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Patients with multiple sclerosis present with focal lesions throughout the spinal cord. There is a clinical need for non-invasive measurements of spinal cord activity and functional organization in multiple sclerosis, given the cord's critical role in the disease. Recent reports of spontaneous blood oxygenation level-dependent fluctuations in the spinal cord using functional MRI suggest that, like the brain, cord activity at rest is organized into distinct, synchronized functional networks among grey matter regions, likely related to motor and sensory systems. Previous studies looking at stimulus-evoked activity in the spinal cord of patients with multiple sclerosis have demonstrated increased levels of activation as well as a more bilateral distribution of activity compared to controls. Functional connectivity studies of brain networks in multiple sclerosis have revealed widespread alterations, which may take on a dynamic trajectory over the course of the disease, with compensatory increases in connectivity followed by decreases associated with structural damage. We build upon this literature by examining functional connectivity in the spinal cord of patients with multiple sclerosis. Using ultra-high field 7 T imaging along with processing strategies for robust spinal cord functional MRI and lesion identification, the present study assessed functional connectivity within cervical cord grey matter of patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (n = 22) compared to a large sample of healthy controls (n = 56). Patient anatomical images were rated for lesions by three independent raters, with consensus ratings revealing 19 of 22 patients presented with lesions somewhere in the imaged volume. Linear mixed models were used to assess effects of lesion location on functional connectivity. Analysis in control subjects demonstrated a robust pattern of connectivity among ventral grey matter regions as well as a distinct network among dorsal regions. A gender effect was also observed in controls whereby females demonstrated higher ventral network connectivity. Wilcoxon rank-sum tests detected no differences in average connectivity or power of low frequency fluctuations in patients compared to controls. The presence of lesions was, however, associated with local alterations in connectivity with differential effects depending on columnar location. The patient results suggest that spinal cord functional networks are generally intact in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis but that lesions are associated with focal abnormalities in intrinsic connectivity. These findings are discussed in light of the current literature on spinal cord functional MRI and the potential neurological underpinnings.
Visual object expertise correlates with neural selectivity in the fusiform face area (FFA). Although behavioral studies suggest that visual expertise is associated with increased use of holistic and configural information, little is known about the nature of the supporting neural representations. Using high-resolution 7-T functional magnetic resonance imaging, we recorded the multivoxel activation patterns elicited by whole cars, configurally disrupted cars, and car parts in individuals with a wide range of car expertise. A probabilistic support vector machine classifier was trained to differentiate activation patterns elicited by whole car images from activation patterns elicited by misconfigured car images. The classifier was then used to classify new combined activation patterns that were created by averaging activation patterns elicited by individually presented top and bottom car parts. In line with the idea that the configuration of parts is critical to expert visual perception, car expertise was negatively associated with the probability of a combined activation pattern being classified as a whole car in the right anterior FFA, a region critical to vision for categories of expertise. Thus, just as found for faces in normal observers, the neural representation of cars in right anterior FFA is more holistic for car experts than car novices, consistent with common mechanisms of neural selectivity for faces and other objects of expertise in this area.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE - Clinically, Parkinson's disease (PD) presents with asymmetric motor symptoms. The left nigrostriatal system appears more susceptible to early degeneration than the right, and a left-lateralized pattern of early neuropathological changes is also described in several neurodegenerative conditions, including Alzheimer's disease, frontotemporal dementia, and Huntington's disease. In this study, we evaluated hemispheric differences in estimated rates of atrophy in a large, well-characterized cohort of PD patients.
METHODS - Our cohort included 205 PD patients who underwent clinical assessments and T1-weighted brain MRI's. Patients were classified into Early (= 109) and Late stage (= 96) based on disease duration, defined as greater than or less than 10 years of motor symptoms. Cortical thickness was determined using FreeSurfer, and a bootstrapped linear regression model was used to estimate differences in rates of atrophy between Early and Late patients.
RESULTS - Our results show that patients classified as Early stage exhibit a greater estimated rate of cortical atrophy in left frontal regions, especially the left insula and olfactory sulcus. This pattern was replicated in left-handed patients, and was not influenced by the degree of motor symptom asymmetry (i.e., left-sided predominant motor symptoms). Patients classified as Late stage exhibited greater atrophy in the bilateral occipital, and right hemisphere-predominant cortical areas.
CONCLUSIONS - We show that cortical degeneration in PD differs between cerebral hemispheres, and findings suggest a pattern of early left, and late right hemisphere with posterior cortical atrophy. Further investigation is warranted to elucidate the underlying mechanisms of this asymmetry and pathologic implications.
