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A computational study of whole-brain connectivity in resting state and task fMRI.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 17:30

A computational study of whole-brain connectivity in resting state and task fMRI.

Med Sci Monit. 2014;20:1024-42

Authors: Goparaju B, Rana KD, Calabro FJ, Vaina LM

Abstract
Background We compared the functional brain connectivity produced during resting-state in which subjects were not actively engaged in a task with that produced while they actively performed a visual motion task (task-state). Material and Methods In this paper we employed graph-theoretical measures and network statistics in novel ways to compare, in the same group of human subjects, functional brain connectivity during resting-state fMRI with brain connectivity during performance of a high level visual task. We performed a whole-brain connectivity analysis to compare network statistics in resting and task states among anatomically defined Brodmann areas to investigate how brain networks spanning the cortex changed when subjects were engaged in task performance. Results In the resting state, we found strong connectivity among the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), precuneus, medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC), lateral parietal cortex, and hippocampal formation, consistent with previous reports of the default mode network (DMN). The connections among these areas were strengthened while subjects actively performed an event-related visual motion task, indicating a continued and strong engagement of the DMN during task processing. Regional measures such as degree (number of connections) and betweenness centrality (number of shortest paths), showed that task performance induces stronger inter-regional connections, leading to a denser processing network, but that this does not imply a more efficient system as shown by the integration measures such as path length and global efficiency, and from global measures such as small-worldness. Conclusions In spite of the maintenance of connectivity and the "hub-like" behavior of areas, our results suggest that the network paths may be rerouted when performing the task condition.

PMID: 24947491 [PubMed - in process]

Continuous theta burst transcranial magnetic stimulation reduces resting state connectivity between visual areas.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 17:30
Related Articles

Continuous theta burst transcranial magnetic stimulation reduces resting state connectivity between visual areas.

J Neurophysiol. 2013 Oct;110(8):1811-21

Authors: Rahnev D, Kok P, Munneke M, Bahdo L, de Lange FP, Lau H

Abstract
Continuous theta burst stimulation (cTBS) is a technique that allows for altering of brain activity. Research to date has focused on the effect of cTBS on the target area, but less is known about its effects on the resting state functional connectivity between different brain regions. We investigated this issue by applying cTBS to the occipital cortex and probing its influence in retinotopically defined regions in early visual cortex using functional MRI. We found that occipital cTBS reliably decreased the resting state functional connectivity (i.e., the correlation of spontaneous activity) between regions of the early visual cortex. In the context of a perceptual task, such an effect could mean that cTBS affects the strength of the perceptual signal, its variability, or both. We investigated this issue in a second experiment in which subjects performed a perceptual discrimination task and indicated their level of certainty on each trial. The results showed that occipital cTBS decreased both subjects' accuracy and confidence. Signal detection modeling suggested that these impairments resulted primarily from a decreased strength of the perceptual signal, with a nonsignificant trend of a decrease in signal variability. We discuss the implications of these experiments for understanding the mechanisms by which cTBS influences brain activity and perceptual processes.

PMID: 23883858 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Functional brain networks formed using cross-sample entropy are scale-free.

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 13:00

Functional brain networks formed using cross-sample entropy are scale-free.

Brain Connect. 2014 Jun 19;

Authors: Pritchard WS, Laurienti PJ, Burdette JH, Hayasaka S

Abstract
Over the last decade there has been an explosion of interest in network science in general and its application to the human brain in particular. Most brain network investigations to date have used linear correlations between brain areas to construct and then interpret brain networks. In this study, we applied an entropy-based method to establish functional connectivity between brain areas. This method is sensitive to both nonlinear and linear associations. The linear correlation-based and entropy-based techniques were applied to resting-state fMRI data from 10 subjects, and the resulting networks were compared. The networks derived from the entropy-based method exhibited power-law degree distributions. Moreover, the entropy-based networks had higher clustering coefficient and shorter path length compared to that of the linear correlation-based networks. While the linear correlation-based networks were assortative, with nodes with similar degrees preferentially connected, the entropy-based networks were disassortative, with high-degree hubs directly connected to low degree nodes. It is likely that the differences in clustering and assortativity are due to "mega-hubs" in the entropy-based networks. These mega-hubs connect to a large majority of the nodes in the network. This is the first work clearly demonstrating differences between functional brain networks using linear and non-linear techniques. The key finding is that the nonlinear technique produced networks with scale-free degree distributions. There remains debate among the neuroscience community as to whether human brains are scale-free. This data supports the argument that at least some aspects of the human brain are perhaps scale-free.

