks. Among these selected FCs, 3 were significantly correlated with the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) and 2 were significantly correlated with the percentage of time with the saturation of oxygen (SaO2) below 90% of the total sleep time (%TST < 90%).
CONCLUSION: There existed widespread abnormal FCs in the whole brain in patients with OSA. This aberrant FC pattern has the potential to serve as a neurological biomarker of OSA, highlighting its importance for understanding the complex neural mechanism underlying OSA and its cognitive impairment.
Front Neurosci. 2022 Aug 1;16:953742. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2022.953742. eCollection 2022.
BACKGROUND: Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) is the most common and dominant inherited neuromuscular dystrophy disease in adults, involving multiple organs, including the brain. Although structural measurements showed that DM1 is predominantly associated with white-matter damage, they failed to reveal the dysfunction of the white-matter. Recent studies have demonstrated that the functional activity of white-matter is of great significance and has given us insights into revealing the mechanisms of brain disorders.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Using resting-state fMRI data, we adopted a clustering analysis to identify the white-matter functional networks and calculated functional connectivity between these networks in 16 DM1 patients and 18 healthy controls (HCs). A two-sample t-test was conducted between the two groups. Partial correlation analyzes were performed between the altered white-matter FC and clinical MMSE or HAMD scores.
RESULTS: We identified 13 white-matter functional networks by clustering analysis. These white-matter functional networks can be divided into a three-layer network (superficial, middle, and deep) according to their spatial distribution. Compared to HCs, DM1 patients showed increased FC within intra-layer white-matter and inter-layer white-matter networks. For intra-layer networks, the increased FC was mainly located in the inferior longitudinal fasciculus, prefrontal cortex, and corpus callosum networks. For inter-layer networks, the increased FC of DM1 patients is mainly located in the superior corona radiata and deep networks.
CONCLUSION: Results demonstrated the abnormalities of white-matter functional connectivity in DM1 located in both intra-layer and inter-layer white-matter networks and suggested that the pathophysiology mechanism of DM1 may be related to the white-matter functional dysconnectivity. Furthermore, it may facilitate the treatment development of DM1.
Genetic association of apolipoprotein E genotype with EEG alpha rhythm slowing and functional brain network alterations during normal aging
Front Neurosci. 2022 Aug 1;16:931173. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2022.931173. eCollection 2022.
The ε4 allele of the apolipoprotein E (APOE4+) genotype is a major genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease (AD), but the mechanisms underlying its influence remain incompletely understood. The study aimed to investigate the possible effect of the APOE genotype on spontaneous electroencephalogram (EEG) alpha characteristics, resting-state functional MRI (fMRI) connectivity (rsFC) in large brain networks and the interrelation of alpha rhythm and rsFC characteristics in non-demented adults during aging. We examined the EEG alpha subband's relative power, individual alpha peak frequency (IAPF), and fMRI rsFC in non-demented volunteers (age range 26-79 years) stratified by the APOE genotype. The presence of the APOE4+ genotype was associated with lower IAPF and lower relative power of the 11-13 Hz alpha subbands. The age related decrease in EEG IAPF was more pronounced in the APOE4+ carriers than in the APOE4+ non-carriers (APOE4-). The APOE4+ carriers had a stronger fMRI positive rsFC of the interhemispheric regions of the frontoparietal, lateral visual and salience networks than the APOE4- individuals. In contrast, the negative rsFC in the network between the left hippocampus and the right posterior parietal cortex was reduced in the APOE4+ carriers compared to the non-carriers. Alpha rhythm slowing was associated with the dysfunction of hippocampal networks. Our results show that in adults without dementia APOE4+ genotype is associated with alpha rhythm slowing and that this slowing is age-dependent. Our data suggest predominant alterations of inhibitory processes in large-scale brain network of non-demented APOE4+ carriers. Moreover, dysfunction of large-scale hippocampal network can influence APOE-related alpha rhythm vulnerability.
Front Aging Neurosci. 2022 Aug 1;14:833437. doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2022.833437. eCollection 2022.