Plasma levels of insulin-like growth factor binding protein-2 (IGFBP-2) have been associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and brain atrophy. Some evidence suggests a potential synergistic effect of IGFBP-2 and AD neuropathology on neurodegeneration, while other evidence suggests the effect of IGFBP-2 on neurodegeneration is independent of AD neuropathology. Therefore, the current study investigated the interaction between plasma IGFBP-2 and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers of AD neuropathology on hippocampal volume and cognitive function. AD Neuroimaging Initiative data were accessed (n = 354, 75 ± 7 years, 38 % female), including plasma IGFBP-2, CSF total tau, CSF Aβ-42, MRI-quantified hippocampal volume, and neuropsychological performances. Mixed effects regression models evaluated the interaction between IGFBP-2 and AD biomarkers on hippocampal volume and neuropsychological performance, adjusting for age, sex, education, APOE ε4 status, and cognitive diagnosis. A baseline interaction between IGFBP-2 and CSF Aβ-42 was observed in relation to left (t(305) = -6.37, p = 0.002) and right hippocampal volume (t(305) = -7.74, p = 0.001). In both cases, higher IGFBP-2 levels were associated with smaller hippocampal volumes but only among amyloid negative individuals. The observed interaction suggests IGFBP-2 drives neurodegeneration through a separate pathway independent of AD neuropathology.
Quantification of volumetric correlation may be sensitive to disease alterations undetected by standard voxel based morphometry (VBM) such as subtle, synchronous alterations in regional volumes, and may provide complementary evidence of the structural impact of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) on the brain. The purpose of this study was to quantify differences of regional volumetric correlation in right (RTLE) and left (LTLE) TLE patients compared to healthy controls. A T1 weighted 3T MRI was acquired (1mm(3)) in 44 drug resistant unilateral TLE patients (n=26 RTLE, n=18 LTLE) and 44 individually age and gender matched healthy controls. Images were processed using a standard VBM framework and volumetric correlation was calculated across subjects in 90 regions and compared between patients and controls. Results were summarized across hemispheres and region groups. There was increased correlation involving the contralateral homologues of the seizure foci/network in the limbic, subcortical and temporal regions in both RTLE and LTLE. Outside these regions, results implied widespread correlated alterations across several contralateral lobes in LTLE, with more focal changes in RTLE. These findings complement previous volumetric studies in TLE describing more ipsilateral atrophy, by revealing subtle coordinated volumetric changes to identify a more widespread effect of TLE across the brain.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Skilled reading depends on recognizing words efficiently in isolation (word-level processing; WL) and extracting meaning from text (discourse-level processing; DL); deficiencies in either result in poor reading. FMRI has revealed consistent overlapping networks in word and passage reading, as well as unique regions for DL processing; however, less is known about how WL and DL processes interact. Here we examined functional connectivity from seed regions derived from where BOLD signal overlapped during word and passage reading in 38 adolescents ranging in reading ability, hypothesizing that even though certain regions support word- and higher-level language, connectivity patterns from overlapping regions would be task modulated. Results indeed revealed that the left-lateralized semantic and working memory (WM) seed regions showed task-dependent functional connectivity patterns: during DL processes, semantic and WM nodes all correlated with the left angular gyrus, a region implicated in semantic memory/coherence building. In contrast, during WL, these nodes coordinated with a traditional WL area (left occipitotemporal region). In addition, these WL and DL findings were modulated by decoding and comprehension abilities, respectively, with poorer abilities correlating with decreased connectivity. Findings indicate that key regions may uniquely contribute to multiple levels of reading; we speculate that these connectivity patterns may be especially salient for reading outcomes and intervention response.
© 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
OBJECTIVE - Asymmetric large-amplitude slow activity is sometimes observed on interictal electroencephalography (EEG) in epilepsy. However, few studies have examined slowing during magnetoencephalography (MEG) recordings, which are performed primarily to localize interictal spikes. Also, no prior investigations have compared the sensitivity of MEG to scalp EEG in detecting slow rhythms.
METHODS - We performed a retrospective cohort study of focal epilepsy patients who received MEG followed by surgical resection at our institution. We examined MEG, simultaneous EEG, and long-term EEG recordings for prominent asymmetric slow activity (delta-range, 1-4 Hz), and evaluated post-operative seizure outcomes.
RESULTS - We studied 132 patients with ≥ 1 year post-operative follow-up (mean, 3.6 years). Mean age was 27 (range, 3-68) years, and 55% of patients were male. Asymmetric large-amplitude slow wave activity was observed on interictal MEG in 21 of 132 (16%) patients. Interictal slowing lateralized to the hemisphere of resection in all but one (95%) patient. Among the 21 patients with interictal MEG slowing, 11 (52%) individuals had similarly lateralized EEG slowing, 7 patients had no EEG slowing, and 3 had bilateral symmetric EEG slowing. Meanwhile, none of the 111 patients without lateralized MEG slowing had asymmetric EEG slowing, suggesting significantly higher sensitivity of MEG versus EEG in detecting asymmetric slowing (χ(2)=63.4, p<0.001). MEG slowing was associated with shorter epilepsy duration with an odds ratio of 5.4 (1.7-17.0, 95% confidence interval). At last follow-up, 92 (70%) patients were seizure free (Engel I outcome), with no difference in seizure freedom rates between patients with (71%) or without (69%) asymmetric MEG slowing (χ(2)=0.4, p=0.99).