PMID: 24946057 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Dysconnectivity Within the Default Mode in First-Episode Schizophrenia: A Stochastic Dynamic Causal Modeling Study With Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging.

Fri, 06/20/2014 - 12:00

Dysconnectivity Within the Default Mode in First-Episode Schizophrenia: A Stochastic Dynamic Causal Modeling Study With Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging.

Schizophr Bull. 2014 Jun 17;

Authors: Bastos-Leite AJ, Ridgway GR, Silveira C, Norton A, Reis S, Friston KJ

Abstract
We report the first stochastic dynamic causal modeling (sDCM) study of effective connectivity within the default mode network (DMN) in schizophrenia. Thirty-three patients (9 women, mean age = 25.0 years, SD = 5) with a first episode of psychosis and diagnosis of schizophrenia-according to the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition, revised criteria-were studied. Fifteen healthy control subjects (4 women, mean age = 24.6 years, SD = 4) were included for comparison. All subjects underwent resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) interspersed with 2 periods of continuous picture viewing. The anterior frontal (AF), posterior cingulate (PC), and the left and right parietal nodes of the DMN were localized in an unbiased fashion using data from 16 independent healthy volunteers (using an identical fMRI protocol). We used sDCM to estimate directed connections between and within nodes of the DMN, which were subsequently compared with t tests at the between subject level. The excitatory effect of the PC node on the AF node and the inhibitory self-connection of the AF node were significantly weaker in patients (mean values = 0.013 and -0.048 Hz, SD = 0.09 and 0.05, respectively) relative to healthy subjects (mean values = 0.084 and -0.088 Hz, SD = 0.15 and 0.77, respectively; P < .05). In summary, sDCM revealed reduced effective connectivity to the AF node of the DMN-reflecting a reduced postsynaptic efficacy of prefrontal afferents-in patients with first-episode schizophrenia.

PMID: 24939881 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

The pre-supplementary area within the language network: a resting state fMRI functional connectivity analysis.

Fri, 06/20/2014 - 12:00

The pre-supplementary area within the language network: a resting state fMRI functional connectivity analysis.

Brain Connect. 2014 Jun 17;

Authors: Ter Minassian A, Ricalens E, Nguyen The Tich S, Dinomais M, Aubé C, Beydon L

Abstract
The pre-supplementary motor area (Pre-SMA) is involved in volitional selection. Despite the lateralization of the language network and different functions for both pre-SMA, few studies have reported the lateralization of pre-SMA activity and very little is known about the possible lateralization of pre-SMA connectivity. Via functional connectivity analysis, we sought to understand how the language network may be connected to other intrinsic connectivity networks (ICN) through the pre-SMA. We performed a spatial independent component analysis of resting state fMRI in 30 volunteers to identify the language network . Subsequently, we applied seed-to-voxel functional connectivity analyses centered on peaks detected in the pre-SMA. Three signal peaks were detected in the pre-SMA.The left rostral pre-SMA intrinsic connectivity network (LR ICN) was left lateralized in contrast to bilateral ICNs associated to right pre-SMA peaks. The LR ICN was anticorrelated with the dorsal attention network and the right caudal pre-SMA ICN (RC ICN) anticorrelated with the default mode network. These two ICNs overlapped minimally. In contrast, the right rostral ICN overlapped the LR ICN. Both right ICNs overlapped in the ventral attention network (vATT). The bilateral connectivity of the RR pre-SMA may allow right hemispheric recruitment to process semantic ambiguities. Overlap between the right pre-SMA ICNs in vATT may contribute to internal thought to external environment reorientation. Distinct ICNs connected to areas involved in lexico-syntactic selection and phonology converge in the pre-SMA, which may constitute the resolution space of competing condition-action associations for speech production.