PURPOSE: Currently, the underlying neurophysiological mechanism of acute tinnitus is still poorly understood. This study aimed to explore differences in brain functional connectivity (FC) within and between resting-state networks (RSNs) in acute tinnitus patients with hearing loss (ATHL). Furthermore, it also evaluated the correlations between FC alterations and clinical characteristics.
METHODS: Two matched groups of 40 patients and 40 healthy controls (HCs) were included. Independent component analysis (ICA) was employed to obtain RSNs and FC differences were calculated within RSNs. In addition, the relationships between networks were conducted using functional network connectivity (FNC) analysis. Finally, an analysis of correlation was used to evaluate the relationship between FNC abnormalities and clinical data.
RESULTS: Results of this study found that seven major RSNs including the auditory network (AN), cerebellum network (CN), default mode network (DMN), executive control network (ECN), sensorimotor network (SMN), ventral attention network (VAN), and visual network (VN) were extracted using the group ICA in both groups. Furthermore, it was noted that the ATHL group showed aberrant FC within the CN, ECN, and VN as compared with HCs. Moreover, different patterns of network interactions were observed between groups, including the SMN-ECN, SMN-CN, ECN-AN, DMN-VAN, and DMN-CN connections. The correlations between functional disconnection and clinical characteristics in ATHL were also found in this study.
CONCLUSION: In conclusion, this study indicated widespread alterations of intra- and inter-network connectivity in ATHL, suggesting that multiple large-scale network dysfunctions and interactions are involved in the early stage. Furthermore, our findings may provide new perspectives to understand the neuropathophysiological mechanism of acute tinnitus.
Cognitive decline in acoustic neuroma patients: An investigation based on resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging and voxel-based morphometry
Front Psychiatry. 2022 Aug 1;13:968859. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2022.968859. eCollection 2022.
OBJECTIVE: Acoustic neuroma (AN) is a clinically common benign tumor. There are few neuropsychological investigations for AN, especially cognitive neuropsychology. Herein, the study probed into cognitive function changes in AN patients and expounded possible mechanisms through structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Neuropsychological tests were performed between 64 patients with AN and 67 healthy controls. Then, using resting-state fMRI, the possible mechanisms of cognitive decline in AN patients were further explored by calculating the amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (ALFF) and regional homogeneity (ReHo). Furthermore, using high-resolution T1-weighted images, voxel-based morphometry (VBM) was adopted to investigate the changes in gray matter volume (GMV) and white matter volume (WMV) in AN patients.
RESULTS: AN patients had worse cognitive performance than those in the healthy controls. Relative to the healthy individuals, the mALFF value was increased in the right caudate nucleus of the patients with left-sided AN (LAN) and the right rectus region of the patients with right-sided AN (RAN). The mReHo values of the bilateral superior frontal gyrus and middle frontal gyrus were decreased in LAN patients. Compared with healthy subjects, the GMV values were elevated in the left fusiform gyrus, parahippocampal gyrus, calcarine gyrus, and cuneus in LAN patients as well as in the right fusiform gyrus and parahippocampal gyrus in RAN patients. Meanwhile, the WMV values showed elevations in the bilateral putamen, left rectal gyrus, and thalamus in LAN patients.
CONCLUSION: Cognitive dysfunction occurs in AN patients. Cognitive decline in AN patients activates functional activity in some brain regions, thereby compensating for cognition decline. Additionally, the ReHo values were reduced in the frontal lobe in LAN patients, and the connectivity was decreased, affecting the functional differentiation and integration of the brain, which may be associated with the decline in cognitive function. Lateralized brain reorganization induced by unilateral hearing loss was presented in AN patients. LAN caused a more significant interference effect on the brain while RAN patients showed more stable cerebral cortices. Altogether, responding to cognition decline in AN patients, structural reorganization occurs, and compensative increases in cognitive-related brain regions, which compensates for cognitive impairment.
Brain functional connectivity differences between responders and non-responders to sleeve gastrectomy
Neuroradiology. 2022 Aug 18. doi: 10.1007/s00234-022-03043-3. Online ahead of print.
