New resting-state fMRI related studies at PubMed

Disrupted functional connectivity of precuneus subregions in obsessive-compulsive disorder

Sat, 06/19/2021 - 10:00

Neuroimage Clin. 2021 Jun 9;31:102720. doi: 10.1016/j.nicl.2021.102720. Online ahead of print.


Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a chronic and disablingpsychiatric disorder with high lifetime prevalence, yet the underlying pathogenesis remains not fully understood. Increasing neuroimaging evidence has shown that the disrupted activity of brain functional hubs might contribute to the pathophysiology of OCD. Precuneus is an important brain hub which showed structural and functional abnormalities in OCD patients. However, the functional heterogeneity of the precuneus subregion has not been considered and its relation to OCD symptomatology remains to be elucidated. In this paper, a total of 73 unmedicated OCD patients and 79 matched healthy subjects were recruited and the heterogeneous functional connectivities (FCs) of the precuneus subregions were investigated using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging. The FC-based subdivision of the precuneus was performed using the K-means clustering algorithm, which led to a tripartite functional parcellation of precuneus. For each subregion, the distinct connectivity pattern with the whole brain was shown, using both voxel-wise and module-wise analysis, respectively. Decreased FC between dorsal posterior precuneus and vermis (corrected p<0.01) was shown in the patient group, which was negatively correlated with patient compulsions score (ρ = - 0.393, p = 0.001), indicating its contribution to the compulsive behavior inhibition of OCD. Our work might provide new insights into the understanding of precuneus subregion function and the importance of dorsal precuneus-cerebellum functional connectivity in OCD pathophysiology.

PMID:34146773 | DOI:10.1016/j.nicl.2021.102720

Interaction Between Cerebellum and Cerebral Cortex, Evidence from Dynamic Causal Modeling

Sat, 06/19/2021 - 10:00

Cerebellum. 2021 Jun 19. doi: 10.1007/s12311-021-01284-1. Online ahead of print.


The interaction of the cerebellum with cerebral cortical dynamics is still poorly understood. In this paper, dynamical causal modeling is used to examine the interaction between cerebellum and cerebral cortex as indexed by MRI resting-state functional connectivity in three large-scale networks on healthy young adults (N = 200; Human Connectome Project dataset). These networks correspond roughly to default mode, task positive, and motor as determined by prior cerebellar functional gradient analyses. We find uniform interactions within all considered networks from cerebellum to cerebral cortex, providing support for the notion of a universal cerebellar transform. Our results provide a foundation for future analyses to quantify and further investigate whether this is a property that is unique to the interactions from cerebellum to cerebral cortex.

PMID:34146220 | DOI:10.1007/s12311-021-01284-1

Potential optimization of focused ultrasound capsulotomy for obsessive compulsive disorder

Sat, 06/19/2021 - 10:00

Brain. 2021 Jun 18:awab232. doi: 10.1093/brain/awab232. Online ahead of print.


Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a debilitating and often refractory psychiatric disorder. Magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound is a novel, minimally invasive neuromodulatory technique that has shown promise in treating this condition. We investigated the relationship between lesion location and long-term outcome in obsessive-compulsive disorder patients treated with focused ultrasound to discern the optimal lesion location and elucidate the efficacious network underlying symptom alleviation. Postoperative images of eleven patients who underwent focused ultrasound capsulotomy were used to correlate lesion characteristics with symptom improvement at one year follow-up. Normative resting-state functional MRI and normative diffusion MRI-based tractography analyses were used to determine the networks associated with successful lesions. Obsessive-compulsive disorder patients treated with inferior thalamic peduncle deep brain stimulation (n = 5) and lesions from the literature implicated in obsessive-compulsive disorder (n = 18) were used for external validation. Successful long-term relief of obsessive-compulsive disorder was associated with lesions that included a specific area in the dorsal anterior limb of the internal capsule. Normative resting-state functional MRI analysis showed that lesion engagement of areas 24 and 46 was significantly associated with clinical outcomes (R = 0.79, p = 0.004). The key role of areas 24 and 46 was confirmed by (1) normative diffusion MRI-based tractography analysis showing that streamlines associated with better outcome projected to these areas, (2) association of these areas with inferior thalamic peduncle deep brain stimulation patients' outcome (R = 0.83, p = 0.003); (3) the connectedness of these areas to obsessive-compulsive disorder-causing lesions, as identified using literature-based lesion network mapping. These results provide considerations for target improvement, outlining the specific area of the internal capsule critical for successful magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound outcome and demonstrating that discrete frontal areas are involved in symptom relief. This could help refine focused ultrasound treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder and provide a network-based rationale for potential alternative targets.