PMID: 24939724 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

MSM: A new flexible framework for Multimodal Surface Matching.

Fri, 06/20/2014 - 12:00

MSM: A new flexible framework for Multimodal Surface Matching.

Neuroimage. 2014 Jun 2;

Authors: Robinson EC, Jbabdi S, Glasserlabel MF, Andersson J, Burgess GC, Harms MP, Smith SM, Van Essen DC, Jenkinson M

Abstract
Surface-based cortical registration methods that are driven by geometrical features, such as folding, provide sub-optimal alignment of many functional areas due to variable correlation between cortical folding patterns and function. This has led to the proposal of new registration methods using features derived from functional and diffusion imaging. However, as yet there is no consensus over the best set of features for optimal alignment of brain function. In this paper we demonstrate the utility of a new Multimodal Surface Matching (MSM) algorithm capable of driving alignment using a wide variety of descriptors of brain architecture, function and connectivity. The versatility of the framework originates from adapting the discrete Markov Random Field (MRF) registration method to surface alignment. This has the benefit of being unconstrained by choice of a similarity measure and relatively insensitive to local minima. The method offers significant flexibility in the choice of feature set, and we demonstrate the advantages of this by performing registrations using univariate descriptors of surface curvature and myelination, multivariate feature sets derived from resting fMRI, and multimodal descriptors of surface curvature and myelination. We compare the results with two state of the art surface registration methods that use geometric features: FreeSurfer and Spherical Demons. In the future, the MSM technique will allow explorations into the best combinations of features and alignment strategies for inter-subject alignment of cortical functional areas for a wide range of neuroimaging data sets.

PMID: 24939340 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Early signs of anomalous neural functional connectivity in healthy offspring of parents with bipolar disorder.

Fri, 06/20/2014 - 12:00

Early signs of anomalous neural functional connectivity in healthy offspring of parents with bipolar disorder.

Bipolar Disord. 2014 Jun 17;

Authors: Singh MK, Chang KD, Kelley RG, Saggar M, L Reiss A, Gotlib IH

Abstract
OBJECTIVES: Bipolar disorder (BD) has been associated with dysfunctional brain connectivity and with family chaos. It is not known whether aberrant connectivity occurs before illness onset, representing vulnerability for developing BD amidst family chaos. We used resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine neural network dysfunction in healthy offspring living with parents with BD and healthy comparison youth.
METHODS: Using two complementary methodologies [data-driven independent component analysis (ICA) and hypothesis-driven region-of-interest (ROI)-based intrinsic connectivity], we examined resting-state fMRI data in 8-17-year-old healthy offspring of a parent with BD (n = 24; high risk) and age-matched healthy youth without any personal or family psychopathology (n = 25; low risk).
RESULTS: ICA revealed that, relative to low-risk youth, high-risk youth showed increased connectivity in the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) subregion of the left executive control network (ECN), which includes frontoparietal regions important for emotion regulation. ROI-based analyses revealed that high-risk versus low-risk youth had decreased connectivities between the left amygdala and pregenual cingulate, between the subgenual cingulate and supplementary motor cortex, and between the left VLPFC and left caudate. High-risk youth showed stronger connections in the VLPFC with age and higher functioning, which may be neuroprotective, and weaker connections between the left VLPFC and caudate with more family chaos, suggesting an environmental influence on frontostriatal connectivity.
CONCLUSIONS: Healthy offspring of parents with BD show atypical patterns of prefrontal and subcortical intrinsic connectivity that may be early markers of resilience to or vulnerability for developing BD. Longitudinal studies are needed to determine whether these patterns predict outcomes.

PMID: 24938878 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Obstetric complications and striatum connectivity in AN.

Fri, 06/20/2014 - 12:00

Obstetric complications and striatum connectivity in AN.