PURPOSE: To compare resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) of obese patients responders or non-responders to sleeve gastrectomy (SG) with a group of obese patients with no past medical history of metabolic or bariatric surgery.
METHODS: MR images were acquired at 1.5 Tesla. Resting-state fMRI data were analyzed with statistical significance threshold set at p < 0.05, family-wise error (FWE) corrected.
RESULTS: Sixty-two subjects were enrolled: 20 controls (age range 25-64; 14 females), 24 responders (excess weight loss > 50%; age range 23-68; 17 females), and 18 non-responders to sleeve gastrectomy (SG) (excess weight loss < 50%; age range 23-67; 13 females). About within-network RSFC, responders showed significantly lower RSFC with respect to both controls and non-responders in the default mode and frontoparietal networks, positively correlating with psychological scores. Non-responders showed significantly higher (p < 0.05, family-wise error (few) corrected) RSFC in regions of the lateral visual network as compared to controls. Regarding between-network RSFC, responders showed significantly higher anti-correlation between executive control and salience networks (p < 0.05, FWE corrected) with respect to both controls and non-responders. Significant positive correlation (Spearman rho = 0.48, p = 0.0012) was found between % of excess weight loss and executive control-salience network RSFC.
CONCLUSION: There are differences in brain functional connectivity in either responders or non-responders patients to SG. The present results offer new insights into the neural correlates of outcome in patients who undergo SG and expand knowledge about neural mechanisms which may be related to surgical response.
Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci. 2022 Aug 17:nsac050. doi: 10.1093/scan/nsac050. Online ahead of print.
Curiosity reflects an individual's intrinsic motivation to seek information in order to close information gaps. In laboratory-based experiments, both curiosity and information seeking have been associated with enhanced neural dynamics in the mesolimbic dopaminergic circuit. However, it is unclear whether curiosity and dopaminergic dynamics drive information seeking in real life. We investigated (i) whether curiosity predicts different characteristics of real-life information seeking and (ii) whether functional connectivity within the mesolimbic dopaminergic circuit is associated with information seeking outside the laboratory. Up to 15 months before the COVID-19 pandemic, curiosity and anxiety questionnaires, and a 10-minute resting-state fMRI session were conducted. In a follow-up survey early during the COVID-19 pandemic, participants repeated the questionnaires and completed an additional questionnaire about their COVID-19-related information seeking. Individual differences in curiosity but not anxiety were positively associated with the frequency of information-seeking behaviour. Additionally, the frequency of information seeking was predicted by individual differences in resting-state functional connectivity between the ventral tegmental area and the nucleus accumbens. The present translational study paves the way for future studies on the role of curiosity in real-life information seeking by showing that both curiosity and mesolimbic dopaminergic functional network support real-life information-seeking behaviour.
Bipolar Disord. 2022 Aug 16. doi: 10.1111/bdi.13248. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Despite homogenous clinical presentations between bipolar and unipolar disorders , there are distinct neurobiological differences. Chronicity of illness may be a factor impacting and sustaining certain neural features. The goal of this study was to investigate common and shared neural mechanisms underlying mood disorders, and possible sustained neural changes relating to illness chronicity by investigating a cohort of euthymic patients with bipolar disorder (BD), unipolar depression who had responded to treatment (treatment-sensitive depression, TSD) and a chronically treatment-resistant depressed (TRD) group.
METHODS: 172 participants (40 BD, 39 TSD, 40 TRD and 53 age-gender matched healthy controls) underwent resting-state fMRI scans. Seed-based and independent component analyses were performed to investigate group differences in resting-state connectivity between the four groups.
RESULTS: All 3 clinical groups had significantly lower connectivity within the frontoparietal network (FPN) relative to controls. TRD and BD were significantly different from TSD (TRD,BD>TSD) but were not significantly different to each other. TRDs were also significantly different from both BD and TSD for salience network connectivity with the posterior cingulate (DMN) and the FPN with frontal pole (DMN). Additionally, the BD group exhibited greater DMN-FPN (sgACC-RDLPFC) connectivity relative to TRD, TSD and controls, which was correlated with previous number of depressive episodes, in the BD group only.
