Schlegel, Alexander A; Rudelson, Justin J; Tse, Peter U
Traditional models hold that the plastic reorganization of brain structures occurs mainly during childhood and adolescence, leaving adults with limited means to learn new knowledge and skills. Research within the last decade has begun to overturn this belief, documenting changes in the brain's gray and white matter as healthy adults learn simple motor and cognitive skills [Lövdén, M., Bodammer, N. C., Kühn, S., Kaufmann, J., Schütze, H., Tempelmann, C., et al. Experience-dependent plasticity of white-matter microstructure extends into old age. Neuropsychologia, 48, 3878-3883, 2010; Taubert, M., Draganski, B., Anwander, A., Müller, K., Horstmann, A., Villringer, A., et al. Dynamic properties of human brain structure: Learning-related changes in cortical areas and associated fiber connections. The Journal of Neuroscience, 30, 11670-11677, 2010; Scholz, J., Klein, M. C., Behrens, T. E. J., & Johansen-Berg, H. Training induces changes in white-matter architecture. Nature Neuroscience, 12, 1370-1371, 2009; Draganski, B., Gaser, C., Busch, V., Schuirer, G., Bogdahn, U., & May, A. Changes in grey matter induced by training. Nature, 427, 311-312, 2004]. Although the significance of these changes is not fully understood, they reveal a brain that remains plastic well beyond early developmental periods. Here we investigate the role of adult structural plasticity in the complex, long-term learning process of foreign language acquisition. We collected monthly diffusion tensor imaging scans of 11 English speakers who took a 9-month intensive course in written and spoken Modern Standard Chinese as well as from 16 control participants who did not study a language. We show that white matter reorganizes progressively across multiple sites as adults study a new language. Language learners exhibited progressive changes in white matter tracts associated with traditional left hemisphere language areas and their right hemisphere analogs. Surprisingly, the most significant changes
Mortazavi, Farzad; Wang, Xiyue; Rosene, Douglas L.; Rockland, Kathleen S.
In humans and non-human primates (NHP), white matter neurons (WMNs) persist beyond early development. Their functional importance is largely unknown, but they have both corticothalamic and corticocortical connectivity and at least one subpopulation has been implicated in vascular regulation and sleep. Several other studies have reported that the density of WMNs in humans is altered in neuropathological or psychiatric conditions. The present investigation evaluates and compares the density of superficial and deep WMNs in frontal (FR), temporal (TE), and parietal (Par) association regions of four young adult and four aged male rhesus monkeys. A major aim was to determine whether there was age-related neuronal loss, as might be expected given the substantial age-related changes known to occur in the surrounding white matter environment. Neurons were visualized by immunocytochemistry for Neu-N in coronal tissue sections (30 μm thickness), and neuronal density was assessed by systematic random sampling. Per 0.16 mm2 sampling box, this yielded about 40 neurons in the superficial WM and 10 in the deep WM. Consistent with multiple studies of cell density in the cortical gray matter of normal brains, neither the superficial nor deep WM populations showed statistically significant age-related neuronal loss, although we observed a moderate decrease with age for the deep WMNs in the frontal region. Morphometric analyses, in contrast, showed significant age effects in soma size and circularity. In specific, superficial WMNs were larger in FR and Par WM regions of the young monkeys; but in the TE, these were larger in the older monkeys. An age effect was also observed for soma circularity: superficial WMNs were more circular in FR and Par of the older monkeys. This second, morphometric result raises the question of whether other age-related morphological, connectivity, or molecular changes occur in the WMNs. These could have multiple impacts, given the wide range of putative
Cieslak, Matthew; Ingham, Rojer J.; Ingham, Janis C.; Grafton, Scott T.
Aims: Developmental stuttering is now generally considered to arise from genetic determinants interacting with neurologic function. Changes within speech-motor white matter (WM) connections may also be implicated. These connections can now be studied in great detail by high-angular-resolution diffusion magnetic resonance imaging. Therefore,…
Van Impe, Annouchka; Coxon, James P; Goble, Daniel J; Doumas, Mihail; Swinnen, Stephan P
Aging is characterized by brain structural changes that may compromise motor functions. In the context of postural control, white matter integrity is crucial for the efficient transfer of visual, proprioceptive and vestibular feedback in the brain. To determine the role of age-related white matter decline as a function of the sensory feedback necessary to correct posture, we acquired diffusion weighted images in young and old subjects. A force platform was used to measure changes in body posture under conditions of compromised proprioceptive and/or visual feedback. In the young group, no significant brain structure-balance relations were found. In the elderly however, the integrity of a cluster in the frontal forceps explained 21% of the variance in postural control when proprioceptive information was compromised. Additionally, when only the vestibular system supplied reliable information, the occipital forceps was the best predictor of balance performance (42%). Age-related white matter decline may thus be predictive of balance performance in the elderly when sensory systems start to degrade.
Williams, Jacqueline; Kashuk, Saman R; Wilson, Peter H; Thorpe, Graham; Egan, Gary F
Movement skill difficulties in children [or developmental coordination disorder (DCD)] often persist into adulthood (in up to 70% of cases). The suggestion of white matter microstructure alterations in children with DCD raises the question of whether similar alterations are present in adults with probable DCD (pDCD). Twelve adults with pDCD and 11 adults without pDCD underwent diffusion tensor imaging. The results showed that the pDCD group had significantly lower fractional anisotropy in the corticospinal tract and superior longitudinal fasciculus and lower mean diffusivity in the internal capsule and inferior longitudinal fasciculus. This suggests reduced white matter integrity in parietofrontal and corticospinal tracts, with possible compensatory increases in white matter integrity along the visual ventral stream and front-occipital networks. These findings support recent neuroimaging studies in children with DCD and suggest persistent neurobiological alterations along white matter tracts that are known to support motor planning, cognition and their association.
Samanez-Larkin, Gregory R; Levens, Sara M; Perry, Lee M; Dougherty, Robert F; Knutson, Brian
Frontostriatal circuits have been implicated in reward learning, and emerging findings suggest that frontal white matter structural integrity and probabilistic reward learning are reduced in older age. This cross-sectional study examined whether age differences in frontostriatal white matter integrity could account for age differences in reward learning in a community life span sample of human adults. By combining diffusion tensor imaging with a probabilistic reward learning task, we found that older age was associated with decreased reward learning and decreased white matter integrity in specific pathways running from the thalamus to the medial prefrontal cortex and from the medial prefrontal cortex to the ventral striatum. Further, white matter integrity in these thalamocorticostriatal paths could statistically account for age differences in learning. These findings suggest that the integrity of frontostriatal white matter pathways critically supports reward learning. The findings also raise the possibility that interventions that bolster frontostriatal integrity might improve reward learning and decision making.
Oberlin, Lauren E; Verstynen, Timothy D; Burzynska, Agnieszka Z; Voss, Michelle W; Prakash, Ruchika Shaurya; Chaddock-Heyman, Laura; Wong, Chelsea; Fanning, Jason; Awick, Elizabeth; Gothe, Neha; Phillips, Siobhan M; Mailey, Emily; Ehlers, Diane; Olson, Erin; Wojcicki, Thomas; McAuley, Edward; Kramer, Arthur F; Erickson, Kirk I
White matter structure declines with advancing age and has been associated with a decline in memory and executive processes in older adulthood. Yet, recent research suggests that higher physical activity and fitness levels may be associated with less white matter degeneration in late life, although the tract-specificity of this relationship is not well understood. In addition, these prior studies infrequently associate measures of white matter microstructure to cognitive outcomes, so the behavioral importance of higher levels of white matter microstructural organization with greater fitness levels remains a matter of speculation. Here we tested whether cardiorespiratory fitness (VO2max) levels were associated with white matter microstructure and whether this relationship constituted an indirect pathway between cardiorespiratory fitness and spatial working memory in two large, cognitively and neurologically healthy older adult samples. Diffusion tensor imaging was used to determine white matter microstructure in two separate groups: Experiment 1, N=113 (mean age=66.61) and Experiment 2, N=154 (mean age=65.66). Using a voxel-based regression approach, we found that higher VO2max was associated with higher fractional anisotropy (FA), a measure of white matter microstructure, in a diverse network of white matter tracts, including the anterior corona radiata, anterior internal capsule, fornix, cingulum, and corpus callosum (PFDR-corrected<.05). This effect was consistent across both samples even after controlling for age, gender, and education. Further, a statistical mediation analysis revealed that white matter microstructure within these regions, among others, constituted a significant indirect path between VO2max and spatial working memory performance. These results suggest that greater aerobic fitness levels are associated with higher levels of white matter microstructural organization, which may, in turn, preserve spatial memory performance in older adulthood.
Luk, Gigi; Bialystok, Ellen; Craik, Fergus I M; Grady, Cheryl L
Previous research has shown that bilingual speakers have higher levels of cognitive control than comparable monolinguals, especially at older ages. The present study investigates a possible neural correlate of this behavioral effect. Given that white matter (WM) integrity decreases with age in adulthood, we tested the hypothesis that bilingualism is associated with maintenance of WM in older people. Using diffusion tensor imaging, we found higher WM integrity in older people who were lifelong bilinguals than in monolinguals. This maintained integrity was measured by fractional anisotropy (FA) and was found in the corpus callosum extending to the superior and inferior longitudinal fasciculi. We also hypothesized that stronger WM connections would be associated with more widely distributed patterns of functional connectivity in bilinguals. We tested this by assessing the resting-state functional connectivity of frontal lobe regions adjacent to WM areas with group differences in FA. Bilinguals showed stronger anterior to posterior functional connectivity compared to monolinguals. These results are the first evidence that maintained WM integrity is related to lifelong naturally occurring experience; the resulting enhanced structural and functional connectivity may provide a neural basis for "brain reserve."
Nakagawa, Seishu; Takeuchi, Hikaru; Taki, Yasuyuki; Nouchi, Rui; Sekiguchi, Atsushi; Kotozaki, Yuka; Miyauchi, Carlos Makoto; Iizuka, Kunio; Yokoyama, Ryoichi; Shinada, Takamitsu; Yamamoto, Yuki; Hanawa, Sugiko; Araki, Tsuyoshi; Hashizume, Hiroshi; Kunitoki, Keiko; Sassa, Yuko; Kawashima, Ryuta
Lonely individuals may exhibit dysfunction, particularly with respect to social empathy and self-efficacy. White matter (WM) structures related to loneliness have not yet been identified. We investigated the association between regional WM density (rWMD) using the UCLA Loneliness Scale in 776 healthy young students aged 18-27 years old. Loneliness scores were negatively correlated with rWMD in eight clusters: the bilateral inferior parietal lobule (IPL), right anterior insula (AI), posterior temporoparietal junction (pTPJ), left posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS), dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC), and rostrolateral prefrontal cortex (RLPFC). The bilateral IPL, right AI, left pSTS, pTPJ, and RLPFC were strongly associated with Empathy Quotient (EQ), whereas the bilateral IPL, right AI, left pTPJ, and dmPFC were associated with General Self-Efficacy Scale (GSES) score. The neural correlates of loneliness comprise widespread reduction in WMD in areas related to self- and social cognition as well as areas associated with empathy and self-efficacy.
Nakagawa, Seishu; Takeuchi, Hikaru; Taki, Yasuyuki; Nouchi, Rui; Sekiguchi, Atsushi; Kotozaki, Yuka; Miyauchi, Carlos Makoto; Iizuka, Kunio; Yokoyama, Ryoichi; Shinada, Takamitsu; Yamamoto, Yuki; Hanawa, Sugiko; Araki, Tsuyoshi; Hashizume, Hiroshi; Kunitoki, Keiko; Sassa, Yuko; Kawashima, Ryuta
Lonely individuals may exhibit dysfunction, particularly with respect to social empathy and self-efficacy. White matter (WM) structures related to loneliness have not yet been identified. We investigated the association between regional WM density (rWMD) using the UCLA Loneliness Scale in 776 healthy young students aged 18–27 years old. Loneliness scores were negatively correlated with rWMD in eight clusters: the bilateral inferior parietal lobule (IPL), right anterior insula (AI), posterior temporoparietal junction (pTPJ), left posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS), dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC), and rostrolateral prefrontal cortex (RLPFC). The bilateral IPL, right AI, left pSTS, pTPJ, and RLPFC were strongly associated with Empathy Quotient (EQ), whereas the bilateral IPL, right AI, left pTPJ, and dmPFC were associated with General Self-Efficacy Scale (GSES) score. The neural correlates of loneliness comprise widespread reduction in WMD in areas related to self- and social cognition as well as areas associated with empathy and self-efficacy. PMID:26585372
Luk, Gigi; Bialystok, Ellen; Craik, Fergus I. M.; Grady, Cheryl L.
Previous research has shown that bilingual speakers have higher levels of cognitive control than comparable monolinguals, especially at older ages. The present study investigates a possible neural correlate of this behavioral effect. Given that white matter (WM) integrity decreases with age in adulthood, we tested the hypothesis that bilingualism is associated with maintenance of WM in older people. Using diffusion tensor imaging, we found higher WM integrity in older people who were lifelong bilinguals than in monolinguals. This maintained integrity was measured by fractional anisotropy (FA) and was found in the corpus callosum extending to the superior and inferior longitudinal fasciculi. We also hypothesized that stronger WM connections would be associated with more widely distributed patterns of functional connectivity in bilinguals. We tested this by assessing the resting-state functional connectivity of frontal lobe regions adjacent to WM areas with group differences in FA. Bilinguals showed stronger anterior to posterior functional connectivity compared to monolinguals. These results are the first evidence that maintained WM integrity is related to lifelong naturally occurring experience; the resulting enhanced structural and functional connectivity may provide a neural basis for “brain reserve.” PMID:22090506
Madden, David J.; Spaniol, Julia; Costello, Matthew C.; Bucur, Barbara; White, Leonard E.; Cabeza, Roberto; Davis, Simon W.; Dennis, Nancy A.; Provenzale, James M.; Huettel, Scott A.
Previous research has established that age-related decline occurs in measures of cerebral white matter integrity, but the role of this decline in age-related cognitive changes is not clear. To conclude that white matter integrity has a mediating (causal) contribution, it is necessary to demonstrate that statistical control of the white matter-cognition relation reduces the magnitude of age-cognition relation. In this research, we tested the mediating role of white matter integrity, in the context of a task switching paradigm involving word categorization. Participants were 20 healthy, community-dwelling older adults (60–85 years), and 20 younger adults (18–27 years). From diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) tractography, we obtained fractional anisotropy (FA) as an index of white matter integrity in the genu and splenium of the corpus callosum and the superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF). Mean FA values exhibited age-related decline consistent with a decrease in white matter integrity. From a model of reaction time distributions, we obtained independent estimates of the decisional and nondecisional (perceptual-motor) components of task performance. Age-related decline was evident in both components. Critically, age differences in task performance were mediated by FA in two regions: the central portion of the genu, and splenium-parietal fibers in the right hemisphere. This relation held only for the decisional component and was not evident in the nondecisional component. This result is the first demonstration that the integrity of specific white matter tracts is a mediator of age-related changes in cognitive performance. PMID:18564054
Braskie, Meredith N; Jahanshad, Neda; Stein, Jason L; Barysheva, Marina; Johnson, Kori; McMahon, Katie L; de Zubicaray, Greig I; Martin, Nicholas G; Wright, Margaret J; Ringman, John M; Toga, Arthur W; Thompson, Paul M
The NTRK1 gene (also known as TRKA) encodes a high affinity receptor for NGF, a neurotrophin involved in nervous system development and myelination. NTRK1 has been implicated in neurological function via links between the T allele at rs6336 (NTRK1-T) and schizophrenia risk. A variant in the neurotrophin gene, BDNF, was previously associated with white matter integrity in young adults, highlighting the importance of neurotrophins to white matter development. We hypothesized that NTRK1-T would relate to lower FA in healthy adults. We scanned 391 healthy adult human twins and their siblings (mean age: 23.6 ± 2.2 years; 31 NTRK1-T carriers, 360 non-carriers) using 105-gradient diffusion tensor imaging at 4 Tesla. We evaluated in brain white matter how NTRK1-T and NTRK1 rs4661063 allele A (rs4661063-A, which is in moderate linkage disequilibrium with rs6336) related to voxelwise fractional anisotropy – a common diffusion tensor imaging measure of white matter microstructure. We used mixed-model regression to control for family relatedness, age, and sex. The sample was split in half to test results reproducibility. The false discovery rate method corrected for voxelwise multiple comparisons. NTRK1-T and rs4661063-A correlated with lower white matter fractional anisotropy, independent of age and sex (multiple comparisons corrected: false discovery rate critical p = 0.038 for NTRK1-T and 0.013 for rs4661063-A). In each half-sample, the NTRK1-T effect was replicated in the cingulum, corpus callosum, superior and inferior longitudinal fasciculi, inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus, superior corona radiata, and uncinate fasciculus. Our results suggest that NTRK1-T is important for developing white matter microstructure. PMID:22539856
Gildengers, Ariel G.; Butters, Meryl A.; Aizenstein, Howard J.; Marron, Megan M.; Emanuel, James; Anderson, Stewart J.; Weissfeld, Lisa A.; Becker, James T.; Lopez, Oscar L.; Mulsant, Benoit H.; Reynolds, Charles F.
Background Bipolar Disorder (BD) is associated with cognitive dysfunction and structural brain abnormalities. In human and non-human studies, lithium has been related to neuroprotective and neurotrophic effects. We explored whether lithium treatment is related to better brain integrity and cognitive function in older adults with BD. Methods We examined cognitive and neuroimaging data in 58 individuals with BD mean (SD) age 64.5 (9.8) years and 21 mentally healthy comparators (“controls”) of similar age and education. Subjects received comprehensive neurocognitive assessment and structural brain imaging, examining total gray matter volume, overall white matter integrity (fractional anisotropy), and total white matter hyperintensity (WMH) burden. Results In comparison to controls, subjects with BD had worse overall cognitive performance, lower total gray matter volume, and lower white matter integrity. Among BD subjects, longer duration of lithium treatment was related to higher white matter integrity after controlling for age and vascular disease burden, but not with better cognitive performance. Conclusions Lithium treatment appears to be related to better brain integrity in older individuals with BD, in particular in those who take it long-term. While intriguing, these findings need to be confirmed in a larger sample. PMID:25257942
Welcome, Suzanne E; Joanisse, Marc F
We used diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to investigate relationships between white matter anatomy and different reading subskills in typical-reading adults. A series of analytic approaches revealed that phonological decoding ability is associated with anatomical markers that do not relate to other reading-related cognitive abilities. Thus, individual differences in phonological decoding might relate to connectivity between a network of cortical regions, while skills like sight word reading might rely less strongly on integration across regions. Specifically, manually-drawn ROIs and probabilistic tractography revealed an association between the volume and integrity of white matter underlying primary auditory cortex and nonword reading ability. In a related finding, more extensive cross-hemispheric connections through the isthmus of the corpus callosum predicted better phonological decoding. Atlas-based white matter ROIs demonstrated that relationships with nonword reading were strongest in the inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus and uncinate fasciculus that connect occipital and anterior temporal cortex with inferior frontal cortex. In contrast, tract volume underlying the left angular gyrus was related to nonverbal IQ. Finally, connectivity underlying functional ROIs that are differentially active during phonological and semantic processing predicted nonword reading and reading comprehension, respectively. Together, these results provide important insights into how white matter anatomy may relate to both typical reading subskills, and perhaps a roadmap for understanding neural connectivity in individuals with reading impairments.
Venkatraman, Vijay K.; Aizenstein, Howard; Guralnik, Jack; Newman, Anne B.; Glynn, Nancy W.; Taylor, Christopher; Studenski, Stephanie; Launer, Lenore; Pahor, Marco; Williamson, Jeff; Rosano, Caterina
Context Older adults responding to executive control function (ECF) tasks show greater brain activation on functional MRI (fMRI). It is not clear whether greater fMRI activation indicates a strategy to compensate for underlying brain structural abnormalities while maintaining higher performance. Objective To identify the patterns of fMRI activation in relationship with ECF performance and with brain structural abnormalities. Design Cross-sectional analysis. Main variables of interest: fMRI activation, accuracy while performing an ECF task (Digit Symbol Substitution Test), volume of white matter hyperintensities and of total brain atrophy. Setting Cohort of community-dwelling older adults. Participants Data were obtained on 25 older adults (20 women, 81 years mean age). Outcome Measure Accuracy (number of correct response / total number of responses) while performing the Digit Symbol Substitution Test. Results Greater accuracy was significantly associated with greater peak fMRI activation, from ECF regions, including left middle frontal gyrus and right posterior parietal cortex. Greater WMH was associated with lower activation within accuracy-related regions. The interaction of accuracy by white matter hyperintensities volume was significant within the left posterior parietal region. Specifically, the correlation of white matter hyperintensities volume with fMRI activation varied as a function of accuracy and it was positive for greater accuracy. Associations with brain atrophy were not significant. Conclusions Recruitment of additional areas and overall greater brain activation in older adults is associated with higher performance. Posterior parietal activation may be particularly important to maintain higher accuracy in the presence of underlying brain connectivity structural abnormalities. PMID:19922803
Mamiya, Ping C; Richards, Todd L; Coe, Bradley P; Eichler, Evan E; Kuhl, Patricia K
Adult human brains retain the capacity to undergo tissue reorganization during second-language learning. Brain-imaging studies show a relationship between neuroanatomical properties and learning for adults exposed to a second language. However, the role of genetic factors in this relationship has not been investigated. The goal of the current study was twofold: (i) to characterize the relationship between brain white matter fiber-tract properties and second-language immersion using diffusion tensor imaging, and (ii) to determine whether polymorphisms in the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene affect the relationship. We recruited incoming Chinese students enrolled in the University of Washington and scanned their brains one time. We measured the diffusion properties of the white matter fiber tracts and correlated them with the number of days each student had been in the immersion program at the time of the brain scan. We found that higher numbers of days in the English immersion program correlated with higher fractional anisotropy and lower radial diffusivity in the right superior longitudinal fasciculus. We show that fractional anisotropy declined once the subjects finished the immersion program. The relationship between brain white matter fiber-tract properties and immersion varied in subjects with different COMT genotypes. Subjects with the Methionine (Met)/Valine (Val) and Val/Val genotypes showed higher fractional anisotropy and lower radial diffusivity during immersion, which reversed immediately after immersion ended, whereas those with the Met/Met genotype did not show these relationships. Statistical modeling revealed that subjects' grades in the language immersion program were best predicted by fractional anisotropy and COMT genotype.
Mamiya, Ping C.; Richards, Todd L.; Coe, Bradley P.; Eichler, Evan E.; Kuhl, Patricia K.
Adult human brains retain the capacity to undergo tissue reorganization during second-language learning. Brain-imaging studies show a relationship between neuroanatomical properties and learning for adults exposed to a second language. However, the role of genetic factors in this relationship has not been investigated. The goal of the current study was twofold: (i) to characterize the relationship between brain white matter fiber-tract properties and second-language immersion using diffusion tensor imaging, and (ii) to determine whether polymorphisms in the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene affect the relationship. We recruited incoming Chinese students enrolled in the University of Washington and scanned their brains one time. We measured the diffusion properties of the white matter fiber tracts and correlated them with the number of days each student had been in the immersion program at the time of the brain scan. We found that higher numbers of days in the English immersion program correlated with higher fractional anisotropy and lower radial diffusivity in the right superior longitudinal fasciculus. We show that fractional anisotropy declined once the subjects finished the immersion program. The relationship between brain white matter fiber-tract properties and immersion varied in subjects with different COMT genotypes. Subjects with the Methionine (Met)/Valine (Val) and Val/Val genotypes showed higher fractional anisotropy and lower radial diffusivity during immersion, which reversed immediately after immersion ended, whereas those with the Met/Met genotype did not show these relationships. Statistical modeling revealed that subjects’ grades in the language immersion program were best predicted by fractional anisotropy and COMT genotype. PMID:27298360
Hummer, Tom A; Kronenberger, William G; Wang, Yang; Anderson, Caitlin C; Mathews, Vincent P
Prior research has indicated that self-reported violent media exposure is associated with poorer performance on some neuropsychological tests in adolescents. This study aimed to examine the relationship of executive functioning to violent television viewing in healthy young adult males and examine how brain structure is associated with media exposure measures. Sixty-five healthy adult males (ages 18-29) with minimal video game experience estimated their television viewing habits over the past year and, during the subsequent week, recorded television viewing time and characteristics in a daily media diary. Participants then completed a battery of neuropsychological laboratory tests quantifying executive functions and underwent a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. Aggregate measures of executive functioning were not associated with measures of overall television viewing (any content type) during the past week or year. However, the amount of television viewing of violent content only, as indicated by both past-year and daily diary measures, was associated with poorer scores on an aggregate score of inhibition, interference control and attention, with no relationship to a composite working memory score. In addition, violent television exposure, as measured with daily media diaries, was associated with reduced frontoparietal white matter volume. Future longitudinal work is necessary to resolve whether individuals with poor executive function and slower white matter growth are more drawn to violent programming, or if extensive media violence exposure modifies cognitive control mechanisms mediated primarily via prefrontal cortex. Impaired inhibitory mechanisms may be related to reported increases in aggression with higher media violence exposure.
Kanaan, Richard A.; Allin, Matthew; Picchioni, Marco M.; Shergill, Sukhwinder S.; McGuire, Philip K.
Using diffusion tensor imaging, we conducted an exploratory investigation of the relationship between white matter tract microstructure and age in 200 healthy adult subjects using tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS). Though most tracts showed the slight decline in microstructural organization with age widely noted, in both superior cerebellar peduncles (SCP) it correlated positively with age, a result not previously reported. We confirmed this by using an alternative method, and by repeating our TBSS analysis in an additional sample of 133 healthy adults. In exploring this surprising result we considered the possibility that this might arise from the continual cognitive and motor refinement that is enacted in the cerebellum: we found that tract microstructure in both SCPs was also strongly correlated with IQ, again in contrast with all other tracts, and its relationship with age mediated by IQ, as a training model would predict. PMID:27148043
Kanaan, Richard A; Allin, Matthew; Picchioni, Marco M; Shergill, Sukhwinder S; McGuire, Philip K
Using diffusion tensor imaging, we conducted an exploratory investigation of the relationship between white matter tract microstructure and age in 200 healthy adult subjects using tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS). Though most tracts showed the slight decline in microstructural organization with age widely noted, in both superior cerebellar peduncles (SCP) it correlated positively with age, a result not previously reported. We confirmed this by using an alternative method, and by repeating our TBSS analysis in an additional sample of 133 healthy adults. In exploring this surprising result we considered the possibility that this might arise from the continual cognitive and motor refinement that is enacted in the cerebellum: we found that tract microstructure in both SCPs was also strongly correlated with IQ, again in contrast with all other tracts, and its relationship with age mediated by IQ, as a training model would predict.
Madden, David J.; Spaniol, Julia; Costello, Matthew C.; Bucur, Barbara; White, Leonard E.; Cabeza, Roberto; Davis, Simon W.; Dennis, Nancy A.; Provenzale, James M.; Huettel, Scott A.
Previous research has established that age-related decline occurs in measures of cerebral white matter integrity, but the role of this decline in age-related cognitive changes is not clear. To conclude that white matter integrity has a mediating (causal) contribution, it is necessary to demonstrate that statistical control of the white…
Lockhart, Samuel N.; Luck, Steven J.; Geng, Joy; Beckett, Laurel; Disbrow, Elizabeth A.; Carmichael, Owen; DeCarli, Charles
The mechanisms by which aging and other processes can affect the structure and function of brain networks are important to understanding normal age-related cognitive decline. Advancing age is known to be associated with various disease processes, including clinically asymptomatic vascular and inflammation processes that contribute to white matter structural alteration and potential injury. The effects of these processes on the function of distributed cognitive networks, however, are poorly understood. We hypothesized that the extent of magnetic resonance imaging white matter hyperintensities would be associated with visual attentional control in healthy aging, measured using a functional magnetic resonance imaging search task. We assessed cognitively healthy older adults with search tasks indexing processing speed and attentional control. Expanding upon previous research, older adults demonstrate activation across a frontal-parietal attentional control network. Further, greater white matter hyperintensity volume was associated with increased activation of a frontal network node independent of chronological age. Also consistent with previous research, greater white matter hyperintensity volume was associated with anatomically specific reductions in functional magnetic resonance imaging functional connectivity during search among attentional control regions. White matter hyperintensities may lead to subtle attentional network dysfunction, potentially through impaired frontal-parietal and frontal interhemispheric connectivity, suggesting that clinically silent white matter biomarkers of vascular and inflammatory injury can contribute to differences in search performance and brain function in aging, and likely contribute to advanced age-related impairments in cognitive control. PMID:25793922
Lockhart, Samuel N; Luck, Steven J; Geng, Joy; Beckett, Laurel; Disbrow, Elizabeth A; Carmichael, Owen; DeCarli, Charles
The mechanisms by which aging and other processes can affect the structure and function of brain networks are important to understanding normal age-related cognitive decline. Advancing age is known to be associated with various disease processes, including clinically asymptomatic vascular and inflammation processes that contribute to white matter structural alteration and potential injury. The effects of these processes on the function of distributed cognitive networks, however, are poorly understood. We hypothesized that the extent of magnetic resonance imaging white matter hyperintensities would be associated with visual attentional control in healthy aging, measured using a functional magnetic resonance imaging search task. We assessed cognitively healthy older adults with search tasks indexing processing speed and attentional control. Expanding upon previous research, older adults demonstrate activation across a frontal-parietal attentional control network. Further, greater white matter hyperintensity volume was associated with increased activation of a frontal network node independent of chronological age. Also consistent with previous research, greater white matter hyperintensity volume was associated with anatomically specific reductions in functional magnetic resonance imaging functional connectivity during search among attentional control regions. White matter hyperintensities may lead to subtle attentional network dysfunction, potentially through impaired frontal-parietal and frontal interhemispheric connectivity, suggesting that clinically silent white matter biomarkers of vascular and inflammatory injury can contribute to differences in search performance and brain function in aging, and likely contribute to advanced age-related impairments in cognitive control.
Shaw, Philip; Sudre, Gustavo; Wharton, Amy; Weingart, Daniel; Sharp, Wendy; Sarlls, Joelle
Changes in cerebral cortical anatomy have been tied to the clinical course of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We now ask if alterations in white matter tract microstructure are likewise linked with the adult outcome of childhood ADHD. Seventy-five young adults, 32 with ADHD persisting from childhood and 43 with symptom remission were contrasted against 74 never-affected comparison subjects. Using diffusion tensor imaging, we defined fractional anisotropy, a metric related to white matter microstructure, along with measures of diffusion perpendicular (radial) and parallel (axial) to the axon. Analyses were adjusted for head motion, age and sex, and controlled for multiple comparisons and medication history. Tract-based analyses showed that greater adult inattention, but not hyperactivity-impulsivity, was associated with significantly lower fractional anisotropy in the left uncinate (standardized β=-0.37, t=3.28, p=0.002) and inferior fronto-occipital fasciculi (standardized β=-0.37, t=3.29, p=0.002). The ADHD group with symptoms persisting into adulthood had significantly lower fractional anisotropy than the never-affected controls in these tracts, differences associated with medium to large effect sizes. By contrast, the ADHD group that remitted by adulthood did not differ significantly from controls. The anomalies were found in tracts that connect components of neural systems pertinent to ADHD, such as attention control (inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus) and emotion regulation and the processing of reward (the uncinate fasciculus). Change in radial rather than axial diffusivity was the primary driver of this effect, suggesting pathophysiological processes including altered myelination as future targets for pharmacological and behavioral interventions.
Onnink, A Marten H; Zwiers, Marcel P; Hoogman, Martine; Mostert, Jeanette C; Dammers, Janneke; Kan, Cornelis C; Vasquez, Alejandro Arias; Schene, Aart H; Buitelaar, Jan; Franke, Barbara
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in childhood is characterized by gray and white matter abnormalities in several brain areas. Considerably less is known about white matter microstructure in adults with ADHD and its relation with clinical symptoms and cognitive performance. In 107 adult ADHD patients and 109 gender-, age- and IQ-matched controls, we used diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) with tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) to investigate whole-skeleton changes of fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean, axial, and radial diffusivity (MD, AD, RD). Additionally, we studied the relation of FA and MD values with symptom severity and cognitive performance on tasks measuring working memory, attention, inhibition, and delay discounting. In comparison to controls, participants with ADHD showed reduced FA in corpus callosum, bilateral corona radiata, and thalamic radiation. Higher MD and RD were found in overlapping and even more widespread areas in both hemispheres, also encompassing internal and external capsule, sagittal stratum, fornix, and superior lateral fasciculus. Values of FA and MD were not associated with symptom severity. However, within some white matter clusters that distinguished patients from controls, worse inhibition performance was associated with reduced FA and more impulsive decision making was associated with increased MD. This study shows widespread differences in white matter integrity between adults with persistent ADHD and healthy individuals. Changes in RD suggest aberrant myelination as a pathophysiological factor in persistent ADHD. The microstructural differences in adult ADHD may contribute to poor inhibition and greater impulsivity but appear to be independent of disease severity.
Zhang, Jiaxing; Zhang, Haiyan; Li, Jinqiang; Chen, Ji; Han, Qiaoqing; Lin, Jianzhong; Yang, Tianhe; Fan, Ming
The aim of this study was to investigate brain structural alterations in adult immigrants who adapted to high altitude (HA). Voxel-based morphometry analysis of gray matter (GM) volumes, surface-based analysis of cortical thickness, and Tract-Based Spatial Statistics analysis of white matter fractional anisotropy (FA) based on MRI images were conducted on 16 adults (20–22 years) who immigrated to the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (2300–4400 m) for 2 years. They had no chronic mountain sickness. Control group consisted of 16 matched sea level subjects. A battery of neuropsychological tests was also conducted. HA immigrants showed significantly decreased GM volumes in the right postcentral gyrus and right superior frontal gyrus, and increased GM volumes in the right middle frontal gyrus, right parahippocampal gyrus, right inferior and middle temporal gyri, bilateral inferior ventral pons, and right cerebellum crus1. While there was some divergence in the left hemisphere, surface-based patterns of GM changes in the right hemisphere resembled those seen for VBM analysis. FA changes were observed in multiple WM tracts. HA immigrants showed significant impairment in pulmonary function, increase in reaction time, and deficit in mental rotation. Parahippocampal and middle frontal GM volumes correlated with vital capacity. Superior frontal GM volume correlated with mental rotation and postcentral GM correlated with reaction time. Paracentral lobule and frontal FA correlated with mental rotation reaction time. There might be structural modifications occurred in the adult immigrants during adaptation to HA. The changes in GM may be related to impaired respiratory function and psychological deficits. PMID:23874692
Tarumi, Takashi; de Jong, Daan L K; Zhu, David C; Tseng, Benjamin Y; Liu, Jie; Hill, Candace; Riley, Jonathan; Womack, Kyle B; Kerwin, Diana R; Lu, Hanzhang; Munro Cullum, C; Zhang, Rong
Cerebral hypoperfusion elevates the risk of brain white matter (WM) lesions and cognitive impairment. Central artery stiffness impairs baroreflex, which controls systemic arterial perfusion, and may deteriorate neuronal fiber integrity of brain WM. The purpose of this study was to examine the associations among brain WM neuronal fiber integrity, baroreflex sensitivity (BRS), and central artery stiffness in older adults. Fifty-four adults (65 ± 6 years) with normal cognitive function or mild cognitive impairment (MCI) were tested. The neuronal fiber integrity of brain WM was assessed from diffusion metrics acquired by diffusion tensor imaging. BRS was measured in response to acute changes in blood pressure induced by bolus injections of vasoactive drugs. Central artery stiffness was measured by carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (cfPWV). The WM diffusion metrics including fractional anisotropy (FA) and radial (RD) and axial (AD) diffusivities, BRS, and cfPWV were not different between the control and MCI groups. Thus, the data from both groups were combined for subsequent analyses. Across WM, fiber tracts with decreased FA and increased RD were associated with lower BRS and higher cfPWV, with many of the areas presenting spatial overlap. In particular, the BRS assessed during hypotension was strongly correlated with FA and RD when compared with hypertension. Executive function performance was associated with FA and RD in the areas that correlated with cfPWV and BRS. These findings suggest that baroreflex-mediated control of systemic arterial perfusion, especially during hypotension, may play a crucial role in maintaining neuronal fiber integrity of brain WM in older adults.
Kristensen, B; Malm, J; Fagerland, M; Hietala, S O; Johansson, B; Ekstedt, J; Karlsson, T
OBJECTIVES--(1) to evaluate regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) with single photon emission computed tomography and 99mTc-hexamethylpropyleneamine oxime in patients with the idiopathic adult hydrocephalus syndrome (IAHS); (2) to examine regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF), gait, and psychometric functions before and after CSF removal (CSF tap test); (3) to assess abnormalities in subcortical white matter by MRI. METHODS--Thirty one patients fulfilling the criteria for IAHS (according to history and clinical and neuroradiological examination) were studied. Quantified gait measurements, psychometric testing, and rCBF before and after removal of CSF were obtained. Pressure of CSF and CSF outflow conductance were investigated with a constant pressure infusion method. Brain MRI was used to quantify the severity of white matter lesions and periventricular hyperintensities. In IAHS a widespread rCBF hypoperfusion pattern was depicted, with a caudal frontal and temporal grey matter and subcortical white matter reduction of rCBF as the dominant feature. Removal of CSF was not accompanied by a concomitant increase in rCBF. Significant white matter lesions were detected only in a minority of patients by MRI. An altered CSF hydrodynamic state with a higher CSF pressure and lower conductance was confirmed. IAHS is characterised by an abnormal CSF hydrodynamic state, associated with a widespread rCBF reduction with preference for subcortical white matter and frontal-temporal cortical regions. Furthermore in most patients MRI did not show white matter changes suggestive of a coexistent subcortical arteriosclerotic encephalopathy. At least in the idiopathic group of patients with AHS, measurements of rCBF before and after temporary relief of the CSF hydrodynamic disturbance will not provide additional information that would be helpful in the preoperative evaluation but is suggestive of a preserved autoregulation of rCBF.
Kristensen, B; Malm, J; Fagerland, M; Hietala, S O; Johansson, B; Ekstedt, J; Karlsson, T
OBJECTIVES--(1) to evaluate regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) with single photon emission computed tomography and 99mTc-hexamethylpropyleneamine oxime in patients with the idiopathic adult hydrocephalus syndrome (IAHS); (2) to examine regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF), gait, and psychometric functions before and after CSF removal (CSF tap test); (3) to assess abnormalities in subcortical white matter by MRI. METHODS--Thirty one patients fulfilling the criteria for IAHS (according to history and clinical and neuroradiological examination) were studied. Quantified gait measurements, psychometric testing, and rCBF before and after removal of CSF were obtained. Pressure of CSF and CSF outflow conductance were investigated with a constant pressure infusion method. Brain MRI was used to quantify the severity of white matter lesions and periventricular hyperintensities. In IAHS a widespread rCBF hypoperfusion pattern was depicted, with a caudal frontal and temporal grey matter and subcortical white matter reduction of rCBF as the dominant feature. Removal of CSF was not accompanied by a concomitant increase in rCBF. Significant white matter lesions were detected only in a minority of patients by MRI. An altered CSF hydrodynamic state with a higher CSF pressure and lower conductance was confirmed. IAHS is characterised by an abnormal CSF hydrodynamic state, associated with a widespread rCBF reduction with preference for subcortical white matter and frontal-temporal cortical regions. Furthermore in most patients MRI did not show white matter changes suggestive of a coexistent subcortical arteriosclerotic encephalopathy. At least in the idiopathic group of patients with AHS, measurements of rCBF before and after temporary relief of the CSF hydrodynamic disturbance will not provide additional information that would be helpful in the preoperative evaluation but is suggestive of a preserved autoregulation of rCBF. PMID:8609504
Daselaar, Sander M; Iyengar, Vijeth; Davis, Simon W; Eklund, Karl; Hayes, Scott M; Cabeza, Roberto E
The reliable neuroimaging finding that older adults often show greater activity (over-recruitment) than younger adults is typically attributed to compensation. Yet, the neural mechanisms of over-recruitment in older adults (OAs) are largely unknown. Rodent electrophysiology studies have shown that as number of afferent fibers within a circuit decreases with age, the fibers that remain show higher synaptic field potentials (less wiring, more firing). Extrapolating to system-level measures in humans, we proposed and tested the hypothesis that greater activity in OAs compensates for impaired white-matter connectivity. Using a neuropsychological test battery, we measured individual differences in executive functions associated with the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and memory functions associated with the medial temporal lobes (MTLs). Using event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging, we compared activity for successful versus unsuccessful trials during a source memory task. Finally, we measured white-matter integrity using diffusion tensor imaging. The study yielded 3 main findings. First, low-executive OAs showed greater success-related activity in the PFC, whereas low-memory OAs showed greater success-related activity in the MTLs. Second, low-executive OAs displayed white-matter deficits in the PFC, whereas low-memory OAs displayed white-matter deficits in the MTLs. Finally, in both prefrontal and MTL regions, white-matter decline and success-related activations occurred in close proximity and were negatively correlated. This finding supports the less-wiring-more-firing hypothesis, which provides a testable account of compensatory over-recruitment in OAs.
