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Development of lateral pulvinar resting state functional connectivity and its role in attention.

Tue, 01/26/2021 - 19:00
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Development of lateral pulvinar resting state functional connectivity and its role in attention.

Cortex. 2020 Dec 24;136:77-88

Authors: Huang AW, Barber AD

Abstract
OBJECTIVE: The lateral pulvinar nucleus (LPN) has a well-established role in visual attention. Oscillatory activity of the LPN is critical for cortico-cortical communication within and among occipital and temporal visual processing regions. However, the functional development of the LPN and its role in attention deficits is not understood. This study examined the development of thalamic functional connectivity and its relation to attention abilities.
METHOD: Resting state functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging images from 950 participants (ages 8-21) in the Philadelphia Neurodevelopmental Cohort (PNC) were used to examine age effects. Follow-up General Linear Models were performed to examine brain-behavior effects with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) symptom ratings and D-prime scores from the Penn Continuous Performance Task, a behavioral measure of selective attention.
RESULTS: LPN functional connectivity with ventral visual stream regions of the occipital and temporal cortices decreased with age, while LPN functional connectivity with the supplementary motor area increased with age. Weaker LPN connectivity in the inferior parietal lobule, supramarginal gyrus, posterior insula, and inferior frontal gyrus was associated with more ADHD symptoms; stronger pulvinar-cerebellar connectivity was also associated with more ADHD symptoms. Better D-prime scores were associated with greater connectivity between the pulvinar and superior parietal gyrus; better D-prime scores were associated with weaker pulvinar connectivity with striatal, middle temporal gyrus, and medial prefrontal cortex regions.
CONCLUSION: These findings implicate the LPN in the development of the ventral visual processing stream between late childhood and early adulthood and suggest that LPN connectivity with higher order attention networks is important for attention abilities.

PMID: 33486158 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Temporal complexity of fMRI is reproducible and correlates with higher order cognition.

Tue, 01/26/2021 - 19:00
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Temporal complexity of fMRI is reproducible and correlates with higher order cognition.

Neuroimage. 2021 Jan 21;:117760

Authors: Omidvarnia A, Zalesky A, Mansour S, Van De Ville D, Jackson GD, Pedersen M

Abstract
It has been hypothesized that resting state networks (RSNs) likely display unique temporal complexity fingerprints, quantified by their multi-scale entropy patterns McDonough and Nashiro (2014). This is a hypothesis with a potential capacity for developing digital biomarkers of normal brain function, as well as pathological brain dysfunction. Nevertheless, a limitation of McDonough and Nashiro (2014) was that resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rsfMRI) data from only 20 healthy individuals was used for the analysis. To validate this hypothesis in a larger cohort, we used rsfMRI datasets of 1000 healthy young adults from the Human Connectome Project (HCP), aged 22-35, each with four 14.4-minute rsfMRI recordings and parcellated into 379 brain regions. We quantified multi-scale entropy of rsfMRI time series averaged at different cortical and sub-cortical regions. We performed effect-size analysis on the data in 8 RSNs. Given that the morphology of multi-scale entropy is affected by the choice of its tolerance parameter (r) and embedding dimension (m), we repeated the analyses at multiple values of r and m including the values used in McDonough and Nashiro (2014). Our results reinforced high temporal complexity in the default mode and frontoparietal networks. Lowest temporal complexity was observed in the sub-cortical areas and limbic system. We investigated the effect of temporal resolution (determined by the repetition time TR) after downsampling of rsfMRI time series at two rates. At a low temporal resolution, we observed increased entropy and variance across datasets. Test-retest analysis showed that findings were likely reproducible across individuals over four rsfMRI runs, especially when the tolerance parameter r is equal to 0.5. The results confirmed that the relationship between functional brain connectivity strengths and rsfMRI temporal complexity changes over time scales. Finally, a significant relationship was observed between temporal complexity of RSNs and fluid intelligence (people's capacity to reason and think flexibly) suggesting that complex dynamics of the human brain is an important attribute of high-level brain function..

PMID: 33486124 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Changes in the Amplitude of Low-Frequency Fluctuation in Patients With Lifelong Premature Ejaculation by Resting-State Functional MRI.

Mon, 01/25/2021 - 00:57
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Changes in the Amplitude of Low-Frequency Fluctuation in Patients With Lifelong Premature Ejaculation by Resting-State Functional MRI.

Sex Med. 2021 Jan 20;9(1):100287

Authors: Yubo M, Lianjia H, Cuiping M, Liandong Z, Le L, Meijuan S, Ziming W, Xintao H, Jun Z