CONCLUSIONS: BD demonstrated shared and differential connectivity features relative to symptomatic TRD and euthymic TSD groups. The increased sgACC-RDLPFC connectivity in BD and its correlation with number of depressive episodes could be a neural feature associated with illness chronicity.
Global multi-center and multi-modal magnetic resonance imaging study of obsessive-compulsive disorder: Harmonization and monitoring of protocols in healthy volunteers and phantoms
Int J Methods Psychiatr Res. 2022 Aug 15:e1931. doi: 10.1002/mpr.1931. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVES: We describe the harmonized MRI acquisition and quality assessment of an ongoing global OCD study, with the aim to translate representative, well-powered neuroimaging findings in neuropsychiatric research to worldwide populations.
METHODS: We report on T1-weighted structural MRI, resting-state functional MRI, and multi-shell diffusion-weighted imaging of 140 healthy participants (28 per site), two traveling controls, and regular phantom scans.
RESULTS: Human image quality measures (IQMs) and outcome measures showed smaller within-site variation than between-site variation. Outcome measures were less variable than IQMs, especially for the traveling controls. Phantom IQMs were stable regarding geometry, SNR, and mean diffusivity, while fMRI fluctuation was more variable between sites.
CONCLUSIONS: Variation in IQMs persists, even for an a priori harmonized data acquisition protocol, but after pre-processing they have less of an impact on the outcome measures. Continuous monitoring IQMs per site is valuable to detect potential artifacts and outliers. The inclusion of both cases and healthy participants at each site remains mandatory.
Alterations of Regional Homogeneity in Parkinson's Disease: A Resting-State Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) Study
Cureus. 2022 Jul 12;14(7):e26797. doi: 10.7759/cureus.26797. eCollection 2022 Jul.
Objective The objective of this study is to investigate the regional homogeneity (ReHo) of spontaneous brain activities in Parkinson's disease (PD) patients. Methods In total, 20 PD patients and 20 matched normal controls (NCs) participants were recruited for this study. The regional homogeneity (ReHo) approach based on resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging on a 3T MRI system was used to investigate local brain activity. We examined activity in two frequency bands, slow-4 (0.027-0.073 Hz) and slow-5 (0.010-0.027 Hz). Two-sample t-tests were used to determine the between-group differences in the ReHo data. Pearson correlation analysis was used to explore the relationships between the ReHo values and clinical indices in PD patients. Results Compared with NCs, PD patients showed decreased ReHo values in the right middle occipital gyrus, right cuneus, and left superior occipital gyrus, and increased ReHo values in the right middle frontal gyrus in slow-4. PD patients showed decreased ReHo values in the right calcarine, left calcarine, and right precentral gyrus compared with NCs in slow-5. Correlation analysis showed that disease duration was negatively correlated with ReHo values in the right precentral gyrus in PD patients. Conclusions These results indicate that several brain regions were altered in PD patients. The regions are associated with the visual network-related cortex, motor cortex, and default mode network. The findings provide new insights into the neuropathophysiology of PD.
Precision dynamical mapping using topological data analysis reveals a hub-like transition state at rest
Nat Commun. 2022 Aug 15;13(1):4791. doi: 10.1038/s41467-022-32381-2.
In the absence of external stimuli, neural activity continuously evolves from one configuration to another. Whether these transitions or explorations follow some underlying arrangement or lack a predictable ordered plan remains to be determined. Here, using fMRI data from highly sampled individuals (~5 hours of resting-state data per individual), we aimed to reveal the rules that govern transitions in brain activity at rest. Our Topological Data Analysis based Mapper approach characterized a highly visited transition state of the brain that acts as a switch between different neural configurations to organize the spontaneous brain activity. Further, while the transition state was characterized by a uniform representation of canonical resting-state networks (RSNs), the periphery of the landscape was dominated by a subject-specific combination of RSNs. Altogether, we revealed rules or principles that organize spontaneous brain activity using a precision dynamics approach.
The fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations signals related to amyloid uptake in high-risk populations-A pilot fMRI study
Front Aging Neurosci. 2022 Jul 29;14:956222. doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2022.956222. eCollection 2022.
BACKGROUND: Patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and subjective cognitive decline (SCD) have a higher risk to develop Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Resting-state-functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) was used to document neurological involvement in the two groups from the aspect of brain dysfunction. Accumulation of amyloid-β (Aβ) starts decades ago before the onset of clinical symptoms and may already have been associated with brain function in high-risk populations. However, this study aims to compare the patterns of fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (fALFF) maps between cognitively normal high-risk groups (SCD and T2DM) and healthy elderly and evaluate the association between regional amyloid deposition and local fALFF signals in certain cortical regions.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 18 T2DM, 11 SCD, and 18 healthy elderlies were included in this study. The differences in the fALFF maps were compared between HC and high-risk groups. Regional amyloid deposition and local fALFF signals were obtained and further correlated in two high-risk groups.
RESULTS: Compared to HC, the altered fALFF signals of regions were shown in SCD such as the left posterior cerebellum, left putamen, and cingulate gyrus. The T2DM group illustrated altered neural activity in the superior temporal gyrus, supplementary motor area, and precentral gyrus. The correlation between fALFF signals and amyloid deposition was negative in the left anterior cingulate cortex for both groups. In the T2DM group, a positive correlation was shown in the right occipital lobe and left mesial temporal lobe.
CONCLUSION: The altered fALFF signals were demonstrated in high-risk groups compared to HC. Very early amyloid deposition in SCD and T2DM groups was observed to affect the neural activity mainly involved in the default mode network (DMN).
Aberrant Functional Connectivity of the Orbitofrontal Cortex Is Associated With Excited Symptoms in First-Episode Drug-Naïve Patients With Schizophrenia
Front Psychiatry. 2022 Jul 28;13:922272. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2022.922272. eCollection 2022.
BACKGROUND: Schizophrenia (SZ) is associated with the highest disability rate among serious mental disorders. Excited symptoms are the core symptoms of SZ, which appear in the early stage, followed by other stages of the disease subsequently. These symptoms are destructive and more prone to violent attacks, posing a serious economic burden to the society. Abnormal spontaneous activity in the orbitofrontal cortex had been reported to be associated with excited symptoms in patients with SZ. However, whether the abnormality appears in first-episode drug-naïve patients with SZ has still remained elusive.
METHODS: A total of 56 first-episode drug-naïve patients with SZ and 27 healthy controls underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) and positive and negative syndrome scale (PANSS). First, differences in fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (fALFF) between first-episode drug-naïve patients with SZ and healthy controls were examined to identify cerebral regions exhibiting abnormal local spontaneous activity. Based on the fALFF results, the resting-state functional connectivity analysis was performed to determine changes in cerebral regions exhibiting abnormal local spontaneous activity. Finally, the correlation between abnormal functional connectivity and exciting symptoms was analyzed.
RESULTS: Compared with the healthy controls, first-episode drug-naïve patients with SZ showed a significant decrease in intrinsic activity in the bilateral precentral gyrus, bilateral postcentral gyrus, and the left orbitofrontal cortex. In addition, first-episode drug-naïve patients with SZ had significantly reduced functional connectivity values between the left orbitofrontal cortex and several cerebral regions, which were mainly distributed in the bilateral postcentral gyrus, the right middle frontal gyrus, bilateral paracentral lobules, the left precentral gyrus, and the right median cingulate. Further analyses showed that the functional connectivity between the left orbitofrontal cortex and the left postcentral gyrus, as well as bilateral paracentral lobules, was negatively correlated with excited symptoms in first-episode drug-naïve patients with SZ.
CONCLUSION: Our results indicated the important role of the left orbitofrontal cortex in first-episode drug-naïve patients with SZ and suggested that the abnormal spontaneous activity of the orbitofrontal cortex may be valuable to predict the occurrence of excited symptoms. These results may provide a new direction to explore the excited symptoms of SZ.