Burzynska, Agnieszka Zofia; Chaddock-Heyman, Laura; Voss, Michelle W.; Wong, Chelsea N.; Gothe, Neha P.; Olson, Erin A.; Knecht, Anya; Lewis, Andrew; Monti, Jim M.; Cooke, Gillian E.; Wojcicki, Thomas R.; Fanning, Jason; Chung, Hyondo David; Awick, Elisabeth; McAuley, Edward; Kramer, Arthur F.
Physical activity (PA) and cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) are associated with better cognitive function in late life, but the neural correlates for these relationships are unclear. To study these correlates, we examined the association of both PA and CRF with measures of white matter (WM) integrity in 88 healthy low-fit adults (age 60–78). Using accelerometry, we objectively measured sedentary behavior, light PA, and moderate to vigorous PA (MV-PA) over a week. We showed that greater MV-PA was related to lower volume of WM lesions. The association between PA and WM microstructural integrity (measured with diffusion tensor imaging) was region-specific: light PA was related to temporal WM, while sedentary behavior was associated with lower integrity in the parahippocampal WM. Our findings highlight that engaging in PA of various intensity in parallel with avoiding sedentariness are important in maintaining WM health in older age, supporting public health recommendations that emphasize the importance of active lifestyle. PMID:25229455
Bato, Angelica A.; Blair, Melanie A.; DeRosse, Pamela; Szeszko, Philip R.; Malhotra, Anil K.
Predicting which individuals may engage in aggressive behavior is of interest in today’s society; however, there is little data on the neural basis of aggression in healthy individuals. Here, we tested whether regional differences in white matter (WM) microstructure were associated with later reports of aggressive tendencies. We recontacted healthy young adults an average of 3 years after they underwent research MRI scans. Via electronic survey, we administered the Buss Perry Aggression Questionnaire. We divided aggression into Aggressive Thoughts (Anger and Hostility subscales) and Aggressive Acts (Verbal and Physical subscales) and used Tract-Based Spatial Statistics to test the relationship of those measures to WM microstructure. In 45 individuals age 15–30 at baseline, we observed significant relationships between Aggressive Acts and fractional anisotropy (FA) in a parietal region consistent with the superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF). As the SLF has an established relationship to executive function, we performed an exploratory analysis in a subset of individuals with working memory data. Decreased FA in executive network regions, as well as working memory performance, were associated with later self-reported aggressive tendencies. This has implications for our healthy behavior understanding of as well as that of patient populations known to have executive dysfunction. PMID:25691778
Background Although chemotherapy and radiation treatment have contributed to increased survivorship, treatment-induced brain injury has been a concern when examining long-term intellectual outcomes of survivors. Specifically, disruption of brain white matter integrity and its relationship to intellectual outcomes in adult survivors of childhood brain tumors needs to be better understood. Methods Fifty-four participants underwent diffusion tensor imaging in addition to structural MRI and an intelligence test (IQ). Voxel-wise group comparisons of fractional anisotropy calculated from DTI data were performed using Tract Based Spatial Statistics (TBSS) on 27 survivors (14 treated with radiation with and without chemotherapy and 13 treated without radiation treatment on average over 13 years since diagnosis) and 27 healthy comparison participants. Whole brain white matter fractional anisotropy (FA) differences were explored between each group. The relationships between IQ and FA in the regions where statistically lower FA values were found in survivors were examined, as well as the role of cumulative neurological factors. Results The group of survivors treated with radiation with and without chemotherapy had lower IQ relative to the group of survivors without radiation treatment and the healthy comparison group. TBSS identified white matter regions with significantly different mean fractional anisotropy between the three different groups. A lower level of white matter integrity was found in the radiation with or without chemotherapy treated group compared to the group without radiation treatment and also the healthy control group. The group without radiation treatment had a lower mean FA relative to healthy controls. The white matter disruption of the radiation with or without chemotherapy treated survivors was positively correlated with IQ and cumulative neurological factors. Conclusions Lower long-term intellectual outcomes of childhood brain tumor survivors are
Buckalew, Neilly; Haut, Marc W.; Aizenstein, Howard; Rosano, Caterina; Dunfee Edelman, Kathryn; Perera, Subashan; Marrow, Lisa; Tadic, Stasa; Venkatraman, Vijay; Weiner, Debra
Objective To primarily explore differences in global and regional white matter hyper-intensities (WMH) in older adults with self-reported disabling and nondisabling chronic low back pain (CLBP) and to examine the association of WMH with gait speed in all participants with CLBP. To secondarily compare WMH of the participants with CLBP with the pain-free controls. Design A cross-sectional, case-control study. Setting University of Pittsburgh. Participants Twenty-four community-dwelling older adults: 8 with self-reported disabling CLBP, 8 with nondisabling CLBP, and 8 were pain-free. Exclusions were psychiatric or neurologic disorders (either central or peripheral), substance abuse, opioid use, or diabetes mellitus. Methods All participants underwent structural brain magnetic resonance imaging, and all participants with CLBP underwent the 4-m walk test. Main Outcome Measurements All the participants were assessed for both global and regional WMH by using an automated localization and segmentation method, and gait speed of participants with CLBP. Results The disabled group demonstrated statistically significant regional WMH in a number of left hemispheric tracts: anterior thalamic radiation (P = .0391), lower cingulate (P = .0336), inferior longitudinal fasciculus (P = .0367), superior longitudinal fasciculus (P=.0011), and the superior longitudinal fasciculus branch to the temporal lobe (P=.0072). Also, there was a statistically significant negative association (rs = −0.57; P = .0225) between the left lower cingulate WMH and the gait speed in all the participants with CLBP. There was a statistical difference in global WMH burden (P=.0014) and nearly all regional tracts (both left and right hemispheres) when comparing CLBP with pain-free participants. Conclusions Our findings suggest that WMH is associated with, and hence, may be accelerated by chronic pain manifesting as perceived disability, given the self-reported disabled CLBP patients had the greatest burden
Cohen, Andrew H; Wang, Rongpin; Wilkinson, Molly; MacDonald, Patrick; Lim, Ashley R; Takahashi, Emi
Major long-range white matter pathways (cingulum, fornix, uncinate fasciculus [UF], inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus [IFOF], inferior longitudinal fasciculus [ILF], thalamocortical [TC], and corpus callosal [CC] pathways) were identified in eighty-three healthy humans ranging from newborn to adult ages. We tracked developmental changes using high-angular resolution diffusion MR tractography. Fractional anisotropy (FA), apparent diffusion coefficient, number, length, and volume were measured in pathways in each subject. Newborns had fewer, and more sparse, pathways than those of the older subjects. FA, number, length, and volume of pathways gradually increased with age and reached a plateau between 3 and 5 years of age. Data were further analyzed by normalizing with mean adult values as well as with each subject's whole brain values. Comparing subjects of 3 years old and under to those over 3 years old, the studied pathways showed differential growth patterns. The CC, bilateral cingulum, bilateral TC, and the left IFOF pathways showed significant growth both in volume and length, while the bilateral fornix, bilateral ILF and bilateral UF showed significant growth only in volume. The TC and CC took similar growth patterns with the whole brain. FA values of the cingulum and IFOF, and the length of ILF showed leftward asymmetry. The fornix, ILF and UF occupied decreased space compared to the whole brain during development with higher FA values, likely corresponding to extensive maturation of the pathways compared to the mean whole brain maturation. We believe that the outcome of this study will provide an important database for future reference.
Cohen, Andrew H.; Wang, Rongpin; Wilkinson, Molly; MacDonald, Patrick; Lim, Ashley R.; Takahashi, Emi
Major long-range white matter pathways (cingulum, fornix, uncinate fasciculus [UF], inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus [IFOF], inferior longitudinal fasciculus [ILF], thalamocortical [TC], and corpus callosal [CC] pathways) were identified in eighty-three healthy humans ranging from newborn to adult ages. We tracked developmental changes using high-angular resolution diffusion MR tractography. Fractional anisotropy (FA), apparent diffusion coefficient, number, length, and volume were measured in pathways in each subject. Newborns had fewer, and more sparse, pathways than those of the older subjects. FA, number, length, and volume of pathways gradually increased with age and reached a plateau between 3 and 5 years of age. Data were further analyzed by normalizing with mean adult values as well as with each subject’s whole brain values. Comparing subjects of 3 years old and under to those over 3 years old, the studied pathways showed differential growth patterns. The CC, bilateral cingulum, bilateral TC, and the left IFOF pathways showed significant growth both in volume and length, while the bilateral fornix, bilateral ILF and bilateral UF showed significant growth only in volume. The TC and CC took similar growth patterns with the whole brain. FA values of the cingulum and IFOF, and the length of ILF showed leftward asymmetry. The fornix, ILF and UF occupied decreased space compared to the whole brain during development with higher FA values, likely corresponding to extensive maturation of the pathways compared to the mean whole brain maturation. We believe that the outcome of this study will provide an important database for future reference. PMID:26948153
Ramos, Alberto R.; Dong, Chuanhui; Rundek, Tatjana; Elkind, Mitchell S.V.; Boden-Albala, Bernadette; Sacco, Ralph L.; Wright, Clinton B.
Summary Self-reports of long or short sleep durations have indicated an association with cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, but there are limited data evaluating their association with white matter hyperintensity volume (WMHV), a marker of cerebral small vessel disease. We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of self-reported sleep duration to test for a correlation with white matter hyperintensities, measured by quantitative MRI in the Northern Manhattan Study. We used multivariable linear regression models to assess associations between both short (< 6 hours) and long (≥ 9 hours) sleep durations and log-transformed WMHV, adjusting for demographic, behavioral and vascular risk factors. A total of 1244 participants, mean age 70 ± 9 years, 61% women and 68% Hispanics were analyzed with magnetic resonance brain imaging and self-reported sleep duration. Short sleep was reported by 23% (n = 293), and long sleep by 10% (n=121) of the sample. Long sleep (β = 0.178; p = 0.035), but not short sleep (β = −0.053; p = 0.357), was associated with greater log-WMHV in fully adjusted models. We observed an interaction between sleep duration, diabetes mellitus, and log-WMHV (p = 0.07). In fully adjusted models, stratified analysis showed that long sleep duration was associated with greater WMHV only in those with diabetes (β = 0.78; p = 0.0314), but not in non-diabetics (β = 0.022; p = 0.2), whereas short sleep was not associated with white matter hyperintensities in those with diabetes or non-diabetics. In conclusion, long sleep duration was associated with a greater burden of white matter lesions in this stroke-free urban sample. The association was mainly seen among those with diabetes mellitus. PMID:25040435
Ramos, Alberto R; Dong, Chuanhui; Rundek, Tatjana; Elkind, Mitchell S V; Boden-Albala, Bernadette; Sacco, Ralph L; Wright, Clinton B
Self-reports of long or short sleep durations have indicated an association with cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, but there are limited data evaluating their association with white matter hyperintensity volume (WMHV), a marker of cerebral small vessel disease. We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of self-reported sleep duration to test for a correlation with white matter hyperintensities, measured by quantitative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), in the Northern Manhattan Study. We used multivariable linear regression models to assess associations between both short (<6 h) and long (≥9 h) sleep durations and log-transformed WMHV, adjusting for demographic, behavioural and vascular risk factors. A total of 1244 participants, mean age 70 ± 9 years, 61% women and 68% Hispanics were analysed with magnetic resonance brain imaging and self-reported sleep duration. Short sleep was reported by 23% (n = 293) and long sleep by 10% (n = 121) of the sample. Long sleep (β = 0.178; P = 0.035), but not short sleep (β = -0.053; P = 0.357), was associated with greater log-WMHV in fully adjusted models. We observed an interaction between sleep duration, diabetes mellitus and log-WMHV (P = 0.07). In fully adjusted models, stratified analysis showed that long sleep duration was associated with greater WMHV only in those with diabetes (β = 0.78; P = 0.0314), but not in those without diabetes (β = 0.022; P = 0.2), whereas short sleep was not associated with white matter hyperintensities in those with or without diabetes. In conclusion, long sleep duration was associated with a greater burden of white matter lesions in this stroke-free urban sample. The association was seen mainly among those with diabetes mellitus.
Wang, Lingxing; Cai, Ruowei; Lv, Guorong; Huang, Ziyang; Wang, Zhenhua
The aim of the present study is to evaluate the effect of reduced fetal oxygen supply on cerebral white matter in the adult offspring and further assess its susceptibility to postnatal hypoxia and high-fat diet. Based on a 3 x 2 full factorial design consisting of three factors of maternal hypoxia, postnatal high-fat diet, and postnatal hypoxia, the ultrastructure of myelin, axon and capillaries were observed, and the expression of myelin basic protein (MBP), neurofilament-H+L(NF-H+L), and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) was analyzed in periventricular white matter of 16-month-old offspring. Demyelination, injured axon and damaged microvasculars were observed in maternal hypoxia offspring. The main effect of maternal hypoxia lead to decreased expression of MBP or NF-H+L, and increased expression of GFAP (all P < 0.05). Moreover, there was positive three-way interaction among maternal hypoxia, high-fat diet and postnatal hypoxia on MBP, NF-H+L or GFAP expression (all P < 0.05). In summary, our results indicated that maternal hypoxia during pregnancy in rats lead to changes of periventricular white matter in adult offspring, including demyelination, damaged axon and proliferated astroglia. This effect was amplified by high-fat diet and postnatal hypoxia.
Malykhin, Nikolai; Vahidy, Sana; Michielse, Stijn; Coupland, Nick; Camicioli, Richard; Seres, Peter; Carter, Rawle
Previous diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) studies confirmed the vulnerability of frontal callosal fibers to normal aging. The present study extended this examination systematically to other prefrontal white matter regions. Structural magnetic resonance imaging and DTI datasets were acquired from 69 healthy subjects aged 22-84 years. The prefrontal white matter was parcellated into several anatomical sub-regions: medial and lateral orbitofrontal white matter, dorsolateral prefrontal white matter, and medial prefrontal white matter, using reliable DTI-tractography protocols. Tract-specific characteristics were calculated using Matlab. Regression models were used to determine the relationship between age and structural integrity of white matter tracts. The results of our study demonstrate regional age-related changes in the prefrontal white matter tracts of the human brain. This study was cross-sectional and therefore additional longitudinal studies are needed to confirm our findings.
Bendlin, Barbara B; Carlsson, Cynthia M; Johnson, Sterling C; Zetterberg, Henrik; Blennow, Kaj; Willette, Auriel A; Okonkwo, Ozioma C; Sodhi, Aparna; Ries, Michele L; Birdsill, Alex C; Alexander, Andrew L; Rowley, Howard A; Puglielli, Luigi; Asthana, Sanjay; Sager, Mark A
Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers T-Tau and Aβ(42) are linked with Alzheimer's disease (AD), yet little is known about the relationship between CSF biomarkers and structural brain alteration in healthy adults. In this study we examined the extent to which AD biomarkers measured in CSF predict brain microstructure indexed by diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and volume indexed by T1-weighted imaging. Forty-three middle-aged adults with parental family history of AD received baseline lumbar puncture and MRI approximately 3.5 years later. Voxel-wise image analysis methods were used to test whether baseline CSF Aβ(42), total tau (T-Tau), phosphorylated tau (P-Tau) and neurofilament light protein predicted brain microstructure as indexed by DTI and gray matter volume indexed by T1-weighted imaging. T-Tau and T-Tau/Aβ(42) were widely correlated with indices of brain microstructure (mean, axial, and radial diffusivity), notably in white matter regions adjacent to gray matter structures affected in the earliest stages of AD. None of the CSF biomarkers were related to gray matter volume. Elevated P-Tau and P-Tau/Aβ(42) levels were associated with lower recognition performance on the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test. Overall, the results suggest that CSF biomarkers are related to brain microstructure in healthy adults with elevated risk of developing AD. Furthermore, the results clearly suggest that early pathological changes in AD can be detected with DTI and occur not only in cortex, but also in white matter.
Chun, J.J.; Shatz, C.J.
The postnatal fate of the first-generated neurons of the cat cerebral cortex was examined. These neurons can be identified uniquely by 3H-thymidine exposure during the week preceding the neurogenesis of cortical layer 6. Previous studies in which 3H-thymidine birthdating at embryonic day 27 (E27) was combined with immunohistochemistry have shown that these neurons are present in large numbers during fetal and early postnatal life within the subplate (future white matter), that they are immunoreactive for the neuron-specific protein MAP2 and for the putative neurotransmitters GABA, NPY, SRIF, and CCK. Here, the same techniques were used to follow the postnatal location and disappearance of the early generated subplate neuron population. At birth (P0), subplate neurons showing immunoreactivity for GABA, NPY, SRIF, or CCK are present in large numbers and at high density within the white matter throughout the neocortex, and the entire population can be observed as a dense MAP2-immunoreactive band situated beneath cortical layer 6. Between P0 and P401 (adulthood), the MAP2-immunostained band disappears so that comparatively few MAP2-immunoreactive neurons remain within the white matter. There is a corresponding decrease in the number and density of neurons stained with antibodies against neurotransmitters. In each instance, these neurons could be double-labeled by the administration of 3H-thymidine at E27, indicating that they are the remnants of the early generated subplate neuron population. The major period of decrease occurs during the first 4 postnatal weeks, and adult values are attained by 5 months. Within the white matter of the lateral gyrus (visual cortex), the density of immunostained neurons decreases dramatically: MAP2, 82%, SRIF, 81%, and NPY, 96%.
Lafarga, M; Berciano, M T; Blanco, M
In Golgi/Río-Hortega preparations of rat and rabbit cerebellar vermis we have occasionally found isolated ectopic Purkinje cells in the white matter. They were located beneath the bases of the folia and their dendritic branches extended within the confines of the white matter without penetrating into the overlying cortical layers. The general morphology of these ectopic cells was variable, particularly in the extension and shape of the dendritic trees, but all of them exhibited a lower density of dendritic branches than normal Purkinje cells. The less-developed ectopic neurons had multipolar dendritic trees with nonplanar branches irregularly studded with spines. The well-developed ones displayed a more extensive arborization of their processes and they usually preserved some morphological features of normal cortical Purkinje cells: distal dendritic branches studded with numerous spines, a pear-shaped soma, clearly defined morphological polarity and a tendency to display planar arrangement of the dendritic arbors. In semithin sections these neurons also showed cytological features of normal Purkinje cells, such as the Nissl substance forming a nuclear cap oriented toward the dendritic pole. We suggest that the abnormal location of the neurons results from a disorder of Purkinje cell migration which occurs naturally during the prenatal development of the cerebellum. The possible morphogenetic mechanisms involved in the migration and differentiation of these ectopic neurons are also discussed.
Nonaka, Hiroko; Akima, Michio; Hatori, Tsutomu; Nagayama, Tadashi; Zhang, Zean; Ihara, Fumie
The vascular architecture of the human cerebral deep white matter was studied using soft X-ray and diaphanized specimens, achieved by intra-arterial injection of barium and vascular stain respectively, and also by electron microscopic examination of the corrosion cast of arteries in normal adult brains. The deep white matter arteries passed through the cerebral cortex with a few branches to the cortex and ran straight through the white matter. The arteries concentrated ventriculopetally to the white matter around the lateral ventricle. Anastomoses were noted around the ventricular wall at the terminals of the deep white matter arteries. No centrifugal branches irrigating the periventricular white matter from the lenticulo-striate arteries were observed in the present study. The presence of anastomoses among the terminal branches of deep white matter arteries protects against ischemic change or infarction in this area from an occlusion of a single deep white matter artery. This may lead to development of terminal zone infarction from ischemia or vascular diseases, affecting multiple deep white matter arteries. The subcortical and deep white matter arteries had thick adventitial sheaths and large adventitial spaces in the white matter but not in the cortex. The presence or absence of the adventitial space is regarded as another characteristic difference between the arteries in the white matter and cortex. This difference may influence pathological changes in vascular lesions in these respective areas.
White matter is found in the deeper tissues of the brain (subcortical). It contains nerve fibers (axons), which are ... or covering called myelin. Myelin gives the white matter its color. It also protects the nerve fibers ...
Delcour, Maxime; Russier, Michaël; Amin, Mamta; Baud, Olivier; Paban, Véronique; Barbe, Mary F; Coq, Jacques-Olivier
Early brain damage, such as white matter damage (WMD), resulting from perinatal hypoxia-ischemia in preterm and low birth weight infants represents a high risk factor for mortality and chronic disabilities, including sensory, motor, behavioral and cognitive disorders. In previous studies, we developed a model of WMD based on prenatal ischemia (PI), induced by unilateral ligation of uterine artery at E17 in pregnant rats. We have shown that PI reproduced some of the main deficits observed in preterm infants, such as white and gray matter damage, myelination deficits, locomotor, sensorimotor, and short-term memory impairments, as well as related musculoskeletal and neuroanatomical histopathologies [1-3]. Here, we determined the deleterious impact of PI on several behavioral and cognitive abilities in adult rats, as well as on the neuroanatomical substratum in various related brain areas. Adult PI rats exhibited spontaneous exploratory and motor hyperactivity, deficits in information encoding, and deficits in short- and long-term object memory tasks, but no impairments in spatial learning or working memory in watermaze tasks. These results were in accordance with white matter injury and damage in the medial and lateral entorhinal cortices, as detected by axonal degeneration, astrogliosis and neuronal density. Although there was astrogliosis and axonal degeneration in the fornix, hippocampus and cingulate cortex, neuronal density in the hippocampus and cingulate cortex was not affected by PI. Levels of spontaneous hyperactivity, deficits in object memory tasks, neuronal density in the medial and lateral entorhinal cortices, and astrogliosis in the fornix correlated with birth weight in PI rats. Thus, this rodent model of WMD based on PI appears to recapitulate the main neurobehavioral and neuroanatomical human deficits often observed in preterm children with a perinatal history of ischemia.
Cheng, Sainan; Liu, Qiang; Lv, Yubo; Han, Wenwen; Yu, Ke; Li, Yuchao; Gong, Tao; Zhang, Yi
Fractional anisotropy (FA) is currently an ideal index capable of reflecting the white matter structure. 1H magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS) is often used as a noninvasive concentration measurement of important neurochemicals in vivo. This study was conducted to investigate the relationship between FA and metabolite concentrations by comparing 1H-MRS of bilateral medium corona radiata in healthy adults. The data of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and 1H-MRS were acquired from 31 healthy adults using a 3.0 T MR system. All subjects were divided into three groups: the total group (mean age=42 years), the junior group (mean age=29 years) and the senior group (mean age=56 years). There was a negative correlation between FA and age in three groups (r=-0.146, r=-0.204, r=-0.162, p<0.05). The positive correlation of FA with corresponding concentrations of N-acetylaspartate (NAA) was significant in three groups (r=0.339, r=0.213, r=0.430, respectively, p<0.05). The positive correlation of FA with the corresponding NAA/Cr was only significant difference between the total 353 samples and the junior group (r=0.166, r=0.305, respectively, p<0.05). Combining 1H-MRS with DTI reveals the relationship between structure and metabolic characteristics of white matter.
Duval, Tanguy; Stikov, Nikola; Cohen-Adad, Julien
Summary Quantitative magnetic resonance imaging can be combined with advanced biophysical models to measure microstructural features of white matter. Non-invasive microstructural imaging has the potential to revolutionize neuroscience, and acquiring these measures in clinically feasible times would greatly improve patient monitoring and clinical studies of drug efficacy. However, a good understanding of microstructural imaging techniques is essential to set realistic expectations and to prevent over-interpretation of results. This review explains the methodology behind microstructural modeling and imaging, and gives an overview of the breakthroughs and challenges associated with it. PMID:28072382
Bijanki, Kelly R.; Matsui, Joy T.; Mayberg, Helen S.; Magnotta, Vincent A.; Arndt, Stephan; Johnson, Hans J.; Nopoulos, Peg; Paradiso, Sergio; McCormick, Laurie M.; Fiedorowicz, Jess G.; Epping, Eric A.; Moser, David J.
We sought to characterize the relationship between integrity of the white matter underlying the ventral anterior cingulate (vAC) and depressive symptoms in older adults with atherosclerotic vascular disease (AVD), a condition associated with preferential degeneration of the white matter. The vAC was defined as including white matter underlying ventral Brodmann Area 24 and Brodmann Area 25, corresponding with the “subcallosal” and “subgenual” cingulate respectively. This region of interest was chosen based on the preponderance of evidence that the white matter in the region plays a critical role in the manifestation of depressive symptoms. Participants had current unequivocal diagnoses of AVD and were between 55 and 90 years-old. Fractional anisotropy (FA) was used as an index of white matter integrity and organization. Whole-brain mean diffusivity (MD) was used as an index of global white matter lesion burden. Depressive symptoms were measured using the Symptom Checklist-90-Revised (SCL-90-R) Depression Scale. Depressive symptoms were significantly related to low FA in the right vAC (r = -0.356, df = 30, p = 0.045) but not the left vAC (r = 0.024, df = 30, p = 0.896) after controlling for total brain MD (a statistical control for global white matter lesion burden). Further, depressive symptoms were significantly related to low FA in the right vAC (r = -0.361, df = 31, p = 0.039), but not the left vAC (r = 0.259, df = 31, p = 0.145) when controlled for the contralateral vAC FA. The correlation coefficients for this follow-up analysis were found to be significantly different between left and right vAC (Z = 2.310, p = 0.021). Poor white matter health in the vAC may be a biological mechanism for depressive symptoms in older adults with vascular disease. Further studies may corroborate that the right vAC plays a unique role in depressive symptom manifestation in cases where the white matter is preferentially affected, as is the case in AVD. This could lead to
Burzynska, Agnieszka Z; Jiao, Yuqin; Knecht, Anya M; Fanning, Jason; Awick, Elizabeth A; Chen, Tammy; Gothe, Neha; Voss, Michelle W; McAuley, Edward; Kramer, Arthur F
Degeneration of cerebral white matter (WM), or structural disconnection, is one of the major neural mechanisms driving age-related decline in cognitive functions, such as processing speed. Past cross-sectional studies have demonstrated beneficial effects of greater cardiorespiratory fitness, physical activity, cognitive training, social engagement, and nutrition on cognitive functioning and brain health in aging. Here, we collected diffusion magnetic resonance (MRI) imaging data from 174 older (age 60-79) adults to study the effects of 6-months lifestyle interventions on WM integrity. Healthy but low-active participants were randomized into Dance, Walking, Walking + Nutrition, and Active Control (stretching and toning) intervention groups (NCT01472744 on ClinicalTrials.gov). Only in the fornix there was a time × intervention group interaction of change in WM integrity: integrity declined over 6 months in all groups but increased in the Dance group. Integrity in the fornix at baseline was associated with better processing speed, however, change in fornix integrity did not correlate with change in processing speed. Next, we observed a decline in WM integrity across the majority of brain regions in all participants, regardless of the intervention group. This suggests that the aging of the brain is detectable on the scale of 6-months, which highlights the urgency of finding effective interventions to slow down this process. Magnitude of WM decline increased with age and decline in prefrontal WM was of lesser magnitude in older adults spending less time sedentary and more engaging in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. In addition, our findings support the anterior-to-posterior gradient of greater-to-lesser decline, but only in the in the corpus callosum. Together, our findings suggest that combining physical, cognitive, and social engagement (dance) may help maintain or improve WM health and more physically active lifestyle is associated with slower WM decline
Burzynska, Agnieszka Z.; Jiao, Yuqin; Knecht, Anya M.; Fanning, Jason; Awick, Elizabeth A.; Chen, Tammy; Gothe, Neha; Voss, Michelle W.; McAuley, Edward; Kramer, Arthur F.
Degeneration of cerebral white matter (WM), or structural disconnection, is one of the major neural mechanisms driving age-related decline in cognitive functions, such as processing speed. Past cross-sectional studies have demonstrated beneficial effects of greater cardiorespiratory fitness, physical activity, cognitive training, social engagement, and nutrition on cognitive functioning and brain health in aging. Here, we collected diffusion magnetic resonance (MRI) imaging data from 174 older (age 60–79) adults to study the effects of 6-months lifestyle interventions on WM integrity. Healthy but low-active participants were randomized into Dance, Walking, Walking + Nutrition, and Active Control (stretching and toning) intervention groups (NCT01472744 on ClinicalTrials.gov). Only in the fornix there was a time × intervention group interaction of change in WM integrity: integrity declined over 6 months in all groups but increased in the Dance group. Integrity in the fornix at baseline was associated with better processing speed, however, change in fornix integrity did not correlate with change in processing speed. Next, we observed a decline in WM integrity across the majority of brain regions in all participants, regardless of the intervention group. This suggests that the aging of the brain is detectable on the scale of 6-months, which highlights the urgency of finding effective interventions to slow down this process. Magnitude of WM decline increased with age and decline in prefrontal WM was of lesser magnitude in older adults spending less time sedentary and more engaging in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. In addition, our findings support the anterior-to-posterior gradient of greater-to-lesser decline, but only in the in the corpus callosum. Together, our findings suggest that combining physical, cognitive, and social engagement (dance) may help maintain or improve WM health and more physically active lifestyle is associated with slower WM decline
Wang, S; Young, K M
CNS white matter is subject to a novel form of neural plasticity which has been termed "myelin plasticity". It is well established that oligodendrocyte generation and the addition of new myelin internodes continue throughout normal adulthood. These new myelin internodes maybe required for the de novo myelination of previously unmyelinated axons, myelin sheath replacement, or even myelin remodeling. Each process could alter axonal conduction velocity, but to what end? We review the changes that occur within the white matter over the lifetime, the known regulators and mediators of white matter plasticity in the mature CNS, and the physiological role this plasticity may play in CNS function.
James, G; Butt, A M
Although it has been established that immature glial cells express functional purinergic receptors, the responsiveness of mature glial cells in vivo had not been elucidated. This question was addressed using fura-2 ratiometric measurements of [Ca2+]i in the adult mouse optic nerve, a central nervous system (CNS) white matter tract, taking advantage of the facts that (i), the optic nerve contains glial cells but not neurons and (ii), that fura-2 loads primarily astrocytes in isolated intact optic nerves. We show that adenosine 5' triphosphate (ATP) evoked an increase in [Ca2+]i in a concentration-dependent manner with a half-maximal effect at 3 microm ATP, and with a rank order of agonist potency of ATP > ADP > alpha,beta-methyline-ATP > UDP > adenosine. The results indicate mainly P2Y and P2X components, consistent with the in vitro astroglial purinergic receptor profile. The in vivo response of mature glia to ATP may be important in their response to CNS damage.
Bender, Andrew R.; Raz, Naftali
Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) studies show age-related differences in cerebral white matter (WM). However, few have studied WM changes over time, and none evaluated individual differences in change across a wide age range. Here, we examined two-year WM change in 96 healthy adults (baseline age 19-78 years), individual differences in change, and the influence of vascular and metabolic risk thereon. Fractional anisotropy (FA), axial diffusivity (AD) and radial diffusivity (RD) represented microstructural properties of normal appearing WM within 13 regions. Cross-sectional analyses revealed age-related differences in all WM indices across the regions. In contrast, latent change score analyses showed longitudinal declines in AD in association and projection fibers, and increases in anterior commissural fibers. FA and RD evidenced a less consistent pattern of change. Metabolic risk mediated the effects of age on FA and RD change in corpus callosum body and dorsal cingulum. These findings underscore the importance of longitudinal studies in evaluating individual differences in change, and the role of metabolic factors in shaping trajectories of brain aging. PMID:25771392
Bender, Andrew R.; Völkle, Manuel C.; Raz, Naftali
The few extant reports of longitudinal white matter (WM) changes in healthy aging, using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), reveal substantial differences in change across brain regions and DTI indices. According to the last-in-first-out hypothesis of brain aging late-developing WM tracts may be particularly vulnerable to advanced age. To test this hypothesis we compared age-related changes in association, commissural and projection WM fiber regions using a skeletonized, region of interest DTI approach. Using linear mixed effects models, we evaluated the influences of age and vascular risk at baseline on seven-year changes in three indices of WM integrity and organization (axial diffusivity, AD, radial diffusivity, RD, and fractional anisotropy, FA) in healthy middle-aged and older adults (mean age = 65.4, SD = 9.0 years). Association fibers showed the most pronounced declines over time. Advanced age was associated with greater longitudinal changes in RD and FA, independent of fiber type. Furthermore, older age was associated with longitudinal RD increases in late-developing, but not early-developing projection fibers. These findings demonstrate the increased vulnerability of later developing WM regions and support the last-in-first-out hypothesis of brain aging. PMID:26481675
Bradstreet, Lauren E; Hecht, Erin E; King, Tricia Z; Turner, Jessica L; Robins, Diana L
Whereas a number of studies have examined relationships among brain activity, social cognitive skills, and autistic traits, fewer studies have evaluated whether structural connections among brain regions relate to these traits and skills. Uncinate fasciculus (UF) and inferior longitudinal fasciculus (ILF) are white matter tracts that may underpin the behavioral expression of these skills because they connect regions within or provide sensory information to brain areas implicated in social cognition, and structural differences in these tracts have been associated with autistic traits. We examined relationships among self-reported autistic traits, mentalizing, and water diffusivity in UF and ILF in a nonclinical sample of 24 young adults (mean age = 21.92 years, SD = 4.72 years; 15 women). We measured autistic traits using the Autism-Spectrum Quotient, and we measured mentalizing using the Dynamic Interactive Shapes Clips task. We used Tract-Based Spatial Statistics and randomize to examine relationships among fractional anisotropy (FA) values in bilateral ILF and UF, age, cognitive abilities, autistic traits, and mentalizing. Autistic traits were positively related to FA values in left ILF. No other relationships between FA values and other variables were significant. Results suggest that left ILF may be involved in the expression of autistic traits in individuals without clinical diagnoses.
Karns, Christina M; Stevens, Courtney; Dow, Mark W; Schorr, Emily M; Neville, Helen J
Considerable research documents the cross-modal reorganization of auditory cortices as a consequence of congenital deafness, with remapped functions that include visual and somatosensory processing of both linguistic and nonlinguistic information. Structural changes accompany this cross-modal neuroplasticity, but precisely which specific structural changes accompany congenital and early deafness and whether there are group differences in hemispheric asymmetries remain to be established. Here, we used diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to examine microstructural white matter changes accompanying cross-modal reorganization in 23 deaf adults who were genetically, profoundly, and congenitally deaf, having learned sign language from infancy with 26 hearing controls who participated in our previous fMRI studies of cross-modal neuroplasticity. In contrast to prior literature using a whole-brain approach, we introduce a semiautomatic method for demarcating auditory regions in which regions of interest (ROIs) are defined on the normalized white matter skeleton for all participants, projected into each participants native space, and manually constrained to anatomical boundaries. White-matter ROIs were left and right Heschl's gyrus (HG), left and right anterior superior temporal gyrus (aSTG), left and right posterior superior temporal gyrus (pSTG), as well as one tractography-defined region in the splenium of the corpus callosum connecting homologous left and right superior temporal regions (pCC). Within these regions, we measured fractional anisotropy (FA), radial diffusivity (RD), axial diffusivity (AD), and white-matter volume. Congenitally deaf adults had reduced FA and volume in white matter structures underlying bilateral HG, aSTG, pSTG, and reduced FA in pCC. In HG and pCC, this reduction in FA corresponded with increased RD, but differences in aSTG and pSTG could not be localized to alterations in RD or AD. Direct statistical tests of hemispheric asymmetries in these
Plassard, Andrew; Hinton, Kendra E.; Venkatraman, Vijay; Gonzalez, Christopher; Resnick, Susan M.; Landman, Bennett A.
Multi-atlas labeling has come in wide spread use for whole brain labeling on magnetic resonance imaging. Recent challenges have shown that leading techniques are near (or at) human expert reproducibility for cortical gray matter labels. However, these approaches tend to treat white matter as essentially homogeneous (as white matter exhibits isointense signal on structural MRI). The state-of-the-art for white matter atlas is the single-subject Johns Hopkins Eve atlas. Numerous approaches have attempted to use tractography and/or orientation information to identify homologous white matter structures across subjects. Despite success with large tracts, these approaches have been plagued by difficulties in with subtle differences in course, low signal to noise, and complex structural relationships for smaller tracts. Here, we investigate use of atlas-based labeling to propagate the Eve atlas to unlabeled datasets. We evaluate single atlas labeling and multi-atlas labeling using synthetic atlases derived from the single manually labeled atlas. On 5 representative tracts for 10 subjects, we demonstrate that (1) single atlas labeling generally provides segmentations within 2mm mean surface distance, (2) morphologically constraining DTI labels within structural MRI white matter reduces variability, and (3) multi-atlas labeling did not improve accuracy. These efforts present a preliminary indication that single atlas labels with correction is reasonable, but caution should be applied. To purse multi-atlas labeling and more fully characterize overall performance, more labeled datasets would be necessary.
Doi, Takehiko; Makizako, Hyuma; Shimada, Hiroyuki; Tsutsumimoto, Kota; Hotta, Ryo; Nakakubo, Sho; Park, Hyuntae; Suzuki, Takao
Physical activity may help to prevent or delay brain atrophy. Numerous studies have shown associations between physical activity and age-related changes in the brain. However, most of these studies involved self-reported physical activity, not objectively measured physical activity. Therefore, the aim of this study was to examine the association between objectively measured physical activity, as determined using accelerometers, and brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measures in older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). We analyzed 323 older subjects with MCI (mean age 71.4 years) who were recruited from the participants of the Obu Study of Health Promotion for the Elderly. We recorded demographic data and measured physical activity using a tri-axial accelerometer. Physical activity was classified as light-intensity physical activity (LPA) or moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Brain atrophy and the severity of white matter lesions (WML) were determined by MRI. Low levels of LPA and MVPA were associated with severe WML. Subjects with severe WML were older, had lower mobility, and had greater brain atrophy than subjects with mild WML (all P<0.05). Multivariate analysis revealed that more MVPA was associated with less brain atrophy, even after adjustment for WML (β=-0.126, P=0.015), but LPA was not (β=-0.102, P=0.136). Our study revealed that objectively measured physical activity, especially MVPA, was associated with brain atrophy in MCI subjects, even after adjusting for WML. These findings support the hypothesis that physical activity plays a crucial role in maintaining brain health.
Meyer, G; Gonzalez-Hernandez, T; Galindo-Mireles, D; Castañeyra-Perdomo, A; Ferres-Torres, R
Injection of Fast Blue into different cortical areas (frontal, parietal, anterior and posterior cingulate cortex) revealed that neurons in the white matter (interstitial neurons) give rise to association fibers which project mostly to the gray matter of the overlying cytoarchitectonic area, but which may extend also over different cytoarchitectonic areas. The rostrocaudal extent of the projecting axons was up to 1 mm in the frontal and parietal cortex, and up to 3.5 mm in the cingulate cortex. Concurrent processing for dihydronicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate diaphorase (NADPH-d) histochemistry showed that 70% of cortically projecting interstitial neurons were NADPH-d-positive. An analysis of neuronal morphology suggests that the FasT-Blue-labeled, NADPH-d-negative neurons may represent displaced pyramidal neurons of layer VIb; the Fast-Blue-labeled and NADPH-d-positive neurons have bipolar or multipolar dendritic trees, constituting a population of nonpyramidal interstitial neurons that project into the cortical gray matter.
Pleasure, David; Soulika, Athena; Singh, Sunit K.; Gallo, Vittorio; Bannerman, Peter
While the central nervous system (CNS) is generally thought of as an immunopriviledged site, immune-mediated CNS white matter damage can occur in both the perinatal period and in adults, and can result in severe and persistent neurological deficits. Periventricular leukomalacia (PVL) is an inflammatory white matter disease of premature infants…
Wang, Yuan; Liu, Gang; Hong, Dandan; Chen, Fenghua; Ji, Xunming; Cao, Guodong
Stroke is one of the major causes of disability and mortality worldwide. It is well known that ischemic stroke can cause gray matter injury. However, stroke also elicits profound white matter injury, a risk factor for higher stroke incidence and poor neurological outcomes. The majority of damage caused by stroke is located in subcortical regions and, remarkably, white matter occupies nearly half of the average infarct volume. Indeed, white matter is exquisitely vulnerable to ischemia and is often injured more severely than gray matter. Clinical symptoms related to white matter injury include cognitive dysfunction, emotional disorders, sensorimotor impairments, as well as urinary incontinence and pain, all of which are closely associated with destruction and remodeling of white matter connectivity. White matter injury can be noninvasively detected by MRI, which provides a three-dimensional assessment of its morphology, metabolism, and function. There is an urgent need for novel white matter therapies, as currently available strategies are limited to preclinical animal studies. Optimal protection against ischemic stroke will need to encompass the fortification of both gray and white matter. In this review, we discuss white matter injury after ischemic stroke, focusing on clinical features and tools, such as imaging, manifestation, and potential treatments. We also briefly discuss the pathophysiology of WMI and future research directions.