Int J Eat Disord. 2014 Jun 17;

Authors: Favaro A, Tenconi E, Degortes D, Manara R, Santonastaso P

Abstract
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the volume and functional connectivity of dorsal and ventral striatal nuclei in anorexia nervosa (AN) and their relationship with early exposure to obstetric complications.
METHOD: Fifty-one patients with lifetime AN (35 acute, 16 recovered) and 34 healthy controls underwent high-resolution and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging.
RESULTS: The AN group showed reduced functional connectivity of the putamen compared with healthy women, and this reduction was more evident in patients with lifetime binge eating/purging. Both acute and recovered AN groups showed a larger left accumbens area compared with that of healthy women. The functional connectivity of bilateral nucleus accumbens and putamen showed significant negative correlations with number of obstetric complications in the AN group.
DISCUSSION: This study supports the hypothesis that AN is associated with structural and functional alterations of striatal networks, and reveals the possible role of obstetric complications in the pathogenesis of striatal dysfunction. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2014).

PMID: 24938422 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Circadian and homeostatic modulation of functional connectivity and regional cerebral blood flow in humans under normal entrained conditions.

Fri, 06/20/2014 - 12:00

Circadian and homeostatic modulation of functional connectivity and regional cerebral blood flow in humans under normal entrained conditions.

J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2014 Jun 18;

Authors: Hodkinson DJ, O'Daly O, Zunszain PA, Pariante CM, Lazurenko V, Zelaya FO, Howard MA, Williams SC

Abstract
Diurnal rhythms have been observed in human behaviors as diverse as sleep, olfaction, and learning. Despite its potential impact, time of day is rarely considered when brain responses are studied by neuroimaging techniques. To address this issue, we explicitly examined the effects of circadian and homeostatic regulation on functional connectivity (FC) and regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) in healthy human volunteers, using whole-brain resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) and arterial spin labeling (ASL). In common with many circadian studies, we collected salivary cortisol to represent the normal circadian activity and functioning of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Intriguingly, the changes in FC and rCBF we observed indicated fundamental decreases in the functional integration of the default mode network (DMN) moving from morning to afternoon. Within the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), our results indicate that morning cortisol levels are negatively correlated with rCBF. We hypothesize that the homeostatic mechanisms of the HPA axis has a role in modulating the functional integrity of the DMN (specifically, the ACC), and for the purposes of using fMRI as a tool to measure changes in disease processes or in response to treatment, we demonstrate that time of the day is important when interpreting resting-state data.Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism advance online publication, 18 June 2014; doi:10.1038/jcbfm.2014.109.

PMID: 24938404 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Developmental differences in higher-order resting-state networks in Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Thu, 06/19/2014 - 17:00

Developmental differences in higher-order resting-state networks in Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Neuroimage Clin. 2014;4:820-7

Authors: Bos DJ, van Raalten TR, Oranje B, Smits AR, Kobussen NA, Belle Jv, Rombouts SA, Durston S

Abstract
OBJECTIVE: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has been associated with a complex pattern of increases and decreases in resting-state functional connectivity. The developmental disconnection hypothesis of ASD poses that shorter connections become overly well established with development in this disorder, at the cost of long-range connections. Here, we investigated resting-state connectivity in relatively young boys with ASD and typically developing children. We hypothesized that ASD would be associated with reduced connectivity between networks, and increased connectivity within networks, reflecting poorer integration and segregation of functional networks in ASD.
METHODS: We acquired resting-state fMRI from 27 boys with ASD and 29 age- and IQ-matched typically developing boys between 6 and 16 years of age. Functional connectivity networks were identified using Independent Component Analysis (ICA). Group comparisons were conducted using permutation testing, with and without voxel-wise correction for grey matter density.
RESULTS: We found no between-group differences in within-network connectivity. However, we did find reduced functional connectivity between two higher-order cognitive networks in ASD. Furthermore, we found an interaction effect with age in the DMN: insula connectivity increased with age in ASD, whereas it decreased in typically developing children.
CONCLUSIONS: These results show subtle changes in between network connectivity in relatively young boys with ASD. However, the global architecture of resting-state networks appeared to be intact. This argues against recent suggestions that changes in connectivity in ASD may be the most prominent during development.