Simultaneous electroencephalography-functional magnetic resonance imaging for assessment of human brain function
Front Syst Neurosci. 2022 Jul 28;16:934266. doi: 10.3389/fnsys.2022.934266. eCollection 2022.
Electroencephalography (EEG) and functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) have long been used as tools to examine brain activity. Since both methods are very sensitive to changes of synaptic activity, simultaneous recording of EEG and fMRI can provide both high temporal and spatial resolution. Therefore, the two modalities are now integrated into a hybrid tool, EEG-fMRI, which encapsulates the useful properties of the two. Among other benefits, EEG-fMRI can contribute to a better understanding of brain connectivity and networks. This review lays its focus on the methodologies applied in performing EEG-fMRI studies, namely techniques used for the recording of EEG inside the scanner, artifact removal, and statistical analysis of the fMRI signal. We will investigate simultaneous resting-state and task-based EEG-fMRI studies and discuss their clinical and technological perspectives. Moreover, it is established that the brain regions affected by a task-based neural activity might not be limited to the regions in which they have been initiated. Advanced methods can help reveal the regions responsible for or affected by a developed neural network. Therefore, we have also looked into studies related to characterization of structure and dynamics of brain networks. The reviewed literature suggests that EEG-fMRI can provide valuable complementary information about brain neural networks and functions.
Cereb Cortex. 2022 Aug 13:bhac293. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhac293. Online ahead of print.
Brain cartography has expanded substantially over the past decade. In this regard, resting-state functional connectivity (FC) plays a key role in identifying the locations of putative functional borders. However, scant attention has been paid to the dynamic nature of functional interactions in the human brain. Indeed, FC is typically assumed to be stationary across time, which may obscure potential or subtle functional boundaries, particularly in regions with high flexibility and adaptability. In this study, we developed a dynamic FC (dFC)-based parcellation framework, established a new functional human brain atlas termed D-BFA (DFC-based Brain Functional Atlas), and verified its neurophysiological plausibility by stereo-EEG data. As the first dFC-based whole-brain atlas, the proposed D-BFA delineates finer functional boundaries that cannot be captured by static FC, and is further supported by good correspondence with cytoarchitectonic areas and task activation maps. Moreover, the D-BFA reveals the spatial distribution of dynamic variability across the brain and generates more homogenous parcels compared with most alternative parcellations. Our results demonstrate the superiority and practicability of dFC in brain parcellation, providing a new template to exploit brain topographic organization from a dynamic perspective. The D-BFA will be publicly available for download at https://github.com/sliderplm/D-BFA-618.
Structural and Functional Abnormalities in Parkinson's Disease Based on Voxel-Based Morphometry and Resting-State Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Neurosci Lett. 2022 Aug 10:136835. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2022.136835. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVE: To explore differences in gray matter volume (GMV) and white matter volume (WMV) between patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) and healthy controls, and to examine whether the structural abnormalities correlate with functional abnormalities.
METHODS: T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) were performed on 180 patients with PD and 58 age- and sex-matched healthy controls. We used voxel-based morphometry (VBM) to compare GMV and WMV between groups, and resting-state fMRI to compare amplitudes of low-frequency fluctuations (ALFF) in the structurally abnormal brain regions.
RESULTS: Structural neuroimaging showed smaller whole-brain GMV, but not WMV, in patients. Furthermore, VBM revealed smaller GMV in the right superior temporal gyrus (STG) and left frontotemporal space in patients, after correction for multiple comparisons. Patients also showed significantly higher ALFF in the right STG. GMV in the right STG and left frontotemporal space in patients correlated negatively with age and scores on Part III of the Movement Disorder Society Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale, but not with PD duration.
CONCLUSIONS: Structural atrophy in the frontotemporal lobe may be a useful imaging biomarker in PD, such as for detecting disease progression. Furthermore, this structural atrophy appears to correlate with enhanced spontaneous brain activity. This study associates particular structural and functional abnormalities with PD neuropathology.