Kazumata, Ken; Tha, Khin Khin; Uchino, Haruto; Shiga, Tohru; Shichinohe, Hideo; Ito, Masaki; Nakayama, Naoki; Abumiya, Takeo
OBJECTIVE After revascularization surgery, hyperperfusion and ischemia are associated with morbidity and mortality in adult moyamoya disease (MMD). However, structural changes within the brain following revascularization surgery, especially in the early postsurgical period, have not been thoroughly studied. Such knowledge may enable improved monitoring and clinical management of hyperperfusion and ischemia in MMD. Thus, the objective of this study was to investigate the topographic and temporal profiles of cerebral perfusion and related white matter microstructural changes following revascularization surgery in adult MMD. METHODS The authors analyzed 20 consecutive surgeries performed in 17 adults. Diffusion imaging in parallel with serial measurements of regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) using SPECT was performed. Both voxel-based and region-of-interest analyses were performed, comparing neuroimaging parameters of postoperative hemispheres with those of preoperative hemispheres at 4 different time points within 2 weeks after surgery. RESULTS Voxel-based analysis showed a distinct topographic pattern of cerebral perfusion, characterized by increased rCBF in the basal ganglia for the first several days and gradually increased rCBF in the lateral prefrontal cortex over 1 week (p < 0.001). Decreased rCBF was also observed in the lateral prefrontal cortex, occipital lobe, and cerebellum contralateral to the surgical hemisphere (p < 0.001). Reduced fractional anisotropy (FA) and axial diffusivity (AD), as well as increased radial diffusivity (RD), were demonstrated in both the anterior and posterior limbs of the internal capsule (p < 0.001). Diffusion parameters demonstrated the greatest changes in both FA and RD on Days 1-2 and in AD on Days 3-6; FA, RD, and AD recovered to preoperative levels on Day 14. Patients with transient neurological deteriorations (TNDs), as compared with those without, demonstrated greater increases in rCBF in both the lateral prefrontal
Cui, Yue; Wen, Wei; Lipnicki, Darren M; Beg, Mirza Faisal; Jin, Jesse S; Luo, Suhuai; Zhu, Wanlin; Kochan, Nicole A; Reppermund, Simone; Zhuang, Lin; Raamana, Pradeep Reddy; Liu, Tao; Trollor, Julian N; Wang, Lei; Brodaty, Henry; Sachdev, Perminder S
Amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) is a syndrome widely considered to be prodromal Alzheimer's disease. Accurate diagnosis of aMCI would enable earlier treatment, and could thus help minimize the prevalence of Alzheimer's disease. The aim of the present study was to evaluate a magnetic resonance imaging-based automated classification schema for identifying aMCI. This was carried out in a sample of community-dwelling adults aged 70-90 years old: 79 with a clinical diagnosis of aMCI and 204 who were cognitively normal. Our schema was novel in using measures of both spatial atrophy, derived from T1-weighted images, and white matter alterations, assessed with diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS). Subcortical volumetric features were extracted using a FreeSurfer-initialized Large Deformation Diffeomorphic Metric Mapping (FS+LDDMM) segmentation approach, and fractional anisotropy (FA) values obtained for white matter regions of interest. Features were ranked by their ability to discriminate between aMCI and normal cognition, and a support vector machine (SVM) selected an optimal feature subset that was used to train SVM classifiers. As evaluated via 10-fold cross-validation, the classification performance characteristics achieved by our schema were: accuracy, 71.09%; sensitivity, 51.96%; specificity, 78.40%; and area under the curve, 0.7003. Additionally, we identified numerous socio-demographic, lifestyle, health and other factors potentially implicated in the misclassification of individuals by our schema and those previously used by others. Given its high level of performance, our classification schema could facilitate the early detection of aMCI in community-dwelling elderly adults.
Filley, Christopher M; Fields, R Douglas
Whereas the cerebral cortex has long been regarded by neuroscientists as the major locus of cognitive function, the white matter of the brain is increasingly recognized as equally critical for cognition. White matter comprises half of the brain, has expanded more than gray matter in evolution, and forms an indispensable component of distributed neural networks that subserve neurobehavioral operations. White matter tracts mediate the essential connectivity by which human behavior is organized, working in concert with gray matter to enable the extraordinary repertoire of human cognitive capacities. In this review, we present evidence from behavioral neurology that white matter lesions regularly disturb cognition, consider the role of white matter in the physiology of distributed neural networks, develop the hypothesis that white matter dysfunction is relevant to neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's disease and the newly described entity chronic traumatic encephalopathy, and discuss emerging concepts regarding the prevention and treatment of cognitive dysfunction associated with white matter disorders. Investigation of the role of white matter in cognition has yielded many valuable insights and promises to expand understanding of normal brain structure and function, improve the treatment of many neurobehavioral disorders, and disclose new opportunities for research on many challenging problems facing medicine and society.
Sen, Ellora; Levison, Steven W.
There is an increasing awareness that the astrocytes in the immature periventricular white matter are vulnerable to ischemia and respond to inflammation. Here we provide a synopsis of the articles that have evaluated the causes and consequences of developmental brain injuries to white matter astrocytes as well as the consequences of several…
DuBose, Lyndsey E; Voss, Michelle W; Weng, Timothy B; Kent, James D; Dubishar, Kaitlyn M; Lane-Cordova, Abbi; Sigurdsson, Gardar; Schmid, Phillip; Barlow, Patrick B; Pierce, Gary L
Aging is associated with increased carotid artery stiffness, a predictor of incident stroke, and reduced cognitive performance and brain white matter integrity (WMI) in humans. Therefore, we hypothesized that higher carotid stiffness/lower compliance would be independently associated with slower processing speed, higher working memory cost, and lower WMI in healthy middle-aged/older (MA/O) adults. Carotid β-stiffness (P < 0.001) was greater and compliance (P < 0.001) was lower in MA/O (n = 32; 64.4 ± 4.3 yr) vs. young (n = 19; 23.8 ± 2.9 yr) adults. MA/O adults demonstrated slower processing speed (27.4 ± 4.6 vs. 35.4 ± 5.0 U/60 s, P < 0.001) and higher working memory cost (-15.4 ± 0.14 vs. -2.2 ± 0.05%, P < 0.001) vs. young adults. Global WMI was lower in MA/O adults (P < 0.001) and regionally in the frontal lobe (P = 0.020) and genu (P = 0.009). In the entire cohort, multiple regression analysis that included education, sex, and body mass index, carotid β-stiffness index (B = -0.53 ± 0.15 U, P = 0.001) and age group (B = -4.61 ± 1.7, P = 0.012, adjusted R(2) = 0.4) predicted processing speed but not working memory cost or WMI. Among MA/O adults, higher β-stiffness (B = -0.60 ± 0.18, P = 0.002) and lower compliance (B = 0.93 ± 0.26, P = 0.002) were associated with slower processing speed but not working memory cost or WMI. These data suggest that greater carotid artery stiffness is independently and selectively associated with slower processing speed but not working memory among MA/O adults. Carotid artery stiffening may modulate reductions in processing speed earlier than working memory with healthy aging in humans.NEW & NOTEWORTHY Previously, studies investigating the relation between large elastic artery stiffness, cognition, and brain structure have focused mainly on aortic stiffness in aged individuals with cardiovascular disease risk factors and other comorbidities. This study adds to the field by demonstrating that the age-related increases in
Shollenbarger, Skyler G.; Price, Jenessa; Wieser, Jon; Lisdahl, Krista
Background The heaviest period of cannabis use coincides with ongoing white matter (WM) maturation. Further, cannabis-related changes may be moderated by FAAH genotype (rs324420). We examined the association between cannabis use and FAAH genotype on frontolimbic WM integrity in adolescents and emerging adults. We then tested whether observed WM abnormalities were linked with depressive or apathy symptoms. Methods Participants included 37 cannabis users and 37 healthy controls (33 female; ages 18–25). Multiple regressions examined the independent and interactive effects of variables on WM integrity. Results Regular cannabis users demonstrated reduced WM integrity in the bilateral uncinate fasciculus (UNC) (MD, right: p = .009 and left: p = .009; FA, right: p = .04 and left: p = .03) and forceps minor (fMinor) (MD, p = .03) compared to healthy controls. Marginally reduced WM integrity in the cannabis users was found in the left anterior thalamic radiation (ATR) (FA, p = .08). Cannabis group ∗ FAAH genotype interaction predicted WM integrity in bilateral ATR (FA, right: p = .05 and left: p = .001) and fMinor (FA, p = .02). In cannabis users, poorer WM integrity was correlated with increased symptoms of depression and apathy in bilateral ATR and UNC. Conclusions Consistent with prior findings, cannabis use was associated with reduced frontolimbic WM integrity. WM integrity was also moderated by FAAH genotype, in that cannabis-using FAAH C/C carriers and A carrying controls had reduced WM integrity compared to control C/C carriers. Observed frontolimbic white matter abnormalities were linked with increased depressive and apathy symptoms in the cannabis users. PMID:26106535
Voss, Michelle W; Heo, Susie; Prakash, Ruchika S; Erickson, Kirk I; Alves, Heloisa; Chaddock, Laura; Szabo, Amanda N; Mailey, Emily L; Wójcicki, Thomas R; White, Siobhan M; Gothe, Neha; McAuley, Edward; Sutton, Bradley P; Kramer, Arthur F
Cerebral white matter (WM) degeneration occurs with increasing age and is associated with declining cognitive function. Research has shown that cardiorespiratory fitness and exercise are effective as protective, even restorative, agents against cognitive and neurobiological impairments in older adults. In this study, we investigated whether the beneficial impact of aerobic fitness would extend to WM integrity in the context of a one-year exercise intervention. Further, we examined the pattern of diffusivity changes to better understand the underlying biological mechanisms. Finally, we assessed whether training-induced changes in WM integrity would be associated with improvements in cognitive performance independent of aerobic fitness gains. Results showed that aerobic fitness training did not affect group-level change in WM integrity, executive function, or short-term memory, but that greater aerobic fitness derived from the walking program was associated with greater change in WM integrity in the frontal and temporal lobes, and greater improvement in short-term memory. Increases in WM integrity, however, were not associated with short-term memory improvement, independent of fitness improvements. Therefore, while not all findings are consistent with previous research, we provide novel evidence for correlated change in training-induced aerobic fitness, WM integrity, and cognition among healthy older adults.
The majority of total nuclear-encoded non-ribosomal RNA in a human cell is “ dark matter ” un-annotated RNA. BMC Biol. 8, 149 (2010). 9. Ginsberg, S...DATE September 2014 2. REPORT TYPE Annual 3. DATES COVERED 1 Sep 2013 - 31 Aug 2014 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE White Matter Glial Pathology in...stages of preparation due to poor sample quality factors such as low RIN or insufficient sequencing reads. Superficial white matter was laser
Zhu, Na; Schreiner, Pamela J.; Launer, Lenore J.; Whitmer, Rachel A.; Sidney, Stephen; Demerath, Ellen; Thomas, William; Bouchard, Claude; He, Ka; Erus, Guray; Battapady, Harsha; Bryan, R. Nick
Objective: We hypothesized that greater cardiorespiratory fitness is associated with lower odds of having unfavorable brain MRI findings. Methods: We studied 565 healthy, middle-aged, black and white men and women in the CARDIA (Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults) Study. The fitness measure was symptom-limited maximal treadmill test duration (Maxdur); brain MRI was measured 5 years later. Brain MRI measures were analyzed as means and as proportions below the 15th percentile (above the 85th percentile for white matter abnormal tissue volume). Results: Per 1-minute-higher Maxdur, the odds ratio for having less whole brain volume was 0.85 (p = 0.04) and for having low white matter integrity was 0.80 (p = 0.02), adjusted for age, race, sex, clinic, body mass index, smoking, alcohol, diet, physical activity, education, blood pressure, diabetes, total cholesterol, and lung function (plus intracranial volume for white matter integrity). No significant associations were observed between Maxdur and abnormal tissue volume or blood flow in white matter. Findings were similar for associations with continuous brain MRI measures. Conclusions: Greater physical fitness was associated with more brain volume and greater white matter integrity measured 5 years later in middle-aged adults. PMID:25957331
Yeatman, Jason D; Dougherty, Robert F; Ben-Shachar, Michal; Wandell, Brian A
White matter tissue properties are highly correlated with reading proficiency; we would like to have a model that relates the dynamics of an individual's white matter development to their acquisition of skilled reading. The development of cerebral white matter involves multiple biological processes, and the balance between these processes differs between individuals. Cross-sectional measures of white matter mask the interplay between these processes and their connection to an individual's cognitive development. Hence, we performed a longitudinal study to measure white-matter development (diffusion-weighted imaging) and reading development (behavioral testing) in individual children (age 7-15 y). The pattern of white-matter development differed significantly among children. In the left arcuate and left inferior longitudinal fasciculus, children with above-average reading skills initially had low fractional anisotropy (FA) that increased over the 3-y period, whereas children with below-average reading skills had higher initial FA that declined over time. We describe a dual-process model of white matter development comprising biological processes with opposing effects on FA, such as axonal myelination and pruning, to explain the pattern of results.
Cheng, Irene; Hajari, Nasim; Firouzmanesh, Amirhossein; Shen, Rui; Miller, Steven; Poskitt, Ken; Basu, Anup
Early detection of white matter injury in premature newborns can facilitate timely clinical treatments reducing the potential risk of later developmental deficits. It was reported that there were more than 5% premature newborns in British Columbia, Canada, among which 5-10% exhibited major motor deficits and 25-50% exhibited significant developmental and visual deficits. With the advancement of computer assisted detection systems, it is possible to automatically identify white matter injuries, which are found inside the grey matter region of the brain. Atlas registration has been suggested in the literature to distinguish grey matter from the soft tissues inside the skull. However, our subjects are premature newborns delivered at 24 to 32 weeks of gestation. During this period, the grey matter undergoes rapid changes and differs significantly from one to another. Besides, not all detected white spots represent injuries. Additional neighborhood information and expert input are required for verification. In this paper, we propose a white matter feature identification system for premature newborns, which is composed of several steps: (1) Candidate white matter segmentation; (2) Feature extraction from candidates; (3) Validation with data obtained at a later stage on the children; and (4) Feature confirmation for automated detection. The main challenge of this work lies in segmenting white matter injuries from noisy and low resolution data. Our approach integrates image fusion and contrast enhancement together with a fuzzy segmentation technique to achieve promising results. Other applications, such as brain tumor and intra-ventricular haemorrhage detection can also benefit from our approach.
Wolfers, Thomas; Onnink, A. Marten H.; Zwiers, Marcel P.; Arias-Vasquez, Alejandro; Hoogman, Martine; Mostert, Jeanette C.; Kan, Cornelis C.; Slaats-Willemse, Dorine; Buitelaar, Jan K.; Franke, Barbara
Background Response time variability (RTV) is consistently increased in patients with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). A right-hemispheric frontoparietal attention network model has been implicated in these patients. The 3 main connecting fibre tracts in this network, the superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF), inferior longitudinal fasciculus (ILF) and the cingulum bundle (CB), show microstructural abnormalities in patients with ADHD. We hypothesized that the microstructural integrity of the 3 white matter tracts of this network are associated with ADHD and RTV. Methods We examined RTV in adults with ADHD by modelling the reaction time distribution as an exponentially modified Gaussian (ex-Gaussian) function with the parameters μ, σ and τ, the latter of which has been attributed to lapses of attention. We assessed adults with ADHD and healthy controls using a sustained attention task. Diffusion tensor imaging–derived fractional anisotropy (FA) values were determined to quantify bilateral microstructural integrity of the tracts of interest. Results We included 100 adults with ADHD and 96 controls in our study. Increased τ was associated with ADHD diagnosis and was linked to symptoms of inattention. An inverse correlation of τ with mean FA was seen in the right SLF of patients with ADHD, but no direct association between the mean FA of the 6 regions of interest with ADHD could be observed. Limitations Regions of interest were defined a priori based on the attentional network model for ADHD and thus we might have missed effects in other networks. Conclusion This study suggests that reduced microstructural integrity of the right SLF is associated with elevated τ in patients with ADHD. PMID:26079698
Asato, M R; Terwilliger, R; Woo, J; Luna, B
Adolescence is a unique period of physical and cognitive development that includes concurrent pubertal changes and sex-based vulnerabilities. While diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) studies show white matter maturation throughout the lifespan, the state of white matter integrity specific to adolescence is not well understood as are the contributions of puberty and sex. We performed whole-brain DTI studies of 114 children, adolescents, and adults to identify age-related changes in white matter integrity that characterize adolescence. A distinct set of regions across the brain were found to have decreasing radial diffusivity across age groups. Region of interest analyses revealed that maturation was attained by adolescence in broadly distributed association and projection fibers, including those supporting cortical and brain stem integration that may underlie known enhancements in reaction time during this period. Maturation after adolescence included association and projection tracts, including prefrontal-striatal connections, known to support top-down executive control of behavior and interhemispheric connectivity. Maturation proceeded in parallel with pubertal changes to the postpubertal stage, suggesting hormonal influences on white matter development. Females showed earlier maturation of white matter integrity compared with males. Together, these findings suggest that white matter connectivity supporting executive control of behavior is still immature in adolescence.
Phillips, Owen R; Joshi, Shantanu H; Piras, Fabrizio; Orfei, Maria Donata; Iorio, Mariangela; Narr, Katherine L; Shattuck, David W; Caltagirone, Carlo; Spalletta, Gianfranco; Di Paola, Margherita
White matter abnormalities have been shown in the large deep fibers of Alzheimer's disease patients. However, the late myelinating superficial white matter comprised of intracortical myelin and short-range association fibers has not received much attention. To investigate this area, we extracted a surface corresponding to the superficial white matter beneath the cortex and then applied a cortical pattern-matching approach which allowed us to register and subsequently sample diffusivity along thousands of points at the interface between the gray matter and white matter in 44 patients with Alzheimer's disease (Age: 71.02 ± 5.84, 16M/28F) and 47 healthy controls (Age 69.23 ± 4.45, 19M/28F). In patients we found an overall increase in the axial and radial diffusivity across most of the superficial white matter (P < 0.001) with increases in diffusivity of more than 20% in the bilateral parahippocampal regions and the temporal and frontal lobes. Furthermore, diffusivity correlated with the cognitive deficits measured by the Mini-Mental State Examination scores (P < 0.001). The superficial white matter has a unique microstructure and is critical for the integration of multimodal information during brain maturation and aging. Here we show that there are major abnormalities in patients and the deterioration of these fibers relates to clinical symptoms in Alzheimer's disease.
Anderson, Elaine J.; Husain, Masud
In recent years, diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DW-MRI) has been increasingly used to explore the relationship between white matter structure and cognitive function. This technique uses the passive diffusion of water molecules to infer properties of the surrounding tissue. DW-MRI has been extensively employed to investigate how individual differences in behavior are related to variability in white matter microstructure on a range of different cognitive tasks and also to examine the effect experiential learning might have on brain structural connectivity. Using diffusion tensor tractography, large white matter pathways have been traced in vivo and used to explore patterns of white matter projections between different brain regions. Recent findings suggest that diffusion-weighted imaging might even be used to measure functional differences in water diffusion during task performance. This review describes some research highlights in diffusion-weighted imaging and how this technique can be employed to further our understanding of cognitive function. PMID:22020545
Itahashi, Takashi; Yamada, Takashi; Nakamura, Motoaki; Watanabe, Hiromi; Yamagata, Bun; Jimbo, Daiki; Shioda, Seiji; Kuroda, Miho; Toriizuka, Kazuo; Kato, Nobumasa; Hashimoto, Ryuichiro
Growing evidence suggests that a broad range of behavioral anomalies in people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can be linked with morphological and functional alterations in the brain. However, the neuroanatomical underpinnings of ASD have been investigated using either structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), and the relationships between abnormalities revealed by these two modalities remain unclear. This study applied a multimodal data-fusion method, known as linked independent component analysis (ICA), to a set of structural MRI and DTI data acquired from 46 adult males with ASD and 46 matched controls in order to elucidate associations between different aspects of atypical neuroanatomy of ASD. Linked ICA identified two composite components that showed significant between-group differences, one of which was significantly correlated with age. In the other component, participants with ASD showed decreased gray matter (GM) volumes in multiple regions, including the bilateral fusiform gyri, bilateral orbitofrontal cortices, and bilateral pre- and post-central gyri. These GM changes were linked with a pattern of decreased fractional anisotropy (FA) in several white matter tracts, such as the bilateral inferior longitudinal fasciculi, bilateral inferior fronto-occipital fasciculi, and bilateral corticospinal tracts. Furthermore, unimodal analysis for DTI data revealed significant reductions of FA along with increased mean diffusivity in those tracts for ASD, providing further evidence of disrupted anatomical connectivity. Taken together, our findings suggest that, in ASD, alterations in different aspects of brain morphology may co-occur in specific brain networks, providing a comprehensive view for understanding the neuroanatomy of this disorder. PMID:25610777
Roos, Annerine; Fouche, Jean-Paul; Stein, Dan J; Lochner, Christine
Hair-pulling disorder (trichotillomania, HPD) is a disabling condition that is characterized by repetitive hair-pulling resulting in hair loss. Although there is evidence of structural grey matter abnormalities in HPD, there is a paucity of data on white matter integrity. The aim of this study was to explore white matter integrity using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in subjects with HPD and healthy controls. Sixteen adult female subjects with HPD and 13 healthy female controls underwent DTI. Hair-pulling symptom severity, anxiety and depressive symptoms were also assessed. Tract-based spatial statistics were used to analyze data on fractional anisotropy (FA), mean diffusivity (MD), axial diffusivity (AD) and radial diffusivity (RD). There were no differences in DTI measures between HPD subjects and healthy controls. However, there were significant associations of increased MD in white matter tracts of the fronto-striatal-thalamic pathway with longer HPD duration and increased HPD severity. Our findings suggest that white matter integrity in fronto-striatal-thalamic pathways in HPD is related to symptom duration and severity. The molecular basis of measures of white matter integrity in HPD deserves further exploration.
Wassermann, Demian; Makris, Nikos; Rathi, Yogesh; Shenton, Martha; Kikinis, Ron; Kubicki, Marek; Westin, Carl-Fredrik
We have developed a novel method to describe human white matter anatomy using an approach that is both intuitive and simple to use, and which automatically extracts white matter tracts from diffusion MRI volumes. Further, our method simplifies the quantification and statistical analysis of white matter tracts on large diffusion MRI databases. This work reflects the careful syntactical definition of major white matter fiber tracts in the human brain based on a neuroanatomist's expert knowledge. The framework is based on a novel query language with a near-to-English textual syntax. This query language makes it possible to construct a dictionary of anatomical definitions that describe white matter tracts. The definitions include adjacent gray and white matter regions, and rules for spatial relations. This novel method makes it possible to automatically label white matter anatomy across subjects. After describing this method, we provide an example of its implementation where we encode anatomical knowledge in human white matter for ten association and 15 projection tracts per hemisphere, along with seven commissural tracts. Importantly, this novel method is comparable in accuracy to manual labeling. Finally, we present results applying this method to create a white matter atlas from 77 healthy subjects, and we use this atlas in a small proof-of-concept study to detect changes in association tracts that characterize schizophrenia.
Chiou, Kathy S; Genova, Helen M; Chiaravalloti, Nancy D
The existence of learning deficits after traumatic brain injury (TBI) is generally accepted; however, our understanding of the structural brain mechanisms underlying learning impairment after TBI is limited. Furthermore, our understanding of learning after TBI is often at risk for overgeneralization, as research often overlooks within sample heterogeneity in learning abilities. The present study examined differences in white matter integrity in a sample of adults with moderate to severe TBI who differed in learning abilities. Adults with moderate to severe TBI were grouped into learners and non-learners based upon achievement of the learning criterion of the open-trial Selective Reminding Test (SRT). Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) was used to identify white matter differences between the learners and non-learners. Adults with TBI who were able to meet the learning criterion had greater white matter integrity (as indicated by higher fractional anisotropy [FA] values) in the right anterior thalamic radiation, forceps minor, inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus, and forceps minor than non-learners. The results of the study suggest that differences in white matter integrity may explain the observed heterogeneity in learning ability after moderate to severe TBI. This also supports emerging evidence for the involvement of the thalamus in higher order cognition, and the role of thalamo-cortical tracts in connecting functional networks associated with learning.
Alix, James J P; Domingues, António Miguel de Jesus
Synaptic transmission in the CNS represents the classic mechanism through which neural cells communicate. While vesicular neurotransmitter release has been known to be the preserve of gray matter, it is now known that synaptic-style release of glutamate, the brain's major excitatory neurotransmitter, occurs deep in white matter. Here it permits communication between axons and glial cells, enabling axon activity to couple with high fidelity to glial physiology. As white matter is increasingly well-recognized as a substrate for disease, dysregulation of white matter synaptic transmission will play an important role in the development of pathologies as diverse as stroke, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer disease, and schizophrenia. This review highlights progress in this new and important field.
Spisak, Tamas; Szeman-Nagy, Anita; Beres, Monika; Kis, Sandor Attila; Molnar, Peter; Berenyi, Ervin
Attempts to explicate the neural abnormalities behind autism spectrum disorders frequently revealed impaired brain connectivity, yet our knowledge is limited about the alterations linked with autistic traits in the non-clinical population. In our study, we aimed at exploring the neural correlates of dimensional autistic traits using a dual approach of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and graph theoretical analysis of resting state functional MRI data. Subjects were sampled from a public neuroimaging dataset of healthy volunteers. Inclusion criteria were adult age (age: 18–65), availability of DTI and resting state functional acquisitions and psychological evaluation including the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS) and Autistic Spectrum Screening Questionnaire (ASSQ). The final subject cohort consisted of 127 neurotypicals. Global brain network structure was described by graph theoretical parameters: global and average local efficiency. Regional topology was characterized by degree and efficiency. We provided measurements for diffusion anisotropy. The association between autistic traits and the neuroimaging findings was studied using a general linear model analysis, controlling for the effects of age, gender and IQ profile. Significant negative correlation was found between the degree and efficiency of the right posterior cingulate cortex and autistic traits, measured by the combination of ASSQ and SRS scores. Autistic phenotype was associated with the decrease of whole-brain local efficiency. Reduction of diffusion anisotropy was found bilaterally in the temporal fusiform and parahippocampal gyri. Numerous models describe the autistic brain connectome to be dominated by reduced long-range connections and excessive short-range fibers. Our finding of decreased efficiency supports this hypothesis although the only prominent effect was seen in the posterior limbic lobe, which is known to act as a connector hub. The neural correlates of the autistic trait in
Wijtenburg, S A; McGuire, S A; Rowland, L M; Sherman, P M; Lancaster, J L; Tate, D F; Hardies, L J; Patel, B; Glahn, D C; Hong, L E; Fox, P T; Kochunov, P
Fractional anisotropy (FA) of water diffusion in cerebral white matter (WM), derived from diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), is a sensitive index of microscopic WM integrity. Physiological and metabolic factors that explain intersubject variability in FA values were evaluated in two cohorts of healthy adults of different age spans (N=65, range: 28-50years; and N=25, age=66.6±6.2, range: 57-80years). Single voxel magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) was used to measure N-acetylaspartate (NAA), total choline-containing compounds, and total creatine, bilaterally in an associative WM tract: anterior corona radiata (ACR). FA values were calculated for the underlying, proximal and two distal WM regions. Two-stage regression analysis was used to calculate the proportion of variability in FA values explained by spectroscopy measurements, at the first stage, and subject's age, at the second stage. WM NAA concentration explained 23% and 66% of intersubject variability (p<0.001) in the FA of the underlying WM in the younger and older cohorts, respectively. WM NAA concentration also explained a significant proportion of variability in FA of the genu of corpus callosum (CC), a proximal WM tract where some of the fibers contained within the spectroscopic voxel decussate. NAA concentrations also explained a significant proportion of variability in the FA values in the splenium of CC, a distal WM tract that also carries associative fibers, in both cohorts. These results suggest that MRS measurements explained a significant proportion of variability in FA values in both proximal and distal WM tracts that carry similar fiber-types.
Background Previous studies in primary headache disorders showed microstructural alterations in the white matter as measured by diffusion imaging. However these investigations are not in full agreement and some of those, especially in cluster headache, restricted the analysis to only a limited number of diffusion parameters. Therefore, in the current study we examined white matter microstructure in cluster headache patients. Methods Diffusion weighted MRI images with 60 directions were acquired from thirteen patients with cluster headache and sixteen age-matched healthy controls. Tract based spatial statistics were used to compare white matter integrity in the core of the fibre bundles. Correlation of the diffusion parameters with cumulative number of headache days was examined. Results There was a significant increment of the mean, axial and perpendicular diffusivity in widespread white matter regions in the frontal, parietal, temporal and occipital lobes. Reduced fractional anisotropy was found in the corpus callosum and some frontal and parietal white matter tracts mainly in the contralateral side of the pain. Axial diffusivity showed negative correlation to the number of the headache attacks. Conclusions The in vivo analysis of microstructural alterations in cluster headache provides important features of the disease, which might offer a deeper insight into the pathomechanism of the disease. PMID:23883140
Fissler, Patrick; Müller, Hans-Peter; Küster, Olivia C; Laptinskaya, Daria; Thurm, Franka; Woll, Alexander; Elbert, Thomas; Kassubek, Jan; von Arnim, Christine A F; Kolassa, Iris-Tatjana
Cognitive and physical activities can benefit cognition. However, knowledge about the neurobiological mechanisms underlying these activity-induced cognitive benefits is still limited, especially with regard to the role of white matter integrity (WMI), which is affected in cognitive aging and Alzheimer's disease. To address this knowledge gap, we investigated the immediate and long-term effects of cognitive or physical training on WMI, as well as the association between cognitive and physical lifestyles and changes in WMI over a 6-month period. Additionally, we explored whether changes in WMI underlie activity-related cognitive changes, and estimated the potential of both trainings to improve WMI by correlating training outcomes with WMI. In an observational and interventional pretest, posttest, 3-month follow-up design, we assigned 47 community-dwelling older adults at risk of dementia to 50 sessions of auditory processing and working memory training (n = 13), 50 sessions of cardiovascular, strength, coordination, balance and flexibility exercises (n = 14), or a control group (n = 20). We measured lifestyles trough self-reports, cognitive training skills through training performance, functional physical fitness through the Senior Fitness Test, and global cognition through a cognitive test battery. WMI was assessed via a composite score of diffusion tensor imaging-based fractional anisotropy (FA) of three regions of interest shown to be affected in aging and Alzheimer's disease: the genu of corpus callosum, the fornix, and the hippocampal cingulum. Effects for training interventions on FA outcomes, as well as associations between lifestyles and changes in FA outcomes were not significant. Additional analyses did show associations between cognitive lifestyle and global cognitive changes at the posttest and the 3-month follow-up (β ≥ 0.40, p ≤ 0.02) and accounting for changes in WMI did not affect these relationships. The targeted training outcomes were related
Fissler, Patrick; Müller, Hans-Peter; Küster, Olivia C.; Laptinskaya, Daria; Thurm, Franka; Woll, Alexander; Elbert, Thomas; Kassubek, Jan; von Arnim, Christine A. F.; Kolassa, Iris-Tatjana
Cognitive and physical activities can benefit cognition. However, knowledge about the neurobiological mechanisms underlying these activity-induced cognitive benefits is still limited, especially with regard to the role of white matter integrity (WMI), which is affected in cognitive aging and Alzheimer’s disease. To address this knowledge gap, we investigated the immediate and long-term effects of cognitive or physical training on WMI, as well as the association between cognitive and physical lifestyles and changes in WMI over a 6-month period. Additionally, we explored whether changes in WMI underlie activity-related cognitive changes, and estimated the potential of both trainings to improve WMI by correlating training outcomes with WMI. In an observational and interventional pretest, posttest, 3-month follow-up design, we assigned 47 community-dwelling older adults at risk of dementia to 50 sessions of auditory processing and working memory training (n = 13), 50 sessions of cardiovascular, strength, coordination, balance and flexibility exercises (n = 14), or a control group (n = 20). We measured lifestyles trough self-reports, cognitive training skills through training performance, functional physical fitness through the Senior Fitness Test, and global cognition through a cognitive test battery. WMI was assessed via a composite score of diffusion tensor imaging-based fractional anisotropy (FA) of three regions of interest shown to be affected in aging and Alzheimer’s disease: the genu of corpus callosum, the fornix, and the hippocampal cingulum. Effects for training interventions on FA outcomes, as well as associations between lifestyles and changes in FA outcomes were not significant. Additional analyses did show associations between cognitive lifestyle and global cognitive changes at the posttest and the 3-month follow-up (β ≥ 0.40, p ≤ 0.02) and accounting for changes in WMI did not affect these relationships. The targeted training outcomes were
Wake, Hiroaki; Kato, Daisuke
Accumulated evidence shows that neural information processing takes place in superficial layers of the brain called the gray matter. Synapses, which connect different neurons reside in the gray matter and are considered the major components of information processing and plasticity. On the other hand, myelinated axons lie beneath the gray matter. These bundles of cables connect neurons in the different brain regions to form functional neural circuits. Myelinated axons were of little of interest to neuroscientists and have long been ignored in the formation of functional neuronal circuits. Recent evidence shows that myelin formed by oligodendrocytes shows plastic changes depending on neuronal activity. In this issue, we discuss the plastic changes of myelin and its functional role in learning and training.
Kumar, Shalini; Mattan, Natalia S.; de Vellis, Jean
Breakdown of oligodendrocyte-neuron interactions in white matter (WM), such as the loss of myelin, results in axonal dysfunction and hence a disruption of information processing between brain regions. The major feature of leukodystrophies is the lack of proper myelin formation during early development or the onset of myelin loss late in life.…
Maltese, Matthew R; Margulies, Susan S
The finite element (FE) brain model is used increasingly as a design tool for developing technology to mitigate traumatic brain injury. We developed an ultra high-definition FE brain model (>4 million elements) from CT and MRI scans of a 2-month-old pre-adolescent piglet brain, and simulated rapid head rotations. Strain distributions in the thalamus, coronal radiata, corpus callosum, cerebral cortex gray matter, brainstem and cerebellum were evaluated to determine the influence of employing homogeneous brain moduli, or distinct experimentally derived gray and white matter property representations, where some white matter regions are stiffer and others less stiff than gray matter. We find that constitutive heterogeneity significantly lowers white matter deformations in all regions compared with homogeneous properties, and should be incorporated in FE model injury prediction.
... Leukoencephalopathy with vanishing white matter Other Diagnosis and Management Resources (1 link) GeneReview: Childhood Ataxia with Central Nervous System Hypomelination/Vanishing White Matter General Information from MedlinePlus (5 links) Diagnostic Tests Drug Therapy ...
Won, Young Il; Kim, Chi Heon; Park, Chul-Kee; Koo, Bang-Bon; Lee, Jong-Min; Jung, Hee-Won
Background Tumor-related white matter change is detected at late stages with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), when mass effect or prominent edema is present. We analyzed if diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) white matter change earlier than conventional MRI. Methods Twenty-six patients with gliomas (World Health Organization grade II, 5; grade III, 12; and grade IV, 9) within 2 cm from the posterior limb of the internal capsule (IC) were studied. Fifteen normal adults were enrolled as controls. Fluid attenuation inversion recovery MRI showed a high signal change at the posterior limb of the IC (HSIC) in 9 patients with grade III or IV gliomas. We classified the gliomas as WHO grade II (gliomas II), grade III or IV without HSIC [gliomas III/IV(-)] and grade III or IV with HSIC [gliomas III/IV(+)], as an indicator of the increase in the severity of the white matter changes. Fractional anisotropy (FA) and apparent diffusion coefficients (ADC) were calculated for the pyramidal tract. Tumor progression along pyramidal tract was evaluated by follow-up MRI in 16 patients at 40±18 months. Results FA showed no significant difference between gliomas II and control (p=0.694), but was lower in gliomas III/IV(-) and gliomas III/IV(+) (p<0.001). ADCs were higher in gliomas II, gliomas III/IV(-) and gliomas III/IV(+) than control (p<0.001). Tumor progression was detected in 2/16 patients. Conclusion DTI detected white matter changes that appeared to be normal in MRI. ADC changed even in low grade glioma, indicating ADC may be a better parameter for the early detection of white matter change. PMID:27867919
and oxidative stress as observed in depressed suicide victims. To examine this, oligodendrocytes will be captured from the region of the brainstem...captured materials. This decision was made on both a scientific and financial basis. All superficial white matter and pyramidal neuron samples were...9/09-2/8/11 American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. “Glutamatergic signaling in the locus coeruleus in depression and suicide ” The major goal
Schnieder, Tatiana P; Trencevska, Iskra; Rosoklija, Gorazd; Stankov, Aleksandr; Mann, J John; Smiley, John; Dwork, Andrew J
Immune functions in the brain are associated with psychiatric illness and temporary alteration of mental state. Microglia, the principal brain immunologic cells, respond to changes in the internal brain milieu through a sequence of activated states, each with characteristic function and morphology. To assess a possible association of frontal white matter pathology with suicide, we stained autopsy brain tissue samples from 11 suicide and 25 nonsuicide subjects for ionized calcium-binding adapter molecule 1, cluster of differentiation 68, and myelin. Groups were matched by age, sex, and psychiatric diagnosis. We classified ionized calcium-binding adapter molecule 1-immunoreactive cells based on shape, immunoreactivity to cluster of differentiation 68, and association with blood vessels to obtain stereologic estimates of densities of resting microglia, activated phagocytes, and perivascular cells. We found no effect of psychiatric diagnosis but 2 statistically significant effects of suicide: 1) The dorsal-ventral difference in activated microglial density was reversed such that, with suicide, the density was greater in ventral prefrontal white matter than in dorsal prefrontal white matter, whereas in the absence of suicide, the opposite was true; and 2) with suicide, there was a greater density of ionized calcium-binding adapter molecule 1-immunoreactive cells within or in contact with blood vessel walls in dorsal prefrontal white matter. These observations could reflect a mechanism for the stress/diathesis (state/trait) model of suicide, whereby an acute stress activates a reactive process in the brain, either directly or by compromising the blood-brain barrier, and creates a suicidal state in an individual at risk. They also indicate the theoretical potential of imaging studies in living vulnerable individuals for the assessment of suicide risk. Further studies are needed to investigate specific phenotypes of perivascular cells and blood-brain barrier changes
unknown environmental and genetic suscepti- bility risk factors. FIGURE 1: Distribution of individual subjects displaying (A) white matter...neurocognitive impact in a popu- lation that is free of cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, and other genetic risk factors posited as the culprits of neuro...neurodegeneration: a microar- ray study. J Neuroinflammation 2012;9:179. 21. Wyss-Coray T. Inflammation in Alzheimer disease: driving force
Adults Learning, 2009
The Campaigning Alliance for Lifelong Learning is to lobby parliament for the restoration of the 1.5 million adult learning places lost over the past two years. The campaign has attracted supporters from an astonishingly wide range of backgrounds. In this article, Gordon Marsden, Caroline Biggins, Beth Walker, Mike Chaney, Peter Davies, Sian…
Koolschijn, P Cédric M P; Caan, Matthan W A; Teeuw, Jalmar; Olabarriaga, Sílvia D; Geurts, Hilde M
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is typified as a brain connectivity disorder in which white matter abnormalities are already present early on in life. However, it is unknown if and to which extent these abnormalities are hard-wired in (older) adults with ASD and how this interacts with age-related white matter changes as observed in typical aging. The aim of this first cross-sectional study in mid- and late-aged adults with ASD was to characterize white matter microstructure and its relationship with age. We utilized diffusion tensor imaging with head motion control in 48 adults with ASD and 48 age-matched controls (30-74 years), who also completed a Flanker task. Intra-individual variability of reaction times (IIVRT) measures based on performance on the Flanker interference task were used to assess IIVRT-white matter microstructure associations. We observed primarily higher mean and radial diffusivity in white matter microstructure in ASD, particularly in long-range fibers, which persisted after taking head motion into account. Importantly, group-by-age interactions revealed higher age-related mean and radial diffusivity in ASD, in projection and association fiber tracts. Subtle dissociations were observed in IIVRT-white matter microstructure relations between groups, with the IIVRT-white matter association pattern in ASD resembling observations in cognitive aging. The observed white matter microstructure differences are lending support to the structural underconnectivity hypothesis in ASD. These reductions seem to have behavioral percussions given the atypical relationship with IIVRT. Taken together, the current results may indicate different age-related patterns of white matter microstructure in adults with ASD. Hum Brain Mapp 38:82-96, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Ryman, Sephira G; Yeo, Ronald A; Witkiewitz, Katie; Vakhtin, Andrei A; van den Heuvel, Martijn; de Reus, Marcel; Flores, Ranee A; Wertz, Christopher R; Jung, Rex E
While there are minimal sex differences in overall intelligence, males, on average, have larger total brain volume and corresponding regional brain volumes compared to females, measures that are consistently related to intelligence. Limited research has examined which other brain characteristics may differentially contribute to intelligence in females to facilitate equal performance on intelligence measures. Recent reports of sex differences in the neural characteristics of the brain further highlight the need to differentiate how the structural neural characteristics relate to intellectual ability in males and females. The current study utilized a graph network approach in conjunction with structural equation modeling to examine potential sex differences in the relationship between white matter efficiency, fronto-parietal gray matter volume, and general cognitive ability (GCA). Participants were healthy adults (n = 244) who completed a battery of cognitive testing and underwent structural neuroimaging. Results indicated that in males, a latent factor of fronto-parietal gray matter was significantly related to GCA when controlling for total gray matter volume. In females, white matter efficiency and total gray matter volume were significantly related to GCA, with no specificity of the fronto-parietal gray matter factor over and above total gray matter volume. This work highlights that different neural characteristics across males and females may contribute to performance on intelligence measures. Hum Brain Mapp 37:4006-4016, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Madden, David J.; Bennett, Ilana J.; Song, Allen W.