PMID:34145884 | DOI:10.1093/brain/awab232

Akinetic mutism reversed by inferior parietal lobule repetitive theta burst stimulation: Can we restore default mode network function for therapeutic benefit?

Sat, 06/19/2021 - 10:00

Brain Behav. 2021 Jun 17:e02180. doi: 10.1002/brb3.2180. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Transcranial magnetic stimulation is a noninvasive treatment used to modulate cortical excitability. Its use over the last two decades has expanded, ranging from psychiatric disorders to traumatic brain injury and poststroke rehabilitation.

OBJECTIVES: We present the case of a 59-year-old male patient who presented in a decreased state of consciousness due to a right frontal glioblastoma, wherein his state was not improved by a successful surgery and could not be explained by any other condition. Due to his poor prognosis, we examine the benefits of receiving transcranial magnetic stimulation treatment to improve his akinetic mutism.

METHODS: We utilized independent component analysis with resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rsfMRI) to better understand his cortical functionality. The imaging suggested absence of the default mode network (DMN). The patient underwent five sessions of navigated intermittent theta burst stimulation to the ipsilesional inferior parietal lobule and inferior frontal gyrus, with the aim of improving his default mode network functionality.

RESULTS: No other treatments resulted in an improvement of this patient's condition; however, 3 weeks following transcranial magnetic stimulation treatment, the patient was more alert and interactive, and his follow-up rsfMRI scan demonstrated a partially intact default mode network.

CONCLUSION: This case raises important questions regarding the clinical utility of transcranial magnetic stimulation to improve the connectivity of important cerebral networks and subsequent related functional recovery.

PMID:34145791 | DOI:10.1002/brb3.2180

Brain Knows Who Is on the Same Wavelength: Resting-State Connectivity Can Predict Compatibility of a Female-Male Relationship

Sat, 06/19/2021 - 10:00

Cereb Cortex. 2021 Jun 18:bhab143. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhab143. Online ahead of print.


Prediction of the initial compatibility of heterosexual individuals based on self-reported traits and preferences has not been successful, even with significantly developed information technology. To overcome the limitations of self-reported measures and predict compatibility, we used functional connectivity profiles from resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data that carry rich individual-specific information sufficient to predict psychological constructs and activation patterns during social cognitive tasks. Several days after collecting data from resting-state fMRIs, participants undertook a speed-dating experiment in which they had a 3-min speed date with every other opposite-sex participant. Our machine learning algorithm successfully predicted whether pairs in the experiment were compatible or not using (dis)similarity of functional connectivity profiles obtained before the experiment. The similarity and dissimilarity of functional connectivity between individuals and these multivariate relationships contributed to the prediction, hence suggesting the importance of complementarity (observed as dissimilarity) as well as the similarity between an individual and a potential partner during the initial attraction phase. The result indicates that the salience network, limbic areas, and cerebellum are especially important for the feeling of compatibility. This research emphasizes the utility of neural information to predict complex phenomena in a social environment that behavioral measures alone cannot predict.

PMID:34145453 | DOI:10.1093/cercor/bhab143

Brain Dynamics Underlying Cognitive Flexibility Across the Lifespan

Sat, 06/19/2021 - 10:00

Cereb Cortex. 2021 Jun 18:bhab156. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhab156. Online ahead of print.