Reproducibility of functional connectivity metrics estimated from resting-state functional MRI with differences in days, coils, and global signal regression
Radiol Phys Technol. 2022 Aug 12. doi: 10.1007/s12194-022-00670-6. Online ahead of print.
In multisite studies, differences in imaging acquisition systems could affect the reproducibility of the results when examining changes in brain function using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI). This is also important for longitudinal studies, in which changes in equipment settings can occur. This study examined the reproducibility of functional connectivity (FC) metrics estimated from rs-fMRI data acquired using scanner receiver coils with different numbers of channels. This study involved 80 rs-fMRI datasets from 20 healthy volunteers scanned in two independent imaging sessions using both 12- and 32-channel coils for each session. We used independent component analysis (ICA) to evaluate the FC of canonical resting-state networks (RSNs) and graph theory to calculate several whole-brain network metrics. The effect of global signal regression (GSR) as a preprocessing step was also considered. Comparisons within and between receiver coils were performed. Irrespective of the GSR, RSNs derived from rs-fMRI data acquired using the same receiver coil were reproducible, but not from different receiver coils. However, both the GSR and the channel count of the receiver coil have discernible effects on the reproducibility of network metrics estimated using whole-brain network analysis. The data acquired using the 32-channel coil tended to have better reproducibility than those acquired using the 12-channel coil. Our findings suggest that the reproducibility of FC metrics estimated from rs-fMRI data acquired using different receiver coils showed some level of dependence on the preprocessing method and the type of analysis performed.
The altered intrinsic functional connectivity after acupuncture at shenmen (HT7) in acute sleep deprivation
Front Neurol. 2022 Jul 26;13:947379. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2022.947379. eCollection 2022.
INTRODUCTION: Accumulating evidence has shown that acupuncture could significantly improve the sleep quality and cognitive function of individuals suffering from insufficient sleep. Numerous animal studies have confirmed the effects and mechanisms of acupuncture on acute sleep deprivation (SD). However, the role of acupuncture on individuals after acute SD remains unclear.
METHODS: In the current study, we recruited 30 healthy subjects with regular sleep. All subjects received resting-state fMRI scans during the rested wakefulness (RW) state and after 24 h of total SD. The scan after 24 h of total SD included two resting-state fMRI sessions before and after needling at Shenmen (HT7). Both edge-based and large-scale network FCs were calculated.
RESULTS: The edge-based results showed the suprathreshold edges with abnormal between-network FC involving all paired networks except somatosensory motor network (SMN)-SCN between the SD and RW state, while both decreased and increased between-network FC of edges involving all paired networks except frontoparietal network (FPN)-subcortical network (SCN) between before and after acupuncture at HT7. Compared with the RW state, the large-scale brain network results showed decreased between-network FC in SMN-Default Mode Network (DMN), SMN-FPN, and SMN-ventral attention network (VAN), and increased between-network FC in Dorsal Attention Network (DAN)-VAN, DAN-SMN between the RW state and after 24 h of total SD. After acupuncture at HT7, the large-scale brain network results showed decreased between-network FC in DAN-VAN and increased between-network FC in SMN-VAN.
CONCLUSION: Acupuncture could widely modulate extensive brain networks and reverse the specific between-network FC. The altered FC after acupuncture at HT7 may provide new evidence to interpret neuroimaging mechanisms of the acupuncture effect on acute SD.
Altered functional connectivity within default mode network after rupture of anterior communicating artery aneurysm
Front Aging Neurosci. 2022 Jul 25;14:905453. doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2022.905453. eCollection 2022.
BACKGROUND: Rupture of anterior communicating artery (ACoA) aneurysm often leads to cognitive impairment, especially memory complaints. The medial superior frontal gyrus (SFGmed), a node of the default mode network (DMN), has been extensively revealed to participate in various cognitive processes. However, the functional connectivity (FC) characteristics of SFGmed and its relationship with cognitive performance remain unknown after the rupture of the ACoA aneurysm.