The integrity of cerebral white matter is critical for efficient cognitive functioning, but little is known regarding the role of white matter integrity in age-related differences in cognition. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) measures the directional displacement of molecular water and as a result can characterize the properties of white matter that combine to restrict diffusivity in a spatially coherent manner. This review considers DTI studies of aging and their implications for understanding adult age differences in cognitive performance. Decline in white matter integrity contributes to a disconnection among distributed neural systems, with a consistent effect on perceptual speed and executive functioning. The relation between white matter integrity and cognition varies across brain regions, with some evidence suggesting that age-related effects exhibit an anterior-posterior gradient. With continued improvements in spatial resolution and integration with functional brain imaging, DTI holds considerable promise, both for theories of cognitive aging and for translational application. PMID:19705281
Weng, Chuan-Bo; Qian, Ruo-Bing; Fu, Xian-Ming; Lin, Bin; Han, Xiao-Peng; Niu, Chao-Shi; Wang, Ye-Han
Online game addiction (OGA) has attracted greater attention as a serious public mental health issue. However, there are only a few brain magnetic resonance imaging studies on brain structure about OGA. In the current study, we used voxel-based morphometry (VBM) analysis and tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) to investigate the microstructural changes in OGA and assessed the relationship between these morphology changes and the Young's Internet Addiction Scale (YIAS) scores within the OGA group. Compared with healthy subjects, OGA individuals showed significant gray matter atrophy in the right orbitofrontal cortex, bilateral insula, and right supplementary motor area. According to TBSS analysis, OGA subjects had significantly reduced FA in the right genu of corpus callosum, bilateral frontal lobe white matter, and right external capsule. Gray matter volumes (GMV) of the right orbitofrontal cortex, bilateral insula and FA values of the right external capsule were significantly positively correlated with the YIAS scores in the OGA subjects. Our findings suggested that microstructure abnormalities of gray and white matter were present in OGA subjects. This finding may provide more insights into the understanding of the underlying neural mechanisms of OGA.
Lundgaard, I; Osório, M J; Kress, B T; Sanggaard, S; Nedergaard, M
Myelination by oligodendrocytes is a highly specialized process that relies on intimate interactions between the axon and the oligodendrocytes. Astrocytes have an important part in facilitating myelination in the CNS, however, comparatively less is known about how they affect myelination. This review therefore summarizes the literature and explores lingering questions surrounding differences between white matter and gray matter astrocytes, how astrocytes support myelination, how their dysfunction in pathological states contributes to myelin pathologies and how astrocytes may facilitate remyelination. We discuss how astrocytes in the white matter are specialized to promote myelination and myelin maintenance by clearance of extracellular ions and neurotransmitters and by secretion of pro-myelinating factors. Additionally, astrocyte-oligodendrocyte coupling via gap junctions is crucial for both myelin formation and maintenance, due to K(+) buffering and possibly metabolic support for oligodendrocytes via the panglial syncytium. Dysfunctional astrocytes aberrantly affect oligodendrocytes, as exemplified by a number of leukodystrophies in which astrocytic pathology is known as the direct cause of myelin pathology. Conversely, in primary demyelinating diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, astrocytes may facilitate remyelination. We suggest that specific manipulation of astrocytes could help prevent myelin pathologies and successfully restore myelin sheaths after demyelination.
Chang, Soo-Eun; Zhu, David C; Choo, Ai Leen; Angstadt, Mike
The ability to express thoughts through fluent speech production is a most human faculty, one that is often taken for granted. Stuttering, which disrupts the smooth flow of speech, affects 5% of preschool-age children and 1% of the general population, and can lead to significant communication difficulties and negative psychosocial consequences throughout one's lifetime. Despite the fact that symptom onset typically occurs during early childhood, few studies have yet examined the possible neural bases of developmental stuttering during childhood. Here we present a diffusion tensor imaging study that examined white matter measures reflecting neuroanatomical connectivity (fractional anisotropy) in 77 children [40 controls (20 females), 37 who stutter (16 females)] between 3 and 10 years of age. We asked whether previously reported anomalous white matter measures in adults and older children who stutter that were found primarily in major left hemisphere tracts (e.g. superior longitudinal fasciculus) are also present in younger children who stutter. All children exhibited normal speech, language, and cognitive development as assessed through a battery of assessments. The two groups were matched in chronological age and socioeconomic status. Voxel-wise whole brain comparisons using tract-based spatial statistics and region of interest analyses of fractional anisotropy were conducted to examine white matter changes associated with stuttering status, age, sex, and stuttering severity. Children who stutter exhibited significantly reduced fractional anisotropy relative to controls in white matter tracts that interconnect auditory and motor structures, corpus callosum, and in tracts interconnecting cortical and subcortical areas. In contrast to control subjects, fractional anisotropy changes with age were either stagnant or showed dissociated development among major perisylvian brain areas in children who stutter. These results provide first glimpses into the neuroanatomical
Becker, Mary P; Collins, Paul F; Lim, Kelvin O; Muetzel, R L; Luciana, M
Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) studies of cannabis users report alterations in brain white matter microstructure, primarily based on cross-sectional research, and etiology of the alterations remains unclear. We report findings from longitudinal voxelwise analyses of DTI data collected at baseline and at a 2-year follow-up on 23 young adult (18-20 years old at baseline) regular cannabis users and 23 age-, sex-, and IQ-matched non-using controls with limited substance use histories. Onset of cannabis use was prior to age 17. Cannabis users displayed reduced longitudinal growth in fractional anisotropy in the central and parietal regions of the right and left superior longitudinal fasciculus, in white matter adjacent to the left superior frontal gyrus, in the left corticospinal tract, and in the right anterior thalamic radiation lateral to the genu of the corpus callosum, along with less longitudinal reduction of radial diffusion in the right central/posterior superior longitudinal fasciculus, corticospinal tract, and posterior cingulum. Greater amounts of cannabis use were correlated with reduced longitudinal growth in FA as was relatively impaired performance on a measure of verbal learning. These findings suggest that continued heavy cannabis use during adolescence and young adulthood alters ongoing development of white matter microstructure, contributing to functional impairment.
Becker, Mary P.; Collins, Paul F.; Lim, Kelvin O.; Muetzel, R.L.; Luciana, M.
Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) studies of cannabis users report alterations in brain white matter microstructure, primarily based on cross-sectional research, and etiology of the alterations remains unclear. We report findings from longitudinal voxelwise analyses of DTI data collected at baseline and at a 2-year follow-up on 23 young adult (18-20 years old at baseline) regular cannabis users and 23 age-, sex-, and IQ-matched non-using controls with limited substance use histories. Onset of cannabis use was prior to age 17. Cannabis users displayed reduced longitudinal growth in fractional anisotropy in the central and parietal regions of the right and left superior longitudinal fasciculus, in white matter adjacent to the left superior frontal gyrus, in the left corticospinal tract, and in the right anterior thalamic radiation lateral to the genu of the corpus callosum, along with less longitudinal reduction of radial diffusion in the right central/posterior superior longitudinal fasciculus, corticospinal tract, and posterior cingulum. Greater amounts of cannabis use were correlated with reduced longitudinal growth in FA as was relatively impaired performance on a measure of verbal learning. These findings suggest that continued heavy cannabis use during adolescence and young adulthood alters ongoing development of white matter microstructure, contributing to functional impairment. PMID:26602958
Bénézit, Audrey; Hertz-Pannier, Lucie; Dehaene-Lambertz, Ghislaine; Monzalvo, Karla; Germanaud, David; Duclap, Delphine; Guevara, Pamela; Mangin, Jean-François; Poupon, Cyril; Moutard, Marie-Laure; Dubois, Jessica
Isolated corpus callosum dysgenesis (CCD) is a congenital malformation which occurs during early development of the brain. In this study, we aimed to identify and describe its consequences beyond the lack of callosal fibres, on the morphology, microstructure and asymmetries of the main white matter bundles with diffusion imaging and fibre tractography. Seven children aged between 9 and 13 years old and seven age- and gender-matched control children were studied. First, we focused on bundles within the mesial region of the cerebral hemispheres: the corpus callosum, Probst bundles and cingulum which were selected using a conventional region-based approach. We demonstrated that the Probst bundles have a wider connectivity than the previously described rostrocaudal direction, and a microstructure rather distinct from the cingulum but relatively close to callosal remnant fibres. A sigmoid bundle was found in two partial ageneses. Second, the corticospinal tract, thalamic radiations and association bundles were extracted automatically via an atlas of adult white matter bundles to overcome bias resulting from a priori knowledge of the bundles' anatomical morphology and trajectory. Despite the lack of callosal fibres and the colpocephaly observed in CCD, all major white matter bundles were identified with a relatively normal morphology, and preserved microstructure (i.e. fractional anisotropy, mean diffusivity) and asymmetries. Consequently the bundles' organisation seems well conserved in brains with CCD. These results await further investigations with functional imaging before apprehending the cognition variability in children with isolated dysgenesis.
Jeong, Bum Seok; Han, Doug Hyun; Kim, Sun Mi; Lee, Sang Won; Renshaw, Perry F
Internet use and on-line game play stimulate corticostriatal-limbic circuitry in both healthy subjects and subjects with Internet gaming disorder (IGD). We hypothesized that increased fractional anisotropy (FA) with decreased radial diffusivity (RD) would be observed in IGD subjects, compared with healthy control subjects, and that these white matter indices would be associated with clinical variables including duration of illness and executive function. We screened 181 male patients in order to recruit a large number (n = 58) of IGD subjects without psychiatric co-morbidity as well as 26 male healthy comparison subjects. Multiple diffusion-weighted images were acquired using a 3.0 Tesla magnetic resonance imaging scanner. Tract-based spatial statistics was applied to compare group differences in diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) metrics between IGD and healthy comparison subjects. IGD subjects had increased FA values within forceps minor, right anterior thalamic radiation, right corticospinal tract, right inferior longitudinal fasciculus, right cingulum to hippocampus and right inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus (IFOF) as well as parallel decreases in RD value within forceps minor, right anterior thalamic radiation and IFOF relative to healthy control subjects. In addition, the duration of illness in IGD subjects was positively correlated with the FA values (integrity of white matter fibers) and negatively correlated with RD scores (diffusivity of axonal density) of whole brain white matter. In IGD subjects without psychiatric co-morbidity, our DTI results suggest that increased myelination (increased FA and decreased RD values) in right-sided frontal fiber tracts may be the result of extended game play.
Schnieder, Tatiana P.; Trencevska, Iskra; Rosoklija, Gorazd; Stankov, Aleksandr; Mann, J. John; Smiley, John; Dwork, Andrew J.
Immune functions in the brain are associated with psychiatric illness and with temporary alteration of mental state. Microglia, the principal brain immunological cells, respond to changes in the internal brain milieu through a sequence of activated states, each with characteristic function and morphology. To assess a possible association of frontal white matter pathology with suicide, autopsy brain tissue samples from 11 suicide and 25 non-suicide subjects were stained for ionized calcium-binding adapter molecule 1 (Iba-1), CD68, and myelin. Groups were matched by age, sex, and psychiatric diagnosis. We classified Iba-1-immunoreactive cells on the basis of shape, immunoreactivity for CD68, and association with blood vessels to obtain stereologic estimates of densities of resting microglia, activated phagocytes, and perivascular cells. We found no effect of psychiatric diagnosis but 2 statistically significant effects of suicide: 1) the dorsal-ventral difference in activated microglial density was reversed such that with suicide, the density was greater in ventral than in dorsal prefrontal white matter, whereas in the absence of suicide, the opposite was true; and 2) with suicide there was a greater density of Iba-1-immunoreactive cells within or in contact with blood vessel walls in dorsal prefrontal white matter. These observations could reflect a mechanism for the stress/diathesis (state/trait) model of suicide whereby an acute stress activates a reactive process in the brain, either directly or by compromising the blood-brain barrier, and creates a suicidal state in an individual at risk. They also indicate the theoretical potential of imaging studies in live, vulnerable individuals for the assessment of suicide risk. Further studies are needed to investigate specific phenotypes of perivascular cells and blood-brain barrier changes associated with suicide. PMID:25101704
Ford, Anastasia A.; Colon-Perez, Luis; Triplett, William T.; Gullett, Joseph M.; Mareci, Thomas H.; FitzGerald, David B.
The human brainstem is critical for the control of many life-sustaining functions, such as consciousness, respiration, sleep, and transfer of sensory and motor information between the brain and the spinal cord. Most of our knowledge about structure and organization of white and gray matter within the brainstem is derived from ex vivo dissection and histology studies. However, these methods cannot be applied to study structural architecture in live human participants. Tractography from diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may provide valuable insights about white matter organization within the brainstem in vivo. However, this method presents technical challenges in vivo due to susceptibility artifacts, functionally dense anatomy, as well as pulsatile and respiratory motion. To investigate the limits of MR tractography, we present results from high angular resolution diffusion imaging of an intact excised human brainstem performed at 11.1 T using isotropic resolution of 0.333, 1, and 2 mm, with the latter reflecting resolution currently used clinically. At the highest resolution, the dense fiber architecture of the brainstem is evident, but the definition of structures degrades as resolution decreases. In particular, the inferred corticopontine/corticospinal tracts (CPT/CST), superior (SCP) and middle cerebellar peduncle (MCP), and medial lemniscus (ML) pathways are clearly discernable and follow known anatomical trajectories at the highest spatial resolution. At lower resolutions, the CST/CPT, SCP, and MCP pathways are artificially enlarged due to inclusion of collinear and crossing fibers not inherent to these three pathways. The inferred ML pathways appear smaller at lower resolutions, indicating insufficient spatial information to successfully resolve smaller fiber pathways. Our results suggest that white matter tractography maps derived from the excised brainstem can be used to guide the study of the brainstem architecture using diffusion MRI
Sripada, Kam; Løhaugen, Gro C; Eikenes, Live; Bjørlykke, Kjerstin M; Håberg, Asta K; Skranes, Jon; Rimol, Lars M
Individuals born preterm and at very low birth weight (birth weight ≤ 1500 g) are at an increased risk of perinatal brain injury and neurodevelopmental deficits over the long term. This study examined whether this clinical group has more problems with visual-motor integration, motor coordination, and visual perception compared to term-born controls, and related these findings to cortical surface area and thickness and white matter fractional anisotropy. Forty-seven preterm-born very low birth weight individuals and 56 term-born controls were examined at 18-22 years of age with a combined cognitive, morphometric MRI, and diffusion tensor imaging evaluation in Trondheim, Norway. Visual-motor skills were evaluated with the Beery-Buktenica Developmental Test of Visual-Motor Integration-V (VMI) copying test and its supplemental tests of motor coordination and visual perception. 3D T1-weighted MPRAGE images and diffusion tensor imaging were done at 1.5 T. Cortical reconstruction generated in FreeSurfer and voxelwise maps of fractional anisotropy calculated with Tract-Based Spatial Statistics were used to explore the relationship between MRI findings and cognitive results. Very low birth weight individuals had significantly lower scores on the copying and motor coordination tests compared with controls. In the very low birth weight group, VMI scores showed significant positive relationships with cortical surface area in widespread regions, with reductions of the superior temporal gyrus, insula, and medial occipital lobe in conjunction with the posterior ventral temporal lobe. Visual perception scores also showed positive relationships with cortical thickness in the very low birth weight group, primarily in the lateral occipito-temporo-parietal junction, the superior temporal gyrus, insula, and superior parietal regions. In the very low birth weight group, visual-motor performance correlated positively with fractional anisotropy especially in the corpus callosum
Kanaan, Richard A.; Allin, Matthew; Picchioni, Marco; Barker, Gareth J.; Daly, Eileen; Shergill, Sukhwinder S.; Woolley, James; McGuire, Philip K.
Background Sexual dimorphism in human brain structure is well recognised, but little is known about gender differences in white matter microstructure. We used diffusion tensor imaging to explore differences in fractional anisotropy (FA), an index of microstructural integrity. Methods A whole brain analysis of 135 matched subjects (90 men and 45 women) using a 1.5 T scanner. A region of interest (ROI) analysis was used to confirm those results where proximity to CSF raised the possibility of partial-volume artefact. Results Men had higher fractional anisotropy (FA) in cerebellar white matter and in the left superior longitudinal fasciculus; women had higher FA in the corpus callosum, confirmed by ROI. Discussion The size of the differences was substantial - of the same order as that attributed to some pathology – suggesting gender may be a potentially significant confound in unbalanced clinical studies. There are several previous reports of difference in the corpus callosum, though they disagree on the direction of difference; our findings in the cerebellum and the superior longitudinal fasciculus have not previously been noted. The higher FA in women may reflect greater efficiency of a smaller corpus callosum. The relatively increased superior longitudinal fasciculus and cerebellar FA in men may reflect their increased language lateralisation and enhanced motor development, respectively. PMID:22701619
Foley, Jessica M.; Salat, David H.; Stricker, Nikki H.; Zink, Tyler A.; Grande, Laura J.; McGlinchey, Regina E.; Milberg, William P.; Leritz, Elizabeth C.
Possession of the apolipoprotein e4 (APOE4) allele and diabetes risk are independently related to reduced white matter (WM) integrity that may contribute to the development of Alzheimer's disease (AD). The purpose of this study is to examine the interactive effects of APOE4 and diabetes risk on later myelinating WM regions among healthy elderly at risk for AD. A sample of 107 healthy elderly (80 APOE4−/27 APOE4+) underwent structural MRI/ DTI data were prepared using TBSS and a-priori ROIs were extracted from T1-based WM parcellations. ROIs included later myelinating frontal/temporal/parietal WM regions and control regions, measured by fractional anisotropy (FA). There were no APOE group differences on DTI for any ROI. Within the APOE4 group, we found negative relationships between HAIC/fasting glucose and APOE4 on FA for all later myelinating WM regions, but not for early/middle myelinating control regions. Results also showed APOE4/diabetes risk interactions for WM underlying supramarginal, superior temporal, precuneus, superior parietal, and superior frontal regions. Results suggest interactive effects of APOE4 and diabetes risk on later myelinating WM regions, which supports preclinical detection of AD among this particularly susceptible subgroup. PMID:24381137
Caverzasi, Eduardo; Mandelli, Maria Luisa; DeArmond, Stephen J; Hess, Christopher P; Vitali, Paolo; Papinutto, Nico; Oehler, Abby; Miller, Bruce L; Lobach, Irina V; Bastianello, Stefano; Geschwind, Michael D; Henry, Roland G
Sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is considered primarily a disease of grey matter, although the extent of white matter involvement has not been well described. We used diffusion tensor imaging to study the white matter in sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease compared to healthy control subjects and to correlated magnetic resonance imaging findings with histopathology. Twenty-six patients with sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and nine age- and gender-matched healthy control subjects underwent volumetric T1-weighted and diffusion tensor imaging. Six patients had post-mortem brain analysis available for assessment of neuropathological findings associated with prion disease. Parcellation of the subcortical white matter was performed on 3D T1-weighted volumes using Freesurfer. Diffusion tensor imaging maps were calculated and transformed to the 3D-T1 space; the average value for each diffusion metric was calculated in the total white matter and in regional volumes of interest. Tract-based spatial statistics analysis was also performed to investigate the deeper white matter tracts. There was a significant reduction of mean (P=0.002), axial (P=0.0003) and radial (P=0.0134) diffusivities in the total white matter in sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Mean diffusivity was significantly lower in most white matter volumes of interest (P<0.05, corrected for multiple comparisons), with a generally symmetric pattern of involvement in sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Mean diffusivity reduction reflected concomitant decrease of both axial and radial diffusivity, without appreciable changes in white matter anisotropy. Tract-based spatial statistics analysis showed significant reductions of mean diffusivity within the white matter of patients with sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, mainly in the left hemisphere, with a strong trend (P=0.06) towards reduced mean diffusivity in most of the white matter bilaterally. In contrast, by visual assessment there was no white matter
Mandelli, Maria Luisa; DeArmond, Stephen J.; Hess, Christopher P.; Vitali, Paolo; Papinutto, Nico; Oehler, Abby; Miller, Bruce L.; Lobach, Irina V.; Bastianello, Stefano; Geschwind, Michael D.; Henry, Roland G.
Sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is considered primarily a disease of grey matter, although the extent of white matter involvement has not been well described. We used diffusion tensor imaging to study the white matter in sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease compared to healthy control subjects and to correlated magnetic resonance imaging findings with histopathology. Twenty-six patients with sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and nine age- and gender-matched healthy control subjects underwent volumetric T1-weighted and diffusion tensor imaging. Six patients had post-mortem brain analysis available for assessment of neuropathological findings associated with prion disease. Parcellation of the subcortical white matter was performed on 3D T1-weighted volumes using Freesurfer. Diffusion tensor imaging maps were calculated and transformed to the 3D-T1 space; the average value for each diffusion metric was calculated in the total white matter and in regional volumes of interest. Tract-based spatial statistics analysis was also performed to investigate the deeper white matter tracts. There was a significant reduction of mean (P = 0.002), axial (P = 0.0003) and radial (P = 0.0134) diffusivities in the total white matter in sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Mean diffusivity was significantly lower in most white matter volumes of interest (P < 0.05, corrected for multiple comparisons), with a generally symmetric pattern of involvement in sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Mean diffusivity reduction reflected concomitant decrease of both axial and radial diffusivity, without appreciable changes in white matter anisotropy. Tract-based spatial statistics analysis showed significant reductions of mean diffusivity within the white matter of patients with sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, mainly in the left hemisphere, with a strong trend (P = 0.06) towards reduced mean diffusivity in most of the white matter bilaterally. In contrast, by visual assessment there was no white
Newman, Sharlene D.; Kent, Jerillyn S.; Bolbecker, Amanda; Klaunig, Mallory J.; O'Donnell, Brian F.; Puce, Aina; Hetrick, William P.
White matter abnormalities in schizophrenia have been revealed by many imaging techniques and analysis methods. One of the findings by diffusion tensor imaging is a decrease in fractional anisotropy (FA), which is an indicator of white matter integrity. On the other hand, elevation of metabolic rate in white matter was observed from positron emission tomography (PET) studies. In this report, we aim to compare the two structural and functional effects on the same subjects. Our comparison is based on the hypothesis that signal fluctuation in white matter is associated with white matter functional activity. We examined the variance of the signal in resting state fMRI and found significant differences between individuals with schizophrenia and non-psychiatric controls specifically in white matter tissue. Controls showed higher temporal signal-to-noise ratios clustered in regions including temporal, frontal, and parietal lobes, cerebellum, corpus callosum, superior longitudinal fasciculus, and other major white matter tracts. These regions with higher temporal signal-to-noise ratio agree well with those showing higher metabolic activity reported by studies using PET. The results suggest that individuals with schizophrenia tend to have higher functional activity in white matter in certain brain regions relative to healthy controls. Despite some overlaps, the distinct regions for physiological noise are different from those for FA derived from diffusion tensor imaging, and therefore provide a unique angle to explore potential mechanisms to white matter abnormality. PMID:25560665
Cheng, Hu; Newman, Sharlene D; Kent, Jerillyn S; Bolbecker, Amanda; Klaunig, Mallory J; O'Donnell, Brian F; Puce, Aina; Hetrick, William P
White matter abnormalities in schizophrenia have been revealed by many imaging techniques and analysis methods. One of the findings by diffusion tensor imaging is a decrease in fractional anisotropy (FA), which is an indicator of white matter integrity. On the other hand, elevation of metabolic rate in white matter was observed from positron emission tomography (PET) studies. In this report, we aim to compare the two structural and functional effects on the same subjects. Our comparison is based on the hypothesis that signal fluctuation in white matter is associated with white matter functional activity. We examined the variance of the signal in resting state fMRI and found significant differences between individuals with schizophrenia and non-psychiatric controls specifically in white matter tissue. Controls showed higher temporal signal-to-noise ratios clustered in regions including temporal, frontal, and parietal lobes, cerebellum, corpus callosum, superior longitudinal fasciculus, and other major white matter tracts. These regions with higher temporal signal-to-noise ratio agree well with those showing higher metabolic activity reported by studies using PET. The results suggest that individuals with schizophrenia tend to have higher functional activity in white matter in certain brain regions relative to healthy controls. Despite some overlaps, the distinct regions for physiological noise are different from those for FA derived from diffusion tensor imaging, and therefore provide a unique angle to explore potential mechanisms to white matter abnormality.
Leung, Shing Chi; Chu, Ming Chung; Lin, Lap Ming; Wong, Ka Wing
We study the equilibrium structures of white dwarfs (WD) with dark matter cores formed by non-self-annihilating dark matter (DM) particles with masses ranging from 1 GeV to 100 GeV, assuming in form of an ideal degenerate Fermi gas inside the stars. For DM particles of mass 10 GeV and 100 GeV, we find that stable stellar models exist only if the mass of the DM core inside the star is less than O and -3)Msun , respectively. The global properties of these stars, and the corresponding Chandrasekhar mass (CM) limits, are essentially the same as those of traditional WD models without DM. Nevertheless, in the 10 GeV case, the gravitational attraction of the DM core is strong enough to squeeze the normal matter in the core region to densities above neutron drip. For the 1 GeV case, the DM core inside the star can be as massive as O and affects the global structure of the star significantly. The radius of a stellar model with DM can be about two times smaller than that of a traditional WD. Furthermore, the CM limit can be decreased by as much as 40%. Our results may have implications on the extent to which type Ia supernovae can be regarded as standard candles. This work is partially supported by a grant from the Research Grant Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China (Project No. 400910).
Pantoni, Leonardo; Fierini, Fabio; Poggesi, Anna
The evidence on the clinical significance of cerebral white matter changes (WMC) has mounted over the past few decades. WMC are recognized as one of the neuroimaging features of cerebral small vessel disease, and are associated with various disturbances and a poor prognosis. The Leukoaraiosis and Disability (LADIS) Study has contributed substantially to this body of knowledge. LADIS is a European multicenter collaboration aimed at assessing the role of WMC as an independent predictor of the transition to disability in initially non-disabled patients aged 65-84 years. Besides the demonstration that severe WMC cause a more than double risk of transition from an autonomous to a dependent status after 3 years of follow-up, the LADIS Study has also provided evidence on the role of WMC in relation to the decline of cognitive and motor performances, depressive symptoms associated with aging and cerebrovascular diseases, the presence of urinary disturbances, and various neurological abnormalities. The possible role of other lesions (lacunar infarcts, cerebral atrophy, corpus callosum morphology) and microstructural abnormalities (diffusion-weighted imaging changes in normal appearing brain tissue and in WMC) has also been investigated. In the present article, we review the main results of the LADIS Study and offer some considerations for future developments in the field, paying attention to the potential use of WMC progression as a surrogate marker in intervention trials in cerebral small vessel diseases. We also discuss some therapeutic perspectives regarding the beneficial impact of physical activity on the risk of vascular cognitive impairment in patients with WMC.
Smits, Marion; Jiskoot, Lize C; Papma, Janne M
Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) has been used to investigate the white matter (WM) tracts underlying the perisylvian cortical regions known to be associated with language function. The arcuate fasciculus is composed of 3 segments (1 long and 2 short) whose separate functions correlate with traditional models of conductive and transcortical motor or sensory aphasia, respectively. DTI mapping of language fibers is useful in presurgical planning for patients with dominant hemisphere tumors, particularly when combined with functional magnetic resonance imaging. DTI has found damage to language networks in stroke patients and has the potential to influence poststroke rehabilitation and treatment. Assessment of the WM tracts involved in the default mode network has been found to correlate with mild cognitive impairment, potentially explaining language deficits in patients with apparently mild small vessel ischemic disease. Different patterns of involvement of language-related WM structures appear to correlate with different clinical subtypes of primary progressive aphasias.
Han, S Duke; Boyle, Patricia A; Arfanakis, Konstantinos; Fleischman, Debra; Yu, Lei; James, Bryan D; Bennett, David A
Financial literacy, the ability to understand, access, and utilize information in ways that contribute to optimal financial outcomes, is important for independence and wellbeing in old age. We previously reported that financial literacy is associated with greater functional connectivity between brain regions in old age. Here, we tested the hypothesis that higher financial literacy would be associated with greater white matter integrity in old age. Participants included 346 persons without dementia (mean age=81.36, mean education=15.39, male/female=79/267, mean MMSE=28.52) from the Rush Memory and Aging Project. Financial literacy was assessed using a series of questions imbedded as part of an ongoing decision making study. White matter integrity was assessed with diffusion anisotropy measured with diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging (DTI). We tested the hypothesis that higher financial literacy is associated with higher diffusion anisotropy in white matter, adjusting for the effects of age, education, sex, and white matter hyperintense lesions. We then repeated the analysis also adjusting for cognitive function. Analyses revealed regions with significant positive associations between financial literacy and diffusion anisotropy, and many remained significant after accounting for cognitive function. White matter tracts connecting right hemisphere temporal-parietal brain regions were particularly implicated. Greater financial literacy is associated with higher diffusion anisotropy in white matter of nondemented older adults after adjusting for important covariates. These results suggest that financial literacy is positively associated with white matter integrity in old age.
Auriel, Eitan; Edlow, Brian L.; Reijmer, Yael D.; Fotiadis, Panagiotis; Ramirez-Martinez, Sergi; Ni, Jun; Reed, Anne K.; Vashkevich, Anastasia; Schwab, Kristin; Rosand, Jonathan; Viswanathan, Anand; Wu, Ona; Gurol, M. Edip
Objective: To evaluate the local effect of small asymptomatic infarctions detected by diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) on white matter microstructure using longitudinal structural and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). Methods: Nine acute to subacute DWI lesions were identified in 6 subjects with probable cerebral amyloid angiopathy who had undergone high-resolution MRI both before and after DWI lesion detection. Regions of interest (ROIs) corresponding to the site of the DWI lesion (lesion ROI) and corresponding site in the nonlesioned contralateral hemisphere (control ROI) were coregistered to the pre- and postlesional scans. DTI tractography was additionally performed to reconstruct the white matter tracts containing the ROIs. DTI parameters (fractional anisotropy [FA], mean diffusivity [MD]) were quantified within each ROI, the 6-mm lesion-containing tract segments, and the entire lesion-containing tract bundle. Lesion/control FA and MD ratios were compared across time points. Results: The postlesional scans (performed a mean 7.1 ± 4.7 months after DWI lesion detection) demonstrated a decrease in median FA lesion/control ROI ratio (1.08 to 0.93, p = 0.038) and increase in median MD lesion/control ROI ratio (0.97 to 1.17, p = 0.015) relative to the prelesional scans. There were no visible changes on postlesional high-resolution T1-weighted and fluid-attenuated inversion recovery images in 4 of 9 lesion ROIs and small (2–5 mm) T1 hypointensities in the remaining 5. No postlesional changes in FA or MD ratios were detected in the 6-mm lesion-containing tract segments or full tract bundles. Conclusions: Asymptomatic DWI lesions produce chronic local microstructural injury. The cumulative effects of these widely distributed lesions may directly contribute to small-vessel–related vascular cognitive impairment. PMID:24920857
Kennedy, Kristen M; Raz, Naftali
Even successful aging is associated with regional brain shrinkage and deterioration of the cerebral white matter. Aging also brings about an increase in vascular risk, and vascular impairment may be a potential mechanism behind the observed patterns of aging. The goals of this study were to characterize the normal age differences in white matter integrity in several brain regions across the adult life span and to assess the modifying effect of vascular risk on the observed pattern of regional white matter integrity. We estimated fractional anisotropy and diffusivity of white matter in nine cerebral regions of interest in 77 healthy adults (19-84 years old). There was a widespread reduction of white matter anisotropy with age, and prefrontal and occipital regions evidenced the greatest age-related differences. Diffusivity increased with age, and the magnitude of age differences increased beginning with the middle of the fifth decade. Vascular risk factors modified age differences in white matter integrity. Clinically diagnosed and treated arterial hypertension was associated with reduced white matter anisotropy and increased diffusivity beyond the effects of age. In the normotensive participants, elevation of arterial pulse pressure (a surrogate of arterial stiffness) was linked to deterioration of the white matter integrity in the frontal regions. Although the causal role of vascular risk in brain aging is unclear, the observed pattern of effects suggests that vascular risk may drive the expansion of age-related white matter damage from anterior to posterior regions.
Maniega, Susana Muñoz; Valdés Hernández, Maria C; Clayden, Jonathan D; Royle, Natalie A; Murray, Catherine; Morris, Zoe; Aribisala, Benjamin S; Gow, Alan J; Starr, John M; Bastin, Mark E; Deary, Ian J; Wardlaw, Joanna M
White matter hyperintensities (WMH) of presumed vascular origin are a common finding in brain magnetic resonance imaging of older individuals and contribute to cognitive and functional decline. It is unknown how WMH form, although white matter degeneration is characterized pathologically by demyelination, axonal loss, and rarefaction, often attributed to ischemia. Changes within normal-appearing white matter (NAWM) in subjects with WMH have also been reported but have not yet been fully characterized. Here, we describe the in vivo imaging signatures of both NAWM and WMH in a large group of community-dwelling older people of similar age using biomarkers derived from magnetic resonance imaging that collectively reflect white matter integrity, myelination, and brain water content. Fractional anisotropy (FA) and magnetization transfer ratio (MTR) were significantly lower, whereas mean diffusivity (MD) and longitudinal relaxation time (T1) were significantly higher, in WMH than NAWM (p < 0.0001), with MD providing the largest difference between NAWM and WMH. Receiver operating characteristic analysis on each biomarker showed that MD differentiated best between NAWM and WMH, identifying 94.6% of the lesions using a threshold of 0.747 × 10(-9) m(2)s(-1) (area under curve, 0.982; 95% CI, 0.975-0.989). Furthermore, the level of deterioration of NAWM was strongly associated with the severity of WMH, with MD and T1 increasing and FA and MTR decreasing in NAWM with increasing WMH score, a relationship that was sustained regardless of distance from the WMH. These multimodal imaging data indicate that WMH have reduced structural integrity compared with surrounding NAWM, and MD provides the best discriminator between the 2 tissue classes even within the mild range of WMH severity, whereas FA, MTR, and T1 only start reflecting significant changes in tissue microstructure as WMH become more severe.
Lockhart, Samuel N.; Roach, Alexandra E.; Luck, Steven J.; Geng, Joy; Beckett, Laurel; Carmichael, Owen; DeCarli, Charles
A fundamental controversy is whether cognitive decline with advancing age can be entirely explained by decreased processing speed, or whether specific neural changes can elicit cognitive decline, independent of slowing. These hypotheses are anchored by studies of healthy older individuals where age is presumed the sole influence. Unfortunately, advancing age is also associated with asymptomatic brain white matter injury. We hypothesized that differences in white matter injury extent, manifest by MRI white matter hyperintensities (WMH), mediate differences in visual attentional control in healthy aging, beyond processing speed differences. We tested young and cognitively healthy older adults on search tasks indexing speed and attentional control. Increasing age was associated with generally slowed performance. WMH was also associated with slowed search times independent of processing speed differences. Consistent with evidence attributing reduced network connectivity to WMH, these results conclusively demonstrate that clinically silent white matter injury contributes to slower search performance indicative of compromised cognitive control, independent of generalized slowing of processing speed. PMID:24183716
van Baarsen, K M; Kleinnijenhuis, M; Jbabdi, S; Sotiropoulos, S N; Grotenhuis, J A; van Cappellen van Walsum, A M
Imaging of the cerebellar cortex, deep cerebellar nuclei and their connectivity are gaining attraction, due to the important role the cerebellum plays in cognition and motor control. Atlases of the cerebellar cortex and nuclei are used to locate regions of interest in clinical and neuroscience studies. However, the white matter that connects these relay stations is of at least similar functional importance. Damage to these cerebellar white matter tracts may lead to serious language, cognitive and emotional disturbances, although the pathophysiological mechanism behind it is still debated. Differences in white matter integrity between patients and controls might shed light on structure-function correlations. A probabilistic parcellation atlas of the cerebellar white matter would help these studies by facilitating automatic segmentation of the cerebellar peduncles, the localization of lesions and the comparison of white matter integrity between patients and controls. In this work a digital three-dimensional probabilistic atlas of the cerebellar white matter is presented, based on high quality 3T, 1.25mm resolution diffusion MRI data from 90 subjects participating in the Human Connectome Project. The white matter tracts were estimated using probabilistic tractography. Results over 90 subjects were symmetrical and trajectories of superior, middle and inferior cerebellar peduncles resembled the anatomy as known from anatomical studies. This atlas will contribute to a better understanding of cerebellar white matter architecture. It may eventually aid in defining structure-function correlations in patients with cerebellar disorders.
Ecker, C.; Andrews, D.; Dell'Acqua, F.; Daly, E.; Murphy, C.; Catani, M.; Thiebaut de Schotten, M.; Baron-Cohen, S.; Lai, M.C.; Lombardo, M.V.; Bullmore, E.T.; Suckling, J.; Williams, S.; Jones, D.K.; Chiocchetti, A.; Murphy, D.G.M.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex neurodevelopmental condition, which is accompanied by differences in gray matter neuroanatomy and white matter connectivity. However, it is unknown whether these differences are linked or reflect independent aetiologies. Using a multimodal neuroimaging approach, we therefore examined 51 male adults with ASD and 48 neurotypical controls to investigate the relationship between gray matter local gyrification (lGI) and white matter diffusivity in associated fiber tracts. First, ASD individuals had a significant increase in gyrification around the left pre- and post-central gyrus. Second, white matter fiber tracts originating and/or terminating in the cluster of increased lGI had a significant increase in axial diffusivity. This increase in diffusivity was predominantly observed in tracts in close proximity to the cortical sheet. Last, we demonstrate that the increase in lGI was significantly correlated with increased diffusivity of short tracts. This relationship was not significantly modulated by a main effect of group (i.e., ASD), which was more closely associated with gray matter gyrification than white matter diffusivity. Our findings suggest that differences in gray matter neuroanatomy and white matter connectivity are closely linked, and may reflect common rather than distinct aetiological pathways. PMID:27130663
Rees, D. Aled; Udiawar, Maneesh; Berlot, Rok; Jones, Derek K.
Context: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a disorder characterized by insulin resistance and hyperandrogenism, which leads to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes in later life. Androgens and insulin signaling affect brain function but little is known about brain structure and function in younger adults with PCOS. Objective: To establish whether young women with PCOS display altered white matter microstructure and cognitive function. Patients, interventions, and main outcome measures: Eighteen individuals with PCOS (age, 31 ± 6 y; body mass index [BMI] 30 ± 6 kg/m2) and 18 control subjects (age, 31 ± 7 y; BMI, 29 ± 6 kg/m2), matched for age, IQ, and BMI, underwent anthropometric and metabolic evaluation, diffusion tensor MRI, a technique especially sensitive to brain white matter structure, and cognitive assessment. Cognitive scores and white matter diffusion metrics were compared between groups. White matter microstructure was evaluated across the whole white matter skeleton using tract-based spatial statistics. Associations with metabolic indices were also evaluated. Results: PCOS was associated with a widespread reduction in axial diffusivity (diffusion along the main axis of white matter fibers) and increased tissue volume fraction (the proportion of volume filled by white or grey matter rather than cerebrospinal fluid) in the corpus callosum. Cognitive performance was reduced compared with controls (first principal component, t = 2.9, P = .007), reflecting subtle decrements across a broad range of cognitive tests, despite similar education and premorbid intelligence. In PCOS, there was a reversal of the relationship seen in controls between brain microstructure and both androgens and insulin resistance. Conclusions: White matter microstructure is altered, and cognitive performance is compromised, in young adults with PCOS. These alterations in brain structure and function are independent of age, education and BMI. If reversible, these changes represent
Kaga, Akimune; Saito-Hakoda, Akiko; Uematsu, Mitsugu; Kamimura, Miki; Kanno, Junko; Kure, Shigeo; Fujiwara, Ikuma
Several studies have described brain white matter abnormalities on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in children and adults with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), while the brain MRI findings of newborn infants with CAH have not been clarified. We report a newborn boy with CAH who presented brain white matter abnormality on MRI. He was diagnosed as having salt-wasting CAH with a high 17-OHP level at neonatal screening and was initially treated with hydrocortisone at 8 days of age. On day 11 after birth, he had a generalized tonic seizure. No evidence of serum electrolyte abnormalities was observed. Brain MRI revealed white matter abnormalities that consisted of bilateral small diffuse hyperintensities on T1-weighted images with slightly low intensity on T2-weighted images in the watershed area. Several factors associated with brain white matter abnormalities in adults with CAH, such as increasing age, hypertension, diabetes and corticosteroid replacement, were not applicable. Although the cause of the phenomenon in this case is unclear, brain white matter abnormality could be observed in newborn infants with CAH as well as in adult patients.