PMID: 24936432 [PubMed]

Disruption of structure-function coupling in the schizophrenia connectome.

Thu, 06/19/2014 - 17:00

Disruption of structure-function coupling in the schizophrenia connectome.

Neuroimage Clin. 2014;4:779-87

Authors: Cocchi L, Harding IH, Lord A, Pantelis C, Yucel M, Zalesky A

Abstract
Neuroimaging studies have demonstrated that the phenomenology of schizophrenia maps onto diffuse alterations in large-scale functional and structural brain networks. However, the relationship between structural and functional deficits remains unclear. To answer this question, patients with established schizophrenia and matched healthy controls underwent resting-state functional and diffusion weighted imaging. The network-based statistic was used to characterize between-group differences in whole-brain functional connectivity. Indices of white matter integrity were then estimated to assess the structural correlates of the functional alterations observed in patients. Finally, group differences in the relationship between indices of functional and structural brain connectivity were determined. Compared to controls, patients with schizophrenia showed decreased functional connectivity and impaired white matter integrity in a distributed network encompassing frontal, temporal, thalamic, and striatal regions. In controls, strong interregional coupling in neural activity was associated with well-myelinated white matter pathways in this network. This correspondence between structure and function appeared to be absent in patients with schizophrenia. In two additional disrupted functional networks, encompassing parietal, occipital, and temporal cortices, the relationship between function and structure was not affected. Overall, results from this study highlight the importance of considering not only the separable impact of functional and structural connectivity deficits on the pathoaetiology of schizophrenia, but also the implications of the complex nature of their interaction. More specifically, our findings support the core nature of fronto-striatal, fronto-thalamic, and fronto-temporal abnormalities in the schizophrenia connectome.

PMID: 24936428 [PubMed]

Aberrant network integrity of the inferior frontal cortex in women with anorexia nervosa.

Thu, 06/19/2014 - 17:00

Aberrant network integrity of the inferior frontal cortex in women with anorexia nervosa.

Neuroimage Clin. 2014;4:615-22

Authors: Kullmann S, Giel KE, Teufel M, Thiel A, Zipfel S, Preissl H

Abstract
Neuroimaging studies investigating the neural profile of anorexia nervosa (AN) have revealed a predominant imbalance between the reward and inhibition systems of the brain, which are also hallmark characteristics of the disorder. However, little is known whether these changes can also be determined independent of task condition, using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging, in currently ill AN patients. Therefore the aim of our study was to investigate resting-state connectivity in AN patients (n = 12) compared to healthy athlete (n = 12) and non-athlete (n = 14) controls. For this purpose, we used degree centrality to investigate functional connectivity of the whole-brain network and then Granger causality to analyze effective connectivity (EC), to understand directional aspects of potential alterations. We were able to show that the bilateral inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) is a region of special functional importance within the whole-brain network, in AN patients, revealing reduced functional connectivity compared to both healthy control groups. Furthermore, we found decreased EC from the right IFG to the midcingulum and increased EC from the bilateral orbitofrontal gyrus to the right IFG. For the left IFG, we only observed increased EC from the bilateral insula to the left IFG. These results suggest that AN patients have reduced connectivity within the cognitive control system of the brain and increased connectivity within regions important for salience processing. Due to its fundamental role in inhibitory behavior, including motor response, altered integrity of the inferior frontal cortex could contribute to hyperactivity in AN.

PMID: 24936412 [PubMed]

The Resting Brain of Alcoholics.

Thu, 06/19/2014 - 17:00

The Resting Brain of Alcoholics.