The neural mechanisms contributing to flexible cognition and behavior and how they change with development and aging are incompletely understood. The current study explored intrinsic brain dynamics across the lifespan using resting-state fMRI data (n = 601, 6-85 years) and examined the interactions between age and brain dynamics among three neurocognitive networks (midcingulo-insular network, M-CIN; medial frontoparietal network, M-FPN; and lateral frontoparietal network, L-FPN) in relation to behavioral measures of cognitive flexibility. Hierarchical multiple regression analysis revealed brain dynamics among a brain state characterized by co-activation of the L-FPN and M-FPN, and brain state transitions, moderated the relationship between quadratic effects of age and cognitive flexibility as measured by scores on the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS) test. Furthermore, simple slope analyses of significant interactions revealed children and older adults were more likely to exhibit brain dynamic patterns associated with poorer cognitive flexibility compared with younger adults. Our findings link changes in cognitive flexibility observed with age with the underlying brain dynamics supporting these changes. Preventative and intervention measures should prioritize targeting these networks with cognitive flexibility training to promote optimal outcomes across the lifespan.

PMID:34145442 | DOI:10.1093/cercor/bhab156

Transdiagnostic neuroimaging of reward system phenotypes in ADHD and comorbid disorders

Fri, 06/18/2021 - 10:00

Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2021 Jun 15:S0149-7634(21)00266-9. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2021.06.025. Online ahead of print.


ADHD is a disorder characterized by changes in the reward system and which is highly comorbid with other mental disorders, suggesting common neurobiological pathways. Transdiagnostic neuroimaging findings could help to understand whether a dysregulated reward pathway might be the actual link between ADHD and its comorbidities. We here synthesize ADHD neuroimaging findings on the reward system with findings in obesity, depression, and substance use disorder including their comorbid appearance regarding neuroanatomical features (structural MRI) and activation patterns (resting-state and functional MRI). We focus on findings from monetary-incentive-delay (MID) and delay-discounting (DD) tasks and then review data on striatal connectivity and volumetry. Next, for better understanding of comorbidity in adult ADHD, we discuss these neuroimaging features in ADHD, obesity, depression and substance use disorder and ask whether ADHD heterogeneity and comorbidity are reflected by a common dysregulation in the reward system. Finally, we highlight conceptual issues related to heterogeneous paradigms, different phenotyping, longitudinal prediction and highlight some promising future directions for using striatal reward functioning as a clinical biomarker.

PMID:34144113 | DOI:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2021.06.025

Using functional connectivity models to characterize relationships between working and episodic memory

Fri, 06/18/2021 - 10:00

Brain Behav. 2021 Jun 17:e02105. doi: 10.1002/brb3.2105. Online ahead of print.


INTRODUCTION: Working memory is a critical cognitive ability that affects our daily functioning and relates to many cognitive processes and clinical conditions. Episodic memory is vital because it enables individuals to form and maintain their self-identities. Our study analyzes the extent to which whole-brain functional connectivity observed during completion of an N-back memory task, a common measure of working memory, can predict both working memory and episodic memory.

METHODS: We used connectome-based predictive models (CPMs) to predict 502 Human Connectome Project (HCP) participants' in-scanner 2-back memory test scores and out-of-scanner working memory test (List Sorting) and episodic memory test (Picture Sequence and Penn Word) scores based on functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data collected both during rest and N-back task performance. We also analyzed the functional brain connections that contributed to prediction for each of these models.

RESULTS: Functional connectivity observed during N-back task performance predicted out-of-scanner List Sorting scores and to a lesser extent out-of-scanner Picture Sequence scores, but did not predict out-of-scanner Penn Word scores. Additionally, the functional connections predicting 2-back scores overlapped to a greater degree with those predicting List Sorting scores than with those predicting Picture Sequence or Penn Word scores. Functional connections with the insula, including connections between insular and parietal regions, predicted scores across the 2-back, List Sorting, and Picture Sequence tasks.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings validate functional connectivity observed during the N-back task as a measure of working memory, which generalizes to predict episodic memory to a lesser extent. By building on our understanding of the predictive power of N-back task functional connectivity, this work enhances our knowledge of relationships between working memory and episodic memory.

PMID:34142458 | DOI:10.1002/brb3.2105

Disruption of Neural Activity and Functional Connectivity in Adolescents With Major Depressive Disorder Who Engage in Non-suicidal Self-Injury: A Resting-State fMRI Study

Fri, 06/18/2021 - 10:00

Front Psychiatry. 2021 Jun 1;12:571532. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2021.571532. eCollection 2021.