Lee, Hyun Kyoung; Laug, Dylan; Zhu, Wenyi; Patel, Jay M; Ung, Kevin; Arenkiel, Benjamin R; Fancy, Stephen PJ; Mohila, Carrie; Deneen, Benjamin
Wnt signaling plays an essential role in developmental and regenerative myelination of the CNS, therefore it is critical to understand how the factors associated with the various regulatory layers of this complex pathway contribute to these processes. Recently, Apcdd1 was identified as a negative regulator of proximal Wnt signaling, however its role in oligodendrodcyte (OL) differentiation and reymelination in the CNS remain undefined. Analysis of Apcdd1 expression revealed dynamic expression during OL development, where its expression is upregulated during differentiation. Functional studies using ex vivo and in vitro OL systems, revealed that Apcdd1 promotes OL differentiation, suppresses Wnt signaling, and associates with β-catenin. Application of these findings to white matter injury (WMI) models revealed that Apcdd1 similarly promotes OL differentiation after gliotoxic injury in vivo and acute hypoxia ex vivo. Examination of Apcdd1 expression in white matter lesions from neonatal WMI and adult Multiple Sclerosis revealed its expression in subsets of oligodendrocyte precursors. These studies describe, for the first time, the role of Apcdd1 in OLs after WMI and reveal that negative regulators of the proximal Wnt pathway can influence regenerative myelination, suggesting a new therapeutic strategy for modulating Wnt signaling and stimulating repair after WMI. PMID:25946682
Lieberman, Gregory; Shpaner, Marina; Watts, Richard; Andrews, Trevor; Filippi, Christopher G.; Davis, Marcia; Naylor, Magdalena R.
There is emerging evidence that chronic musculoskeletal pain is associated with anatomical and functional abnormalities in gray matter. However, little research has investigated the relationship between chronic musculoskeletal pain and white matter (WM). In this study, we used whole-brain tract-based spatial statistics, and region-of-interest analyses of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) data to demonstrate that patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain exhibit several abnormal WM integrity as compared to healthy controls. Chronic musculoskeletal pain was associated with lower fractional anisotropy (FA) in the splenium of corpus callosum, and left cingulum adjacent to the hippocampus. Patients also had higher radial diffusivity (RD) in the splenium, right anterior and posterior limbs of internal capsule, external capsule, superior longitudinal fasciculus, and cerebral peduncle. Patterns of axial diffusivity (AD) varied: patients exhibited lower AD in the left cingulum adjacent to the hippocampus and higher AD bilaterally in the anterior limbs of internal capsule, and in the right cerebral peduncle. Several correlations between diffusion metrics and clinical variables were also significant at a p<0.01 level: FA in the left uncinate fasciculus correlated positively with Total Pain Experience and typical levels of pain severity. AD in the left anterior limb of internal capsule and left uncinate fasciculus were correlated with Total Pain Experience and typical pain level. Positive correlations were also found between AD in the right uncinate and both Total Pain Experience and Pain Catastrophizing. These results demonstrate that WM abnormalities play a role in chronic musculoskeletal pain; either as a cause, predisposing factor, consequence, or compensatory adaptation. PMID:25135468
Tamura, Yoshiaki; Araki, Atsushi
White matter hyperintensity (WMH) is a brain lesion detected as a high-intensity area in magnetic resonance imaging T2 and fluid-attenuated inversion recovery images, and it has been suggested that WMH reflects damage to small vessels in periventricular and subcortical areas. Although WMH has been linked to the incidence of stroke, more recently it has been clarified that WMH is also associated with progression of cognitive decline and functional disability, which are components of so-called geriatric syndrome. In addition to hypertension, which is the classical risk factor for WMH, evidence has been accumulating to suggest that diabetes mellitus could also be associated with WMH progression, and some studies have shown that WMH severity is correlated with cognitive decline in patients with diabetes. The factors that accelerate WMH formation in elderly patients with diabetes remain poorly defined. It is considered that insulin resistance is an exacerbating factor, but the effects of hypertension, dyslipidemia or other vascular risk factors have yet be clarified, and further studies are required.
Reginold, William; Luedke, Angela C.; Itorralba, Justine; Fernandez-Ruiz, Juan; Islam, Omar; Garcia, Angeles
Background/Aims Superficial white matter provides extensive cortico-cortical connections. This tractography study aimed to assess the diffusion characteristics of superficial white matter tracts in Alzheimer's disease. Methods Diffusion tensor 3T magnetic resonance imaging scans were acquired in 24 controls and 16 participants with Alzheimer's disease. Neuropsychological test scores were available in some participants. Tractography was performed by the Fiber Assignment by Continuous Tracking (FACT) method. The superficial white matter was manually segmented and divided into frontal, parietal, temporal and occipital lobes. The mean diffusivity (MD), radial diffusivity (RD), axial diffusivity (AxD) and fractional anisotropy (FA) of these tracts were compared between controls and participants with Alzheimer's disease and correlated with available cognitive tests while adjusting for age and white matter hyperintensity volume. Results Alzheimer's disease was associated with increased MD (p = 0.0011), increased RD (p = 0.0019) and increased AxD (p = 0.0017) in temporal superficial white matter. In controls, superficial white matter was associated with the performance on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, Stroop and Trail Making Test B tests, whereas in Alzheimer's disease patients, it was not associated with the performance on cognitive tests. Conclusion Temporal lobe superficial white matter appears to be disrupted in Alzheimer's disease. PMID:27489557
Chiappelli, Joshua; Postolache, Teodor T; Kochunov, Peter; Rowland, Laura M; Wijtenburg, S Andrea; Shukla, Dinesh K; Tagamets, Malle; Du, Xiaoming; Savransky, Anya; Lowry, Christopher A; Can, Adem; Fuchs, Dietmar; Hong, L Elliot
Schizophrenia is associated with abnormalities in the structure and functioning of white matter, but the underlying neuropathology is unclear. We hypothesized that increased tryptophan degradation in the kynurenine pathway could be associated with white matter microstructure and biochemistry, potentially contributing to white matter abnormalities in schizophrenia. To test this, fasting plasma samples were obtained from 37 schizophrenia patients and 38 healthy controls and levels of total tryptophan and its metabolite kynurenine were assessed. The ratio of kynurenine to tryptophan was used as an index of tryptophan catabolic activity in this pathway. White matter structure and function were assessed by diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and (1)H magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS). Tryptophan levels were significantly lower (p<0.001), and kynurenine/tryptophan ratios were correspondingly higher (p=0.018) in patients compared with controls. In patients, lower plasma tryptophan levels corresponded to lower structural integrity (DTI fractional anisotropy) (r=0.347, p=0.038). In both patients and controls, the kynurenine/tryptophan ratio was inversely correlated with frontal white matter glutamate level (r=-0.391 and -0.350 respectively, p=0.024 and 0.036). These results provide initial evidence implicating abnormal tryptophan/kynurenine pathway activity in changes to white matter integrity and white matter glutamate in schizophrenia.
van Eimeren, Lucia; Niogi, Sumit N; McCandliss, Bruce D; Holloway, Ian D; Ansari, Daniel
The role of gray matter function and structure in mathematical cognition has been well researched. Comparatively little is known about white matter microstructures associated with mathematical abilities. Diffusion tensor imaging data from 13 children (7-9 years) and two measures of their mathematical competence were collected. Relationships between children's mathematical competence and fractional anisotropy were found in two left hemisphere white matter regions. Although the superior corona radiata was found to be associated with both numerical operations and mathematical reasoning, the inferior longitudinal fasciculus was correlated with numerical operations specifically. These findings suggest a role for microstructure in left white matter tracts for the development of mathematical skills. Moreover, the findings point to the involvement of different white matter tracts for numerical operations and mathematical reasoning.
Travis, Katherine E; Golden, Neville H; Feldman, Heidi M; Solomon, Murray; Nguyen, Jenny; Mezer, Aviv; Yeatman, Jason D; Dougherty, Robert F
Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a serious eating disorder that typically emerges during adolescence and occurs most frequently in females. To date, very few studies have investigated the possible impact of AN on white matter tissue properties during adolescence, when white matter is still developing. The present study evaluated white matter tissue properties in adolescent girls with AN using diffusion MRI with tractography and T1 relaxometry to measure R1 (1/T1), an index of myelin content. Fifteen adolescent girls with AN (mean age = 16.6 years ± 1.4) were compared to fifteen age-matched girls with normal weight and eating behaviors (mean age = 17.1 years ± 1.3). We identified and segmented 9 bilateral cerebral tracts (18) and 8 callosal fiber tracts in each participant's brain (26 total). Tract profiles were generated by computing measures for fractional anisotropy (FA) and R1 along the trajectory of each tract. Compared to controls, FA in the AN group was significantly decreased in 4 of 26 white matter tracts and significantly increased in 2 of 26 white matter tracts. R1 was significantly decreased in the AN group compared to controls in 11 of 26 white matter tracts. Reduced FA in combination with reduced R1 suggests that the observed white matter differences in AN are likely due to reductions in myelin content. For the majority of tracts, group differences in FA and R1 did not occur within the same tract. The present findings have important implications for understanding the neurobiological factors underlying white matter changes associated with AN and invite further investigations examining associations between white matter properties and specific physiological, cognitive, social, or emotional functions affected in AN.
Travis, Katherine E.; Golden, Neville H.; Feldman, Heidi M.; Solomon, Murray; Nguyen, Jenny; Mezer, Aviv; Yeatman, Jason D.; Dougherty, Robert F.
Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a serious eating disorder that typically emerges during adolescence and occurs most frequently in females. To date, very few studies have investigated the possible impact of AN on white matter tissue properties during adolescence, when white matter is still developing. The present study evaluated white matter tissue properties in adolescent girls with AN using diffusion MRI with tractography and T1 relaxometry to measure R1 (1/T1), an index of myelin content. Fifteen adolescent girls with AN (mean age = 16.6 years ± 1.4) were compared to fifteen age-matched girls with normal weight and eating behaviors (mean age = 17.1 years ± 1.3). We identified and segmented 9 bilateral cerebral tracts (18) and 8 callosal fiber tracts in each participant's brain (26 total). Tract profiles were generated by computing measures for fractional anisotropy (FA) and R1 along the trajectory of each tract. Compared to controls, FA in the AN group was significantly decreased in 4 of 26 white matter tracts and significantly increased in 2 of 26 white matter tracts. R1 was significantly decreased in the AN group compared to controls in 11 of 26 white matter tracts. Reduced FA in combination with reduced R1 suggests that the observed white matter differences in AN are likely due to reductions in myelin content. For the majority of tracts, group differences in FA and R1 did not occur within the same tract. The present findings have important implications for understanding the neurobiological factors underlying white matter changes associated with AN and invite further investigations examining associations between white matter properties and specific physiological, cognitive, social, or emotional functions affected in AN. PMID:26740918
Kleinhans, Natalia M.; Pauley, Gregory; Richards, Todd; Neuhaus, Emily; Martin, Nathalie; Corrigan, Neva M.; Shaw, Dennis W.; Estes, Annette; Dager, Stephen R.
Abnormalities in structural and functional connectivity have been reported in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) across a wide age range. However, developmental changes in white matter microstructure are poorly understood. We used a cross-sectional design to determine whether white matter abnormalities measured using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) were present in adolescents and adults with ASD and whether age-related changes in white matter microstructure differed between ASD and typically developing (TD) individuals. Participants included 28 individuals with ASD and 33 TD controls matched on age and IQ and assessed at one time point. Widespread decreased fractional anisotropy (FA), and increased radial diffusivity (RaD) and mean diffusivity (MD) were observed in the ASD group compared to the TD group. In addition, significant group-by-age interactions were also observed in FA, RaD, and MD in all major tracts except the brain stem, indicating that age-related changes in white matter microstructure differed between the groups. We propose that white matter microstructural changes in ASD may reflect myelination and/or other structural differences including differences in axonal density/arborization. In addition, we suggest that white matter microstuctural impairments may be normalizing during young adulthood in ASD. Future longitudinal studies that include a wider range of ages and more extensive clinical characterization will be critical for further uncovering the neurodevelopmental processes unfolding during this dynamic time in development. PMID:22902768
Mackey, Allyson P; Whitaker, Kirstie J; Bunge, Silvia A
Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) techniques have made it possible to investigate white matter plasticity in humans. Changes in DTI measures, principally increases in fractional anisotropy (FA), have been observed following training programs as diverse as juggling, meditation, and working memory. Here, we sought to test whether three months of reasoning training could alter white matter microstructure. We recruited participants (n = 23) who were enrolled in a course to prepare for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), a test that places strong demands on reasoning skills, as well as age- and IQ-matched controls planning to take the LSAT in the future (n = 22). DTI data were collected at two scan sessions scheduled three months apart. In trained participants but not controls, we observed decreases in radial diffusivity (RD) in white matter connecting frontal cortices, and in mean diffusivity (MD) within frontal and parietal lobe white matter. Further, participants exhibiting larger gains on the LSAT exhibited greater decreases in MD in the right internal capsule. In summary, reasoning training altered multiple measures of white matter structure in young adults. While the cellular underpinnings are unknown, these results provide evidence of experience-dependent white matter changes that may not be limited to myelination.
Darki, Fahimeh; Peyrard-Janvid, Myriam; Matsson, Hans; Kere, Juha; Klingberg, Torkel
Three genes, DYX1C1, DCDC2, and KIAA0319, have been previously associated with dyslexia, neuronal migration, and ciliary function. Three polymorphisms within these genes, rs3743204 (DYX1C1), rs793842 (DCDC2), and rs6935076 (KIAA0319) have also been linked to normal variability of left temporoparietal white matter volume connecting the middle temporal cortex to the angular and supramarginal gyri. Here, we assessed whether these polymorphisms are also related to the cortical thickness of the associated regions during childhood development using a longitudinal dataset of 76 randomly selected children and young adults who were scanned up to three times each, 2 years apart. rs793842 in DCDC2 was significantly associated with the thickness of left angular and supramarginal gyri as well as the left lateral occipital cortex. The cortex was significantly thicker for T-allele carriers, who also had lower white matter volume and lower reading comprehension scores. There was a negative correlation between white matter volume and cortical thickness, but only white matter volume predicted reading comprehension 2 years after scanning. These results show how normal variability in reading comprehension is related to gene, white matter volume, and cortical thickness in the inferior parietal lobe. Possibly, the variability of gray and white matter structures could both be related to the role of DCDC2 in ciliary function, which affects both neuronal migration and axonal outgrowth.
Matejko, Anna A; Price, Gavin R; Mazzocco, Michèle M M; Ansari, Daniel
Mathematical skills are of critical importance, both academically and in everyday life. Neuroimaging research has primarily focused on the relationship between mathematical skills and functional brain activity. Comparatively few studies have examined which white matter regions support mathematical abilities. The current study uses diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to test whether individual differences in white matter predict performance on the math subtest of the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT). Grades 10 and 11 PSAT scores were obtained from 30 young adults (ages 17-18) with wide-ranging math achievement levels. Tract based spatial statistics was used to examine the correlation between PSAT math scores, fractional anisotropy (FA), radial diffusivity (RD) and axial diffusivity (AD). FA in left parietal white matter was positively correlated with math PSAT scores (specifically in the left superior longitudinal fasciculus, left superior corona radiata, and left corticospinal tract) after controlling for chronological age and same grade PSAT critical reading scores. Furthermore, RD, but not AD, was correlated with PSAT math scores in these white matter microstructures. The negative correlation with RD further suggests that participants with higher PSAT math scores have greater white matter integrity in this region. Individual differences in FA and RD may reflect variability in experience dependent plasticity over the course of learning and development. These results are the first to demonstrate that individual differences in white matter are associated with mathematical abilities on a nationally administered scholastic aptitude measure.
Wang, Yingying; Mauer, Meaghan V; Raney, Talia; Peysakhovich, Barbara; Becker, Bryce L C; Sliva, Danielle D; Gaab, Nadine
Developmental dyslexia is a neurodevelopmental disorder with a strong genetic basis. Previous studies observed white matter alterations in the left posterior brain regions in adults and school-age children with dyslexia. However, no study yet has examined the development of tract-specific white matter pathways from the pre-reading to the fluent reading stage in children at familial risk for dyslexia (FHD+) versus controls (FHD-). This study examined white matter integrity at pre-reading, beginning, and fluent reading stages cross-sectionally (n = 78) and longitudinally (n = 45) using an automated fiber-tract quantification method. Our findings depict white matter alterations and atypical lateralization of the arcuate fasciculus at the pre-reading stage in FHD+ versus FHD- children. Moreover, we demonstrate faster white matter development in subsequent good versus poor readers and a positive association between white matter maturation and reading development using a longitudinal design. Additionally, the combination of white matter maturation, familial risk, and psychometric measures best predicted later reading abilities. Furthermore, within FHD+ children, subsequent good readers exhibited faster white matter development in the right superior longitudinal fasciculus compared with subsequent poor readers, suggesting a compensatory mechanism. Overall, our findings highlight the importance of white matter pathway maturation in the development of typical and atypical reading skills.
Takao, H; Hayashi, N; Ohtomo, K
The purpose of this study was to investigate white matter asymmetry across the whole brain and evaluate the effects of age and sex on white matter asymmetry in a large sample of healthy adults. A total of 857 normal subjects (310 females and 547 males, mean age=56.1±9.9 years, age range=24.9-84.8 years) were included in this study. With use of tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS), we investigated white matter fractional anisotropy (FA) asymmetry and evaluated the effects of age and sex on white matter FA asymmetry. The voxel-wise analysis showed a large number of white matter FA asymmetries including leftward asymmetry of the arcuate fasciculus and cingulum. The effects of age and sex on white matter FA asymmetry were minor compared to overall FA asymmetries. Small regions showed a significant effect of age or sex, due to the large sample, but this may not be relevant in practice. There was no significant interaction between age and sex. The results of our study demonstrate white matter asymmetry in healthy adults and suggest that white matter asymmetry is relatively stable during aging and not much different between males and females.
Phillips, Owen R.; Joshi, Shantanu H.; Squitieri, Ferdinando; Sanchez-Castaneda, Cristina; Narr, Katherine; Shattuck, David W.; Caltagirone, Carlo; Sabatini, Umberto; Di Paola, Margherita
Background: The late myelinating superficial white matter at the juncture of the cortical gray and white matter comprising the intracortical myelin and short-range association fibers has not received attention in Huntington's disease. It is an area of the brain that is late myelinating and is sensitive to both normal aging and neurodegenerative disease effects. Therefore, it may be sensitive to Huntington's disease processes. Methods: Structural MRI data from 25 Pre-symptomatic subjects, 24 Huntington's disease patients and 49 healthy controls was run through a cortical pattern-matching program. The surface corresponding to the white matter directly below the cortical gray matter was then extracted. Individual subject's Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) data was aligned to their structural MRI data. Diffusivity values along the white matter surface were then sampled at each vertex point. DTI measures with high spatial resolution across the superficial white matter surface were then analyzed with the General Linear Model to test for the effects of disease. Results: There was an overall increase in the axial and radial diffusivity across much of the superficial white matter (p < 0.001) in Pre-symptomatic subjects compared to controls. In Huntington's disease patients increased diffusivity covered essentially the whole brain (p < 0.001). Changes are correlated with genotype (CAG repeat number) and disease burden (p < 0.001). Conclusions: This study showed broad abnormalities in superficial white matter even before symptoms are present in Huntington's disease. Since, the superficial white matter has a unique microstructure and function these abnormalities suggest it plays an important role in the disease. PMID:27242403
Five infant baboons were examined with computed tomography (CT) during the first year of their lives to determine the rate and degree of normal white matter maturation in frontal, occipital, and parietal areas. The increase in CT numbers with age was correlated with gross and histologic specimens. Two phases of maturation were identified: a rapid phase (first 8-12 weeks) and a gradual phase (after 12 weeks). Frontal white matter was the most immature in the immediate postnatal period but it became equal in attenuation to the other regions by 4 weeks of age. Knowledge of white matter maturation rates may be particularly useful in cases of neonatal hypoxia/ischemia where zones of periventricular hypodensity are identified. The failure of such regions to follow a normal rate of maturation may indicate damage to the white matter and have significant prognostic implications.
Brain white matter tractography is reconstructed via diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance images. Due to the complex structure of brain white matter fiber bundles, fiber crossing and fiber branching are abundant in human brain. And regular methods with diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) can't accurately handle this problem. the biggest problems of the brain tractography. Therefore, this paper presented a novel brain white matter tractography method based on graph theory, so the fiber tracking between two voxels is transformed into locating the shortest path in a graph. Besides, the presented method uses Q-ball imaging (QBI) as the source data instead of DTI, because QBI can provide accurate information about multiple fiber crossing and branching in one voxel using orientation distribution function (ODF). Experiments showed that the presented method can accurately handle the problem of brain white matter fiber crossing and branching, and reconstruct brain tractograhpy both in phantom data and real brain data.
Nober, E. Harris; Seymour, Harry N.
Black children and White children were equally intelligible to Black adult listeners, while White adult listeners found White children significantly more intelligible than Black children. Noise deteriorated word discrimination scores of the Black and White listeners differently. (Author/RL)
Golestani, Ali M.; Miles, Laura; Babb, James; Castellanos, F. Xavier; Malaspina, Dolores
Visual working memory (VWM) plays an essential role in many perceptual and higher-order cognitive processes. Despite its reliance on a broad network of brain regions, VWM has a capacity limited to a few objects. This capacity varies substantially across individuals and relates closely to measures of overall cognitive function (Luck and Vogel, 2013). The mechanisms underlying these properties are not completely understood, although the amplitude of neural signal oscillations (Vogel and Machizawa, 2004) and brain activation in specific cortical regions (Todd and Marois, 2004) have been implicated. Variability in VWM performance may also reflect variability in white matter structural properties. However, data based primarily on diffusion tensor imaging approaches remain inconclusive. Here, we investigate the relationship between white matter and VWM capacity in human subjects using an advanced diffusion imaging technique, diffusion kurtosis imaging. Diffusion kurtosis imaging provides several novel quantitative white mater metrics, among them the axonal water fraction (faxon), an index of axonal density and caliber. Our results show that 59% of individual variability in VWM capacity may be explained by variations in faxon within a widely distributed network of white matter tracts. Increased faxon associates with increased VWM capacity. An additional 12% in VWM capacity variance may be explained by diffusion properties of the extra-axonal space. These data demonstrate, for the first time, the key role of white matter in limiting VWM capacity in the healthy adult brain and suggest that white matter may represent an important therapeutic target in disorders of impaired VWM and cognition. PMID:25378158
Joutsa, Juho; Saunavaara, Jani; Parkkola, Riitta; Niemelä, Solja; Kaasinen, Valtteri
Several magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies in substance use disorders have shown brain white matter integrity abnormalities, but there are no studies in pathological gambling, a form of behavioral addiction. Our objective was to investigate possible changes in regional brain gray and white matter volumes, and axonal white matter integrity in pathological gamblers compared to healthy controls. Twenty-four subjects (12 clinically diagnosed male pathological gamblers and 12 age-matched healthy male volunteers) underwent structural and diffusion weighted brain MRI scans, which were analyzed with voxel-based morphometry and tract based spatial statistics. In pathological gamblers, widespread lower white matter integrity (lower fractional anisotropy, higher mean diffusivity) was seen in multiple brain regions including the corpus callosum, the cingulum, the superior longitudinal fascicle, the inferior fronto-occipital fascicle, the anterior limb of internal capsule, the anterior thalamic radiation, the inferior longitudinal fascicle and the uncinate/inferior fronto-occipital fascicle. There were no volumetric differences in gray or white matter between pathological gamblers and controls. The results suggest that pathological gambling is associated with extensive lower integrity of several brain white matter tracts. The diffusion abnormality closely resembles previous findings in individuals with substance addictions.
Sterling, Nicholas W; Du, Guangwei; Lewis, Mechelle M; Swavely, Steven; Kong, Lan; Styner, Martin; Huang, Xuemei
Cortical atrophy has been documented in both Parkinson's disease (PD) and healthy aging, but its relationship to changes in subcortical white matter is unknown. This was investigated by obtaining T1- and diffusion-weighted images from 76 PD and 70 controls at baseline and 18 and 36 months, from which cortical volumes and underlying subcortical white matter axial diffusivity (AD), radial diffusivity (RD), and fractional anisotropy (FA) were determined. Twelve of 69 cortical subregions had significant group differences, and for these, underlying subcortical white matter was explored. At baseline, higher cortical volumes were significantly correlated with lower underlying subcortical white matter AD, RD, and higher FA (ps ≤ 0.017) in PD. Longitudinally, higher rates of cortical atrophy in PD were associated with increased rates of change in AD RD, and FA values (ps ≤ 0.0013) in 2 subregions explored. The significant gray-white matter associations were not found in controls. Thus, unlike healthy aging, cortical atrophy and subcortical white matter changes may not be independent events in PD.
Fung, Samantha J; Joshi, Dipesh; Allen, Katherine M; Sivagnanasundaram, Sinthuja; Rothmond, Debora A; Saunders, Richard; Noble, Pamela L; Webster, Maree J; Weickert, Cynthia Shannon
Postnatal neurogenesis occurs in the subventricular zone and dentate gyrus, and evidence suggests that new neurons may be present in additional regions of the mature primate brain, including the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Addition of new neurons to the PFC implies local generation of neurons or migration from areas such as the subventricular zone. We examined the putative contribution of new, migrating neurons to postnatal cortical development by determining the density of neurons in white matter subjacent to the cortex and measuring expression of doublecortin (DCX), a microtubule-associated protein involved in neuronal migration, in humans and rhesus macaques. We found a striking decline in DCX expression (human and macaque) and density of white matter neurons (humans) during infancy, consistent with the arrival of new neurons in the early postnatal cortex. Considering the expansion of the brain during this time, the decline in white matter neuron density does not necessarily indicate reduced total numbers of white matter neurons in early postnatal life. Furthermore, numerous cells in the white matter and deep grey matter were positive for the migration-associated glycoprotein polysialiated-neuronal cell adhesion molecule and GAD65/67, suggesting that immature migrating neurons in the adult may be GABAergic. We also examined DCX mRNA in the PFC of adult schizophrenia patients (n = 37) and matched controls (n = 37) and did not find any difference in DCX mRNA expression. However, we report a negative correlation between DCX mRNA expression and white matter neuron density in adult schizophrenia patients, in contrast to a positive correlation in human development where DCX mRNA and white matter neuron density are higher earlier in life. Accumulation of neurons in the white matter in schizophrenia would be congruent with a negative correlation between DCX mRNA and white matter neuron density and support the hypothesis of a migration deficit in schizophrenia.
Hodgson, Karen; Carless, Melanie A; Kulkarni, Hemant; Curran, Joanne E; Sprooten, Emma; Knowles, Emma E; Mathias, Samuel; Göring, Harald Hh; Yao, Nailin; Olvera, Rene L; Fox, Peter T; Almasy, Laura; Duggirala, Ravi; Blangero, John; Glahn, David C
The accurate estimation of age using methylation data has proved a useful and heritable biomarker, with acceleration in epigenetic age predicting a number of age-related phenotypes. Measures of white matter integrity in the brain are also heritable and highly sensitive to both normal and pathological aging processes across adulthood. We consider the phenotypic and genetic interrelationships between epigenetic age acceleration and white matter integrity in humans. Our goal was to investigate processes that underlie inter-individual variability in age-related changes in the brain. Using blood taken from a Mexican-American extended pedigree sample (n=628; age=23.28-93.11 years), epigenetic age was estimated using the method developed by S. Horvath (2013). For n=376 individuals, DTI scans were also available. The interrelationship between epigenetic age acceleration and global white matter integrity were investigated with variance decomposition methods. To test for neuroanatomical specificity, 16 specific tracts were additionally considered. We observed negative phenotypic correlations between epigenetic age acceleration and global white matter tract integrity (ρpheno=-0.119, p=0.028), with evidence of shared genetic (ρgene=-0.463, p=0.013) but not environmental influences. Negative phenotypic and genetic correlations with age acceleration were also seen for a number of specific white matter tracts, along with additional negative phenotypic correlations between granulocyte abundance and white matter integrity. These findings that increased acceleration in epigenetic age in peripheral blood correlates with reduced white matter integrity in the brain, and shares common genetic influences. provide a window into the neurobiology of aging processes within the brain and a potential biomarker of normal and pathological brain aging.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENTEpigenetic measures can be used to predict age with a high degree of accuracy and so capture acceleration in biological age
Phillips, Owen R; Clark, Kristi A; Luders, Eileen; Azhir, Ramin; Joshi, Shantanu H; Woods, Roger P; Mazziotta, John C; Toga, Arthur W; Narr, Katherine L
Structural and diffusion imaging studies demonstrate effects of age, sex, and asymmetry in many brain structures. However, few studies have addressed how individual differences might influence the structural integrity of the superficial white matter (SWM), comprised of short-range association (U-fibers), and intracortical axons. This study thus applied a sophisticated computational analysis approach to structural and diffusion imaging data obtained from healthy individuals selected from the International Consortium for Brain Mapping (ICBM) database across a wide adult age range (n=65, age: 18-74 years, all Caucasian). Fractional anisotropy (FA), radial diffusivity (RD), and axial diffusivity (AD) were sampled and compared at thousands of spatially matched SWM locations and within regions-of-interest to examine global and local variations in SWM integrity across age, sex, and hemisphere. Results showed age-related reductions in FA that were more pronounced in the frontal SWM than in the posterior and ventral brain regions, whereas increases in RD and AD were observed across large areas of the SWM. FA was significantly greater in left temporoparietal regions in men and in the posterior callosum in women. Prominent leftward FA and rightward AD and RD asymmetries were observed in the temporal, parietal, and frontal regions. Results extend previous findings restricted to the deep white matter pathways to demonstrate regional changes in the SWM microstructure relating to processes of demyelination and/or to the number, coherence, or integrity of axons with increasing age. SWM fiber organization/coherence appears greater in the left hemisphere regions spanning language and other networks, while more localized sex effects could possibly reflect sex-specific advantages in information strategies.
Kasprian, Gregor; Brugger, Peter C; Schöpf, Veronika; Mitter, Christian; Weber, Michael; Hainfellner, Johannes A; Prayer, Daniela
Complete or partial agenesis of the corpus callosum are rather common developmental abnormalities, resulting in a wide spectrum of clinical neurodevelopmental deficits. Currently, a significant number of these cases are detected by prenatal sonography during second trimester screening examinations. However, major uncertainties about a detailed morphological diagnosis and the clinical significance do not allow accurate prenatal counselling. Here, we were able to demonstrate the 3D connectivity of aberrant commissural tracts in 16 cases with complete and four cases with partial callosal agenesis using the foetal magnetic resonance imaging techniques of diffusion tensor imaging and tractography in utero and in vivo between gestational weeks 20 and 37. The 'misguided' pre-myelinated callosal axons that represent the bundle of Probst were non-invasively visualized, and they showed a degree of structural integrity similar to that of the callosal pathways of age-matched foetuses without cerebral pathologies. In two foetuses, we were able to prove, by post-mortem histology, that diffusion tensor imaging allows the depiction of the bundle of Probst, even during early stages of pre-myelination at 20 and 22 gestational weeks. In cases with partial callosal agenesis, an aberrant sigmoid-shaped bundle was prenatally depicted, confirming the findings of heterotopic interhemispheric connectivity in adults with partial callosal agenesis. In addition to the corpus callosum, other white matter pathways were also involved, including somatosensory and motor pathways that showed significantly higher fractional anisotropy values in cases with callosal agenesis compared with control subjects. A detailed prenatal assessment of abnormal white matter connectivity in cases of midline anomalies will help to explain and understand the clinical heterogeneity in these cases, taking future foetal neurological counselling strategies to a new level.
Phillips, Owen R.; Clark, Kristi A.; Luders, Eileen; Azhir, Ramin; Joshi, Shantanu H.; Woods, Roger P.; Mazziotta, John C.; Toga, Arthur W.
Abstract Structural and diffusion imaging studies demonstrate effects of age, sex, and asymmetry in many brain structures. However, few studies have addressed how individual differences might influence the structural integrity of the superficial white matter (SWM), comprised of short-range association (U-fibers), and intracortical axons. This study thus applied a sophisticated computational analysis approach to structural and diffusion imaging data obtained from healthy individuals selected from the International Consortium for Brain Mapping (ICBM) database across a wide adult age range (n=65, age: 18–74 years, all Caucasian). Fractional anisotropy (FA), radial diffusivity (RD), and axial diffusivity (AD) were sampled and compared at thousands of spatially matched SWM locations and within regions-of-interest to examine global and local variations in SWM integrity across age, sex, and hemisphere. Results showed age-related reductions in FA that were more pronounced in the frontal SWM than in the posterior and ventral brain regions, whereas increases in RD and AD were observed across large areas of the SWM. FA was significantly greater in left temporoparietal regions in men and in the posterior callosum in women. Prominent leftward FA and rightward AD and RD asymmetries were observed in the temporal, parietal, and frontal regions. Results extend previous findings restricted to the deep white matter pathways to demonstrate regional changes in the SWM microstructure relating to processes of demyelination and/or to the number, coherence, or integrity of axons with increasing age. SWM fiber organization/coherence appears greater in the left hemisphere regions spanning language and other networks, while more localized sex effects could possibly reflect sex-specific advantages in information strategies. PMID:23461767
Shiino, Akihiko; Chen, Yen-wei; Tanigaki, Kenji; Yamada, Atsushi; Vigers, Piers; Watanabe, Toshiyuki; Tooyama, Ikuo; Akiguchi, Ichiro
It has been contended that any observed difference of the corpus callosum (CC) size between men and women is not sex-related but brain-size-related. A recent report, however, showed that the midsagittal CC area was significantly larger in women in 37 brain-size-matched pairs of normal young adults. Since this constituted strong evidence of sexual dimorphism and was obtained from publicly available data in OASIS, we examined volume differences within the CC and in other white matter using voxel-based morphometry (VBM). We created a three-dimensional region of interest of the CC and measured its volume. The VBM statistics were analyzed by permutation test and threshold-free cluster enhancement (TFCE) with the significance levels at FWER < 0.05. The CC volume was significantly larger in women in the same 37 brain-size-matched pairs. We found that the CC genu was the subregion showing the most significant sex-related difference. We also found that white matter in the bilateral anterior frontal regions and the left lateral white matter near to Broca’s area were larger in women, whereas there were no significant larger regions in men. Since we used brain-size-matched subjects, our results gave strong volumetric evidence of localized sexual dimorphism of white matter. PMID:28045130
Shiino, Akihiko; Chen, Yen-Wei; Tanigaki, Kenji; Yamada, Atsushi; Vigers, Piers; Watanabe, Toshiyuki; Tooyama, Ikuo; Akiguchi, Ichiro
It has been contended that any observed difference of the corpus callosum (CC) size between men and women is not sex-related but brain-size-related. A recent report, however, showed that the midsagittal CC area was significantly larger in women in 37 brain-size-matched pairs of normal young adults. Since this constituted strong evidence of sexual dimorphism and was obtained from publicly available data in OASIS, we examined volume differences within the CC and in other white matter using voxel-based morphometry (VBM). We created a three-dimensional region of interest of the CC and measured its volume. The VBM statistics were analyzed by permutation test and threshold-free cluster enhancement (TFCE) with the significance levels at FWER < 0.05. The CC volume was significantly larger in women in the same 37 brain-size-matched pairs. We found that the CC genu was the subregion showing the most significant sex-related difference. We also found that white matter in the bilateral anterior frontal regions and the left lateral white matter near to Broca’s area were larger in women, whereas there were no significant larger regions in men. Since we used brain-size-matched subjects, our results gave strong volumetric evidence of localized sexual dimorphism of white matter.
Plassard, Andrew J.; Hinton, Kendra E.; Venkatraman, Vijay; Gonzalez, Christopher; Resnick, Susan M.; Landman, Bennett A.
Multi-atlas labeling has come in wide spread use for whole brain labeling on magnetic resonance imaging. Recent challenges have shown that leading techniques are near (or at) human expert reproducibility for cortical gray matter labels. However, these approaches tend to treat white matter as essentially homogeneous (as white matter exhibits isointense signal on structural MRI). The state-of-the-art for white matter atlas is the single-subject Johns Hopkins Eve atlas. Numerous approaches have attempted to use tractography and/or orientation information to identify homologous white matter structures across subjects. Despite success with large tracts, these approaches have been plagued by difficulties in with subtle differences in course, low signal to noise, and complex structural relationships for smaller tracts. Here, we investigate use of atlas-based labeling to propagate the Eve atlas to unlabeled datasets. We evaluate single atlas labeling and multi-atlas labeling using synthetic atlases derived from the single manually labeled atlas. On 5 representative tracts for 10 subjects, we demonstrate that (1) single atlas labeling generally provides segmentations within 2mm mean surface distance, (2) morphologically constraining DTI labels within structural MRI white matter reduces variability, and (3) multi-atlas labeling did not improve accuracy. These efforts present a preliminary indication that single atlas labels with correction is reasonable, but caution should be applied. To purse multi-atlas labeling and more fully characterize overall performance, more labeled datasets would be necessary. PMID:25914503
Plassard, Andrew J; Hinton, Kendra E; Venkatraman, Vijay; Gonzalez, Christopher; Resnick, Susan M; Landman, Bennett A
Multi-atlas labeling has come in wide spread use for whole brain labeling on magnetic resonance imaging. Recent challenges have shown that leading techniques are near (or at) human expert reproducibility for cortical gray matter labels. However, these approaches tend to treat white matter as essentially homogeneous (as white matter exhibits isointense signal on structural MRI). The state-of-the-art for white matter atlas is the single-subject Johns Hopkins Eve atlas. Numerous approaches have attempted to use tractography and/or orientation information to identify homologous white matter structures across subjects. Despite success with large tracts, these approaches have been plagued by difficulties in with subtle differences in course, low signal to noise, and complex structural relationships for smaller tracts. Here, we investigate use of atlas-based labeling to propagate the Eve atlas to unlabeled datasets. We evaluate single atlas labeling and multi-atlas labeling using synthetic atlases derived from the single manually labeled atlas. On 5 representative tracts for 10 subjects, we demonstrate that (1) single atlas labeling generally provides segmentations within 2mm mean surface distance, (2) morphologically constraining DTI labels within structural MRI white matter reduces variability, and (3) multi-atlas labeling did not improve accuracy. These efforts present a preliminary indication that single atlas labels with correction is reasonable, but caution should be applied. To purse multi-atlas labeling and more fully characterize overall performance, more labeled datasets would be necessary.
Jolles, Dietsje; Wassermann, Demian; Chokhani, Ritika; Richardson, Jennifer; Tenison, Caitlin; Bammer, Roland; Fuchs, Lynn; Supekar, Kaustubh; Menon, Vinod
Plasticity of white matter tracts is thought to be essential for cognitive development and academic skill acquisition in children. However, a dearth of high-quality diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) data measuring longitudinal changes with learning, as well as methodological difficulties in multi-time point tract identification have limited our ability to investigate plasticity of specific white matter tracts. Here, we examine learning-related changes of white matter tracts innervating inferior parietal, prefrontal and temporal regions following an intense 2-month math tutoring program. DTI data were acquired from 18 third grade children, both before and after tutoring. A novel fiber tracking algorithm based on a White Matter Query Language (WMQL) was used to identify three sections of the superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF) linking frontal and parietal (SLF-FP), parietal and temporal (SLF-PT) and frontal and temporal (SLF-FT) cortices, from which we created child-specific probabilistic maps. The SLF-FP, SLF-FT, and SLF-PT tracts identified with the WMQL method were highly reliable across the two time points and showed close correspondence to tracts previously described in adults. Notably, individual differences in behavioral gains after 2 months of tutoring were specifically correlated with plasticity in the left SLF-FT tract. Our results extend previous findings of individual differences in white matter integrity, and provide important new insights into white matter plasticity related to math learning in childhood. More generally, our quantitative approach will be useful for future studies examining longitudinal changes in white matter integrity associated with cognitive skill development.