METHODS: Resting-state functional MRI (fMRI) and cognitive assessment were acquired in 27 eligible patients and 20 controls. Seed-based FC between unilateral SFGmed and the rest of the brain was calculated separately, and then compared their intensity differences between the two groups. Furthermore, we analyzed the correlation between abnormal FC and cognitive function in patients with ruptured ACoA aneurysm.
RESULTS: Cognitive impairment was confirmed in 51.9% of the patients. Compared with the controls, patients suffering from ruptured ACoA aneurysm exhibited a similar FC decline between each side of SFGmed and predominant nodes within DMN, including the precuneus, angular gyrus, cingulate cortex, left hippocampus, left amygdala, left temporal pole (TPO), and left medial orbitofrontal cortex (mOFC). Besides, significantly decreased FC of left SFGmed and left insula, right middle temporal gyrus (MTG), as well as right mOFC, were also found. In addition, only enhanced insular connectivity with right SFGmed was determined, whereas increased FC of the left SFGmed was not observed. Correlation analyses showed that lower total cognitive performance or stronger subjective memory complaints were related to reduced connectivity in the SFGmed and several cortical regions such as the angular gyrus and middle cingulate cortex (MCC).
CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that patients with ruptured ACoA aneurysm exist long-term cognitive impairment and intrinsic hypoconnectivity of cognition-related brain regions within DMN. Deactivation of DMN may be a potential neural mechanism leading to cognitive deficits in these patients.
Reconfiguration of Functional Dynamics in Cortico-Thalamo-Cerebellar Circuit in Schizophrenia Following High-Frequency Repeated Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
Front Hum Neurosci. 2022 Jul 25;16:928315. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2022.928315. eCollection 2022.
Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness characterized by a disconnection between brain regions. Transcranial magnetic stimulation is a non-invasive brain intervention technique that can be used as a new and safe treatment option for patients with schizophrenia with drug-refractory symptoms, such as negative symptoms and cognitive impairment. However, the therapeutic effects of transcranial magnetic stimulation remain unclear and would be investigated using non-invasive tools, such as functional connectivity (FC). A longitudinal design was adopted to investigate the alteration in FC dynamics using a dynamic functional connectivity (dFC) approach in patients with schizophrenia following high-frequency repeated transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) with the target at the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). Two groups of schizophrenia inpatients were recruited. One group received a 4-week high-frequency rTMS together with antipsychotic drugs (TSZ, n = 27), while the other group only received antipsychotic drugs (DSZ, n = 26). Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and psychiatric symptoms were obtained from the patients with schizophrenia twice at baseline (t1) and after 4-week treatment (t2). The dynamics was evaluated using voxel- and region-wise FC temporal variability resulting from fMRI data. The pattern classification technique was used to verify the clinical application value of FC temporal variability. For the voxel-wise FC temporary variability, the repeated measures ANCOVA analysis showed significant treatment × time interaction effects on the FC temporary variability between the left DLPFC and several regions, including the thalamus, cerebellum, precuneus, and precentral gyrus, which are mainly located within the cortico-thalamo-cerebellar circuit (CTCC). For the ROI-wise FC temporary variability, our results found a significant interaction effect on the FC among CTCC. rTMS intervention led to a reduced FC temporary variability. In addition, higher alteration in FC temporal variability between left DLPFC and right posterior parietal thalamus predicted a higher remission ratio of negative symptom scores, indicating that the decrease of FC temporal variability between the brain regions was associated with the remission of schizophrenia severity. The support vector regression (SVR) results suggested that the baseline pattern of FC temporary variability between the regions in CTCC could predict the efficacy of high-frequency rTMS intervention on negative symptoms in schizophrenia. These findings confirm the potential relationship between the reduction in whole-brain functional dynamics induced by high-frequency rTMS and the improvement in psychiatric scores, suggesting that high-frequency rTMS affects psychiatric symptoms by coordinating the heterogeneity of activity between the brain regions. Future studies would examine the clinical utility of using functional dynamics patterns between specific brain regions as a biomarker to predict the treatment response of high-frequency rTMS.