Abstract
INTRODUCTION: Dapoxetine is considered a first-line treatment for patients with lifelong premature ejaculation (PE), and current researches have showed with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) that patients with lifelong PE might have abnormal brain function, but differences in brain function before and after administration have not been reported.
AIM: The aim of this study was to determine some objective differences in brain function between patients with lifelong PE before and after administration and healthy individuals.
METHODS: In this study, 17 patients with lifelong PE and 11 healthy controls underwent clinical assessments and resting-state fMRI examination. After 4 weeks of treatment with dapoxetine 30 mg as needed, patients with PE underwent the same fMRI examination again 3 hours after dapoxetine administration.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: The data were preprocessed using a data processing assistant for resting-state fMRI, and voxelwise amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (ALFF) maps was calculated to identify abnormal neural activity in the brain.
RESULTS: (a) The ALFF of patients with PE was significantly lower in the bilateral hippocampus and thalamus and higher in the left fusiform and lingual gyrus than that of healthy controls; (b) decreased and increased ALFF in patients with PE recovered after dapoxetine administration.
CONCLUSION: We preliminarily identified the relevant sites by analyzing changes in the ALFF in patients with lifelong PE. Analyzing ALFF changes in the brain by resting-state fMRI is an effective method to study PE, and it might provide a reference for disease diagnosis and future research. M Yubo, H Lianjia, M Cuiping, et al. Changes in the Amplitude of Low-Frequency Fluctuation in Patients With Lifelong Premature Ejaculation by Resting-State Functional MRI. Sex Med 2020;XX:XXX-XXX.

PMID: 33485114 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Increased links between language and motor areas: A proof-of-concept study on resting-state functional connectivity following Personalized Observation, Execution and Mental imagery therapy in chronic aphasia.

Mon, 01/25/2021 - 00:57
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Increased links between language and motor areas: A proof-of-concept study on resting-state functional connectivity following Personalized Observation, Execution and Mental imagery therapy in chronic aphasia.

Brain Cogn. 2021 Jan 20;148:105659

Authors: Durand E, Masson-Trottier M, Sontheimer A, Ansaldo AI

Abstract
A tight coupling of language and motor processes has been established, which is consistent with embodied cognition theory. However, very few therapies have been designed to exploit the synergy between motor and language processes to help rehabilitate people with aphasia (PWA). Moreover, the underlying mechanisms supporting the efficacy of such approaches remain unknown. Previous work in our laboratory has demonstrated that personalized observation, execution, and mental imagery therapy (POEM)-a new therapy using three sensorimotor strategies to trigger action verb naming-leads to significant improvements in verb retrieval in PWA. Moreover, these improvements were supported by significant activations in language and sensorimotor processing areas, which further reinforce the role of both processes in language recovery (Durand et al., 2018). The present study investigates resting state functional connectivity (rsFC) changes following POEM in a pre-/post-POEM therapy design. A whole brain network functional connectivity approach was used to assess and describe changes in rsFC in a group of four PWA, who were matched and compared with four healthy controls (HC). Results showed increased rsFC in PWA within and between visuo-motor and language areas (right cuneal cortex-left supracalcarin (SCC) cortex/right precentral gyrus (PreCG)-left lingual gyrus (LG)) and between areas involved in action processing (right anterior parahippocampal gyrus (aPaHC)-left superior parietal lobule (SPL). In comparison to HC, the PWA group showed increased rsFC between the right inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) and left thalamus, which are areas involved in lexico-semantic processing. This proof-of-concept study suggests that the sensorimotor and language strategies used in POEM may induce modifications in large-scale networks, probably derived from the integration of visual and sensorimotor systems to sustain action naming, which is consistent with the embodied cognition theory.

PMID: 33485051 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Cognitive impairment in Parkinson's disease is associated with Default Mode Network subsystem connectivity and cerebrospinal fluid Aβ.

Mon, 01/25/2021 - 00:57
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Cognitive impairment in Parkinson's disease is associated with Default Mode Network subsystem connectivity and cerebrospinal fluid Aβ.

Parkinsonism Relat Disord. 2021 Jan 12;83:71-78

Authors: Zarifkar P, Kim J, La C, Zhang K, YorkWilliams S, Levine TF, Tian L, Borghammer P, Poston KL

Abstract
INTRODUCTION: To identify clinically implementable biomarkers of cognitive impairment in Parkinson's Disease (PD) derived from resting state-functional MRI (rs-fMRI) and CSF protein analysis.
METHODS: In this single-center longitudinal cohort study, we analyzed rs-fMRI and CSF biomarkers from 50 PD patients (23 cognitively normal, 18 mild cognitive impairment, 9 dementia) and 19 controls, who completed comprehensive neuropsychological testing. A subgroup of participants returned for follow-up cognitive assessments three years later. From rs-fMRI, we studied the connectivity within two distinct Default Mode Network subsystems: left-to-right hippocampus (LHC-RHC) and medial prefrontal cortex-to-posterior cingulate cortex (mPFC-PCC). We used regression analyses to determine whether imaging (LHC-RHC, mPFC-PCC), clinical (CSF Aβ-42:40, disease duration), and demographic (age, sex, education) variables were associated with global and domain-specific cognitive impairments.
RESULTS: LHC-RHC (F3,67 = 3.41,p=0.023) and CSF Aβ-42:40 (χ2(3) = 8.77,p = 0.033) were reduced across more cognitively impaired PD groups. Notably, LHC-RHC connectivity was significantly associated with all global and domain-specific cognitive impairments (attention/executive, episodic memory, visuospatial, and language) at the baseline visit. In an exploratory longitudinal analysis, mPFC-PCC was associated with future global and episodic memory impairment.
CONCLUSION: We used biomarker techniques that are readily available in clinical and research facilities to shed light on the pathophysiologic basis of cognitive impairment in PD. Our findings suggest that there is a functionally distinct role of the hippocampal subsystem within the DMN resting state network, and that intrinsic connectivity between the hippocampi is critically related to a broad range of cognitive functions in PD.