Kliper, Efrat; Ben Assayag, Einor; Tarrasch, Ricardo; Artzi, Moran; Korczyn, Amos D.; Shenhar-Tsarfaty, Shani; Aizenstein, Orna; Hallevi, Hen; Mike, Anat; Shopin, Ludmila; Bornstein, Natan M.; Bashat, Dafna Ben
Background and purpose Stroke is a major cause of cognitive impairment and dementia in adults, however the role of the ischemic lesions themselves, on top of other risk factors known in the elderly, remains controversial. This study used structural equation modeling to determine the respective impact of the new ischemic lesions' volume, preexisting white matter lesions and white matter integrity on post stroke cognitive state. Methods Consecutive first ever mild to moderate stroke or transient ischemic attack patients recruited into the ongoing prospective TABASCO study underwent magnetic resonance imaging scans within seven days of stroke onset and were cognitively assessed one year after the event using a computerized neuropsychological battery. The volumes of both ischemic lesions and preexisting white matter lesions and the integrity of the normal appearing white matter tissue were measured and their contribution to cognitive state was assessed using structural equation modeling path analysis taking into account demographic parameters. Two models were hypothesized, differing by the role of ischemic lesions' volume. Results Structural equation modeling analysis of 142 patients confirmed the predominant role of white matter lesion volume (standardized path coefficient β = −0.231) and normal appearing white matter integrity (β = −0.176) on the global cognitive score, while ischemic lesions' volume showed no such effect (β = 0.038). The model excluding the ischemic lesion presented better fit to the data (comparative fit index 0.9 versus 0.092). Conclusions Mild to moderate stroke patients with preexisting white matter lesions are more vulnerable to cognitive impairment regardless of their new ischemic lesions. Thus, these patients can serve as a target group for studies on cognitive rehabilitation and neuro-protective therapies which may, in turn, slow their cognitive deterioration. PMID:25153800
Yotsumoto, Yuko; Chang, Li-Hung; Ni, Rui; Pierce, Russell; Andersen, George J; Watanabe, Takeo; Sasaki, Yuka
Visual perceptual learning (VPL) with younger subjects is associated with changes in functional activation of the early visual cortex. Although overall brain properties decline with age, it is unclear whether these declines are associated with visual perceptual learning. Here we use diffusion tensor imaging to test whether changes in white matter are involved in VPL for older adults. After training on a texture discrimination task for 3 daily sessions, both older and younger subjects show performance improvements. While the older subjects show significant changes in fractional anisotropy (FA) in the white matter beneath the early visual cortex after training, no significant change in FA is observed for younger subjects. These results suggest that the mechanism for VPL in older individuals is considerably different from that in younger individuals and that VPL of older individuals involves re-organization of white matter. PMID:25407566
Nagy, Zoltan; Westerberg, Helena; Klingberg, Torkel
In the human brain, myelination of axons continues until early adulthood and is thought to be important for the development of cognitive functions during childhood. We used diffusion tensor MR imaging and calculated fractional anisotropy, an indicator of myelination and axonal thickness, in children aged between 8 and 18 years. Development of working memory capacity was positively correlated with fractional anisotropy in two regions in the left frontal lobe, including a region between the superior frontal and parietal cortices. Reading ability, on the other hand, was only correlated with fractional anisotropy in the left temporal lobe, in the same white matter region where adults with reading disability are known to have lower fractional anisotropy. Both the temporal and the frontal regions were also correlated with age. These results show that maturation of white matter is an important part of brain maturation during childhood, and that maturation of relatively restricted regions of white matter is correlated with development of specific cognitive functions.
Nugent, Katie L.; Chiappelli, Joshua; Sampath, Hemalatha; Rowland, Laura M.; Thangavelu, Kavita; Davis, Beshaun; Du, Xiaoming; Muellerklein, Florian; Daughters, Stacey; Kochunov, Peter; Hong, L. Elliot
Objective While acute hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis response to stress is often adaptive, prolonged responses may have detrimental effects. Many components of white matter structures are sensitive to prolonged cortisol exposure. We aimed to identify a behavioral laboratory assay for which cortisol response related to brain pathophysiology in schizophrenia. We hypothesized that an abnormally prolonged cortisol response to stress may be linked to abnormal white matter integrity in patients with schizophrenia. Methods Acute and prolonged salivary cortisol response was measured outside the scanner at pre-test and then at 0, 20, and 40 minutes after a psychological stress task in patients with schizophrenia (n=45) and controls (n=53). Tract-averaged white matter was measured by 64-direction diffusion tensor imaging in a subset of patients (n=30) and controls (n=33). Results Patients who did not tolerate and quit the psychological stress task had greater acute (t=2.52, p=0.016; t=3.51, p=0.001 at zero and 20 minutes) and prolonged (t=3.62, p=0.001 at 40 minutes) cortisol reactivity compared with patients who finished the task. Abnormally prolonged cortisol reactivity in patients was significantly associated with reduced white matter integrity (r=−0.468, p=0.009). Regardless of task completion status, acute cortisol response was not related to the white matter measures in patients or controls. Conclusions This paradigm was successful at identifying a subset of patients whose cortisol response was associated with brain pathophysiology. Abnormal cortisol response may adversely affect white matter integrity, partly explaining this pathology observed in schizophrenia. Prolonged stress responses may be targeted for intervention to test for protective effects against white matter damages. PMID:26186431
Rieckmann, Anna; Hedden, Trey; Younger, Alayna P; Sperling, Reisa A; Johnson, Keith A; Buckner, Randy L
Aging-related differences in white matter integrity, the presence of amyloid plaques, and density of biomarkers indicative of dopamine functions can be detected and quantified with in vivo human imaging. The primary aim of the present study was to investigate whether these imaging-based measures constitute independent imaging biomarkers in older adults, which would speak to the hypothesis that the aging brain is characterized by multiple independent neurobiological cascades. We assessed MRI-based markers of white matter integrity and PET-based marker of dopamine transporter density and amyloid deposition in the same set of 53 clinically normal individuals (age 65-87). A multiple regression analysis demonstrated that dopamine transporter availability is predicted by white matter integrity, which was detectable even after controlling for chronological age. Further post-hoc exploration revealed that dopamine transporter availability was further associated with systolic blood pressure, mirroring the established association between cardiovascular health and white matter integrity. Dopamine transporter availability was not associated with the presence of amyloid burden. Neurobiological correlates of dopamine transporter measures in aging are therefore likely unrelated to Alzheimer's disease but are aligned with white matter integrity and cardiovascular risk. More generally, these results suggest that two common imaging markers of the aging brain that are typically investigated separately do not reflect independent neurobiological processes. Hum Brain Mapp 37:621-631, 2016. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Dole, Marjorie; Meunier, Fanny; Hoen, Michel
In the present study, we investigated brain morphological signatures of dyslexia by using a voxel-based asymmetry analysis. Dyslexia is a developmental disorder that affects the acquisition of reading and spelling abilities and is associated with a phonological deficit. Speech perception disabilities have been associated with this deficit, particularly when listening conditions are challenging, such as in noisy environments. These deficits are associated with known neurophysiological correlates, such as a reduction in the functional activation or a modification of functional asymmetry in the cortical regions involved in speech processing, such as the bilateral superior temporal areas. These functional deficits have been associated with macroscopic morphological abnormalities, which potentially include a reduction in gray and white matter volumes, combined with modifications of the leftward asymmetry along the perisylvian areas. The purpose of this study was to investigate gray/white matter distribution asymmetries in dyslexic adults using automated image processing derived from the voxel-based morphometry technique. Correlations with speech-in-noise perception abilities were also investigated. The results confirmed the presence of gray matter distribution abnormalities in the superior temporal gyrus (STG) and the superior temporal Sulcus (STS) in individuals with dyslexia. Specifically, the gray matter of adults with dyslexia was symmetrically distributed over one particular region of the STS, the temporal voice area, whereas normal readers showed a clear rightward gray matter asymmetry in this area. We also identified a region in the left posterior STG in which the white matter distribution asymmetry was correlated to speech-in-noise comprehension abilities in dyslexic adults. These results provide further information concerning the morphological alterations observed in dyslexia, revealing the presence of both gray and white matter distribution anomalies and the
Melah, Kelsey E; Lu, Sharon Yuan-Fu; Hoscheidt, Siobhan M; Alexander, Andrew L; Adluru, Nagesh; Destiche, Daniel J; Carlsson, Cynthia M; Zetterberg, Henrik; Blennow, Kaj; Okonkwo, Ozioma C; Gleason, Carey E; Dowling, N Maritza; Bratzke, Lisa C; Rowley, Howard A; Sager, Mark A; Asthana, Sanjay; Johnson, Sterling C; Bendlin, Barbara B
Background The immune response in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) involves activation of microglia which may remove β-amyloid. However, overproduction of inflammatory compounds may exacerbate neural damage in Alzheimer’s disease. AD pathology accumulates years before diagnosis, yet the extent to which neuroinflammation is involved in the earliest disease stages is unknown. Objective To determine whether neuroinflammation exacerbates neural damage in preclinical AD. Methods We utilized cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and magnetic resonance imaging collected in 192 asymptomatic late-middle-aged adults (mean age=60.98 years). Neuroinflammatory markers chitinase-3-like protein 1 (YKL-40) and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) in CSF were utilized as markers of neuroinflammation. Neural cell damage was assessed using CSF neurofilament light chain protein (NFL), CSF total tau (T-Tau), and neural microstructure assessed with diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). With regard to AD pathology, CSF Aβ42 and tau phosphorylated at threonine 181 (P-Tau181) were used as markers of amyloid and tau pathology, respectively. We hypothesized that higher YKL-40 and MCP-1 in the presence of AD pathology would be associated with higher NFL, T-Tau, and altered microstructure on DTI. Results Neuroinflammation was associated with markers of neural damage. Higher CSF YKL-40 was associated with both higher CSF NFL and T-Tau. Inflammation interacted with AD pathology, such that greater MCP-1 and lower Aβ42 was associated with altered microstructure in bilateral frontal and right temporal lobe and that greater MCP-1 and greater P-Tau181 was associated with altered microstructure in precuneus. Conclusion Inflammation may play a role in neural damage in preclinical AD. PMID:26836182
Seider, Talia R; Gongvatana, Assawin; Woods, Adam J; Chen, Huaihou; Porges, Eric C; Cummings, Tiffany; Correia, Stephen; Tashima, Karen; Cohen, Ronald A
Both HIV disease and advanced age have been associated with alterations to cerebral white matter, as measured with white matter hyperintensities (WMH) on fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and more recently with diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). This study investigates the combined effects of age and HIV serostatus on WMH and DTI measures, as well as the relationships between these white matter measures, in 88 HIV seropositive (HIV+) and 49 seronegative (HIV-) individuals aged 23-79 years. A whole-brain volumetric measure of WMH was quantified from FLAIR images using a semi-automated process, while fractional anisotropy (FA) was calculated for 15 regions of a whole-brain white matter skeleton generated using tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS). An age by HIV interaction was found indicating a significant association between WMH and older age in HIV+ participants only. Similarly, significant age by HIV interactions were found indicating stronger associations between older age and decreased FA in the posterior limbs of the internal capsules, cerebral peduncles, and anterior corona radiata in HIV+ vs. HIV- participants. The interactive effects of HIV and age were stronger with respect to whole-brain WMH than for any of the FA measures. Among HIV+ participants, greater WMH and lower anterior corona radiata FA were associated with active hepatitis C virus infection, a history of AIDS, and higher current CD4 cell count. Results indicate that age exacerbates HIV-associated abnormalities of whole-brain WMH and fronto-subcortical white matter integrity.
Hacohen, Yael; Absoud, Michael; Hemingway, Cheryl; Jacobson, Leslie; Lin, Jean-Pierre; Pike, Mike; Pullaperuma, Sunil; Siddiqui, Ata; Wassmer, Evangeline; Waters, Patrick; Irani, Sarosh R.; Buckley, Camilla
Objective: To report the clinical and radiologic findings of children with NMDA receptor (NMDAR) antibodies and white matter disorders. Method: Ten children with significant white matter involvement, with or without anti-NMDAR encephalitis, were identified from 46 consecutive NMDAR antibody–positive pediatric patients. Clinical and neuroimaging features were reviewed and the treatment and outcomes of the neurologic syndromes evaluated. Results: Three distinct clinicoradiologic phenotypes were recognized: brainstem encephalitis (n = 3), leukoencephalopathy following herpes simplex virus encephalitis (HSVE) (n = 2), and acquired demyelination syndromes (ADS) (n = 5); 3 of the 5 with ADS had myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein as well as NMDAR antibodies. Typical NMDAR antibody encephalitis was seen in 3 patients remote from the first neurologic syndrome (2 brainstem, 1 post-HSVE). Six of the 7 patients (85%) who were treated acutely, during the original presentation with white matter involvement, improved following immunotherapy with steroids, IV immunoglobulin, and plasma exchange, either individually or in combination. Two patients had escalation of immunotherapy at relapse resulting in clinical improvement. The time course of clinical features, treatments, and recoveries correlated broadly with available serum antibody titers. Conclusion: Clinicoradiologic evidence of white matter involvement, often distinct, was identified in 22% of children with NMDAR antibodies and appears immunotherapy responsive, particularly when treated in the acute phase of neurologic presentation. When observed, this clinical improvement is often mirrored by reduction in NMDAR antibody levels, suggesting that these antibodies may mediate the white matter disease. PMID:25340058
Peters, Bart D; Karlsgodt, Katherine H
Schizophrenia has been conceptualized as a disorder of both neurodevelopment and a disorder of connectivity. One important aspect of the neurodevelopmental hypothesis is that schizophrenia is no longer thought to have discrete illness time points, but rather a long trajectory of brain changes, spanning many years, across a series of stages of the disease including the prodrome, first episode, and chronic period. As the disease progresses, there is a complex relationship between age related changes and disease related changes. Therefore, neural changes, and specifically white matter based connectivity changes, in schizophrenia may be best conceptualized based on a lifespan trajectory. In this selective review, we discuss healthy changes in white matter integrity that occur with age, as well as changes that occur across illness stages. We further propose a set of models that might explain lifespan changes in white matter integrity in schizophrenia, with the conclusion that the evidence most strongly supports a pattern of disrupted maturation during adolescence, with the potential for later changes that may be a result of disease neurotoxicity, abnormal or excessive aging effects, as well as medication, cohort or other effects. Thus, when considering white matter integrity in psychosis, it is critical to consider age in addition to other contributing factors including disease specific effects. Discovery of the factors driving healthy white matter development across the lifespan and deviations from the normal developmental trajectory may provide insights relevant to the discovery of early treatment interventions.
O'Muircheartaigh, Jonathan; Dean, Douglas C; Ginestet, Cedric E; Walker, Lindsay; Waskiewicz, Nicole; Lehman, Katie; Dirks, Holly; Piryatinsky, Irene; Deoni, Sean C L
The normal myelination of neuronal axons is essential to neurodevelopment, allowing fast inter-neuronal communication. The most dynamic period of myelination occurs in the first few years of life, in concert with a dramatic increase in cognitive abilities. How these processes relate, however, is still unclear. Here we aimed to use a data-driven technique to parcellate developing white matter into regions with consistent white matter growth trajectories and investigate how these regions related to cognitive development. In a large sample of 183 children aged 3 months to 4 years, we calculated whole brain myelin volume fraction (VFM ) maps using quantitative multicomponent relaxometry. We used spatial independent component analysis (ICA) to blindly segment these quantitative VFM images into anatomically meaningful parcels with distinct developmental trajectories. We further investigated the relationship of these trajectories with standardized cognitive scores in the same children. The resulting components represented a mix of unilateral and bilateral white matter regions (e.g., cortico-spinal tract, genu and splenium of the corpus callosum, white matter underlying the inferior frontal gyrus) as well as structured noise (misregistration, image artifact). The trajectories of these regions were associated with individual differences in cognitive abilities. Specifically, components in white matter underlying frontal and temporal cortices showed significant relationships to expressive and receptive language abilities. Many of these relationships had a significant interaction with age, with VFM becoming more strongly associated with language skills with age. These data provide evidence for a changing coupling between developing myelin and cognitive development.
Li, Jiasi; Zhang, Lei; Chu, Yongxin; Namaka, Michael; Deng, Benqiang; Kong, Jiming; Bi, Xiaoying
White matter is primarily composed of myelin and myelinated axons. Structural and functional completeness of myelin is critical for the reliable and efficient transmission of information. White matter injury has been associated with the development of many demyelinating diseases. Despite a variety of scientific advances aimed at promoting re-myelination, their benefit has proven at best to be marginal. Research suggests that the failure of the re-myelination process may be the result of an unfavorable microenvironment. Astrocytes, are the most ample and diverse type of glial cells in central nervous system (CNS) which display multiple functions for the cells of the oligodendrocytes lineage. As such, much attention has recently been drawn to astrocyte function in terms of white matter myelin repair. They are different in white matter from those in gray matter in specific regards to development, morphology, location, protein expression and other supportive functions. During the process of demyelination and re-myelination, the functions of astrocytes are dynamic in that they are able to change functions in accordance to different time points, triggers or reactive pathways resulting in vastly different biologic effects. They have pivotal effects on oligodendrocytes and other cell types in the oligodendrocyte lineage by serving as an energy supplier, a participant of immunological and inflammatory functions, a source of trophic factors and iron and a sustainer of homeostasis. Astrocytic impairment has been shown to be directly linked to the development of neuromyelities optica (NMO). In addition, astroctyes have also been implicated in other white matter conditions such as psychiatric disorders and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), multiple sclerosis (MS) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Inhibiting specifically detrimental signaling pathways in astrocytes while preserving their beneficial functions may be a promising approach for
Li, Jiasi; Zhang, Lei; Chu, Yongxin; Namaka, Michael; Deng, Benqiang; Kong, Jiming; Bi, Xiaoying
White matter is primarily composed of myelin and myelinated axons. Structural and functional completeness of myelin is critical for the reliable and efficient transmission of information. White matter injury has been associated with the development of many demyelinating diseases. Despite a variety of scientific advances aimed at promoting re-myelination, their benefit has proven at best to be marginal. Research suggests that the failure of the re-myelination process may be the result of an unfavorable microenvironment. Astrocytes, are the most ample and diverse type of glial cells in central nervous system (CNS) which display multiple functions for the cells of the oligodendrocytes lineage. As such, much attention has recently been drawn to astrocyte function in terms of white matter myelin repair. They are different in white matter from those in gray matter in specific regards to development, morphology, location, protein expression and other supportive functions. During the process of demyelination and re-myelination, the functions of astrocytes are dynamic in that they are able to change functions in accordance to different time points, triggers or reactive pathways resulting in vastly different biologic effects. They have pivotal effects on oligodendrocytes and other cell types in the oligodendrocyte lineage by serving as an energy supplier, a participant of immunological and inflammatory functions, a source of trophic factors and iron and a sustainer of homeostasis. Astrocytic impairment has been shown to be directly linked to the development of neuromyelities optica (NMO). In addition, astroctyes have also been implicated in other white matter conditions such as psychiatric disorders and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD), multiple sclerosis (MS) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Inhibiting specifically detrimental signaling pathways in astrocytes while preserving their beneficial functions may be a promising approach for
Blüml, Stefan; Wisnowski, Jessica L; Nelson, Marvin D; Paquette, Lisa; Panigrahy, Ashok
Significant physiological switches occur at birth such as the transition from fetal parallel blood flow to a two-circuit serial system with increased arterial oxygenation of blood delivered to all organs including the brain. In addition, the extra-uterine environment exposes premature infants to a host of stimuli. These events could conceivably alter the trajectory of brain development in premature infants. We used in vivo magnetic resonance spectroscopy to measure absolute brain metabolite concentrations in term and premature-born infants without evidence of brain injury at equivalent post-conceptional age. Prematurity altered the developmental time courses of N-acetyl-aspartate, a marker for axonal and neuronal development, creatine, an energy metabolite, and choline, a membrane metabolite, in parietal white matter. Specifically, at term-equivalency, metabolic maturation in preterm infants preceded development in term infants, but then progressed at a slower pace and trajectories merged at ≈340-370 post-conceptional days. In parieto/occipital grey matter similar trends were noticed but statistical significance was not reached. The timing of white matter development and synchronization of white matter and grey matter maturation in premature-born infants is disturbed. This may contribute to the greater risk of long-term neurological problems of premature infants and to their higher risk for white matter injury.
Myers, Chelsea A; Vandermosten, Maaike; Farris, Emily A; Hancock, Roeland; Gimenez, Paul; Black, Jessica M; Casto, Brandi; Drahos, Miroslav; Tumber, Mandeep; Hendren, Robert L; Hulme, Charles; Hoeft, Fumiko
This study examined whether variations in brain development between kindergarten and Grade 3 predicted individual differences in reading ability at Grade 3. Structural MRI measurements indicated that increases in the volume of two left temporo-parietal white matter clusters are unique predictors of reading outcomes above and beyond family history, socioeconomic status, and cognitive and preliteracy measures at baseline. Using diffusion MRI, we identified the left arcuate fasciculus and superior corona radiata as key fibers within the two clusters. Bias-free regression analyses using regions of interest from prior literature revealed that volume changes in temporo-parietal white matter, together with preliteracy measures, predicted 56% of the variance in reading outcomes. Our findings demonstrate the important contribution of developmental differences in areas of left dorsal white matter, often implicated in phonological processing, as a sensitive early biomarker for later reading abilities, and by extension, reading difficulties.
Miyamoto, Nobukazu; Maki, Takakuni; Shindo, Akihiro; Liang, Anna C.; Maeda, Mitsuyo; Egawa, Naohiro; Itoh, Kanako; Lo, Evan K.; Lok, Josephine; Ihara, Masafumi
Oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs) in the adult brain contribute to white matter homeostasis. After white matter damage, OPCs compensate for oligodendrocyte loss by differentiating into mature oligodendrocytes. However, the underlying mechanisms remain to be fully defined. Here, we test the hypothesis that, during endogenous recovery from white matter ischemic injury, astrocytes support the maturation of OPCs by secreting brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). For in vitro experiments, cultured primary OPCs and astrocytes were prepared from postnatal day 2 rat cortex. When OPCs were subjected to chemical hypoxic stress by exposing them to sublethal CoCl2 for 7 d, in vitro OPC differentiation into oligodendrocytes was significantly suppressed. Conditioned medium from astrocytes (astro-medium) restored the process of OPC maturation even under the stressed conditions. When astro-medium was filtered with TrkB-Fc to remove BDNF, the BDNF-deficient astro-medium no longer supported OPC maturation. For in vivo experiments, we analyzed a transgenic mouse line (GFAPcre/BDNFwt/fl) in which BDNF expression is downregulated specifically in GFAP+ astrocytes. Both wild-type (GFAPwt/BDNFwt/fl mice) and transgenic mice were subjected to prolonged cerebral hypoperfusion by bilateral common carotid artery stenosis. As expected, compared with wild-type mice, the transgenic mice exhibited a lower number of newly generated oligodendrocytes and larger white matter damage. Together, these findings demonstrate that, during endogenous recovery from white matter damage, astrocytes may promote oligodendrogenesis by secreting BDNF. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The repair of white matter after brain injury and neurodegeneration remains a tremendous hurdle for a wide spectrum of CNS disorders. One potentially important opportunity may reside in the response of residual oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs). OPCs may serve as a back-up for generating mature oligodendrocytes in damaged white
Nunez, Stefanie; Doroudchi, M Mehdi; Gleichman, Amy J; Ng, Kwan L; Llorente, Irene L; Sozmen, Elif G; Carmichael, S Thomas; Hinman, Jason D
Stroke affecting white matter accounts for up to 25% of clinical stroke presentations, occurs silently at rates that may be 5-10 fold greater, and contributes significantly to the development of vascular dementia. Few models of focal white matter stroke exist and this lack of appropriate models has hampered understanding of the neurobiologic mechanisms involved in injury response and repair after this type of stroke. The main limitation of other subcortical stroke models is that they do not focally restrict the infarct to the white matter or have primarily been validated in non-murine species. This limits the ability to apply the wide variety of murine research tools to study the neurobiology of white matter stroke. Here we present a methodology for the reliable production of a focal stroke in murine white matter using a local injection of an irreversible eNOS inhibitor. We also present several variations on the general protocol including two unique stereotactic variations, retrograde neuronal tracing, as well as fresh tissue labeling and dissection that greatly expand the potential applications of this technique. These variations allow for multiple approaches to analyze the neurobiologic effects of this common and understudied form of stroke.
Uchihara, Toshiki; Shishido-Hara, Yukiko
The proportion of white matter in the brain has increased during evolution, and white matter comprises approximately half of the human brain. Its macroscopic as well as microscopic structures change during development, aging, and disease progression as well as following physical or mental training. Knowledge about the structural plasticity of the white matter may alter our cortex-oriented view of brain functions and expand our strategies for diagnosis and treatment, including rehabilitation, since the gray and white matter are complementary. Although the presence of white matter lesions is easy to detect with magnetic resonance imaging of the brain, their qualitative differentiation requires vast knowledge about the underlying processes. Examples from multiple ischemic lesions caused by different disease processes affecting the cerebral arteries are presented for comparison. It is worth considering "what matters more in the white matter" by taking into account the basic structures of the brain as well as their plasticity. Such "thinking inside of the brain" may further expand our understanding of the brain to improve our clinical interpretations and treatments.
Harris, G.J.; Barta, P.E.; Peng, L.W.; Lee, S.; Brettschneider, P.D.; Shah, A.; Henderer, J.D.; Schlaepfer, T.E.; Pearlson, G.D. Tufts Univ. School of Medicine, Boston, MA )
To describe a quantitative MR imaging segmentation method for determination of the volume of cerebrospinal fluid, gray matter, and white matter in living human brain, and to determine the method's reliability. We developed a computer method that allows rapid, user-friendly determination of cerebrospinal fluid, gray matter, and white matter volumes in a reliable manner, both globally and regionally. This method was applied to a large control population (N = 57). Initially, image brightness had a strong correlation with the gray-white ratio (r = .78). Bright images tended to overestimate, dim images to underestimate gray matter volumes. This artifact was corrected for by offsetting each image to an approximately equal brightness. After brightness correction, gray-white ratio was correlated with age (r = -.35). The age-dependent gray-white ratio was similar to that for the same age range in a prior neuropathology report. Interrater reliability was high (.93 intraclass correlation coefficient). The method described here for gray matter, white matter, and cerebrospinal fluid volume calculation is reliable and valid. A correction method for an artifact related to image brightness was developed. 12 refs., 3 figs.
Savadjiev, P; Whitford, T J; Hough, M E; Clemm von Hohenberg, C; Bouix, S; Westin, C-F; Shenton, M E; Crow, T J; James, A C; Kubicki, M
The normal human brain is characterized by a pattern of gross anatomical asymmetry. This pattern, known as the "torque", is associated with a sexual dimorphism: The male brain tends to be more asymmetric than that of the female. This fact, along with well-known sex differences in brain development (faster in females) and onset of psychosis (earlier with worse outcome in males), has led to the theory that schizophrenia is a disorder in which sex-dependent abnormalities in the development of brain torque, the correlate of the capacity for language, cause alterations in interhemispheric connectivity, which are causally related to psychosis (Crow TJ, Paez P, Chance SE. 2007. Callosal misconnectivity and the sex difference in psychosis. Int Rev Psychiatry. 19(4):449-457.). To provide evidence toward this theory, we analyze the geometry of interhemispheric white matter connections in adolescent-onset schizophrenia, with a particular focus on sex, using a recently introduced framework for white matter geometry computation in diffusion tensor imaging data (Savadjiev P, Kindlmann GL, Bouix S, Shenton ME, Westin CF. 2010. Local white geometry from diffusion tensor gradients. Neuroimage. 49(4):3175-3186.). Our results reveal a pattern of sex-dependent white matter geometry abnormalities that conform to the predictions of Crow's torque theory and correlate with the severity of patients' symptoms. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to associate geometrical differences in white matter connectivity with torque in schizophrenia.
Chung, Moo K.; Adluru, Nagesh; Dalton, Kim M.; Alexander, Andrew L.; Davidson, Richard J.
DTI offers a unique opportunity to characterize the structural connectivity of the human brain non-invasively by tracing white matter fiber tracts. Whole brain tractography studies routinely generate up to half million tracts per brain, which serves as edges in an extremely large 3D graph with up to half million edges. Currently there is no agreed-upon method for constructing the brain structural network graphs out of large number of white matter tracts. In this paper, we present a scalable iterative framework called the ɛ-neighbor method for building a network graph and apply it to testing abnormal connectivity in autism.
Davis, Cameron L; Oishi, Kenichi; Faria, Andreia V; Hsu, John; Gomez, Yessenia; Mori, Susumu; Hillis, Argye E
Failure to recognize sarcasm can lead to important miscommunications. Few previous studies have identified brain lesions associated with impaired recognition of sarcasm. We tested the hypothesis that percent damage to specific white matter tracts, age, and education together predict accuracy in sarcasm recognition. Using multivariable linear regression, with age, education, and percent damage to each of eight white matter tracts as independent variables, and percent accuracy on sarcasm recognition as the dependent variable, we developed a model for predicting sarcasm recognition. Percent damage to the sagittal stratum had the greatest weight and was the only independent predictor of sarcasm recognition.
Gerrish, Amy C; Thomas, Adam G; Dineen, Robert A
Diffusion tensor imaging is increasingly available on clinical magnetic resonance scanners and can be acquired in a relatively short time. There has been an explosion of applications in the research field but the use to the practicing radiologist may seem obscure. This paper aims to highlight how diffusion tensor imaging can be used to prompt a dedicated neuroanatomical search for white matter lesions in clinical presentations relating to motor, sensory, language, and visuospatial deficits. The enhanced depiction of white matter tracts in the temporal stem is also highlighted, which is a region of importance in epilepsy surgery planning.
Correa, Fernando; Gauberti, Maxime; Parcq, Jérôme; Macrez, Richard; Hommet, Yannick; Obiang, Pauline; Hernangómez, Miriam; Montagne, Axel; Liot, Géraldine; Guaza, Carmen; Maubert, Eric; Ali, Carine; Vivien, Denis
Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) is the only available treatment for acute stroke. In addition to its vascular fibrinolytic action, tPA exerts various effects within the brain, ranging from synaptic plasticity to control of cell fate. To date, the influence of tPA in the ischemic brain has only been investigated on neuronal, microglial, and endothelial fate. We addressed the mechanism of action of tPA on oligodendrocyte (OL) survival and on the extent of white matter lesions in stroke. We also investigated the impact of aging on these processes. We observed that, in parallel to reduced levels of tPA in OLs, white matter gets more susceptible to ischemia in old mice. Interestingly, tPA protects murine and human OLs from apoptosis through an unexpected cytokine-like effect by the virtue of its epidermal growth factor–like domain. When injected into aged animals, tPA, although toxic to the gray matter, rescues white matter from ischemia independently of its proteolytic activity. These studies reveal a novel mechanism of action of tPA and unveil OL as a target cell for cytokine effects of tPA in brain diseases. They show overall that tPA protects white matter from stroke-induced lesions, an effect which may contribute to the global benefit of tPA-based stroke treatment. PMID:21576385
Sigaard, Rasmus Krarup; Kjær, Majken; Pakkenberg, Bente
While brain gray matter is primarily associated with sensorimotor processing and cognition, white matter modulates the distribution of action potentials, coordinates communication between different brain regions, and acts as a relay for input/output signals. Previous studies have described morphological changes in gray and white matter during childhood and adolescence, which are consistent with cellular genesis and maturation, but corresponding events in infants are poorly documented. In the present study, we estimated the total number of cells (neurons, oligodendrocytes, astrocytes, and microglia) in the cerebral white matter of 9 infants aged 0-33 months, using design-based stereological methods to obtain quantitative data about brain development. There were linear increases with age in the numbers of oligodendrocytes (7-28 billion) and astrocytes (1.5-6.7 billion) during the first 3 years of life, thus attaining two-thirds of the corresponding numbers in adults. The numbers of neurons (0.7 billion) and microglia (0.2 billion) in the white matter did not increase during the first 3 years of life, but showed large biological variation.
Alm, Kylie H; Rolheiser, Tyler; Mohamed, Feroze B; Olson, Ingrid R
Each day, we make hundreds of decisions. In some instances, these decisions are guided by our innate needs; in other instances they are guided by memory. Probabilistic reversal learning tasks exemplify the close relationship between decision making and memory, as subjects are exposed to repeated pairings of a stimulus choice with a reward or punishment outcome. After stimulus-outcome associations have been learned, the associated reward contingencies are reversed, and participants are not immediately aware of this reversal. Individual differences in the tendency to choose the previously rewarded stimulus reveal differences in the tendency to make poorly considered, inflexible choices. Lesion studies have strongly linked reversal learning performance to the functioning of the orbitofrontal cortex, the hippocampus, and in some instances, the amygdala. Here, we asked whether individual differences in the microstructure of the uncinate fasciculus, a white matter tract that connects anterior and medial temporal lobe regions to the orbitofrontal cortex, predict reversal learning performance. Diffusion tensor imaging and behavioral paradigms were used to examine this relationship in 33 healthy young adults. The results of tractography revealed a significant negative relationship between reversal learning performance and uncinate axial diffusivity, but no such relationship was demonstrated in a control tract, the inferior longitudinal fasciculus. Our findings suggest that the uncinate might serve to integrate associations stored in the anterior and medial temporal lobes with expectations about expected value based on feedback history, computed in the orbitofrontal cortex.
Alm, Kylie H.; Rolheiser, Tyler; Mohamed, Feroze B.; Olson, Ingrid R.
Each day, we make hundreds of decisions. In some instances, these decisions are guided by our innate needs; in other instances they are guided by memory. Probabilistic reversal learning tasks exemplify the close relationship between decision making and memory, as subjects are exposed to repeated pairings of a stimulus choice with a reward or punishment outcome. After stimulus–outcome associations have been learned, the associated reward contingencies are reversed, and participants are not immediately aware of this reversal. Individual differences in the tendency to choose the previously rewarded stimulus reveal differences in the tendency to make poorly considered, inflexible choices. Lesion studies have strongly linked reversal learning performance to the functioning of the orbitofrontal cortex, the hippocampus, and in some instances, the amygdala. Here, we asked whether individual differences in the microstructure of the uncinate fasciculus, a white matter tract that connects anterior and medial temporal lobe regions to the orbitofrontal cortex, predict reversal learning performance. Diffusion tensor imaging and behavioral paradigms were used to examine this relationship in 33 healthy young adults. The results of tractography revealed a significant negative relationship between reversal learning performance and uncinate axial diffusivity, but no such relationship was demonstrated in a control tract, the inferior longitudinal fasciculus. Our findings suggest that the uncinate might serve to integrate associations stored in the anterior and medial temporal lobes with expectations about expected value based on feedback history, computed in the orbitofrontal cortex. PMID:26150776
Manning, Emily N.; Bartlett, Jonathan W.; Cash, David M.; Malone, Ian B.; Ridgway, Gerard R.; Lehmann, Manja; Leung, Kelvin K.; Sudre, Carole H.; Ourselin, Sebastien; Biessels, Geert Jan; Carmichael, Owen T.; Fox, Nick C.; Cardoso, M. Jorge; Barnes, Josephine
ABSTRACT This study investigates relationships between white matter hyperintensity (WMH) volume, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathology markers, and brain and hippocampal volume loss. Subjects included 198 controls, 345 mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and 154 AD subjects with serial volumetric 1.5‐T MRI. CSF Aβ42 and total tau were measured (n = 353). Brain and hippocampal loss were quantified from serial MRI using the boundary shift integral (BSI). Multiple linear regression models assessed the relationships between WMHs and hippocampal and brain atrophy rates. Models were refitted adjusting for (a) concurrent brain/hippocampal atrophy rates and (b) CSF Aβ42 and tau in subjects with CSF data. WMH burden was positively associated with hippocampal atrophy rate in controls (P = 0.002) and MCI subjects (P = 0.03), and with brain atrophy rate in controls (P = 0.03). The associations with hippocampal atrophy rate remained following adjustment for concurrent brain atrophy rate in controls and MCIs, and for CSF biomarkers in controls (P = 0.007). These novel results suggest that vascular damage alongside AD pathology is associated with disproportionately greater hippocampal atrophy in nondemented older adults. © 2016 The Authors Hippocampus Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27933676
Fiford, Cassidy M; Manning, Emily N; Bartlett, Jonathan W; Cash, David M; Malone, Ian B; Ridgway, Gerard R; Lehmann, Manja; Leung, Kelvin K; Sudre, Carole H; Ourselin, Sebastien; Biessels, Geert Jan; Carmichael, Owen T; Fox, Nick C; Cardoso, M Jorge; Barnes, Josephine
This study investigates relationships between white matter hyperintensity (WMH) volume, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathology markers, and brain and hippocampal volume loss. Subjects included 198 controls, 345 mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and 154 AD subjects with serial volumetric 1.5-T MRI. CSF Aβ42 and total tau were measured (n = 353). Brain and hippocampal loss were quantified from serial MRI using the boundary shift integral (BSI). Multiple linear regression models assessed the relationships between WMHs and hippocampal and brain atrophy rates. Models were refitted adjusting for (a) concurrent brain/hippocampal atrophy rates and (b) CSF Aβ42 and tau in subjects with CSF data. WMH burden was positively associated with hippocampal atrophy rate in controls (P = 0.002) and MCI subjects (P = 0.03), and with brain atrophy rate in controls (P = 0.03). The associations with hippocampal atrophy rate remained following adjustment for concurrent brain atrophy rate in controls and MCIs, and for CSF biomarkers in controls (P = 0.007). These novel results suggest that vascular damage alongside AD pathology is associated with disproportionately greater hippocampal atrophy in nondemented older adults. © 2016 The Authors Hippocampus Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Faria, Andreia V; Ratnanather, J Tilak; Tward, Daniel J; Lee, David Soobin; van den Noort, Frieda; Wu, Dan; Brown, Timothy; Johnson, Hans; Paulsen, Jane S; Ross, Christopher A; Younes, Laurent; Miller, Michael I
Huntington disease (HD) is a fatal progressive neurodegenerative disorder for which only symptomatic treatment is available. A better understanding of the pathology, and identification of biomarkers will facilitate the development of disease-modifying treatments. HD is potentially a good model of a neurodegenerative disease for development of biomarkers because it is an autosomal-dominant disease with complete penetrance, caused by a single gene mutation, in which the neurodegenerative process can be assessed many years before onset of signs and symptoms of manifest disease. Previous MRI studies have detected abnormalities in gray and white matter starting in premanifest stages. However, the understanding of how these abnormalities are related, both in time and space, is still incomplete. In this study, we combined deep gray matter shape diffeomorphometry and white matter DTI analysis in order to provide a better mapping of pathology in the deep gray matter and subcortical white matter in premanifest HD. We used 296 MRI scans from the PREDICT-HD database. Atrophy in the deep gray matter, thalamus, hippocampus, and nucleus accumbens was analyzed by surface based morphometry, and while white matter abnormalities were analyzed in (i) regions of interest surrounding these structures, using (ii) tractography-based analysis, and using (iii) whole brain atlas-based analysis. We detected atrophy in the deep gray matter, particularly in putamen, from early premanifest stages. The atrophy was greater both in extent and effect size in cases with longer exposure to the effects of the CAG expansion mutation (as assessed by greater CAP-scores), and preceded detectible abnormalities in the white matter. Near the predicted onset of manifest HD, the MD increase was widespread, with highest indices in the deep and posterior white matter. This type of in-vivo macroscopic mapping of HD brain abnormalities can potentially indicate when and where therapeutics could be targeted to delay
Faria, Andreia V.; Ratnanather, J. Tilak; Tward, Daniel J.; Lee, David Soobin; van den Noort, Frieda; Wu, Dan; Brown, Timothy; Johnson, Hans; Paulsen, Jane S.; Ross, Christopher A.; Younes, Laurent; Miller, Michael I.