Background: Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI), which commonly occurs during adolescence, often co-occurs with major depressive disorder (MDD). However, the underlying neurobiological mechanisms in adolescents with MDD who engage in NSSI remain unclear. The current study examined the aberrant local neural activity in certain areas of the visual regions and the default mode network (DMN) and the resting-state functional connectivity (rs-FC) in changed brain regions in adolescents with MDD who engage in NSSI and adolescents with MDD only. Methods: A total of 67 adolescents with MDD were divided into two groups based on their NSSI behavior: the NSSI group (n = 31) and an age-, gender-, and education-matched MDD group (n = 36). The Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD) was used to assess the severity of MDD. Amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (ALFF) analysis was used to detect alterations in local neural activity. Brain regions with aberrant neural activity were considered regions of interest (ROI). ALFF-based rs-FC analysis was used to further explore the underlying changes in connectivity between ROI and other areas in the NSSI group. Correlation analyses were performed to examine the relationship between neural changes and clinical characteristics. Results: There was no significant difference in HAMD scores between the two groups. ALFF analysis revealed that, compared to adolescents with MDD only, adolescents with MDD who engaged in NSSI displayed significantly enhanced neural activity in the right fusiform gyrus (FFG. R) and the right median cingulate and paracingulate gyri (DCG. R). Significantly reduced rs-FC of the FFG. R-bilateral medial orbital of the superior frontal gyrus (ORBsupmed. L/R)/bilateral medial superior frontal gyrus (SFGmed. L/R), FFG. R-bilateral posterior cingulate gyrus (PCG. L/R), DCG. R-left pallidum (PAL. L), DCG. R-right superior temporal gyrus (STG. R), and DCG. R-right postcentral gyrus (PoCG. R)/right inferior parietal lobule (IPL. R) was found in adolescents with MDD who were engaged in NSSI. Additionally, no significant correlations were observed between ALFF or rs-FC values and the HAMD scores between the two groups. Limitations: Owing to the cross-sectional design, the alterations in ALFF and rs-FC values in the FFG. R and DCG. R could not demonstrate that it was a state or feature in adolescents with MDD who engaged in NSSI. Additionally, the sample size was relatively small. Conclusions: This study highlights changes in regional brain activity and remote connectivity in the FFG. R and DCG. R in adolescents with MDD who engage in NSSI. This could provide a new perspective for further studies on the neurobiological mechanism of NSSI behavior in adolescents with MDD.

PMID:34140897 | PMC:PMC8203805 | DOI:10.3389/fpsyt.2021.571532

Neurophysiological correlates of disorder-related autobiographical memory in anorexia nervosa

Fri, 06/18/2021 - 10:00

Psychol Med. 2021 Jun 18:1-11. doi: 10.1017/S003329172100221X. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Anorexia nervosa (AN) is characterized by an overgeneralization of food/body-related autobiographical memories (AM). This is regarded as an emotion regulation strategy with adverse long-term effects implicated in disorder maintenance and treatment resistance. Therefore, we aimed to examine neural correlates of food/body-related AM-recall in AN.

METHODS: Twenty-nine female patients with AN and 30 medication-free age-sex-matched normal-weight healthy controls (HC) underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging while recalling AMs in response to food/body-related and neutral cue words. To control for general knowledge retrieval, participants engaged in a semantic generation and riser detection task.

RESULTS: In comparison to HC, patients with AN generated fewer and less specific AMs in response to food/body-related words, but not for neutral cue words. Group comparisons revealed reduced activation in regions associated with self-referential processing and memory retrieval (precuneus and angular gyrus) during the retrieval of specific food/body-related AM in patients with AN. Brain connectivity in regions associated with memory functioning and executive control was reduced in patients with AN during the retrieval of specific food/body-related AM. Finally, resting-state functional connectivity analysis revealed no differences between groups, arguing against a general underlying disconnection of brain networks implicated in memory and emotional processing in AN.

CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate impaired neural processing of food/body-related AM in AN, with a reduced involvement of regions involved in self-referential processing. Our findings are discussed as possible neuronal correlates of emotional avoidance in AN and provide new insights of AN-pathophysiology underscoring the importance of targeting dysfunctional emotion regulation strategies during treatment.