PMID: 33484978 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Altered power spectra in antisocial males during rest as a function of cocaine dependence: A network analysis.

Mon, 01/25/2021 - 00:57
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Altered power spectra in antisocial males during rest as a function of cocaine dependence: A network analysis.

Psychiatry Res Neuroimaging. 2020 Dec 11;309:111235

Authors: Simard I, Denomme WJ, Shane MS

Abstract
Abnormalities in the spectral power of offenders' neural oscillations have been noted within select Resting-State Networks (RSNs); however, no study has yet evaluated the influence of cocaine dependence, drug use severity, and psychopathic traits on these abnormalities. To this end, the present study compared rest-related power spectral characteristics between two groups of offenders (with and without a DSM-IV-TR cocaine-dependence diagnosis) and a non-offender control group. Results indicated that both offender groups presented with lower low frequency power ratio (LFPR) scores (i.e. across all RSNs) than non-offenders. These differences in LFPR scores were due to both higher high-frequency power (0.15-0.25 Hz; within seven (in non-dependent offenders) and five (in cocaine-dependent offenders) of eight investigated networks) and decreased low-frequency power (0.01-0.10 Hz; within six (in non-dependent offenders) and one (in cocaine-dependent offenders) of eight investigated networks) compared to non-offenders. Thus, both cocaine-dependent and non-dependent offenders displayed abnormal neural oscillations, suggesting that these oscillatory abnormalities could exist as neurobiological features associated with offender status. Offenders' LFPR levels correlated with lifetime years of cocaine use, but not with the level of psychopathic traits. These findings supplement our knowledge regarding the influence of substance use on resting-state activity in offenders; moreover, they provide further indication of the importance of evaluating shared/unique variance associated with drug use and pyschopathic personality traits.

PMID: 33484936 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Graph theoretic analysis reveals intranasal oxytocin induced network changes over frontal regions.

Mon, 01/25/2021 - 00:57
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Graph theoretic analysis reveals intranasal oxytocin induced network changes over frontal regions.

Neuroscience. 2021 Jan 20;:

Authors: Zheng S, Punia D, Wu H, Liu Q

Abstract
In this study, we aim to elucidate how intranasal oxytocin modulates brain network characteristics, especially over the frontal network. As an essential brain hub of social cognition and emotion regulation, we will also explore the association between graphic properties of the frontal network and individual personality traits under oxytocin (OT) administration. 59 male participants administered intranasal OT or placebo were followed by resting-state fMRI scanning. The Correlation-based network model was applied to study OT modulation effects. We performed community detection algorithms and conducted further network analyses, including clustering coefficient, average shortest path and eigenvector centrality. In addition, we conducted a correlation analysis between clustering coefficients and the self-assessed psychological scales. Modular organizations in the OT group reveal integrations of the frontoparietal network (FPN) and the default mode network (DMN) over frontal regions. Results show that frontal nodes within the FPN are characterized by lower clustering coefficients and higher average shortest path values compared to the placebo group. Notably, these modulation effects on frontal network property are associated with Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI) fantasy value. Our results suggest that OT elevates integrations between FPN, DMN and limbic system as well as reduces small-worldness within the FPN. Our results support graph theoretic analysis as a potential tool to assess OT induced effects on the information integration in the frontal network.

PMID: 33484821 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

A Data Driven Approach Reveals That Anomalous Motor System Connectivity is Associated With the Severity of Core Autism Symptoms.

Mon, 01/25/2021 - 00:57
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A Data Driven Approach Reveals That Anomalous Motor System Connectivity is Associated With the Severity of Core Autism Symptoms.

Autism Res. 2021 Jan 22;:

Authors: Lidstone DE, Rochowiak R, Mostofsky SH, Nebel MB

Abstract
This study examined whether disruptions in connectivity involving regions critical for learning, planning, and executing movements are relevant to core autism symptoms. Spatially constrained ICA was performed using resting-state fMRI from 419 children (autism spectrum disorder (ASD) = 105; typically developing (TD) = 314) to identify functional motor subdivisions. Comparing the spatial organization of each subdivision between groups, we found voxels that contributed significantly less to the right posterior cerebellar component in children with ASD versus TD (P <0.001). Next, we examined the effect of diagnosis on right posterior cerebellar connectivity with all other motor subdivisions. The model was significant (P = 0.014) revealing that right posterior cerebellar connectivity with bilateral dorsomedial primary motor cortex was, on average, stronger in children with ASD, while right posterior cerebellar connectivity with left-inferior parietal lobule (IPL), bilateral dorsolateral premotor cortex, and supplementary motor area was stronger in TD children (all P ≤0.02). We observed a diagnosis-by-connectivity interaction such that for children with ASD, elevated social-communicative and excessive repetitive-behavior symptom severity were both associated with right posterior cerebellar-left-IPL hypoconnectivity (P ≤0.001). Right posterior cerebellar and left-IPL are strongly implicated in visuomotor processing with dysfunction in this circuit possibly leading to anomalous development of skills, such as motor imitation, that are crucial for effective social-communication. LAY SUMMARY: This study examines whether communication between various brain regions involved in the control of movement are disrupted in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). We show communication between the right posterior cerebellum and left IPL, a circuit important for efficient visual-motor integration, is disrupted in children with ASD and associated with the severity of ASD symptoms. These results may explain observations of visual-motor integration impairments in children with ASD that are associated with ASD symptom severity.