Cereb Cortex. 2014 Jun 16;

Authors: Müller-Oehring EM, Jung YC, Pfefferbaum A, Sullivan EV, Schulte T

Abstract
Chronic alcohol consumption affects multiple cognitive processes supported by far-reaching cerebral networks. To identify neurofunctional mechanisms underlying selective deficits, 27 sober alcoholics and 26 age-matched controls underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging and neuropsychological testing. Functional connectivity analysis assessed the default mode network (DMN); integrative executive control (EC), salience (SA), and attention (AT) networks; primary somatosensory, auditory, and visual (VI) input networks; and subcortical reward (RW) and emotion (EM) networks. The groups showed an extensive overlap of intrinsic connectivity in all brain networks examined, suggesting overall integrity of large-scale functional networks. Despite these similar patterns, connectivity analyses identified network-specific differences of weaker within-network connectivity and expanded connectivity to regions outside the main networks in alcoholics compared with controls. For AT and VI networks, better task performance was related to expanded connectivity in alcoholism, supporting the concept of network expansion as a neural mechanism for functional compensation. For default mode, SA, RW, and EC networks, both weaker within-network and expanded outside-network connectivity correlated with poorer performance and mood. Current smoking contributed to some of these abnormalities in connectivity. The observed pattern of resting-state connectivity might reflect neural vulnerability of intrinsic networking in alcoholics and suggests a mechanism to explain signature impairments in EM, RW evaluation, and EC ability.

PMID: 24935777 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Neurobiological basis of head motion in brain imaging.

Thu, 06/19/2014 - 17:00
Related Articles

Neurobiological basis of head motion in brain imaging.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Apr 22;111(16):6058-62

Authors: Zeng LL, Wang D, Fox MD, Sabuncu M, Hu D, Ge M, Buckner RL, Liu H

Abstract
Individual differences in brain metrics, especially connectivity measured with functional MRI, can correlate with differences in motion during data collection. The assumption has been that motion causes artifactual differences in brain connectivity that must and can be corrected. Here we propose that differences in brain connectivity can also represent a neurobiological trait that predisposes to differences in motion. We support this possibility with an analysis of intra- versus intersubject differences in connectivity comparing high- to low-motion subgroups. Intersubject analysis identified a correlate of head motion consisting of reduced distant functional connectivity primarily in the default network in individuals with high head motion. Similar connectivity differences were not found in analysis of intrasubject data. Instead, this correlate of head motion was a stable property in individuals across time. These findings suggest that motion-associated differences in brain connectivity cannot fully be attributed to motion artifacts but rather also reflect individual variability in functional organization.

PMID: 24711399 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Significance of longitudinal changes in the default-mode network for cognitive recovery after stroke.

Wed, 06/18/2014 - 15:00

Significance of longitudinal changes in the default-mode network for cognitive recovery after stroke.

Eur J Neurosci. 2014 Jun 16;

Authors: Park JY, Kim YH, Chang WH, Park CH, Shin YI, Kim ST, Pascual-Leone A

Abstract
Although a considerable number of patients suffer from cognitive impairments after stroke, the neural mechanism of cognitive recovery has not yet been clarified. Repeated resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used in this study to examine longitudinal changes in the default-mode network (DMN) during the 6 months after stroke, and to investigate the relationship between DMN changes and cognitive recovery. Out of 24 initially recruited right-hemispheric stroke patients, 11 (eight males, mean age 55.7 years) successfully completed the repeated fMRI protocol. Patients underwent three fMRI sessions at 1, 3 and 6 months after stroke. Their DMNs were analysed and compared with those of 11 age-matched healthy subjects (nine males, mean age 56.2 years). Correlations between DMN connectivity and improvement of the cognitive performance scores were also assessed. The stroke patients were found to demonstrate markedly decreased DMN connectivity of the posterior cingulate cortex, precuneus, medial frontal gyrus and inferior parietal lobes at 1 month after stroke. At 3 months after stroke, the DMN connectivity of these brain areas was almost restored, suggesting that the period is critical for neural reorganization. The DMN connectivity of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in the contralesional hemisphere showed a significant correlation with cognitive function recovery in stroke patients, and should be considered a compensatory process for overcoming cognitive impairment due to brain lesion. This is the first longitudinal study to demonstrate the changes in DMN during recovery after stroke and the key regions influencing cognitive recovery.