PMID:34140047 | DOI:10.1017/S003329172100221X

A multidisciplinary assessment of pain in juvenile idiopathic arthritis

Thu, 06/17/2021 - 10:00

Semin Arthritis Rheum. 2021 Jun 4;51(4):700-711. doi: 10.1016/j.semarthrit.2021.05.011. Online ahead of print.


INTRODUCTION: Pain is prevalent in juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). Unknowns regarding the biological drivers of pain complicate therapeutic targeting. We employed neuroimaging to define pain-related neurobiological features altered in JIA.

METHODS: 16 male and female JIA patients (12.7 ± 2.8 years of age) on active treatment were enrolled, together with age- and sex-matched controls. Patients were assessed using physical examination, clinical questionnaires, musculoskeletal MRI, and structural neuroimaging. In addition, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data were collected during the resting-state, hand-motor task performance, and cold stimulation of the hand and knee.

RESULTS: Patients with and without pain and with and without inflammation (joint and systemic) were evaluated. Pain severity was associated with more physical stress and poorer cognitive function. Corrected for multiple comparisons, morphological analysis revealed decreased cortical thickness within the insula cortex and a negative correlation between caudate nucleus volume and pain severity. Functional neuroimaging findings suggested alteration within neurocircuitry structures regulating emotional pain processing (anterior insula) in addition to the default-mode and sensorimotor networks.

CONCLUSIONS: Patients with JIA may exhibit changes in neurobiological circuits related to pain. These preliminary findings suggest mechanisms by which pain could potentially become dissociated from detectable joint pathology and persist independently of inflammation or treatment status.

PMID:34139523 | DOI:10.1016/j.semarthrit.2021.05.011

Functional connectivity between the caudate and medial prefrontal cortex reflects individual honesty variations in adults and children

Thu, 06/17/2021 - 10:00

Neuroimage. 2021 Jun 14:118268. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2021.118268. Online ahead of print.


Deception emerges in early childhood and prevails in adults. Activation patterns in previous adults' task-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), though sensitive to state honesty on a specific decision, are less reliable reflecting trait honesty. Besides of state honesty, most previous neuroimaging studies about dishonesty suffer the generalization problem due to the major focus on adults with children unexplored. To investigate honesty associated functional brain networks variations, 98 healthy adults (Age: 18-28 y.o.; 49 males and 49 females) were invited to participate in a resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rfMRI) study (Study 1). We investigated how functional connections between the caudate and the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) change among adults who differ in self-reported trait honesty. Results showed that adults with higher trait honesty have increased functional connectivity from the caudate to the mPFC, which is identified as an honesty-related hub region in global brain connectivity analysis and connects more tightly to a wide range of brain regions including the amygdala. Study 2 compared functional connectivity between children with high vs. low lying frequencies (Age: 6-16 y.o.; 61 males and 39 females) based on a publicly accessible database of rfMRI. Consistent with findings in adults, increased functional connectivity from the caudate to the mPFC was found in less frequently lying children. Despite different honesty indicators of self-reported honesty trait in adults and parent-reported lying patterns in children, consistent findings have been noted in the two samples with regards to functional connectivity variations between reward-related and self-related brain regions. These findings suggest functional connectivity alterations between the caudate and the mPFC contribute to honesty variations in both adults and children.

PMID:34139359 | DOI:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2021.118268

Distance disintegration characterizes node-level topological dysfunctions in cocaine addiction

Thu, 06/17/2021 - 10:00

Addict Biol. 2021 Jun 16:e13072. doi: 10.1111/adb.13072. Online ahead of print.


Previous investigations have used global graph theory measures in order to disentangle the complexity of the neural reorganizations occurring in cocaine use disorder (CUD). However, how these global topological alterations map into individual brain network areas remains unknown. In this study, we used resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data to investigate node-level topological dysfunctions in CUD. The sample was composed of 32 individuals with CUD and 32 healthy controls, matched in age, years of education and intellectual functioning. Graph theory measures of optimal connectivity distance, node strength, nodal efficiency and clustering coefficient were estimated in each participant using voxel-wise functional connectivity connectomes. CUD individuals as compared with healthy controls showed higher optimal connectivity distances in ventral striatum, insula, cerebellum, temporal cortex, lateral orbitofrontal cortex, middle frontal cortex and left hippocampus. Furthermore, clinical measures quantifying severity of dependence were positively related with optimal connectivity distances in the right rolandic operculum and the right lateral orbitofrontal cortex, whereas length of abstinence was negatively associated with optimal connectivity distances in the right temporal pole and the left insula. Our results reveal a topological distancing of cognitive and affective related areas in addiction, suggesting an overall reduction in the communication capacity of these regions.