PMID: 33484109 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

EEG signals respond differently to idea generation, idea evolution and evaluation in a loosely controlled creativity experiment.

Mon, 01/25/2021 - 00:57
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EEG signals respond differently to idea generation, idea evolution and evaluation in a loosely controlled creativity experiment.

Sci Rep. 2021 Jan 22;11(1):2119

Authors: Jia W, Zeng Y

Abstract
Many neurocognitive studies endeavor to understand neural mechanisms of basic creative activities in strictly controlled experiments. However, little evidence is available regarding the neural mechanisms of interactions between basic activities underlying creativity in such experiments. Moreover, strictly controlled experiments might limit flexibility/freedom needed for creative exploration. Thus, this study investigated the whole-brain neuronal networks' interactions between three modes of thinking: idea generation, idea evolution, and evaluation in a loosely controlled creativity experiment. The loosely controlled creativity experiment will provide a degree of flexibility/freedom for participants to incubate creative ideas through extending response time from a few seconds to 3 min. In the experiment, participants accomplished a modified figural Torrance Test of Creative Thinking (TTCT-F) while their EEG signals were recorded. During idea generation, a participant was instructed to complete a sketch that was immediately triggered by a sketch stimulus at first sight. During idea evolution, a participant was instructed to complete a sketch that is radically distinctive from what was immediately triggered by the sketch stimulus. During the evaluation, a participant was instructed to evaluate difficulties of thinking and drawing during idea generation and evolution. It is expected that participants would use their experience to intuitively complete a sketch during idea generation while they could use more divergent and imaginative thinking to complete a possible creative sketch during idea evolution. Such an experimental design is named as a loosely controlled creativity experiment, which offers an approach to studying creativity in an ecologically valid manner. The validity of the loosely controlled creativity experiment could be verified through comparing its findings on phenomena that have been effectively studied by validated experimental research. It was found from our experiment that alpha power decreased significantly from rest to the three modes of thinking. These findings are consistent with that from visual creativity research based on event-related (de)synchronization (ERD/ERS) and task-related power changes (TRP). Specifically, in the lower alpha band (8-10 Hz), the decreases of alpha power were significantly lower over almost the entire scalp during idea evolution compared to the other modes of thinking. This finding indicated that idea evolution requires less general attention demands than the other two modes of thinking since the lower alpha ERD has been reported as being more likely to reflect general task demands such as attentional processes. In the upper alpha band (10-12 Hz), the decreases of alpha power were significantly higher over central sites during the evaluation compared to idea evolution. This finding indicated that evaluation involves more task-specific demands since the upper alpha ERD has been found as being more likely to reflect task-specific demands such as memory and intelligence, as was defined in the literature. In addition, new findings were obtained since the loosely controlled creativity experiment could activate multiple brain networks to accomplish the tasks involving the three modes of thinking. EEG microstate analysis was used to structure the unstructured EEG data to detect the activation of multiple brain networks. Combined EEG-fMRI and EEG source localization studies have indicated that EEG microstate classes are closely associated with the resting-state network as identified using fMRI. It was found that the default mode network was more active during idea evolution compared to the other two modes of thinking, while the cognitive control network was more active during the evaluation compared to the other two modes of thinking. This finding indicated that idea evolution might be more associated with unconscious and internal directed attention processes. Taken together, the loosely controlled creativity experiment with the support of EEG microstate analysis appears to offer an effective approach to investigating the real-world complex creativity activity.

PMID: 33483583 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

A whole-cortex probabilistic diffusion tractography connectome.

Mon, 01/25/2021 - 00:57
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A whole-cortex probabilistic diffusion tractography connectome.

eNeuro. 2021 Jan 14;:

Authors: Rosen BQ, Halgren E

Abstract
The WU-Minn Human Connectome Project (HCP) is a publicly-available dataset containing state-of-art structural, functional, and diffusion-MRI for over a thousand healthy subjects. While the planned scope of the HCP included an anatomical connectome, resting-state functional-MRI forms the bulk of the HCP's current connectomic output. We address this by presenting a full-cortex connectome derived from probabilistic diffusion tractography and organized into the HCP-MMP1.0 atlas. Probabilistic methods and large sample sizes are preferable for whole-connectome mapping as they increase the fidelity of traced low-probability connections. We find that overall, connection strengths are lognormally distributed and decay exponentially with tract length, that connectivity reasonably matches macaque histological tracing in homologous areas, that contralateral homologs and left-lateralized language areas are hyperconnected, and that hierarchical similarity influences connectivity. We compare the diffusion-MRI connectome to existing resting-state fMRI and cortico-cortico evoked potential connectivity matrices and find that it is more similar to the latter. This work helps fulfill the promise of the HCP and will make possible comparisons between the underlying structural connectome and functional connectomes of various modalities, brain states, and clinical conditions.Significance Statement The tracts between cortical parcels can be estimated from diffusion MRI, but most studies concentrate on only the largest connections. Here we present an atlas, the largest and most detailed of its kind, showing connections among all cortical parcels. Connectivity is relatively enhanced between frontotemporal language areas and homologous contralateral locations. We find that connectivity decays with fiber tract distance more slowly than predicted by brain volume and that structural and stimulation-derived connectivity are more similar to each other than to resting-state functional MRI correlations. The connectome presented is publicly available and organized into a commonly used scheme for defining brain areas in order to enable ready comparison to other brain imaging datasets of various modalities.