SIGNIFICANCE - MEG has higher sensitivity than scalp EEG in detecting asymmetric slow activity in focal epilepsy, which reliably lateralizes to the epileptogenic hemisphere. Other uses of MEG beyond spike localization may further improve presurgical evaluations in epilepsy.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Defects in experiencing disgust may contribute to obesity by allowing for the overconsumption of food. However, the relationship of disgust proneness and its associated neural locus has yet to be explored in the context of obesity. Thirty-three participants (17 obese, 16 lean) completed the Disgust Propensity and Sensitivity Scale-Revised and a functional magnetic resonance imaging paradigm where images from 4 categories (food, contaminates, contaminated food or fixation) were randomly presented. Independent two-sample t-tests revealed significantly lower levels of Disgust Sensitivity for the obese group (mean score = 14.7) compared with the lean group (mean score = 17.6, P = 0.026). The obese group had less activation in the right insula than the lean group when viewing contaminated food images. Multiple regression with interaction analysis revealed one left insula region where the association of Disgust Sensitivity scores with activation differed by group when viewing contaminated food images. These interaction effects were driven by the negative correlation of Disgust Sensitivity scores with beta values extracted from the left insula in the obese group (r = -0.59) compared with a positive correlation in the lean group (r = 0.65). Given these body mass index-dependent differences in Disgust Sensitivity and neural responsiveness to disgusting food images, it is likely that altered Disgust Sensitivity may contribute to obesity.
© The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
OBJECTIVE - To evaluate the relationship between intrascalar electrode location, electrode type (lateral wall, perimodiolar, and midscala), and angular insertion depth on residual hearing in cochlear implant (CI) recipients.
SETTING - Tertiary academic hospital.
PATIENTS - Adult CI patients with functional preoperative residual hearing with preoperative and postoperative CT scans.
INTERVENTION - Audiological assessment after CI.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES - Electrode location, angular insertion depth, residual hearing post-CI, and word scores with CI (consonant-nucleus-consonant [CNC]).
RESULTS - Forty-five implants in 36 patients (9 bilateral) were studied. Thirty-eight electrode arrays (84.4%) were fully inserted in scala tympani (ST), 6 (13.3%) crossed from ST to scala vestibuli (SV), and 1 (2.2%) was completely in SV. Twenty-two of the 38 (57.9%) with full ST insertion maintained residual hearing at 1 month compared with 0 of the 7 (0%) with non-full ST insertion (p = 0.005). Three surgical approaches were used: cochleostomy (C) 6/44, extended round window (ERW) 8/44, and round window (RW) 30/44. C and ERW were small group to compare with RW approaches. However if we combine C + ERW, then RW has higher chance of full ST insertion (p = 0.014). Looking at the full ST group, neither age, sex, nor electrode type demonstrated statistically significant associations with hearing preservation (p = 0.646, p = 0.4, and p = 0.929, respectively). The median angular insertion depth was 429° (range, 373°-512°) with no significant difference between the hearing and nonhearing preserved groups (p = 0.287).
CONCLUSION - Scalar excursion is a strong predictor of losing residual hearing. However, neither age, sex, electrode type, nor angular insertion depth was correlated with hearing preservation in the full ST group. Techniques to decrease the risk of electrode excursion from ST are likely to result in improved residual hearing and CI performance.
BACKGROUND - Social impairments are a hallmark feature of schizophrenia and are a key predictor of functional disability. Deficits in social information processing likely underlie social impairment; however, this relationship is understudied. We previously demonstrated that patients with schizophrenia fail to habituate to neutral faces, providing evidence for an alteration in basic social information processing. It remains unknown whether patients with schizophrenia also show deficits in processing of more complex social information. Out-group bias provides an excellent opportunity to test complex social information processing because the bias requires basic face processing skills, the ability to discriminate between groups, as well as the ability to categorize oneself into a salient social group.
METHODS - Study participants were 23 patients with schizophrenia and 21 controls. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, habituation of response to 120 s of repeated presentations of faces was assessed in participants who viewed either same-gender faces or opposite-gender faces. The interaction between face gender (same/opposite) and group was examined in three key regions: amygdala, hippocampus, and visual cortex. Social impairment was measured using the PANSS and correlations between social impairment and out-group effect (main effect of face type) were performed in patients.
RESULTS - Patients with schizophrenia had aberrant neural responses to opposite-gender faces (interaction, p<.05 corrected). Healthy controls showed an immediate heightened response to opposite-gender faces relative to same-gender faces; but in patients this effect was substantially delayed (~70s). In patients with schizophrenia, the out-group bias was significantly correlated with social impairment. Patients with no social impairment showed a heightened neural response to opposite-gender faces after 30s, whereas patients with mild-moderate social impairment failed to ever show a heightened response.
CONCLUSION - Alterations in neural responses during out-group processing predicted degree of social impairment in patients with schizophrenia; thus, neural responses to opposite-gender faces may provide a novel measure for studies of treatment response and disease outcome.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.