PMID:34137121 | DOI:10.1111/adb.13072

Characteristics of Intrinsic Brain Functional Connectivity Alterations in Major Depressive Disorder Patients With Suicide Behavior

Thu, 06/17/2021 - 10:00

J Magn Reson Imaging. 2021 Jun 16. doi: 10.1002/jmri.27784. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: The intrinsic brain functional connectivity of suicide attempts in major depressive disorder (MDD) remains incompletely understood.

PURPOSE: To investigate graph-theoretical based functional connectivity strength (FCS) alterations in MDD patients with suicidal behavior.

STUDY TYPE: Prospective.

SUBJECTS: Fifty medication-free MDD patients, with (suicide attempters, SA, N = 15) and without (non-attempters, nSA, N = 35) a history of a suicide attempt, and 37 healthy controls (HC).

FIELD STRENGTH/SEQUENCE: Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) using a gradient-echo imaging sequence was acquired at 3.0 T.

ASSESSMENT: For each individual, voxel-wise whole-brain functional network was constructed and graph-theoretical based FCS map was calculated. For each individual in two patient groups, the seed-based functional connectivity map was constructed.

STATISTICAL TESTS: Non-parameter permutation tests, analysis of covariance, two-sample t-test, Chi-square test, and Pearson correlation analysis. A P value <0.05 was considered statistically significant.

RESULTS: Relative to the HC group, two MDD patient groups showed significantly lower FCS in the left hippocampus, while nSA patients showed additionally lower FCS in more widespread regions (P < 0.05). Importantly, comparing to nSA patients, SA patients had significantly higher FCS in the right orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and bilateral dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) (P < 0.05). Further seed-based functional connectivity analysis revealed that the right OFC exhibited significantly higher connectivity to right middle frontal gyrus and lower connectivity to the left anterior cingulate cortex and left calcarine sulcus, and the bilateral dmPFC had significantly higher connectivity to the left middle frontal gyrus and right inferior temporal gyrus in the SA patients than in the nSA patients (P < 0.05).

DATA CONCLUSION: This study identified disconnections of the OFC and dmPFC which were putatively related to a higher risk of suicidal behavior in MDD patients, thus extended the understanding of suicidal behavior at a brain circuit level.


PMID:34137101 | DOI:10.1002/jmri.27784

Different Modulatory Effects of Cognitive Training and Aerobic Exercise on Resting State Functional Connectivity of Entorhinal Cortex in Community-Dwelling Older Adults

Thu, 06/17/2021 - 10:00

Front Aging Neurosci. 2021 May 31;13:655245. doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2021.655245. eCollection 2021.


The entorhinal cortex (EC) plays an essential role in age-related cognitive decline. However, the effect of functional connectivity (FC) changes between EC and other cerebral cortices on cognitive function remains unclear. The aim of this study was to explore the modulation of two interventions (cognitive training and aerobic exercise) on EC-FC in community-dwelling older adults. In total, 94 healthy older adults aged between 65 and 75 years were assigned to either the cognitive training or aerobic exercise group to receive 24 sessions over 12 weeks, or to a control group. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging was performed at both baseline and 12-month follow-up. Compared to the cognitive training group, the aerobic exercise group showed greater EC-FC in the bilateral middle temporal gyrus, right supramarginal gyrus, left angular gyrus, and right postcentral gyrus. Compared to the control group, the cognitive training group had a decreased EC-FC in the right hippocampus, right middle temporal gyrus, left angular gyrus, and right postcentral gyrus and an increased EC-FC in the bilateral pallidum, while the aerobic exercise group showed increased EC-FC between the right medial prefrontal cortex(mPFC), bilateral pallidum, and right precuneus. Baseline EC-FC in the mPFC was positively correlated with the visuospatial/constructional index score of the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status. In the cognitive training group, EC-FC value changes in the right hippocampus were negatively correlated with changes in the RBANS delayed memory index score, while in the aerobic exercise group, EC-FC value changes in the left angular gyrus were positively correlated with changes in the RBANS attention index score. These findings support the hypothesis that both cognitive training and aerobic exercise can modulate EC-FC in aging populations but through different neural pathways.