PMID: 33483325 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Development of the Brain Functional Connectome Follows Puberty-Dependent Nonlinear Trajectories.

Sun, 01/24/2021 - 00:56
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Development of the Brain Functional Connectome Follows Puberty-Dependent Nonlinear Trajectories.

Neuroimage. 2021 Jan 19;:117769

Authors: Gracia-Tabuenca Z, Moreno MB, Barrios FA, Alcauter S

Abstract
Adolescence is a developmental period that dramatically impacts body and behavior, with pubertal hormones playing an important role not only in the morphological changes in the body but also in brain structure and function. Understanding brain development during adolescence has become a priority in neuroscience because it coincides with the onset of many psychiatric and behavioral disorders. However, little is known about how puberty influences the brain functional connectome. In this study, taking a longitudinal human sample of typically developing children and adolescents (of both sexes), we demonstrate that the development of the brain functional connectome better fits pubertal status than chronological age. In particular, centrality, segregation, efficiency, and integration of the brain functional connectome increase after the onset of the pubertal markers. We found that these effects are stronger in attention and task control networks. Lastly, after controlling for this effect, we showed that functional connectivity between these networks is related to better performance in cognitive flexibility. This study points out the importance of considering longitudinal nonlinear trends when exploring developmental trajectories, and emphasizes the impact of puberty on the functional organization of the brain in adolescence.

PMID: 33482398 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Aberrant activity within auditory network is associated with psychiatric comorbidities in interictal migraineurs without aura.

Sun, 01/24/2021 - 00:56
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Aberrant activity within auditory network is associated with psychiatric comorbidities in interictal migraineurs without aura.

Brain Imaging Behav. 2021 Jan 21;:

Authors: Wei HL, Chen YC, Yu YS, Guo X, Zhou GP, Zhou QQ, Qu LJ, Yin X, Li J, Zhang H

Abstract
The present study aimed to explore associations between brain activity in the auditory cortex and clinical and psychiatric characteristics in patients with migraine without aura (MwoA) during interictal periods. Resting-state data were acquired from patients with episodic MwoA (n = 34) and healthy controls (n = 30). Independent component analysis was used to extract and calculate the resting-state auditory network. Subsequently, we analyzed the correlations between spontaneous activity in the auditory cortex and clinical and psychiatric features in interictal MwoA. Compared with healthy controls, patients with MwoA showed increased activity in the left superior temporal gyrus (STG), postcentral gyrus (PoCG) and insula. Brain activity in the left STG was positively correlated with anxiety scores, and activity in the left PoCG was negatively correlated with anxiety and depression scores. No significant differences were found in intracranial volume between the two groups. This study indicated that functional impairment and altered integration linked to the auditory cortex existed in patients with MwoA in the interictal period, suggesting that auditory-associated cortex disruption as a biomarker may be implemented for the early diagnosis and prediction of neuropsychiatric impairment in interictal MwoA patients.

PMID: 33479923 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Prognostic neuroimaging biomarkers of trauma-related psychopathology: resting-state fMRI shortly after trauma predicts future PTSD and depression symptoms in the AURORA study.

Sun, 01/24/2021 - 00:56
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Prognostic neuroimaging biomarkers of trauma-related psychopathology: resting-state fMRI shortly after trauma predicts future PTSD and depression symptoms in the AURORA study.

Neuropsychopharmacology. 2021 Jan 21;:

Authors: Harnett NG, van Rooij SJH, Ely TD, Lebois LAM, Murty VP, Jovanovic T, Hill SB, Dumornay NM, Merker JB, Bruce SE, House SL, Beaudoin FL, An X, Zeng D, Neylan TC, Clifford GD, Linnstaedt SD, Germine LT, Bollen KA, Rauch SL, Lewandowski C, Hendry PL, Sheikh S, Storrow AB, Musey PI, Haran JP, Jones CW, Punches BE, Swor RA, McGrath ME, Pascual JL, Seamon MJ, Mohiuddin K, Chang AM, Pearson C, Peak DA, Domeier RM, Rathlev NK, Sanchez LD, Pietrzak RH, Joormann J, Barch DM, Pizzagalli DA, Sheridan JF, Harte SE, Elliott JM, Kessler RC, Koenen KC, Mclean S, Ressler KJ, Stevens JS