PMID: 24931140 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Altered resting state functional connectivity in young survivors of acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Wed, 06/18/2014 - 15:00
Related Articles

Altered resting state functional connectivity in young survivors of acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2014 Jul;61(7):1295-9

Authors: Kesler SR, Gugel M, Pritchard-Berman M, Lee C, Kutner E, Hosseini SM, Dahl G, Lacayo N

Abstract
BACKGROUND: Chemotherapy treatment for pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) has been associated with long-term cognitive impairments in some patients. However, the neurobiologic mechanisms underlying these impairments, particularly in young survivors, are not well understood. This study aimed to examine intrinsic functional brain connectivity in pediatric ALL and its relationship with cognitive status.
PROCEDURE: We obtained resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rsfMRI) and cognitive testing data from 15 ALL survivors age 8-15 years and 14 matched healthy children. The ALL group had a history of intrathecal chemotherapy treatment but were off-therapy for at least 6 months at the time of enrollment. We used seed-based analyses to compare intrinsic functional brain network connectivity between the groups. We also explored correlations between connectivity and cognitive performance, demographic, medical, and treatment variables.
RESULTS: We demonstrated significantly reduced connectivity between bilateral hippocampus, left inferior occipital, left lingual gyrus, bilateral calcarine sulcus, and right amygdala in the ALL group compared to controls. The ALL group also showed regions of functional hyperconnectivity including right lingual gyrus, precuneus, bilateral superior occipital lobe, and right inferior occipital lobe. Functional hypoconnectivity was associated with reduced cognitive function as well as younger age at diagnosis in the ALL group.
CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study to demonstrate that intrinsic functional brain connectivity is disrupted in pediatric ALL following chemotherapy treatment. These results help explain cognitive dysfunction even when objective test performance is seemingly normal. Children diagnosed at a younger age may show increased vulnerability to altered functional brain connectivity.

PMID: 24619953 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

A SVM-based quantitative fMRI method for resting-state functional network detection.

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 13:00

A SVM-based quantitative fMRI method for resting-state functional network detection.

Magn Reson Imaging. 2014 Apr 13;

Authors: Song X, Chen NK

Abstract
Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) aims to measure baseline neuronal connectivity independent of specific functional tasks and to capture changes in the connectivity due to neurological diseases. Most existing network detection methods rely on a fixed threshold to identify functionally connected voxels under the resting state. Due to fMRI non-stationarity, the threshold cannot adapt to variation of data characteristics across sessions and subjects, and generates unreliable mapping results. In this study, a new method is presented for resting-state fMRI data analysis. Specifically, the resting-state network mapping is formulated as an outlier detection process that is implemented using one-class support vector machine (SVM). The results are refined by using a spatial-feature domain prototype selection method and two-class SVM reclassification. The final decision on each voxel is made by comparing its probabilities of functionally connected and unconnected instead of a threshold. Multiple features for resting-state analysis were extracted and examined using an SVM-based feature selection method, and the most representative features were identified. The proposed method was evaluated using synthetic and experimental fMRI data. A comparison study was also performed with independent component analysis (ICA) and correlation analysis. The experimental results show that the proposed method can provide comparable or better network detection performance than ICA and correlation analysis. The method is potentially applicable to various resting-state quantitative fMRI studies.

PMID: 24928301 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Disrutpted resting-state functional architecture of the brain after 45-day simulated microgravity.

Sun, 06/15/2014 - 16:00

Disrutpted resting-state functional architecture of the brain after 45-day simulated microgravity.

Front Behav Neurosci. 2014;8:200

Authors: Zhou Y, Wang Y, Rao LL, Liang ZY, Chen XP, Zheng D, Tan C, Tian ZQ, Wang CH, Bai YQ, Chen SG, Li S