PMID:34135749 | PMC:PMC8200543 | DOI:10.3389/fnagi.2021.655245

A Unified Functional Network Target for Deep Brain Stimulation in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Thu, 06/17/2021 - 10:00

Biol Psychiatry. 2021 Apr 20:S0006-3223(21)01223-3. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2021.04.006. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Multiple deep brain stimulation (DBS) targets have been proposed for treating intractable obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Here, we investigated whether stimulation effects of different target sites would be mediated by one common or several segregated functional brain networks.

METHODS: First, seeding from active electrodes of 4 OCD patient cohorts (N = 50) receiving DBS to anterior limb of the internal capsule or subthalamic nucleus zones, optimal functional connectivity profiles for maximal Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale improvements were calculated and cross-validated in leave-one-cohort-out and leave-one-patient-out designs. Second, we derived optimal target-specific connectivity patterns to determine brain regions mutually predictive of clinical outcome for both targets and others predictive for either target alone. Functional connectivity was defined using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data acquired in 1000 healthy participants.

RESULTS: While optimal functional connectivity profiles showed both commonalities and differences between target sites, robust cross-predictions of clinical improvements across OCD cohorts and targets suggested a shared network. Connectivity to the anterior cingulate cortex, insula, and precuneus, among other regions, was predictive regardless of stimulation target. Regions with maximal connectivity to these commonly predictive areas included the insula, superior frontal gyrus, anterior cingulate cortex, and anterior thalamus, as well as the original stereotactic targets.

CONCLUSIONS: Pinpointing the network modulated by DBS for OCD from different target sites identified a set of brain regions to which DBS electrodes associated with optimal outcomes were functionally connected-regardless of target choice. On these grounds, we establish potential brain areas that could prospectively inform additional or alternative neuromodulation targets for obsessive-compulsive disorder.

PMID:34134839 | DOI:10.1016/j.biopsych.2021.04.006

Central insulin modulates dopamine signaling in the human striatum

Wed, 06/16/2021 - 10:00

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2021 Jun 15:dgab410. doi: 10.1210/clinem/dgab410. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVE: Activity in the dopaminergic pathways of the brain is highly sensitive to body weight and metabolic states. Animal studies show that dopamine neurons are important targets for the metabolic hormone insulin with abolished effects in the insulin resistant state, leading to increases in body weight and food intake. In humans, the influence of central acting insulin on dopamine and effects of their interplay are still elusive.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: We investigated whether central administered insulin influences dopaminergic activity in striatal regions and whole-brain neural activity. Using a PET/MRI hybrid scanner, we simultaneously performed [ 11C]-raclopride-PET and resting state fMRI in 10 healthy normal weight men after application of intranasal insulin or placebo on two separate days in a randomized, placebo-controlled, blinded, crossover trial.

RESULTS: In response to central insulin compared to placebo administration, we observed greater [ 11C]-raclopride binding potential (BPnd) in the bilateral ventral and dorsal striatum. This suggests an insulin-induced reduction in synaptic dopamine levels. Resting-state striatal activity was lower 15 and 30 min after nasal insulin compared to placebo. Functional connectivity of the mesocorticolimbic circuitry associated with differences in dopamine levels: individuals with a stronger insulin-induced effect on dopamine levels showed a stronger increase in functional connectivity 45 min after intranasal insulin.

CONCLUSIONS: This study indicates that central insulin modulates dopaminergic tone in the striatum, which may affect regional brain activity and connectivity. Our results deepen the understanding of the insulin-dopamine interaction and the complex network that underlies the regulation of whole-body metabolism.