Abstract
Neurobiological markers of future susceptibility to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may facilitate identification of vulnerable individuals in the early aftermath of trauma. Variability in resting-state networks (RSNs), patterns of intrinsic functional connectivity across the brain, has previously been linked to PTSD, and may thus be informative of PTSD susceptibility. The present data are part of an initial analysis from the AURORA study, a longitudinal, multisite study of adverse neuropsychiatric sequalae. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data from 109 recently (i.e., ~2 weeks) traumatized individuals were collected and PTSD and depression symptoms were assessed at 3 months post trauma. We assessed commonly reported RSNs including the default mode network (DMN), central executive network (CEN), and salience network (SN). We also identified a proposed arousal network (AN) composed of a priori brain regions important for PTSD: the amygdala, hippocampus, mamillary bodies, midbrain, and pons. Primary analyses assessed whether variability in functional connectivity at the 2-week imaging timepoint predicted 3-month PTSD symptom severity. Left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) to AN connectivity at 2 weeks post trauma was negatively related to 3-month PTSD symptoms. Further, right inferior temporal gyrus (ITG) to DMN connectivity was positively related to 3-month PTSD symptoms. Both DLPFC-AN and ITG-DMN connectivity also predicted depression symptoms at 3 months. Our results suggest that, following trauma exposure, acutely assessed variability in RSN connectivity was associated with PTSD symptom severity approximately two and a half months later. However, these patterns may reflect general susceptibility to posttraumatic dysfunction as the imaging patterns were not linked to specific disorder symptoms, at least in the subacute/early chronic phase. The present data suggest that assessment of RSNs in the early aftermath of trauma may be informative of susceptibility to posttraumatic dysfunction, with future work needed to understand neural markers of long-term (e.g., 12 months post trauma) dysfunction. Furthermore, these findings are consistent with neural models suggesting that decreased top-down cortico-limbic regulation and increased network-mediated fear generalization may contribute to ongoing dysfunction in the aftermath of trauma.

PMID: 33479509 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Autistic traits and individual brain differences: functional network efficiency reflects attentional and social impairments, structural nodal efficiencies index systemising and theory-of-mind skills.

Sun, 01/24/2021 - 00:56
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Autistic traits and individual brain differences: functional network efficiency reflects attentional and social impairments, structural nodal efficiencies index systemising and theory-of-mind skills.

Mol Autism. 2021 Jan 21;12(1):3

Authors: Paul S, Arora A, Midha R, Vu D, Roy PK, Belmonte MK

Abstract
BACKGROUND: Autism is characterised not only by impaired social cognitive 'empathising' but also by superior rule-based 'systemising'. These cognitive domains intertwine within the categorical diagnosis of autism, yet behavioural genetics suggest largely independent heritability, and separable brain mechanisms. We sought to determine whether quantitative behavioural measures of autistic traits are dimensionally associated with structural and functional brain network integrity, and whether brain bases of autistic traits vary independently across individuals.
METHODS: Thirty right-handed neurotypical adults (12 females) were administered psychometric (Social Responsiveness Scale, Autism Spectrum Quotient and Systemising Quotient) and behavioural (Attention Network Test and theory-of-mind reaction time) measures of autistic traits, and structurally (diffusion tensor imaging) and functionally (500 s of 2 Hz eyes-closed resting fMRI) derived graph-theoretic measures of efficiency of information integration were computed throughout the brain and within subregions.
RESULTS: Social impairment was positively associated with functional efficiency (r = .47, p = .006), globally and within temporo-parietal and prefrontal cortices. Delayed orienting of attention likewise was associated with greater functional efficiency (r = - .46, p = .0133). Systemising was positively associated with global structural efficiency (r = .38, p = 0.018), driven specifically by temporal pole; theory-of-mind reaction time was related to structural efficiency (r = - .40, p = 0.0153) within right supramarginal gyrus.
LIMITATIONS: Interpretation of these relationships is complicated by the many senses of the term 'connectivity', including functional, structural and computational; by the approximation inherent in group functional anatomical parcellations when confronted with individual variation in functional anatomy; and by the validity, sensitivity and specificity of the several survey and experimental behavioural measures applied as correlates of brain structure and function.
CONCLUSIONS: Functional connectivities highlight distributed networks associated with domain-general properties such as attentional orienting and social cognition broadly, associating more impaired behaviour with more efficient brain networks that may reflect heightened feedforward information flow subserving autistic strengths and deficits alike. Structural connectivity results highlight specific anatomical nodes of convergence, reflecting cognitive and neuroanatomical independence of systemising and theory-of-mind. In addition, this work shows that individual differences in theory-of-mind related to brain structure can be measured behaviourally, and offers neuroanatomical evidence to pin down the slippery construct of 'systemising' as the capacity to construct invariant contextual associations.

PMID: 33478557 [PubMed - in process]

The Spontaneous Brain Activity of Disgust: Perspective from Resting State fMRI and Resting State EEG.

Sat, 01/23/2021 - 00:56
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The Spontaneous Brain Activity of Disgust: Perspective from Resting State fMRI and Resting State EEG.

Behav Brain Res. 2021 Jan 18;:113135

Authors: Li Z, Li Y, Li X, Zou F, Wang Y, Wu X, Luo Y, Zhang M

Abstract
In recent years, more and more studies on disgust have shown the association between disgust and various psychopathologies. Revealing the spontaneous brain activity patterns associated with disgust sensitivity from the perspective of individual differences will give us an insight into the neurologic nature of disgust and its psychopathological vulnerability. Here, we used two modal brain imaging techniques (resting fMRI and resting EEG) to reveal spontaneous brain activity patterns closely related to disgust sensitivity. The amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation results showed that disgust sensitivity is negatively correlated with the spontaneous activity of the right cerebellum crus II and positively correlated with the spontaneous activity of the right superior frontal cortex, which are inhibition-related brain regions. Furthermore, the microstate results of rest EEG indicated that the corrected duration, occurrence rate, and contribution of Class C, which is related to the anterior default mode network and is considered to be related to subjective representation of one' own body by combining interoceptive information with affective salience, were significantly positively correlated with the disgust sensitivity level. This data-driven approach provides the first evidence on the intrinsic brain features of disgust sensitivity based on two resting-state brain modalities. The results represent an initial effort to uncover the neurological basis of disgust sensitivity and its connection to psychopathology.