Abstract
Long-term spaceflight induces both physiological and psychological changes in astronauts. To understand the neural mechanisms underlying these physiological and psychological changes, it is critical to investigate the effects of microgravity on the functional architecture of the brain. In this study, we used resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) to study whether the functional architecture of the brain is altered after 45 days of -6° head-down tilt (HDT) bed rest, which is a reliable model for the simulation of microgravity. Sixteen healthy male volunteers underwent rs-fMRI scans before and after 45 days of -6° HDT bed rest. Specifically, we used a commonly employed graph-based measure of network organization, i.e., degree centrality (DC), to perform a full-brain exploration of the regions that were influenced by simulated microgravity. We subsequently examined the functional connectivities of these regions using a seed-based resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) analysis. We found decreased DC in two regions, the left anterior insula (aINS) and the anterior part of the middle cingulate cortex (MCC; also called the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex in many studies), in the male volunteers after 45 days of -6° HDT bed rest. Furthermore, seed-based RSFC analyses revealed that a functional network anchored in the aINS and MCC was particularly influenced by simulated microgravity. These results provide evidence that simulated microgravity alters the resting-state functional architecture of the brains of males and suggest that the processing of salience information, which is primarily subserved by the aINS-MCC functional network, is particularly influenced by spaceflight. The current findings provide a new perspective for understanding the relationships between microgravity, cognitive function, autonomic neural function, and central neural activity.

PMID: 24926242 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Save the global: global signal connectivity as a tool for studying clinical populations with fMRI.

Sun, 06/15/2014 - 16:00

Save the global: global signal connectivity as a tool for studying clinical populations with fMRI.

Brain Connect. 2014 Jun 12;

Authors: Hahamy A, Calhoun V, Pearlson G, Harel M, Stern N, Atar F, Malach R, Salomon R

Abstract
The global signal is commonly removed from resting-state data, since it was presumed to reflect physiological noise. However, removal of the global signal is now under debate as this signal may reflect important neuronal components, and its removal may introduce artifacts into the data. Here we show that the functional-connectivity of the global signal is of functional relevance, as it differentiates between schizophrenia patients and healthy controls during rest. We also demonstrate that other reported findings related to various clinical populations may actually reflect alternations in global signal functional-connectivity. The evidence of the clinical relevance of the global signal propose its usage as a research tool, and extend previously reported perils of global signal removal in resting-state data of clinical populations.

PMID: 24923194 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Dissociative Part-Dependent Resting-State Activity in Dissociative Identity Disorder: A Controlled fMRI Perfusion Study.

Sat, 06/14/2014 - 14:00

Dissociative Part-Dependent Resting-State Activity in Dissociative Identity Disorder: A Controlled fMRI Perfusion Study.

PLoS One. 2014;9(6):e98795

Authors: Schlumpf YR, Reinders AA, Nijenhuis ER, Luechinger R, van Osch MJ, Jäncke L

Abstract
BACKGROUND: In accordance with the Theory of Structural Dissociation of the Personality (TSDP), studies of dissociative identity disorder (DID) have documented that two prototypical dissociative subsystems of the personality, the "Emotional Part" (EP) and the "Apparently Normal Part" (ANP), have different biopsychosocial reactions to supraliminal and subliminal trauma-related cues and that these reactions cannot be mimicked by fantasy prone healthy controls nor by actors.
METHODS: Arterial spin labeling perfusion MRI was used to test the hypotheses that ANP and EP in DID have different perfusion patterns in response to rest instructions, and that perfusion is different in actors who were instructed to simulate ANP and EP. In a follow-up study, regional cerebral blood flow of DID patients was compared with the activation pattern of healthy non-simulating controls.
RESULTS: Compared to EP, ANP showed elevated perfusion in bilateral thalamus. Compared to ANP, EP had increased perfusion in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, primary somatosensory cortex, and motor-related areas. Perfusion patterns for simulated ANP and EP were different. Fitting their reported role-play strategies, the actors activated brain structures involved in visual mental imagery and empathizing feelings. The follow-up study demonstrated elevated perfusion in the left temporal lobe in DID patients, whereas non-simulating healthy controls had increased activity in areas which mediate the mental construction of past and future episodic events.
CONCLUSION: DID involves dissociative part-dependent resting-state differences. Compared to ANP, EP activated brain structures involved in self-referencing and sensorimotor actions more. Actors had different perfusion patterns compared to genuine ANP and EP. Comparisons of neural activity for individuals with DID and non-DID simulating controls suggest that the resting-state features of ANP and EP in DID are not due to imagination. The findings are consistent with TSDP and inconsistent with the idea that DID is caused by suggestion, fantasy proneness, and role-playing.

PMID: 24922512 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]