PMID:34131733 | DOI:10.1210/clinem/dgab410

Patterns of Infant Amygdala Connectivity Mediate the Impact of High Caregiver Affect on Reducing Infant Smiling: Discovery and Replication

Wed, 06/16/2021 - 10:00

Biol Psychiatry. 2021 Mar 26:S0006-3223(21)01186-0. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2021.03.026. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Behavioral research indicates that caregiver mood disorders and emotional instability in the early months following childbirth are associated with lower positive emotionality and higher negative emotionality in infants, but the neural mechanisms remain understudied.

METHODS: Using resting-state functional connectivity as a measure of the functional architecture of the early infant brain, we aimed to determine the extent to which connectivity between the amygdala, a key region supporting emotional learning and perception, and large-scale neural networks mediated the association between caregiver affect and anxiety and early infant negative emotionality and positive emotionality. Two samples of infants (first sample: n = 58; second sample: n = 31) 3 months of age underwent magnetic resonance imaging during natural sleep.

RESULTS: During infancy, greater resting-state functional connectivity between the amygdala and the salience network and, to a lesser extent, lower amygdala and executive control network resting-state functional connectivity mediated the effect of greater caregiver postpartum depression and trait anxiety on reducing infant smiling (familywise error-corrected p < .05). Furthermore, results from the first sample were replicated in the second, independent sample, to a greater extent for caregiver depression than for caregiver anxiety.

CONCLUSIONS: We provide evidence of early objective neural markers that can help identify infants who are more likely to be at risk from, versus those who might be protected against, the deleterious effects of caregiver depression and anxiety and reduced positive emotionality.

PMID:34130856 | DOI:10.1016/j.biopsych.2021.03.026

Community violence exposure is associated with hippocampus-insula resting state functional connectivity in urban youth

Tue, 06/15/2021 - 10:00

Neuroscience. 2021 Jun 12:S0306-4522(21)00302-X. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2021.06.010. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Our previous work has linked childhood violence exposure in Black youth to functional changes in the hippocampus, a brain region sensitive to stress. However, different contexts of violence exposure (e.g., community, home, school) may have differential effects on circuitry. We investigated the unique effect of community violence in predicting resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) in the hippocampus.

METHODS: Fifty-two (26F) violence-exposed Black youth ages 8-15 performed resting-state functional neuroimaging scans while looking at a fixation cross for seven minutes with eyes open. Seed-based analyses were conducted to examine the association between total violence exposure and rsFC of the hippocampus to the whole brain. Follow-up hierarchical regression analysis were performed to specifically investigate community violence.

RESULTS: Violence exposure was associated with higher hippocampus rsFC with a core node of the Default Mode Network (i.e., posterior cingulate cortex) and lower hippocampal rsFC with a core node of the Salience Network (i.e., insula). Community violence uniquely associated with lower hippocampus-insula rsFC, after controlling for home and school violence, sex and age. Age-related decreases in hippocampus-insula rsFC were also present in youth with lower violence exposure, but not in youth with higher violence exposure.

CONCLUSIONS: This is one of the first studies to investigate the unique impact of community violence, above home and school violence, on threat circuitry. Our data suggest functional alterations in the hippocampus in violence-exposed youth, and that violence in the community may be a more salient form of threat exposure compared to other forms of violence experienced by youth.

PMID:34129912 | DOI:10.1016/j.neuroscience.2021.06.010

Automated Brain Masking of Fetal Functional MRI with Open Data

Tue, 06/15/2021 - 10:00

Neuroinformatics. 2021 Jun 15. doi: 10.1007/s12021-021-09528-5. Online ahead of print.


Fetal resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) has emerged as a critical new approach for characterizing brain development before birth. Despite the rapid and widespread growth of this approach, at present, we lack neuroimaging processing pipelines suited to address the unique challenges inherent in this data type. Here, we solve the most challenging processing step, rapid and accurate isolation of the fetal brain from surrounding tissue across thousands of non-stationary 3D brain volumes. Leveraging our library of 1,241 manually traced fetal fMRI images from 207 fetuses, we trained a Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) that achieved excellent performance across two held-out test sets from separate scanners and populations. Furthermore, we unite the auto-masking model with additional fMRI preprocessing steps from existing software and provide insight into our adaptation of each step. This work represents an initial advancement towards a fully comprehensive, open-source workflow, with openly shared code and data, for fetal functional MRI data preprocessing.

PMID:34129169 | DOI:10.1007/s12021-021-09528-5