PMID: 33476686 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Alterations in Resting-State Functional Brain Connectivity and Correlations with Vestibular/Ocular-Motor Screening Measures in Postconcussion Vestibular Dysfunction.

Sat, 01/23/2021 - 00:56
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Alterations in Resting-State Functional Brain Connectivity and Correlations with Vestibular/Ocular-Motor Screening Measures in Postconcussion Vestibular Dysfunction.

J Neuroimaging. 2021 Jan 21;:

Authors: Trofimova A, Smith JL, Ahluwalia V, Hurtado J, Gore RK, Allen JW

Abstract
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Vestibular symptoms after concussion are common and associated with protracted recovery. The purpose of this study is to define resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) brain connectivity alterations in patients with postconcussion vestibular dysfunction (PCVD) and correlations between rs-fMRI connectivity and symptoms provoked during Vestibular/Ocular-Motor Screening (VOMS) assessment.
METHODS: Prospective IRB approved study.
STUDY GROUP: 12 subjects with subacute PCVD (2-10 weeks); control group: 10 age-matched subjects without history of concussion or vestibular impairment. Both groups underwent clinical vestibular assessment. rs-fMRI was acquired on 3.0T Siemens Trio with a 12-channel head coil. rs-fMRI data analysis included independent component analysis-based functional connectivity group differences, graph theory analysis, and ROI-to-ROI connectivity correlation analysis with VOMS clinical derivatives. Group difference maps between resting-state networks were calculated using dual regression method and corrected for multiple comparisons. Correlation analysis between ROI-to-ROI rs-fMRI brain activation and VOMS assessment ratings was performed using Pearson correlation coefficient, with a significance threshold of P ≤ .05.
RESULTS: Compared to controls, PCVD group demonstrated significantly increased rs-fMRI connectivity between the default-mode network and right middle frontal gyrus and right postcentral gyrus; and between a vestibular-sensorimotor network and right prefrontal cortex. Significant positive correlations were found between clinical derivative VOMS scores and components of the vestibular, visual networks, and multisensory processing cortical representations.
CONCLUSION: Altered rs-fMRI brain connectivity with increased connectivity of visual input, multisensory processing, and spatial memory in PCVD is correlative with clinical derivative VOMS scores, suggesting maladaptive brain plasticity underlying vestibular symptomatology.

PMID: 33476477 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Altered functional connectivity between hypothalamus and limbic system in fibromyalgia.

Sat, 01/23/2021 - 00:56
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Altered functional connectivity between hypothalamus and limbic system in fibromyalgia.

Mol Brain. 2021 Jan 20;14(1):17

Authors: Kong J, Huang Y, Liu J, Yu S, Ming C, Chen H, Wilson G, Harvey WF, Li W, Wang C

Abstract
The hypothalamus links the nervous system to the endocrine system and plays a crucial role in maintaining the human body's homeostasis. This study aims to investigate the resting state functional connectivity (rsFC) changes of the hypothalamus in fibromyalgia patients. 24 Fibromyalgia patients and 24 matched healthy controls (HCs) were recruited. Resting state fMRI data were collected from the fibromyalgia patients and HC's. Fibromyalgia patients went through a second scan after 12 weeks of Tai Chi mind-body intervention. Data analysis showed that fibromyalgia patients displayed less medial hypothalamus (MH) rsFC with the thalamus and amygdala when compared to the functional connectivity in the HCs. After the Tai Chi mind-body intervention, fibromyalgia patients showed increased MH rsFC with the thalamus and amygdala accompanied by clinical improvement. Effective connectivity analysis showed disrupted MH and thalamus interaction in the fibromyalgia patients, which was altered by mind-body exercise. Our findings suggest that fibromyalgia is associated with altered functional connectivity within the diencephalon and limbic system. Elucidating the roles of the diencephalon and limbic system in the pathophysiology and development of fibromyalgia may facilitate the development of a new biomarker and effective treatment methods for this prevalent disorder.Trial Registration ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02407665. Registered: 3 April 2015, https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02407665?term=NCT02407665&draw=2&rank=1.

PMID: 33472674 [PubMed - in process]

Impact of Machine Learning Pipeline Choices in Autism Prediction From Functional Connectivity Data.

Sat, 01/23/2021 - 00:56
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Impact of Machine Learning Pipeline Choices in Autism Prediction From Functional Connectivity Data.

Int J Neural Syst. 2021 Jan 20;:2150009

Authors: Graña M, Silva M

Abstract
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a largely prevalent neurodevelopmental condition with a big social and economical impact affecting the entire life of families. There is an intense search for biomarkers that can be assessed as early as possible in order to initiate treatment and preparation of the family to deal with the challenges imposed by the condition. Brain imaging biomarkers have special interest. Specifically, functional connectivity data extracted from resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) should allow to detect brain connectivity alterations. Machine learning pipelines encompass the estimation of the functional connectivity matrix from brain parcellations, feature extraction, and building classification models for ASD prediction. The works reported in the literature are very heterogeneous from the computational and methodological point of view. In this paper, we carry out a comprehensive computational exploration of the impact of the choices involved while building these machine learning pipelines. Specifically, we consider six brain parcellation definitions, five methods for functional connectivity matrix construction, six feature extraction/selection approaches, and nine classifier building algorithms. We report the prediction performance sensitivity to each of these choices, as well as the best results that are comparable with the state of the art.

PMID: 33472548 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Dynamic functional connectivity as a neural correlate of fatigue in multiple sclerosis.

Thu, 01/21/2021 - 21:55
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Dynamic functional connectivity as a neural correlate of fatigue in multiple sclerosis.

Neuroimage Clin. 2021 Jan 04;29:102556

Authors: Tijhuis FB, Broeders TAA, Santos FAN, Schoonheim MM, Killestein J, Leurs CE, van Geest Q, Steenwijk MD, Geurts JJG, Hulst HE, Douw L

Abstract
BACKGROUND: More than 80% of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients experience symptoms of fatigue. MS-related fatigue is only partly explained by structural (lesions and atrophy) and functional (brain activation and conventional static functional connectivity) brain properties.
OBJECTIVES: To investigate the relationship of dynamic functional connectivity (dFC) with fatigue in MS patients and to compare dFC with commonly used clinical and MRI parameters.
METHODS: In 35 relapsing-remitting MS patients (age: 42.83 years, female/male: 20/15, disease duration: 11 years) and 19 healthy controls (HCs) (age: 41.38 years, female/male: 11/8), fatigue was measured using the CIS-20r questionnaire at baseline and at 6-month follow-up. All subjects underwent structural and resting-state functional MRI at baseline. Global static functional connectivity (sFC) and dynamic functional connectivity (dFC) were calculated. dFC was assessed using a sliding-window approach by calculating the summed difference (diff) and coefficient of variation (cv) across windows. Moreover, regional connectivity between regions previously associated with fatigue in MS was estimated (i.e. basal ganglia and regions of the Default Mode Network (DMN): medial prefrontal, posterior cingulate and precuneal cortices). Hierarchical regression analyses were performed with forward selection to identify the most important correlates of fatigue at baseline. Results were not corrected for multiple testing due to the exploratory nature of the study.
RESULTS: Patients were more fatigued than HCs at baseline (p = 0.001) and follow-up (p = 0.002) and fatigue in patients was stable over time (p = 0.213). Patients had significantly higher baseline global dFC than HCs, but no difference in basal ganglia-DMN dFC. In the regression model for baseline fatigue in patients, basal ganglia-DMN dFC-cv (standardized β = -0.353) explained 12.5% additional variance on top of EDSS (p = 0.032). Post-hoc analysis revealed higher basal ganglia-DMN dFC-cv in non-fatigued patients compared to healthy controls (p = 0.013), whereas fatigued patients and healthy controls showed similar basal ganglia-DMN dFC.
CONCLUSIONS: Less dynamic connectivity between the basal ganglia and the cortex is associated with greater fatigue in MS patients, independent of disability status. Within patients, lower dynamics of these connections could relate to lower efficiency and increased fatigue. Increased dynamics in non-fatigued patients compared to healthy controls might represent a network organization that protects against fatigue or signal early network dysfunction.

PMID: 33472144 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Altered Brain Network Centrality in Patients with Diabetic Optic Neuropathy: A Resting-State FMRI Study.

Thu, 01/21/2021 - 21:55
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Altered Brain Network Centrality in Patients with Diabetic Optic Neuropathy: A Resting-State FMRI Study.

Endocr Pract. 2020 Dec;26(12):1399-1405

Authors: Xu QH, Li QY, Yu K, Ge QM, Shi WQ, Li B, Liang RB, Lin Q, Zhang YQ, Shao Y

Abstract
OBJECTIVE: Recent studies have suggested that diabetic optic neuropathy (DON) independently increases the incidence of brain diseases like cerebral infarction and hemorrhage. In this study, voxel-level degree centrality (DC) was used to study potential changes in functional network brain activity in DON patients.
METHODS: The study included 14 DON patients and 14 healthy controls (HCs) matched by age, sex, and weight. All subjects underwent resting functional magnetic resonance imaging. Receiver operating characteristic curves and Pearson correlation analysis were performed.
RESULTS: The DC values of the left frontal mid-orb and right middle frontal gyrus/right frontal sup were significantly lower in DON patients compared to HCs. The DC value of the left temporal lobe was also significantly higher than in HCs.
CONCLUSION: Three different brain regions show DC changes in DON patients, suggesting common optic neuropathy in the context of diabetes and providing new ideas for treating optic nerve disease in patients with long-term diabetes.
ABBREVIATIONS: AUC = area under the curve; BCVA = best corrected visual acuity; DC = degree centrality; DON = diabetic optic neuropathy; fMRI = functional magnetic resonance imaging; HC = healthy control; LFMO = left frontal mid orb; LTL = left temporal lobe; RFS = right frontal sup; RMFG = right middle frontal gyrus; ROC = receiver operating characteristic.

PMID: 33471731 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]