Huntington disease (HD) is a fatal progressive neurodegenerative disorder for which only symptomatic treatment is available. A better understanding of the pathology, and identification of biomarkers will facilitate the development of disease-modifying treatments. HD is potentially a good model of a neurodegenerative disease for development of biomarkers because it is an autosomal-dominant disease with complete penetrance, caused by a single gene mutation, in which the neurodegenerative process can be assessed many years before onset of signs and symptoms of manifest disease. Previous MRI studies have detected abnormalities in gray and white matter starting in premanifest stages. However, the understanding of how these abnormalities are related, both in time and space, is still incomplete. In this study, we combined deep gray matter shape diffeomorphometry and white matter DTI analysis in order to provide a better mapping of pathology in the deep gray matter and subcortical white matter in premanifest HD. We used 296 MRI scans from the PREDICT-HD database. Atrophy in the deep gray matter, thalamus, hippocampus, and nucleus accumbens was analyzed by surface based morphometry, and while white matter abnormalities were analyzed in (i) regions of interest surrounding these structures, using (ii) tractography-based analysis, and using (iii) whole brain atlas-based analysis. We detected atrophy in the deep gray matter, particularly in putamen, from early premanifest stages. The atrophy was greater both in extent and effect size in cases with longer exposure to the effects of the CAG expansion mutation (as assessed by greater CAP-scores), and preceded detectible abnormalities in the white matter. Near the predicted onset of manifest HD, the MD increase was widespread, with highest indices in the deep and posterior white matter. This type of in-vivo macroscopic mapping of HD brain abnormalities can potentially indicate when and where therapeutics could be targeted to delay
Geva, Sharon; Correia, Marta M.; Warburton, Elizabeth A.
Language reorganisation following stroke has been studied widely. However, while studies of brain activation and grey matter examined both hemispheres, studies of white matter changes have mostly focused on the left hemisphere. Here we examined the relationship between bilateral hemispheric white matter and aphasia symptoms. 15 chronic stroke patients with aphasia and 18 healthy adults were studied using Diffusion Weighted Imaging data. By applying histogram analysis, Tract-Based Spatial Statistics, tractography and lesion-tract overlap methods, it was found that damage to the left hemisphere in general, and to the arcuate fasciculus in particular, correlated with impairments on word repetition, object naming, sentence comprehension and homophone and rhyme judgement. However, no such relationship was found in the right hemisphere. It is suggested that while some language function in aphasia can be explained by damage to the left arcuate fasciculus, it cannot be explained by looking at the contra-lesional tract. PMID:26401977
Dooves, Stephanie; Bugiani, Marianna; Postma, Nienke L.; Polder, Emiel; Land, Niels; Horan, Stephen T.; van Deijk, Anne-Lieke F.; van de Kreeke, Aleid; Jacobs, Gerbren; Vuong, Caroline; Klooster, Jan; Kamermans, Maarten; Wortel, Joke; Wisse, Lisanne E.; Scheper, Gert C.; Abbink, Truus E.M.; Heine, Vivi M.; van der Knaap, Marjo S.
Vanishing white matter (VWM) is a fatal leukodystrophy that is caused by mutations in genes encoding subunits of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2B (eIF2B). Disease onset and severity are codetermined by genotype. White matter astrocytes and oligodendrocytes are almost exclusively affected; however, the mechanisms of VWM development remain unclear. Here, we used VWM mouse models, patients’ tissue, and cell cultures to investigate whether astrocytes or oligodendrocytes are the primary affected cell type. We generated 2 mouse models with mutations (Eif2b5Arg191His/Arg191His and Eif2b4Arg484Trp/Arg484Trp) that cause severe VWM in humans and then crossed these strains to develop mice with various mutation combinations. Phenotypic severity was highly variable and dependent on genotype, reproducing the clinical spectrum of human VWM. In all mutant strains, impaired maturation of white matter astrocytes preceded onset and paralleled disease severity and progression. Bergmann glia and retinal Müller cells, nonforebrain astrocytes that have not been associated with VWM, were also affected, and involvement of these cells was confirmed in VWM patients. In coculture, VWM astrocytes secreted factors that inhibited oligodendrocyte maturation, whereas WT astrocytes allowed normal maturation of VWM oligodendrocytes. These studies demonstrate that astrocytes are central in VWM pathomechanisms and constitute potential therapeutic targets. Importantly, astrocytes should also be considered in the pathophysiology of other white matter disorders. PMID:26974157
Navas-Sánchez, Francisco J; Alemán-Gómez, Yasser; Sánchez-Gonzalez, Javier; Guzmán-De-Villoria, Juan A; Franco, Carolina; Robles, Olalla; Arango, Celso; Desco, Manuel
Recent functional neuroimaging studies have shown differences in brain activation between mathematically gifted adolescents and controls. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between mathematical giftedness, intelligent quotient (IQ), and the microstructure of white matter tracts in a sample composed of math-gifted adolescents and aged-matched controls. Math-gifted subjects were selected through a national program based on detecting enhanced visuospatial abilities and creative thinking. We used diffusion tensor imaging to assess white matter microstructure in neuroanatomical connectivity. The processing included voxel-wise and region of interest-based analyses of the fractional anisotropy (FA), a parameter which is purportedly related to white matter microstructure. In a whole-sample analysis, IQ showed a significant positive correlation with FA, mainly in the corpus callosum, supporting the idea that efficient information transfer between hemispheres is crucial for higher intellectual capabilities. In addition, math-gifted adolescents showed increased FA (adjusted for IQ) in white matter tracts connecting frontal lobes with basal ganglia and parietal regions. The enhanced anatomical connectivity observed in the forceps minor and splenium may underlie the greater fluid reasoning, visuospatial working memory, and creative capabilities of these children.
Hao, Xiang; Zygmunt, Kristen; Whitaker, Ross T.; Fletcher, P. Thomas
We present a novel geodesic approach to segmentation of white matter tracts from diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). Compared to deterministic and stochastic tractography, geodesic approaches treat the geometry of the brain white matter as a manifold, often using the inverse tensor field as a Riemannian metric. The white matter pathways are then inferred from the resulting geodesics, which have the desirable property that they tend to follow the main eigenvectors of the tensors, yet still have the flexibility to deviate from these directions when it results in lower costs. While this makes such methods more robust to noise, the choice of Riemannian metric in these methods is ad hoc. A serious drawback of current geodesic methods is that geodesics tend to deviate from the major eigenvectors in high-curvature areas in order to achieve the shortest path. In this paper we propose a method for learning an adaptive Riemannian metric from the DTI data, where the resulting geodesics more closely follow the principal eigenvector of the diffusion tensors even in high-curvature regions. We also develop a way to automatically segment the white matter tracts based on the computed geodesics. We show the robustness of our method on simulated data with different noise levels. We also compare our method with tractography methods and geodesic approaches using other Riemannian metrics and demonstrate that the proposed method results in improved geodesics and segmentations using both synthetic and real DTI data. PMID:24211814
Dong, Chuanhui; Nabizadeh, Nooshin; Caunca, Michelle; Cheung, Ying Kuen; Rundek, Tatjana; Elkind, Mitchell S.V.; DeCarli, Charles; Sacco, Ralph L.; Stern, Yaakov
Objective: We investigated white matter lesion load and global and regional brain volumes in relation to domain-specific cognitive performance in the stroke-free Northern Manhattan Study (NOMAS) population. Methods: We quantified white matter hyperintensity volume (WMHV), total cerebral volume (TCV), and total lateral ventricular (TLV) volume, as well as hippocampal and cortical gray matter (GM) lobar volumes in a subgroup. We used general linear models to examine MRI markers in relation to domain-specific cognitive performance, adjusting for key covariates. Results: MRI and cognitive data were available for 1,163 participants (mean age 70 ± 9 years; 60% women; 66% Hispanic, 17% black, 15% white). Across the entire sample, those with greater WMHV had worse processing speed. Those with larger TLV volume did worse on episodic memory, processing speed, and semantic memory tasks, and TCV did not explain domain-specific variability in cognitive performance independent of other measures. Age was an effect modifier, and stratified analysis showed that TCV and WMHV explained variability in some domains above age 70. Smaller hippocampal volume was associated with worse performance across domains, even after adjusting for APOE ε4 and vascular risk factors, whereas smaller frontal lobe volumes were only associated with worse executive function. Conclusions: In this racially/ethnically diverse, community-based sample, white matter lesion load was inversely associated with cognitive performance, independent of brain atrophy. Lateral ventricular, hippocampal, and lobar GM volumes explained domain-specific variability in cognitive performance. PMID:26156514
Kinnunen, Kirsi Maria; Greenwood, Richard; Powell, Jane Hilary; Leech, Robert; Hawkins, Peter Charlie; Bonnelle, Valerie; Patel, Maneesh Chandrakant; Counsell, Serena Jane; Sharp, David James
White matter disruption is an important determinant of cognitive impairment after brain injury, but conventional neuroimaging underestimates its extent. In contrast, diffusion tensor imaging provides a validated and sensitive way of identifying the impact of axonal injury. The relationship between cognitive impairment after traumatic brain injury…
Bava, Sunita; Jacobus, Joanna; Mahmood, Omar; Yang, Tony T.; Tapert, Susan F.
Background: Progressive myelination during adolescence implicates an increased vulnerability to neurotoxic substances and enduring neurocognitive consequences. This study examined the cognitive manifestations of altered white matter microstructure in chronic marijuana and alcohol-using (MJ + ALC) adolescents. Methods: Thirty-six MJ + ALC…
Objective: To study potential effects of maternal body composition on central nervous system (CNS) development of newborn infants. Methods: Diffusion tensor imaging was used to evaluate brain white matter development in 2-week-old, full-term, appropriate for gestational age infants from uncomplicat...
Eriksson, Sofia H; Symms, Mark R; Rugg-Gunn, Fergus J; Boulby, Philip A; Wheeler-Kingshott, Claudia A M; Barker, Gareth J; Duncan, John S; Parker, Geoffrey J M
Band heterotopia is a malformation of cortical development characterized by bands of gray matter in the white matter parallel to the surface of the neocortex. Histopathological studies have suggested that small white matter tracts pass through the heterotopia, and functional magnetic resonance imaging studies have shown activation in the malformation. We used diffusion tractography to explore the anatomical connectivity of band heterotopia and, in particular, whether in vivo white matter tracts traverse the heterotopic gray matter. Five patients with band heterotopia and five control subjects were scanned with whole brain diffusion tensor imaging. Anisotropy maps were calculated. Using fast marching tractography, we produced maps of connectivity and tract traces from two seed points, in the splenium of the corpus callosum and the right parietal lobe. Eigenvectors were found to pass through the band heterotopia in an aligned fashion. Patterns for maps of connectivity were similar in patients and control subjects. Areas of high connectivity were found in the band heterotopia and in cortical areas on the far side of the malformation from the seed point. The tracts hence appeared to traverse or end within the band heterotopia. The results are in agreement with previous histopathological studies and indicate the structural basis of the functional connectivity and absence of focal deficits in these patients.
Chen, Aiqing; Akinyemi, Rufus O; Hase, Yoshiki; Firbank, Michael J; Ndung'u, Michael N; Foster, Vincent; Craggs, Lucy J L; Washida, Kazuo; Okamoto, Yoko; Thomas, Alan J; Polvikoski, Tuomo M; Allan, Louise M; Oakley, Arthur E; O'Brien, John T; Horsburgh, Karen; Ihara, Masafumi; Kalaria, Raj N
disrupted end-feet juxtaposed to microvessels. To explore whether this was associated with the disrupted gliovascular interactions or blood-brain barrier damage, we assessed the co-localization of GFAP and AQP4 immunoreactivities in post-mortem brains from adult baboons with cerebral hypoperfusive injury, induced by occlusion of three major vessels supplying blood to the brain. Analysis of the frontal white matter in perfused brains from the animals surviving 1-28 days after occlusion revealed that the highest intensity of fibrinogen immunoreactivity was at 14 days. At this survival time point, we also noted strikingly similar redistribution of AQP4 and GFAP+ astrocytes transformed into clasmatodendrocytes. Our findings suggest novel associations between irreversible astrocyte injury and disruption of gliovascular interactions at the blood-brain barrier in the frontal white matter and cognitive impairment in elderly post-stroke survivors. We propose that clasmatodendrosis is another pathological substrate, linked to white matter hyperintensities and frontal white matter changes, which may contribute to post-stroke or small vessel disease dementia.
Chen, Aiqing; Akinyemi, Rufus O.; Hase, Yoshiki; Firbank, Michael J.; Ndung’u, Michael N.; Foster, Vincent; Craggs, Lucy J. L.; Washida, Kazuo; Okamoto, Yoko; Thomas, Alan J.; Polvikoski, Tuomo M.; Allan, Louise M.; Oakley, Arthur E.; O’Brien, John T.; Horsburgh, Karen; Ihara, Masafumi
disrupted end-feet juxtaposed to microvessels. To explore whether this was associated with the disrupted gliovascular interactions or blood–brain barrier damage, we assessed the co-localization of GFAP and AQP4 immunoreactivities in post-mortem brains from adult baboons with cerebral hypoperfusive injury, induced by occlusion of three major vessels supplying blood to the brain. Analysis of the frontal white matter in perfused brains from the animals surviving 1–28 days after occlusion revealed that the highest intensity of fibrinogen immunoreactivity was at 14 days. At this survival time point, we also noted strikingly similar redistribution of AQP4 and GFAP+ astrocytes transformed into clasmatodendrocytes. Our findings suggest novel associations between irreversible astrocyte injury and disruption of gliovascular interactions at the blood–brain barrier in the frontal white matter and cognitive impairment in elderly post-stroke survivors. We propose that clasmatodendrosis is another pathological substrate, linked to white matter hyperintensities and frontal white matter changes, which may contribute to post-stroke or small vessel disease dementia. PMID:26667280
Lippard, Elizabeth Thomas Cox; Jensen, Kevin Patrick; Wang, Fei; Johnston, Jennifer Ann Yadon; Spencer, Linda; Pittman, Brian; Gelernter, Joel; Blumberg, Hilary Patricia
The single nucleotide polymorphism rs9804190 in the Ankyrin G (ANK3) gene has been reported in genome-wide association studies to be associated with bipolar disorder (BD). However, the neural system effects of rs9804190 in BD are not known. We investigated associations between rs9804190 with gray and white matter structure within a frontotemporal neural system implicated in BD. A total of 187 adolescent and adult European Americans were studied: a group homozygous for the C allele [52 individuals with BD and 56 controls] and a T-carrier group, carrying the high risk T allele (38 BD and 41 controls). Subjects participated in high-resolution structural magnetic resonance imaging and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) scanning. Frontotemporal region of interest (ROI) and whole brain exploratory analyses were conducted. DTI ROI-based analysis revealed a significant diagnosis by genotype interaction within the uncinate fasciculus (p ≥ 0.05), with BD subjects carrying the T (risk) allele showing decreased fractional anisotropy compared to other subgroups, independent of age. Genotype effects were not observed in frontotemporal gray matter volume. These findings support effects of rs9804190 on frontotemporal white matter in adolescents and adults with BD and suggest a mechanism contributing to white matter pathology in BD. PMID:27240527
Gratton, Gabriele; Wee, Emily; Rykhlevskaia, Elena I.; Leaver, Echo E.; Fabiani, Monica
Older adults often encounter difficulties in switching between tasks, perhaps because of age-related decreases in executive function. Executive function may largely depend on connections between brain areas—connections that may become structurally and functionally weaker in aging. Here we investigated functional and structural age-related changes in switching between a spatial and a verbal task. These tasks were chosen because they are expected to differentially use the two hemispheres. Brain measures included anatomical information about anterior corpus callosum size (CC; the major commissure linking the left and right hemisphere), and the event-related optical signal (EROS). Behavioral results indicated that older adults had greater task-switching difficulties, which, however, were largely restricted to switching to the spatial task and to individuals with smaller anterior CCs. The EROS data showed both general switching-related activity in the left middle frontal gyrus (with approximately 300-msec latency) and task-specific activity in the inferior frontal gyrus, lateralized to the left for the switch-to-verbal condition and to the right for the switch-to-spatial condition. This lateralization was most evident in younger adults. In older adults, activity in the switch-to-spatial condition was lateralized to the right hemisphere in individuals with large CC, and to the left in individuals with small CC. These data suggest that (a) task switching may involve both task-general and task-specific processes; and (b) white matter changes may underlie some of the age-related problems in switching. These effects are discussed in terms of the hypothesis that aging involves some degree of cortical disconnection, both functional and anatomical. PMID:18752402
Golestani, Ali M; Miles, Laura; Babb, James; Castellanos, F Xavier; Malaspina, Dolores; Lazar, Mariana
Visual working memory (VWM) plays an essential role in many perceptual and higher-order cognitive processes. Despite its reliance on a broad network of brain regions, VWM has a capacity limited to a few objects. This capacity varies substantially across individuals and relates closely to measures of overall cognitive function (Luck and Vogel, 2013). The mechanisms underlying these properties are not completely understood, although the amplitude of neural signal oscillations (Vogel and Machizawa, 2004) and brain activation in specific cortical regions (Todd and Marois, 2004) have been implicated. Variability in VWM performance may also reflect variability in white matter structural properties. However, data based primarily on diffusion tensor imaging approaches remain inconclusive. Here, we investigate the relationship between white matter and VWM capacity in human subjects using an advanced diffusion imaging technique, diffusion kurtosis imaging. Diffusion kurtosis imaging provides several novel quantitative white mater metrics, among them the axonal water fraction (f(axon)), an index of axonal density and caliber. Our results show that 59% of individual variability in VWM capacity may be explained by variations in f(axon) within a widely distributed network of white matter tracts. Increased f(axon) associates with increased VWM capacity. An additional 12% in VWM capacity variance may be explained by diffusion properties of the extra-axonal space. These data demonstrate, for the first time, the key role of white matter in limiting VWM capacity in the healthy adult brain and suggest that white matter may represent an important therapeutic target in disorders of impaired VWM and cognition.
Penke, L; Maniega, S Muñoz; Bastin, M E; Valdés Hernández, M C; Murray, C; Royle, N A; Starr, J M; Wardlaw, J M; Deary, I J
General intelligence is a robust predictor of important life outcomes, including educational and occupational attainment, successfully managing everyday life situations, good health and longevity. Some neuronal correlates of intelligence have been discovered, mainly indicating that larger cortices in widespread parieto-frontal brain networks and efficient neuronal information processing support higher intelligence. However, there is a lack of established associations between general intelligence and any basic structural brain parameters that have a clear functional meaning. Here, we provide evidence that lower brain-wide white matter tract integrity exerts a substantial negative effect on general intelligence through reduced information-processing speed. Structural brain magnetic resonance imaging scans were acquired from 420 older adults in their early 70s. Using quantitative tractography, we measured fractional anisotropy and two white matter integrity biomarkers that are novel to the study of intelligence: longitudinal relaxation time (T1) and magnetisation transfer ratio. Substantial correlations among 12 major white matter tracts studied allowed the extraction of three general factors of biomarker-specific brain-wide white matter tract integrity. Each was independently associated with general intelligence, together explaining 10% of the variance, and their effect was completely mediated by information-processing speed. Unlike most previously established neurostructural correlates of intelligence, these findings suggest a functionally plausible model of intelligence, where structurally intact axonal fibres across the brain provide the neuroanatomical infrastructure for fast information processing within widespread brain networks, supporting general intelligence.
Decety, Jean; Yoder, Keith J.; Lahey, Benjamin B.
Associations between white matter pathway abnormalities and antisocial personality disorder in adults are well replicated, and there is some evidence for an association of white matter abnormalities with conduct disorder (CD) in adolescents. In this study, white matter maturation using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) was examined in 110 children aged 10.0 ± 0.8 years selected to vary widely in their numbers of CD symptoms. The results replicated age-related increases in fractional anisotropy (FA) found in previous studies. There was not a significant association between the number of CD symptoms and FA, but CD symptoms were found to be significantly associated with greater axial and radial diffusivity in a broad range of white matter tracts, particularly in girls. In complementary analyses, there were similar significant differences in axial and radial diffusivity between children who met diagnostic criteria for CD and healthy children with no symptoms of CD, particularly in girls. Brain structural abnormalities may contribute to the emergence of CD in childhood, perhaps playing a greater role in girls. PMID:26195297
Bendlin, B.B.; Canu, E.; Willette, A.A.; Kastman, E.K.; McLaren, D.G.; Kosmatka, K.J.; Xu, G.; Field, A.S.; Colman, R.J.; Coe, C.L.; Weindruch, R.H.; Alexander, A.L.; Johnson, S.C.
Rhesus macaques on a calorie restricted diet (CR) develop less age-related disease, have virtually no indication of diabetes, are protected against sarcopenia, and potentially live longer. Beneficial effects of CR likely include reductions in age-related inflammation and oxidative damage. Oligodendrocytes are particularly susceptible to inflammation and oxidative stress, therefore, we hypothesized that CR would have a beneficial effect on brain white matter and would attenuate age-related decline in this tissue. CR monkeys and controls underwent diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). A beneficial effect of CR indexed by DTI was observed in superior longitudinal fasciculus, fronto-occipital fasciculus, external capsule, and brainstem. Aging effects were observed in several regions, although CR appeared to attenuate age-related alterations in superior longitudinal fasciculus, frontal white matter, external capsule, right parahippocampal white matter and dorsal occipital bundle. The results, however, were regionally specific and also suggested that CR is not salutary across all white matter. Further evaluation of this unique cohort of elderly primates to mortality will shed light on the ultimate benefits of an adult-onset, moderate CR diet for deferring brain aging. PMID:20541839
Wu, Ching-Lin; Zhong, Suyu; Chan, Yu-Chen; Chen, Hsueh-Chih; Gong, Gaolang; He, Yong; Li, Ping
Most research into the neural mechanisms of humor has not explicitly focused on the association between emotion and humor on the brain white matter networks mediating this connection. However, this connection is especially salient in gelotophobia (the fear of being laughed at), which is regarded as the presentation of humorlessness, and two related traits, gelotophilia (the enjoyment of being laughed at) and katagelasticism (the enjoyment of laughing at others). Here, we explored whether the topological properties of white matter networks can account for the individual differences in the laughter-related traits of 31 healthy adults. We observed a significant negative correlation between gelotophobia scores and the clustering coefficient, local efficiency and global efficiency, but a positive association between gelotophobia scores and path length in the brain's white matter network. Moreover, the current study revealed that with increasing individual fear of being laughed at, the linking efficiencies in superior frontal gyrus, anterior cingulate cortex, parahippocampal gyrus, and middle temporal gyrus decreased. However, there were no significant correlations between either gelotophilia or katagelasticism scores or the topological properties of the brain white matter network. These findings suggest that the fear of being laughed at is directly related to the level of local and global information processing of the brain network, which might provide new insights into the neural mechanisms of the humor information processing. PMID:27833572
Deoni, Sean C L; O'Muircheartaigh, Jonathan; Elison, Jed T; Walker, Lindsay; Doernberg, Ellen; Waskiewicz, Nicole; Dirks, Holly; Piryatinsky, Irene; Dean, Doug C; Jumbe, N L
Infancy and early childhood are periods of rapid brain development, during which brain structure and function mature alongside evolving cognitive ability. An important neurodevelopmental process during this postnatal period is the maturation of the myelinated white matter, which facilitates rapid communication across neural systems and networks. Though prior brain imaging studies in children (4 years of age and above), adolescents, and adults have consistently linked white matter development with cognitive maturation and intelligence, few studies have examined how these processes are related throughout early development (birth to 4 years of age). Here, we show that the profile of white matter myelination across the first 5 years of life is strongly and specifically related to cognitive ability. Using a longitudinal design, coupled with advanced magnetic resonance imaging, we demonstrate that children with above-average ability show differential trajectories of myelin development compared to average and below average ability children, even when controlling for socioeconomic status, gestation, and birth weight. Specifically, higher ability children exhibit slower but more prolonged early development, resulting in overall increased myelin measures by ~3 years of age. These results provide new insight into the early neuroanatomical correlates of cognitive ability, and suggest an early period of prolonged maturation with associated protracted white matter plasticity may result in strengthened neural networks that can better support later development. Further, these results reinforce the necessity of a longitudinal perspective in investigating typical or suspected atypical cognitive maturation.
Decety, Jean; Yoder, Keith J; Lahey, Benjamin B
Associations between white matter pathway abnormalities and antisocial personality disorder in adults are well replicated, and there is some evidence for an association of white matter abnormalities with conduct disorder (CD) in adolescents. In this study, white matter maturation using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) was examined in 110 children aged 10.0 ± 0.8 years selected to vary widely in their numbers of CD symptoms. The results replicated age-related increases in fractional anisotropy (FA) found in previous studies. There was not a significant association between the number of CD symptoms and FA, but CD symptoms were found to be significantly associated with greater axial and radial diffusivity in a broad range of white matter tracts, particularly in girls. In complementary analyses, there were similar significant differences in axial and radial diffusivity between children who met diagnostic criteria for CD and healthy children with no symptoms of CD, particularly in girls. Brain structural abnormalities may contribute to the emergence of CD in childhood, perhaps playing a greater role in girls.
Vandermosten, Maaike; Price, Cathy J; Golestani, Narly
Phonetics experts are highly trained to analyze and transcribe speech, both with respect to faster changing, phonetic features, and to more slowly changing, prosodic features. Previously we reported that, compared to non-phoneticians, phoneticians had greater local brain volume in bilateral auditory cortices and the left pars opercularis of Broca's area, with training-related differences in the grey-matter volume of the left pars opercularis in the phoneticians group (Golestani et al. 2011). In the present study, we used diffusion MRI to examine white matter microstructure, indexed by fractional anisotropy, in (1) the long segment of arcuate fasciculus (AF_long), which is a well-known language tract that connects Broca's area, including left pars opercularis, to the temporal cortex, and in (2) the fibers arising from the auditory cortices. Most of these auditory fibers belong to three validated language tracts, namely to the AF_long, the posterior segment of the arcuate fasciculus and the middle longitudinal fasciculus. We found training-related differences in phoneticians in left AF_long, as well as group differences relative to non-experts in the auditory fibers (including the auditory fibers belonging to the left AF_long). Taken together, the results of both studies suggest that grey matter structural plasticity arising from phonetic transcription training in Broca's area is accompanied by changes to the white matter fibers connecting this very region to the temporal cortex. Our findings suggest expertise-related changes in white matter fibers connecting fronto-temporal functional hubs that are important for phonetic processing. Further studies can pursue this hypothesis by examining the dynamics of these expertise related grey and white matter changes as they arise during phonetic training.
Küper, Michael; Rabe, K; Esser, S; Gizewski, E R; Husstedt, I W; Maschke, M; Obermann, M
In this cross-sectional study we used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-based voxel based morphometry (VBM) in a sample of HIV positive patients to detect structural gray and white matter changes. Forty-eight HIV positive subjects with (n = 28) or without (n = 20) cognitive deficits (mean age 48.5 ± 9.6 years) and 48 age- and sex-matched HIV negative controls underwent MRI for VBM analyses. Clinical testing in HIV patients included the HIV dementia scale (HDS), Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) and the grooved pegboard test. Comparing controls with HIV positive patients with cognitive dysfunction (n = 28) VBM showed gray matter decrease in the anterior cingulate and temporal cortices along with white matter reduction in the midbrain region. These changes were more prominent with increasing cognitive decline, when assigning HIV patients to three cognitive groups (not impaired, mildly impaired, overtly impaired) based on performance in the HIV dementia scale. Regression analysis including all HIV positive patients with available data revealed that prefrontal gray matter atrophy in HIV was associated with longer disease duration (n = 48), while motor dysfunction (n = 48) was associated with basal ganglia gray matter atrophy. Lower CD4 cell count (n = 47) correlated with decrease of occipital gray matter. Our results provide evidence for atrophy of nigro-striatal and fronto-striatal circuits in HIV. This pattern of atrophy is consistent with motor dysfunction and dysexecutive syndrome found in HIV patients with HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder.
Yang, Albert C.; Tsai, Shih-Jen; Liu, Mu-En; Huang, Chu-Chung; Lin, Ching-Po
Normal aging is associated with reduced cerebral structural integrity and altered functional brain activity, yet the association of aging with the relationship between structural and functional brain changes remains unclear. Using combined diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) modalities, we hypothesized that aging-related changes in white matter integrity (i.e., fractional anisotropy) was associated with the short- or long-range functional connectivity density (FCD) in hub regions. We tested this hypothesis by using a healthy aging cohort comprised of 140 younger adults aged 20–39 years and 109 older adults aged 60–79 years. Compared with the younger group, older adults exhibited widespread reductions in white matter integrity with selective preservation in brain stem tracts and the cingulum connected to the hippocampus and cingulate cortex, whereas FCD mapping in older adults showed a reduced FCD in the visual, somatosensory, and motor functional networks and an increased FCD in the default mode network. The older adults exhibited significantly increased short- or long-range FCD in functional hubs of the precuneus, posterior, and middle cingulate, and thalamus, hippocampus, fusiform, and inferior temporal cortex. Furthermore, DTI-fMRI relationship were predominantly identified in older adults in whom short- and long-range FCD in the left precuneus was negatively correlated to structural integrity of adjacent and nonadjacent white matter tracts, respectively. We also found that long-range FCD in the left precuneus was positively correlated to cognitive function. These results support the compensatory hypothesis of neurocognitive aging theory and reveal the DTI-fMRI relationship associated with normal aging. PMID:27378915
Dennis, Maureen; Cirino, Paul T; Simic, Nevena; Juranek, Jenifer; Taylor, W Pat; Fletcher, Jack M
Elevated reaction time (RT) is common in brain disorders. We studied three forms of RT in a neurodevelopmental disorder, spina bifida myelomeningocele (SBM), characterized by regional alterations of both white and grey matter, and typically developing individuals aged 8 to 48 years, in order to establish the nature of the lifespan-relations of RT and brain variables. Cognitive accuracy and RT speed and variability were all impaired in SBM relative to the typically developing group, but the most important effects of SBM on RT are seen on tasks that require a cognitive decision rule. Individuals with SBM are impaired not only in speeded performance, but also in the consistency of their performance on tasks that extend over time, which may contribute to poor performance on a range of cognitive tasks. The group with SBM showed smaller corrected corpus callosum proportions, larger corrected cerebellar white matter proportions, and larger corrected proportions for grey matter in the Central Executive and Salience networks. There were clear negative relations between RT measures and corpus callosum, Central Executive, and Default Mode networks in the group with SBM; relations were not observed in typically developing age peers. Statistical mediation analyses indicated that corpus callosum and Central Executive Network were important mediators. While RT is known to rely heavily on white matter under conditions of typical development and in individuals with adult-onset brain injury, we add the new information that additional involvement of grey matter may be important for a key neuropsychological function in a common neurodevelopmental disorder.
Wolf, Robert Christian; Huber, Markus; Depping, Malte Sebastian; Thomann, Philipp Arthur; Karner, Martin; Lepping, Peter; Freudenmann, Roland W
Little is known about the neural basis of delusional infestation (DI), the delusional belief to be infested with pathogens. Case series and the response to anti-dopaminergic medication indicate disruptions in dopaminergic neurotransmission in the striatum (caudate, putamen), but did not allow for population-based inference. Here, we report the first whole-brain structural neuroimaging study to investigate gray and white matter abnormalities in DI compared to controls. In this study, we used structural magnetic resonance imaging and voxel-based morphometry to investigate gray and white matter volume in 16 DI patients and 16 matched healthy controls. Lower gray matter volume in DI patients compared to controls was found in left medial, lateral and right superior frontal cortices, left anterior cingulate cortex, bilateral insula, left thalamus, right striatal areas and in lateral and medial temporal cortical regions (p<0.05, cluster-corrected). Higher white matter volume in DI patients compared to controls was found in right middle cingulate, left frontal opercular and bilateral striatal regions (p<0.05, cluster-corrected). This study shows that structural changes in prefrontal, temporal, insular, cingulate and striatal brain regions are associated with DI, supporting a neurobiological model of disrupted prefrontal control over somato-sensory representations.
Yu, Fang; Carter, John E; Bazan, Carlos
Jacobsen syndrome is a rare disorder caused by partial deletions of the long arm of chromosome 11. The phenotype is variable with involvement of multiple organ systems, resulting in congenital heart defects, blood dyscrasias, and impaired growth. We describe a case of a 30-year-old man with multiple ophthalmic manifestations and brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) that was remarkable for multiple T2-hyperintense subcortical white matter lesions. It is important to be aware that patients with Jacobsen syndrome may have nonspecific white changes seen on MRI.
Pronk, Jan C.; van Kollenburg, Barbara; Scheper, Gert C.; van der Knaap, Marjo S.
Leukoencephalopathy with vanishing white matter (VWM) is an autosomal recessive brain disorder, most often with a childhood onset. Magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy indicate that, with time, increasing amounts of cerebral white matter vanish and are replaced by fluid. Autopsy confirms white matter rarefaction and cystic degeneration. The…
Kafantaris, Vivian; Kingsley, Peter; Ardekani, Babak; Saito, Ema; Lencz, Todd; Lim, Kelvin; Szeszko, Philip
Patients with bipolar I disorder demonstrated white matter abnormalities in white matter regions as seen through the use of diffusion tensor imaging. The findings suggest that white matter abnormalities in pediatric bipolar disorder may be useful in constructing neurobiological models of the disorder.
McEvoy, Linda K; Fennema-Notestine, Christine; Eyler, Lisa T; Franz, Carol E; Hagler, Donald J; Lyons, Michael J; Panizzon, Matthew S; Rinker, Daniel A; Dale, Anders M; Kremen, William S
Most studies examining associations between hypertension and brain white matter microstructure have focused on older adults or on cohorts with a large age range. Because hypertension effects on the brain may vary with age, it is important to focus on middle age, when hypertension becomes more prevalent. We used linear mixed-effect models to examine differences in white matter diffusion metrics as a function of hypertension in a well-characterized cohort of middle-aged men (n=316; mean, 61.8 years; range, 56.7-65.6). Diffusion metrics were examined in 9 tracts reported to be sensitive to hypertension in older adults. Relative to normotensive individuals, individuals with long-standing hypertension (>5.6 years) showed reduced fractional anisotropy or increased diffusivity in most tracts. Effects were stronger among carriers than among noncarriers of the apolipoprotein E ε4 allele for 2 tracts connecting frontal regions with other brain areas. Significant differences were observed even after adjustment for potentially related lifestyle and cardiovascular risk factors. Shorter duration of hypertension or better blood pressure control among hypertensive individuals did not lessen the adverse effects. These findings suggest that microstructural white matter alterations appear early in the course of hypertension and may persist despite adequate treatment. Although longitudinal studies are needed to confirm these findings, the results suggest that prevention-rather than management-of hypertension may be vital to preserving brain health in aging.
Corbo, Vincent; Amick, Melissa A; Milberg, William P; McGlinchey, Regina E; Salat, David H
Early life trauma (ELT) has been shown to impair affective control and attention well into adulthood. Neuroimaging studies have further shown that ELT was associated with decreased white matter integrity in the prefrontal areas in children and adults. However, no study to date has looked at the relationship between white matter integrity and affective control in individuals with and without a history of ELT. To examine this, we tested 240 Veterans with (ELT N = 80) and without (NoELT N = 160) a history of childhood sexual abuse, physical abuse or family violence. Affective control was measured with the Affective Go/No-Go (AGN) and attention was indexed with the Test of Variable Attention (TOVA). White matter integrity was measured using fractional anisotropy (FA). Results showed greater number of errors on the AGN in ELT compared to NoELT. There was no difference on the TOVA. While there were no mean differences in FA, there was an interaction between FA and reaction time to positive stimuli on the AGN where the ELT group showed a positive relationship between FA and reaction time in right frontal and prefrontal areas, whereas the NoELT group showed a negative or no association between FA and reaction time. This suggests that ELT may be associated with a distinct brain-behavior relationship that could be related to other determinants of FA than those present in healthy adults.
Lin, Jing; Wang, Dilong; Lan, Linfang
White matter lesions (WMLs), also known as leukoaraiosis (LA) or white matter hyperintensities (WMHs), are characterized mainly by hyperintensities on T2-weighted or fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) images. With the aging of the population and the development of imaging technology, the morbidity and diagnostic rates of WMLs are increasing annually. WMLs are not a benign process. They clinically manifest as cognitive decline and the subsequent development of dementia. Although WMLs are important, their pathogenesis is still unclear. This review elaborates on the advances in the understanding of the pathogenesis of WMLs, focusing on anatomy, cerebral blood flow autoregulation, venous collagenosis, blood brain barrier disruption, and genetic factors. In particular, the attribution of WMLs to chronic ischemia secondary to venous collagenosis and cerebral blood flow autoregulation disruption seems reasonable. With the development of gene technology, the effect of genetic factors on the pathogenesis of WMLs is gaining gradual attention. PMID:28316994
Dean, Douglas C; O'Muircheartaigh, Jonathan; Dirks, Holly; Waskiewicz, Nicole; Walker, Lindsay; Doernberg, Ellen; Piryatinsky, Irene; Deoni, Sean C L
Post-mortem studies have shown the maturation of the brain's myelinated white matter, crucial for efficient and coordinated brain communication, follows a nonlinear spatio-temporal pattern that corresponds with the onset and refinement of cognitive functions and behaviors. Unfortunately, investigation of myelination in vivo is challenging and, thus, little is known about the normative pattern of myelination, or its association with functional development. Using a novel quantitative magnetic resonance imaging technique sensitive to myelin we examined longitudinal white matter development in 108 typically developing children ranging in age from 2.5 months to 5.5 years. Using nonlinear mixed effects modeling, we provide the first in vivo longitudinal description of myelin water fraction development. Moreover, we show distinct male and female developmental patterns, and demonstrate significant relationships between myelin content and measures of cognitive function. These findings advance a new understanding of healthy brain development and provide a foundation from which to assess atypical development.
Boisgontier, Matthieu P; Cheval, Boris; van Ruitenbeek, Peter; Levin, Oron; Renaud, Olivier; Chanal, Julien; Swinnen, Stephan P
Functional and structural imaging studies have demonstrated the involvement of the brain in balance control. Nevertheless, how decisive grey matter density and white matter microstructural organisation are in predicting balance stability, and especially when linked to the effects of ageing, remains unclear. Standing balance was tested on a platform moving at different frequencies and amplitudes in 30 young and 30 older adults, with eyes open and with eyes closed. Centre of pressure variance was used as an indicator of balance instability. The mean density of grey matter and mean white matter microstructural organisation were measured using voxel-based morphometry and diffusion tensor imaging, respectively. Mixed-effects models were built to analyse the extent to which age, grey matter density, and white matter microstructural organisation predicted balance instability. Results showed that both grey matter density and age independently predicted balance instability. These predictions were reinforced when the level of difficulty of the conditions increased. Furthermore, grey matter predicted balance instability beyond age and at least as consistently as age across conditions. In other words, for balance stability, the level of whole-brain grey matter density is at least as decisive as being young or old. Finally, brain grey matter appeared to be protective against falls in older adults as age increased the probability of losing balance in older adults with low, but not moderate or high grey matter density. No such results were observed for white matter microstructural organisation, thereby reinforcing the specificity of our grey matter findings.
Lindemer, Emily R; Greve, Douglas N; Fischl, Bruce R; Augustinack, Jean C; Salat, David H
White matter lesions, quantified as 'white matter signal abnormalities' (WMSA) on neuroimaging, are common incidental findings on brain images of older adults. This tissue damage is linked to cerebrovascular dysfunction and is associated with cognitive decline. The regional distribution of WMSA throughout the cerebral white matter has been described at a gross scale; however, to date no prior study has described regional patterns relative to cortical gyral landmarks which may be important for understanding functional impact. Additionally, no prior study has described how regional WMSA volume scales with total global WMSA. Such information could be used in the creation of a pathologic 'staging' of WMSA through a detailed regional characterization at the individual level. Magnetic resonance imaging data from 97 cognitively-healthy older individuals (OC) aged 52-90 from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) study were processed using a novel WMSA labeling procedure described in our prior work. WMSA were quantified regionally using a procedure that segments the cerebral white matter into 35 bilateral units based on proximity to landmarks in the cerebral cortex. An initial staging was performed by quantifying the regional WMSA volume in four groups based on quartiles of total WMSA volume (quartiles I-IV). A consistent spatial pattern of WMSA accumulation was observed with increasing quartile. A clustering procedure was then used to distinguish regions based on patterns of scaling of regional WMSA to global WMSA. Three patterns were extracted that showed high, medium, and non-scaling with global WMSA. Regions in the high-scaling cluster included periventricular, caudal and rostral middle frontal, inferior and superior parietal, supramarginal, and precuneus white matter. A data-driven staging procedure was then created based on patterns of WMSA scaling and specific regional cut-off values from the quartile analyses. Individuals with Alzheimer's disease
DeRamus, Thomas P.; Kana, Rajesh K.
Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are characterized by impairments in social communication and restrictive, repetitive behaviors. While behavioral symptoms are well-documented, investigations into the neurobiological underpinnings of ASD have not resulted in firm biomarkers. Variability in findings across structural neuroimaging studies has contributed to difficulty in reliably characterizing the brain morphology of individuals with ASD. These inconsistencies may also arise from the heterogeneity of ASD, and wider age-range of participants included in MRI studies and in previous meta-analyses. To address this, the current study used coordinate-based anatomical likelihood estimation (ALE) analysis of 21 voxel-based morphometry (VBM) studies examining high-functioning individuals with ASD, resulting in a meta-analysis of 1055 participants (506 ASD, and 549 typically developing individuals). Results consisted of grey, white, and global differences in cortical matter between the groups. Modeled anatomical maps consisting of concentration, thickness, and volume metrics of grey and white matter revealed clusters suggesting age-related decreases in grey and white matter in parietal and inferior temporal regions of the brain in ASD, and age-related increases in grey matter in frontal and anterior-temporal regions. White matter alterations included fiber tracts thought to play key roles in information processing and sensory integration. Many current theories of pathobiology ASD suggest that the brains of individuals with ASD may have less-functional long-range (anterior-to-posterior) connections. Our findings of decreased cortical matter in parietal–temporal and occipital regions, and thickening in frontal cortices in older adults with ASD may entail altered cortical anatomy, and neurodevelopmental adaptations. PMID:25844306
DeRamus, Thomas P; Kana, Rajesh K
Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are characterized by impairments in social communication and restrictive, repetitive behaviors. While behavioral symptoms are well-documented, investigations into the neurobiological underpinnings of ASD have not resulted in firm biomarkers. Variability in findings across structural neuroimaging studies has contributed to difficulty in reliably characterizing the brain morphology of individuals with ASD. These inconsistencies may also arise from the heterogeneity of ASD, and wider age-range of participants included in MRI studies and in previous meta-analyses. To address this, the current study used coordinate-based anatomical likelihood estimation (ALE) analysis of 21 voxel-based morphometry (VBM) studies examining high-functioning individuals with ASD, resulting in a meta-analysis of 1055 participants (506 ASD, and 549 typically developing individuals). Results consisted of grey, white, and global differences in cortical matter between the groups. Modeled anatomical maps consisting of concentration, thickness, and volume metrics of grey and white matter revealed clusters suggesting age-related decreases in grey and white matter in parietal and inferior temporal regions of the brain in ASD, and age-related increases in grey matter in frontal and anterior-temporal regions. White matter alterations included fiber tracts thought to play key roles in information processing and sensory integration. Many current theories of pathobiology ASD suggest that the brains of individuals with ASD may have less-functional long-range (anterior-to-posterior) connections. Our findings of decreased cortical matter in parietal-temporal and occipital regions, and thickening in frontal cortices in older adults with ASD may entail altered cortical anatomy, and neurodevelopmental adaptations.
Parra, Mario A; Saarimäki, Heini; Bastin, Mark E; Londoño, Ana C; Pettit, Lewis; Lopera, Francisco; Della Sala, Sergio; Abrahams, Sharon
Binding information in short-term and long-term memory are functions sensitive to Alzheimer's disease. They have been found to be affected in patients who meet criteria for familial Alzheimer's disease due to the mutation E280A of the PSEN1 gene. However, only short-term memory binding has been found to be affected in asymptomatic carriers of this mutation. The neural correlates of this dissociation are poorly understood. The present study used diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging to investigate whether the integrity of white matter structures could offer an account. A sample of 19 patients with familial Alzheimer's disease, 18 asymptomatic carriers and 21 non-carrier controls underwent diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging, neuropsychological and memory binding assessment. The short-term memory binding task required participants to detect changes across two consecutive screens displaying arrays of shapes, colours, or shape-colour bindings. The long-term memory binding task was a Paired Associates Learning Test. Performance on these tasks were entered into regression models. Relative to controls, patients with familial Alzheimer's disease performed poorly on both memory binding tasks. Asymptomatic carriers differed from controls only in the short-term memory binding task. White matter integrity explained poor memory binding performance only in patients with familial Alzheimer's disease. White matter water diffusion metrics from the frontal lobe accounted for poor performance on both memory binding tasks. Dissociations were found in the genu of corpus callosum which accounted for short-term memory binding impairments and in the hippocampal part of cingulum bundle which accounted for long-term memory binding deficits. The results indicate that white matter structures in the frontal and temporal lobes are vulnerable to the early stages of familial Alzheimer's disease and their damage is associated with impairments in two memory binding functions known to
Nunez, Paul L.; Srinivasan, Ramesh; Fields, R. Douglas
Objective Both structural and functional brain connectivities are closely linked to white matter disease. We discuss several such links of potential interest to neurologists, neurosurgeons, radiologists, and non-clinical neuroscientists. Methods Treatment of brains as genuine complex systems suggests major emphasis on the multi-scale nature of brain connectivity and dynamic behavior. Cross-scale interactions of local, regional, and global networks are apparently responsible for much of EEG's oscillatory behaviors. Finite axon propagation speed, often assumed to be infinite in local network models, is central to our conceptual framework. Results Myelin controls axon speed, and the synchrony of impulse traffic between distant cortical regions appears to be critical for optimal mental performance and learning. Results Several experiments suggest that axon conduction speed is plastic, thereby altering the regional and global white matter connections that facilitate binding of remote local networks. Conclusions Combined EEG and high resolution EEG can provide distinct multi-scale estimates of functional connectivity in both healthy and diseased brains with measures like frequency and phase spectra, covariance, and coherence. Significance White matter disease may profoundly disrupt normal EEG coherence patterns, but currently these kinds of studies are rare in scientific labs and essentially missing from clinical environments. PMID:24815984
Menzies, Lara; Goddings, Anne-Lise; Whitaker, Kirstie J; Blakemore, Sarah-Jayne; Viner, Russell M
Neuroimaging studies demonstrate considerable changes in white matter volume and microstructure during adolescence. Most studies have focused on age-related effects, whilst puberty-related changes are not well understood. Using diffusion tensor imaging and tract-based spatial statistics, we investigated the effects of pubertal status on white matter mean diffusivity (MD) and fractional anisotropy (FA) in 61 males aged 12.7-16.0 years. Participants were grouped into early-mid puberty (≤Tanner Stage 3 in pubic hair and gonadal development; n=22) and late-post puberty (≥Tanner Stage 4 in pubic hair or gonadal development; n=39). Salivary levels of pubertal hormones (testosterone, DHEA and oestradiol) were also measured. Pubertal stage was significantly related to MD in diverse white matter regions. No relationship was observed between pubertal status and FA. Regression modelling of MD in the significant regions demonstrated that an interaction model incorporating puberty, age and puberty×age best explained our findings. In addition, testosterone was correlated with MD in these pubertally significant regions. No relationship was observed between oestradiol or DHEA and MD. In conclusion, pubertal status was significantly related to MD, but not FA, and this relationship cannot be explained by changes in chronological age alone.
Rokem, Ariel; Yeatman, Jason D; Pestilli, Franco; Kay, Kendrick N; Mezer, Aviv; van der Walt, Stefan; Wandell, Brian A
Models of diffusion MRI within a voxel are useful for making inferences about the properties of the tissue and inferring fiber orientation distribution used by tractography algorithms. A useful model must fit the data accurately. However, evaluations of model-accuracy of commonly used models have not been published before. Here, we evaluate model-accuracy of the two main classes of diffusion MRI models. The diffusion tensor model (DTM) summarizes diffusion as a 3-dimensional Gaussian distribution. Sparse fascicle models (SFM) summarize the signal as a sum of signals originating from a collection of fascicles oriented in different directions. We use cross-validation to assess model-accuracy at different gradient amplitudes (b-values) throughout the white matter. Specifically, we fit each model to all the white matter voxels in one data set and then use the model to predict a second, independent data set. This is the first evaluation of model-accuracy of these models. In most of the white matter the DTM predicts the data more accurately than test-retest reliability; SFM model-accuracy is higher than test-retest reliability and also higher than the DTM model-accuracy, particularly for measurements with (a) a b-value above 1000 in locations containing fiber crossings, and (b) in the regions of the brain surrounding the optic radiations. The SFM also has better parameter-validity: it more accurately estimates the fiber orientation distribution function (fODF) in each voxel, which is useful for fiber tracking.
Song, Jae W; Mitchell, Paul D; Kolasinski, James; Ellen Grant, P; Galaburda, Albert M; Takahashi, Emi
Little is known about the emergence of structural asymmetry of white matter tracts during early brain development. We examined whether and when asymmetry in diffusion parameters of limbic and association white matter pathways emerged in humans in 23 brains ranging from 15 gestational weeks (GW) up to 3 years of age (11 ex vivo and 12 in vivo cases) using high-angular resolution diffusion imaging tractography. Age-related development of laterality was not observed in a limbic connectional pathway (cingulum bundle or fornix). Among the studied cortico-cortical association pathways (inferior longitudinal fasciculus [ILF], inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus, and arcuate fasciculus), only the ILF showed development of age-related laterality emerging as early as the second trimester. Comparisons of ages older and younger than 40 GW revealed a leftward asymmetry in the cingulum bundle volume and a rightward asymmetry in apparent diffusion coefficient and leftward asymmetry in fractional anisotropy in the ILF in ages older than 40 GW. These results suggest that morphometric asymmetry in cortical areas precedes the emergence of white matter pathway asymmetry. Future correlative studies will investigate whether such asymmetry is anatomically/genetically driven or associated with functional stimulation.
Bucur, Barbara; Madden, David J.; Spaniol, Julia; Provenzale, James M.; Cabeza, Roberto; White, Leonard E.; Huettel, Scott A.
Previous research suggests that, in reaction time (RT) measures of episodic memory retrieval, the unique effects of adult age are relatively small compared to the effects aging shares with more elementary abilities such as perceptual speed. Little is known, however, regarding the mechanisms of perceptual speed. We used diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to test the hypothesis that white matter integrity, as indexed by fractional anisotropy (FA), serves as one mechanism of perceptual slowing in episodic memory retrieval. Results indicated that declines in FA in the pericallosal frontal region and in the genu of the corpus callosum, but not in other regions, mediated the relationship between perceptual speed and episodic retrieval RT. This relation held, though to a different degree, for both hits and correct rejections. These findings suggest that white matter integrity in prefrontal regions is one mechanism underlying the relation between individual differences in perceptual speed and episodic retrieval. PMID:17383774
In this article, the author argues that whiteness remains an overwhelmingly absent dimension in literacy teaching that addresses systems of power from a critical perspective. One way literacy teachers may bring this dimension more explicitly into the classroom is by facilitating critical conversations on whiteness with young adult literature. As…
Cox, Simon R.; Booth, Tom; Muñoz Maniega, Susana; Royle, Natalie A.; Valdés Hernández, Maria; Wardlaw, Joanna M.; Bastin, Mark E.; Deary, Ian J.
Establishing the neural bases of individual differences in personality has been an enduring topic of interest. However, while a growing literature has sought to characterize grey matter correlates of personality traits, little attention to date has been focused on regional white matter correlates of personality, especially for the personality traits agreeableness, conscientiousness and openness. To rectify this gap in knowledge we used a large sample (n > 550) of older adults who provided data on both personality (International Personality Item Pool) and white matter tract-specific fractional anisotropy (FA) from diffusion tensor MRI. Results indicated that conscientiousness was associated with greater FA in the left uncinate fasciculus (β = 0.17, P < 0.001). We also examined links between FA and the personality meta-trait ‘stability’, which is defined as the common variance underlying agreeableness, conscientiousness, and neuroticism/emotional stability. We observed an association between left uncinate fasciculus FA and stability (β = 0.27, P < 0.001), which fully accounted for the link between left uncinate fasciculus FA and conscientiousness. In sum, these results provide novel evidence for links between regional white matter microstructure and key traits of human personality, specifically conscientiousness and the meta-trait, stability. Future research is recommended to replicate and address the causal directions of these associations. PMID:27013101
Lewis, Gary J; Cox, Simon R; Booth, Tom; Muñoz Maniega, Susana; Royle, Natalie A; Valdés Hernández, Maria; Wardlaw, Joanna M; Bastin, Mark E; Deary, Ian J
Establishing the neural bases of individual differences in personality has been an enduring topic of interest. However, while a growing literature has sought to characterize grey matter correlates of personality traits, little attention to date has been focused on regional white matter correlates of personality, especially for the personality traits agreeableness, conscientiousness and openness. To rectify this gap in knowledge we used a large sample (n > 550) of older adults who provided data on both personality (International Personality Item Pool) and white matter tract-specific fractional anisotropy (FA) from diffusion tensor MRI. Results indicated that conscientiousness was associated with greater FA in the left uncinate fasciculus (β = 0.17, P < 0.001). We also examined links between FA and the personality meta-trait 'stability', which is defined as the common variance underlying agreeableness, conscientiousness, and neuroticism/emotional stability. We observed an association between left uncinate fasciculus FA and stability (β = 0.27, P < 0.001), which fully accounted for the link between left uncinate fasciculus FA and conscientiousness. In sum, these results provide novel evidence for links between regional white matter microstructure and key traits of human personality, specifically conscientiousness and the meta-trait, stability. Future research is recommended to replicate and address the causal directions of these associations.
Papiol, S; Mitjans, M; Assogna, F; Piras, F; Hammer, C; Caltagirone, C; Arias, B; Ehrenreich, H; Spalletta, G
A recent publication reported an exciting polygenic effect of schizophrenia (SCZ) risk variants, identified by a large genome-wide association study (GWAS), on total brain and white matter volumes in schizophrenic patients and, even more prominently, in healthy subjects. The aim of the present work was to replicate and then potentially extend these findings. According to the original publication, polygenic risk scores—using single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) information of SCZ GWAS—(polygenic SCZ risk scores; PSS) were calculated in 122 healthy subjects, enrolled in a structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study. These scores were computed based on P-values and odds ratios available through the Psychiatric GWAS Consortium. In addition, polygenic white matter scores (PWM) were calculated, using the respective SNP subset in the original publication. None of the polygenic scores, either PSS or PWM, were found to be associated with total brain, white matter or gray matter volume in our replicate sample. Minor differences between the original and the present study that might have contributed to lack of reproducibility (but unlikely explain it fully), are number of subjects, ethnicity, age distribution, array technology, SNP imputation quality and MRI scanner type. In contrast to the original publication, our results do not reveal the slightest signal of association of the described sets of GWAS-identified SCZ risk variants with brain volumes in adults. Caution is indicated in interpreting studies building on polygenic risk scores without replication sample. PMID:24548877
Versace, Amelia; Ladouceur, Cecile D.; Romero, Soledad; Birmaher, Boris; Axelson, David A.; Kupfer, David J.; Phillips, Mary L.
Objective: To study white matter (WM) development in youth at high familial risk for bipolar disorder (BD). WM alterations are reported in youth and adults with BD. WM undergoes important maturational changes in adolescence. Age-related changes in WM microstructure using diffusion tensor imaging with tract-based spatial statistics in healthy…
Shukla, Dinesh K.; Keehn, Brandon; Muller, Ralph-Axel
Background: Previous diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) studies have shown white matter compromise in children and adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), which may relate to reduced connectivity and impaired function of distributed networks. However, tract-specific evidence remains limited in ASD. We applied tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS)…
Gribanov, G A; Il'iashenko, D V
A decrease in relative content of phospholipids and cholesterol simultaneously with increase in cholesterol esters and free fatty acids were detected in tissues of rat brain gray and white matters during autolysis at 37 degrees within 6-7 min, 1, 4 and 24 hrs; the most distinct alterations were observed in lipids of the gray matter especially at early (6-7 min) and late (24 hrs) stages of autolysis. In the gray matter, relative content of all the lipid fractions studied was restored to initial level within 4 hrs of incubation. In the white matter, during autolysis the content of cholesterol varied, the content of phospholipids was only slightly increased, while the level of free fatty acids was increased only at 24 hrs of incubation with synchronous decrease in content of triacylglycerols, cholesterol and, partially, phospholipids. These experimental data are of importance in resuscitation. Both common and dissimilar mechanisms of these lipid alterations are discussed. Not only the complex of hydrolase reactions but also that of transacylase and other reactions, involved in the degradation and biotransformation of brain lipids in autolysis, were noted.
Davis, Cameron; Oishi, Kenichi; Faria, Andreia; Hsu, John; Gomez, Yessenia; Mori, Susumu; Hillis, Argye E.
Sarcasm is commonly used to express criticism in a non-aggressive or humorous way. Failure to understand that the speaker is being sarcastic can lead to important miscommunications. Although numerous studies have identified impaired sarcasm comprehension in neurological impaired patients, few have attempted to identify lesions that lead to impaired sarcasm. Several gray matter structures seem to be critical for processing sarcasm, including right prefrontal cortex, superior temporal cortex, thalamus, and basal ganglia. In this study we tested the hypothesis that percent damage to specific white matter tracts (including those connect the critical gray matter structures), age, and education together predict accuracy in sarcasm comprehension. Using multivariable linear regression, with age, education, and percent damage to each of 8 white matter tracts as independent variables, and percent accuracy on sarcasm recognition as the dependent variable, we developed a model for predicting sarcasm recognition. Percent damage to the sagittal stratum had the greatest weight, and was the only independent predictor of error rate on sarcasm. Results indicate that: (1) sagittal stratum has an important role in the network underlying sarcasm comprehension; (2) sagittal stratum lesions are likely to cause deficits in understanding sarcasm and may require innovative therapies to address this disability. PMID:25805326
Zhong, Suyu; He, Yong; Shu, Hua; Gong, Gaolang
Human brain asymmetries have been well described. Intriguingly, a number of asymmetries in brain phenotypes have been shown to change throughout the lifespan. Recent studies have revealed topological asymmetries between hemispheric white matter networks in the human brain. However, it remains unknown whether and how these topological asymmetries evolve from adolescence to young adulthood, a critical period that constitutes the second peak of human brain and cognitive development. To address this question, the present study included a large cohort of healthy adolescents and young adults. Diffusion and structural magnetic resonance imaging were acquired to construct hemispheric white matter networks, and graph-theory was applied to quantify topological parameters of the hemispheric networks. In both adolescents and young adults, rightward asymmetry in both global and local network efficiencies was consistently observed between the 2 hemispheres, but the degree of the asymmetry was significantly decreased in young adults. At the nodal level, the young adults exhibited less rightward asymmetry of nodal efficiency mainly around the parasylvian area, posterior tempo-parietal cortex, and fusiform gyrus. These developmental patterns of network asymmetry provide novel insight into the human brain structural development from adolescence to young adulthood and also likely relate to the maturation of language and social cognition that takes place during this period.
Halene, Tobias B; Kozlenkov, Alexey; Jiang, Yan; Mitchell, Amanda C; Javidfar, Behnam; Dincer, Aslihan; Park, Royce; Wiseman, Jennifer; Croxson, Paula L; Giannaris, Eustathia Lela; Hof, Patrick R; Roussos, Panos; Dracheva, Stella; Hemby, Scott E; Akbarian, Schahram
Increased neuronal densities in subcortical white matter have been reported for some cases with schizophrenia. The underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms remain unresolved. We exposed 26 young adult macaque monkeys for 6 months to either clozapine, haloperidol or placebo and measured by structural MRI frontal gray and white matter volumes before and after treatment, followed by observer-independent, flow-cytometry-based quantification of neuronal and non-neuronal nuclei and molecular fingerprinting of cell-type specific transcripts. After clozapine exposure, the proportion of nuclei expressing the neuronal marker NeuN increased by approximately 50% in subcortical white matter, in conjunction with a more subtle and non-significant increase in overlying gray matter. Numbers and proportions of nuclei expressing the oligodendrocyte lineage marker, OLIG2, and cell-type specific RNA expression patterns, were maintained after antipsychotic drug exposure. Frontal lobe gray and white matter volumes remained indistinguishable between antipsychotic-drug-exposed and control groups. Chronic clozapine exposure increases the proportion of NeuN+ nuclei in frontal subcortical white matter, without alterations in frontal lobe volumes or cell type-specific gene expression. Further exploration of neurochemical plasticity in non-human primate brain exposed to antipsychotic drugs is warranted.
Roura, Eloy; Sarbu, Nicolae; Oliver, Arnau; Valverde, Sergi; González-Villà, Sandra; Cervera, Ricard; Bargalló, Núria; Lladó, Xavier
Brain magnetic resonance imaging provides detailed information which can be used to detect and segment white matter lesions (WML). In this work we propose an approach to automatically segment WML in Lupus patients by using T1w and fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) images. Lupus WML appear as small focal abnormal tissue observed as hyperintensities in the FLAIR images. The quantification of these WML is a key factor for the stratification of lupus patients and therefore both lesion detection and segmentation play an important role. In our approach, the T1w image is first used to classify the three main tissues of the brain, white matter (WM), gray matter (GM), and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), while the FLAIR image is then used to detect focal WML as outliers of its GM intensity distribution. A set of post-processing steps based on lesion size, tissue neighborhood, and location are used to refine the lesion candidates. The proposal is evaluated on 20 patients, presenting qualitative, and quantitative results in terms of precision and sensitivity of lesion detection [True Positive Rate (62%) and Positive Prediction Value (80%), respectively] as well as segmentation accuracy [Dice Similarity Coefficient (72%)]. Obtained results illustrate the validity of the approach to automatically detect and segment lupus lesions. Besides, our approach is publicly available as a SPM8/12 toolbox extension with a simple parameter configuration. PMID:27570507
Borstad, Alexandra L; Choi, Seongjin; Schmalbrock, Petra; Nichols-Larsen, Deborah S
Frontoparietal white matter supports information transfer between brain areas involved in complex haptic tasks such as somatosensory discrimination. The purpose of this study was to gain an understanding of the relationship between microstructural integrity of frontoparietal network white matter and haptic performance in persons with chronic stroke and to compare frontoparietal network integrity in participants with stroke and age matched control participants. Nineteen individuals with stroke and 16 controls participated. Haptic performance was quantified using the Hand Active Sensation Test (HASTe), an 18-item match-to-sample test of weight and texture discrimination. Three tesla MRI was used to obtain diffusion-weighted and high-resolution anatomical images of the whole brain. Probabilistic tractography was used to define 10 frontoparietal tracts total; Four intrahemispheric tracts measured bilaterally 1) thalamus to primary somatosensory cortex (T-S1), 2) thalamus to primary motor cortex (T-M1), 3) primary to secondary somatosensory cortex (S1 to SII) and 4) primary somatosensory cortex to middle frontal gyrus (S1 to MFG) and, 2 interhemispheric tracts; S1-S1 and precuneus interhemispheric. A control tract outside the network, the cuneus interhemispheric tract, was also examined. The diffusion metrics fractional anisotropy (FA), mean diffusivity (MD), axial (AD) and radial diffusivity (RD) were quantified for each tract. Diminished FA and elevated MD values are associated with poorer white matter integrity in chronic stroke. Nine of 10 tracts quantified in the frontoparietal network had diminished structural integrity poststroke compared to the controls. The precuneus interhemispheric tract was not significantly different between groups. Principle component analysis across all frontoparietal white matter tract MD values indicated a single factor explained 47% and 57% of the variance in tract mean diffusivity in stroke and control groups respectively. Age
Orr, Joseph M; Paschall, Courtnie J; Banich, Marie T
A recent shift in legal and social attitudes toward marijuana use has also spawned a surge of interest in understanding the effects of marijuana use on the brain. There is considerable evidence that an adolescent onset of marijuana use negatively impacts white matter coherence. On the other hand, a recent well-controlled study demonstrated no effects of marijuana use on the morphometry of subcortical or cortical structures when users and non-users were matched for alcohol use. Regardless, most studies have involved small, carefully selected samples, so the ability to generalize to larger populations is limited. In an attempt to address this issue, we examined the effects of marijuana use on white matter integrity and cortical and subcortical morphometry using data from the Human Connectome Project (HCP) consortium. The HCP data consists of ultra-high resolution neuroimaging data from a large community sample, including 466 adults reporting recreational marijuana use. Rather than just contrasting two groups of individuals who vary significantly in marijuana usage as typifies prior studies, we leveraged the large sample size provided by the HCP data to examine parametric effects of recreational marijuana use. Our results indicate that the earlier the age of onset of marijuana use, the lower was white matter coherence. Age of onset also also affected the shape of the accumbens, while the number of lifetime uses impacted the shape of the amygdala and hippocampus. Marijuana use had no effect on cortical volumes. These findings suggest subtle but significant effects of recreational marijuana use on brain structure.
Villapol, Sonia; Fau, Sébastien; Renolleau, Sylvain; Biran, Valérie; Charriaut-Marlangue, Christiane; Baud, Olivier
Melatonin demonstrates neuroprotective properties in adult models of cerebral ischemia, acting as a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. We investigated the effect of melatonin in a 7-d-old rat model of ischemia-reperfusion, leading to both cortical infarct and injury in the underlying white matter observed using MRI and immunohistochemistry. Melatonin was given i.p. as either a single dose before ischemia or a double-dose regimen, combining one before ischemia and one 24 h after reperfusion. At 48 h after injury, neither a significant reduction in cortical infarct volume nor a variation in the number of TUNEL- and nitrotyrosine-positive cells within the ipsilateral lesion was observed in melatonin-treated animals compared with controls. However, a decrease in the density of tomato lectin-positive cells after melatonin treatment was found in the white matter underlying cortical lesion. Furthermore, we showed a marked increase in the myelin basic protein-immunoreactivity in the cingulum and in the density of mature oligodendrocytes (APC-immunoreactive) in both the ipsilateral cingulum and external capsule. These results suggest that melatonin is not able to reduce cortical infarct volume in a neonatal stroke model but strongly reduces inflammation and promotes subsequent myelination in the white matter.
Ritter, Jonathan; Schmitz, Thomas; Chew, Li-Jin; Bührer, Christoph; Möbius, Wiebke; Zonouzi, Marzieh; Gallo, Vittorio
The pathological mechanisms underlying neurological deficits observed in individuals born pre-maturely are not completely understood. A common form of injury in the pre-term population is periventricular white matter injury (PWMI), a pathology associated with impaired brain development. To mitigate or eliminate white matter injury, there is an urgent need to understand the pathological mechanism(s) involved on a neurobiological, structural and functional level. Recent clinical data suggests that a percentage of pre-mature infants experience relative hyperoxia. Using a hyperoxic model of pre-mature brain injury, we have previously demonstrated that neonatal hyperoxia exposure in the mouse disrupts development of the white matter (WM) by delaying the maturation of the oligodendroglial lineage. In the present study, we address the question of how hyperoxia-induced alterations in WM development affect overall WM integrity and axonal function. We show that neonatal hyperoxia causes ultra-structural changes, including i) myelination abnormalities (reduced myelin thickness and abnormal extra myelin loops) and ii) axonopathy (altered neurofilament phosphorylation, paranodal defects and changes in node of Ranvier number and structure). This disruption of axon-oligodendrocyte integrity results in the lasting impairment of conduction properties in the adult WM. Understanding the pathology of pre-mature PWMI injury will allow for the development of interventional strategies to preserve WM integrity and function. PMID:23699510
Takeuchi, Hikaru; Taki, Yasuyuki; Sassa, Yuko; Hashizume, Hiroshi; Sekiguchi, Atsushi; Fukushima, Ai; Kawashima, Ryuta
Working memory is the limited capacity storage system involved in the maintenance and manipulation of information over short periods of time. Previous imaging studies have suggested that the frontoparietal regions are activated during working memory tasks; a putative association between the structure of the frontoparietal regions and working memory performance has been suggested based on the analysis of individuals with varying pathologies. This study aimed to identify correlations between white matter and individual differences in verbal working memory performance in normal young subjects. We performed voxel-based morphometry (VBM) analyses using T1-weighted structural images as well as voxel-based analyses of fractional anisotropy (FA) using diffusion tensor imaging. Using the letter span task, we measured verbal working memory performance in normal young adult men and women (mean age, 21.7 years, SD=1.44; 42 men and 13 women). We observed positive correlations between working memory performance and regional white matter volume (rWMV) in the frontoparietal regions. In addition, FA was found to be positively correlated with verbal working memory performance in a white matter region adjacent to the right precuneus. These regions are consistently recruited by working memory. Our findings suggest that, among normal young subjects, verbal working memory performance is associated with various regions that are recruited during working memory tasks, and this association is not limited to specific parts of the working memory network.
Casanova, Manuel F.; El-Baz, Ayman S.; Giedd, Jay; Rumsey, Judith M.; Switala, Andrew E.
Recent studies provide credence to the minicolumnar origin of several developmental conditions, including dyslexia. Characteristics of minicolumnopathies include abnormalities in how the cortex expands and folds. This study examines the depth of the gyral white matter measured in an MRI series of 15 dyslexic adult men and eleven age-matched comparison subjects. Measurements were based upon the 3D Euclidean distance map inside the segmented cerebral white matter surface. Mean gyral white matter depth was 3.05 mm (SD ± 0.30 mm) in dyslexic subjects and 1.63 mm (SD ± 0.15 mm) in the controls. The results add credence to the growing literature suggesting that the attained reading circuit in dyslexia is abnormal because it is inefficient. Otherwise the anatomical substratum (i.e., corticocortical connectivity) underlying this inefficient circuit is normal. A deficit in very short-range connectivity (e.g., angular gyrus, striate cortex), consistent with results of a larger gyral window, could help explain reading difficulties in patients with dyslexia. The structural findings hereby reported are diametrically opposed to those reported for autism. PMID:19609661
Lyall, Donald M.; Muñoz Maniega, Susana; Harris, Sarah E.; Bastin, Mark E.; Murray, Catherine; Lutz, Michael W.; Saunders, Ann M.; Roses, Allen D.; Valdés Hernández, Maria del C.; Royle, Natalie A.; Starr, John M.; Porteous, David J.; Deary, Ian J.
Background Two markers of cerebral small vessel disease are white matter hyperintensities and cerebral microbleeds, which commonly occur in people with Alzheimer's disease. Aim and/or hypothesis To test for independent associations between two Alzheimer's disease‐susceptibility gene loci – APOE ε and the TOMM 40 ‘523’ poly‐T repeat – and white matter hyperintensities/cerebral microbleed burden in community‐dwelling older adults. Methods Participants in the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936 underwent genotyping for APOE ε and TOMM 40 523, and detailed structural brain magnetic resonance imaging at a mean age of 72·70 years (standard deviation = 0·7; range = 71–74). Results No significant effects of APOE ε or TOMM 40 523 genotypes on white matter hyperintensities or cerebral microbleed burden were found amongst 624 participants. Conclusions Lack of association between two Alzheimer's disease susceptibility gene loci and markers of cerebral small vessel disease may reflect the relative health of this population compared with those in other studies in the literature. PMID:26310205
Warstadt, Nicholus M; Dennis, Emily L; Jahanshad, Neda; Kohannim, Omid; Nir, Talia M; McMahon, Katie L; de Zubicaray, Greig I; Montgomery, Grant W; Henders, Anjali K; Martin, Nicholas G; Whitfield, John B; Jack, Clifford R; Bernstein, Matt A; Weiner, Michael W; Toga, Arthur W; Wright, Margaret J; Thompson, Paul M
Several common genetic variants influence cholesterol levels, which play a key role in overall health. Myelin synthesis and maintenance are highly sensitive to cholesterol concentrations, and abnormal cholesterol levels increase the risk for various brain diseases, including Alzheimer's disease. We report significant associations between higher serum cholesterol (CHOL) and high-density lipoprotein levels and higher fractional anisotropy in 403 young adults (23.8 ± 2.4 years) scanned with diffusion imaging and anatomic magnetic resonance imaging at 4 Tesla. By fitting a multi-locus genetic model within white matter areas associated with CHOL, we found that a set of 18 cholesterol-related, single-nucleotide polymorphisms implicated in Alzheimer's disease risk predicted fractional anisotropy. We focused on the single-nucleotide polymorphism with the largest individual effects, CETP (rs5882), and found that increased G-allele dosage was associated with higher fractional anisotropy and lower radial and mean diffusivities in voxel-wise analyses of the whole brain. A follow-up analysis detected white matter associations with rs5882 in the opposite direction in 78 older individuals (74.3 ± 7.3 years). Cholesterol levels may influence white matter integrity, and cholesterol-related genes may exert age-dependent effects on the brain.
Yau, Wai-Ying Wendy; Bischoff-Grethe, Amanda; Theilmann, Rebecca J.; Torres, Laura; Wagner, Angela; Kaye, Walter H.; Fennema-Notestine, Christine
Objective A recent study of ill individuals with anorexia nervosa (AN) reported microstructural alterations in white matter integrity including lower fractional anisotropy and higher mean diffusivity. The present study was designed to determine whether such alterations exist in longterm recovered AN individuals and to examine potential associations with underlying AN traits. Method Twelve adult women recovered from restricting-type AN and 10 control women were studied using diffusion tensor imaging. Results Overall, there was no significant fractional anisotropy alteration in recovered AN, in contrast to a prior study reporting lower fractional anisotropy in ill AN. Further, recovered AN showed lower mean diffusivity in frontal, parietal and cingulum white matter relative to control women, contrary to elevated mean diffusivity previously reported in ill AN. Lower longitudinal diffusivity in recovered AN was associated with higher harm avoidance. However, more severe illness history was associated with worse white matter integrity after recovery in the same direction as reported in prior work. Discussion Our findings suggest that fractional anisotropy in recovered AN is not different from controls, however, a novel pattern of lower mean diffusivity was evidenced in recovered AN, and this alteration was associated with harm avoidance. Notably, severity of illness history may have long-term consequences, emphasizing the importance of aggressive treatment. PMID:23818167
Dhital, Bibek; Labadie, Christian; Stallmach, Frank; Möller, Harald E; Turner, Robert
Water diffusion in brain tissue can now be easily investigated using magnetic resonance (MR) techniques, providing unique insights into cellular level microstructure such as axonal orientation. The diffusive motion in white matter is known to be non-Gaussian, with increasing evidence for more than one water-containing tissue compartment. In this study, freshly excised porcine brain white matter was measured using a 125-MHz MR spectrometer (3T) equipped with gradient coils providing magnetic field gradients of up to 35,000 mT/m. The sample temperature was varied between -14 and +19 °C. The hypothesis tested was that white matter contains two slowly exchanging pools of water molecules with different diffusion properties. A Stejskal-Tanner diffusion sequence with very short gradient pulses and b-factors up to 18.8 ms/μm(2) was used. The dependence on b-factor of the attenuation due to diffusion was robustly fitted by a biexponential function, with comparable volume fractions for each component. The diffusion coefficient of each component follows Arrhenius behavior, with significantly different activation energies. The measured volume fractions are consistent with the existence of three water-containing compartments, the first comprising relatively free cytoplasmic and extracellular water molecules, the second of water molecules in glial processes, and the third comprising water molecules closely associated with membranes, as for example, in the myelin sheaths and elsewhere. The activation energy of the slow diffusion pool suggests proton hopping at the surface of membranes by a Grotthuss mechanism, mediated by hydrating water molecules.
Hu, Yuzheng; Geng, Fengji; Tao, Lixia; Hu, Nantu; Du, Fenglei; Fu, Kuang; Chen, Feiyan
Experts of abacus, who have the skills of abacus-based mental calculation (AMC), are able to manipulate numbers via an imagined abacus in mind and demonstrate extraordinary ability in mental calculation. Behavioral studies indicated that abacus experts utilize visual strategy in solving numerical problems, and fMRI studies confirmed the enhanced involvement of visuospatial-related neural resources in AMC. This study aims to explore the possible changes in brain white matter induced by long-term training of AMC. Two matched groups participated: the abacus group consisting of 25 children with over 3-year training in abacus calculation and AMC, the controls including 25 children without any abacus experience. We found that the abacus group showed higher average fractional anisotropy (FA) in whole-brain fiber tracts, and the regions with increased FA were found in corpus callosum, left occipitotemporal junction and right premotor projection. No regions, however, showed decreased FA in the abacus group. Further analysis revealed that the differences in FA values were mainly driven by the alternation of radial rather than axial diffusivities. Furthermore, in forward digit and letter memory span tests, AMC group showed larger digit/letter memory spans. Interestingly, individual differences in white matter tracts were found positively correlated with the memory spans, indicating that the widespread increase of FA in the abacus group result possibly from the AMC training. In conclusion, our findings suggested that long-term AMC training from an early age may improve the memory capacity and enhance the integrity in white matter tracts related to motor and visuospatial processes.
García-Marín, V; Blazquez-Llorca, L; Rodriguez, J R; Gonzalez-Soriano, J; DeFelipe, J
The neurons in the cortical white matter (WM neurons) originate from the first set of postmitotic neurons that migrates from the ventricular zone. In particular, they arise in the subplate that contains the earliest cells generated in the telencephalon, prior to the appearance of neurons in gray matter cortical layers. These cortical WM neurons are very numerous during development, when they are thought to participate in transient synaptic networks, although many of these cells later die, and relatively few cells survive as WM neurons in the adult. We used light and electron microscopy to analyze the distribution and density of WM neurons in various areas of the adult human cerebral cortex. Furthermore, we examined the perisomatic innervation of these neurons and estimated the density of synapses in the white matter. Finally, we examined the distribution and neurochemical nature of interneurons that putatively innervate the somata of WM neurons. From the data obtained, we can draw three main conclusions: first, the density of WM neurons varies depending on the cortical areas; second, calretinin-immunoreactive neurons represent the major subpopulation of GABAergic WM neurons; and, third, the somata of WM neurons are surrounded by both glutamatergic and GABAergic axon terminals, although only symmetric axosomatic synapses were found. By contrast, both symmetric and asymmetric axodendritic synapses were observed in the neuropil. We discuss the possible functional implications of these findings in terms of cortical circuits.
Klima, Tali; Skinner, Martie L; Haggerty, Kevin P; Crutchfield, Robert D; Catalano, Richard F
Objective: This investigation examined patterns of heavy drinking among Black and White young adults from a person-centered perspective and linked family and individual factors in adolescence to young adult drinking patterns. Method: The analysis focuses on 331 10th-grade students (168 Whites, 163 Blacks; 51% males) who were followed into young adulthood (ages 20 and 22). Cluster analyses using heavy episodic drinking, drunkenness, and alcohol problems in young adulthood resulted in groups of drinkers with different patterns. Groups were examined across and within race. Associations between young adult drinking groups and adolescent family and individual factors were tested. Results: Groups followed well-established race differences, with Whites clustering into frequent drinking groups more than Blacks, and Blacks clustering into non–heavy drinking groups more than Whites. Further, Black heavy drinkers reported fewer alcohol problems than White counterparts. Parental monitoring, consistent discipline, ethnic identity, and delinquency were associated with adult heavy episodic drinking groups for both races. Monitoring and delinquency, along with parental norms, were associated with drunkenness groups for both races. However, race differences were observed for drunkenness clusters such that attachment was predictive for White clusters, and parental guidelines and discipline were predictive for Black clusters. Conclusions: Large race differences in heavy drinking at young adulthood were confirmed. Family dynamics in 10th grade were identified as important for the development of different drinking patterns in the early 20s, when many individuals have left home, which suggests a key target for substance use prevention programs. PMID:25208202
Sozmen, Elif G.; Rosenzweig, Shira; Llorente, Irene L.; DiTullio, David J.; Machnicki, Michal; Vinters, Harry V.; Havton, Lief A.; Giger, Roman J.; Hinman, Jason D.
White matter stroke is a distinct stroke subtype, accounting for up to 25% of stroke and constituting the second leading cause of dementia. The biology of possible tissue repair after white matter stroke has not been determined. In a mouse stroke model, white matter ischemia causes focal damage and adjacent areas of axonal myelin disruption and gliosis. In these areas of only partial damage, local white matter progenitors respond to injury, as oligodendrocyte progenitors (OPCs) proliferate. However, OPCs fail to mature into oligodendrocytes (OLs) even in regions of demyelination with intact axons and instead divert into an astrocytic fate. Local axonal sprouting occurs, producing an increase in unmyelinated fibers in the corpus callosum. The OPC maturation block after white matter stroke is in part mediated via Nogo receptor 1 (NgR1) signaling. In both aged and young adult mice, stroke induces NgR1 ligands and down-regulates NgR1 inhibitors during the peak OPC maturation block. Nogo ligands are also induced adjacent to human white matter stroke in humans. A Nogo signaling blockade with an NgR1 antagonist administered after stroke reduces the OPC astrocytic transformation and improves poststroke oligodendrogenesis in mice. Notably, increased white matter repair in aged mice is translated into significant poststroke motor recovery, even when NgR1 blockade is provided during the chronic time points of injury. These data provide a perspective on the role of NgR1 ligand function in OPC fate in the context of a specific and common type of stroke and show that it is amenable to systemic intervention to promote recovery. PMID:27956620
Rostanski, Sara K.; Zimmerman, Molly E.; Schupf, Nicole; Manly, Jennifer J.; Westwood, Andrew J.; Brickman, Adam M.; Gu, Yian
Study Objectives: To examine the association between markers of sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) and white matter hyperintensity (WMH) volume in an elderly, multiethnic, community-dwelling cohort. Methods: This is a cross-sectional analysis from the Washington Heights-Inwood Columbia Aging Project (WHICAP), a community-based epidemiological study of older adults. Structural magnetic resonance imaging was obtained starting in 2004; the Medical Outcomes Study-Sleep Scale (MOS-SS) was administered to participants starting in 2007. Linear regression models were used to assess the relationship between the two MOS-SS questions that measure respiratory dysfunction during sleep and quantified WMH volume among WHICAP participants with brain imaging. Results: A total of 483 older adults had both structural magnetic resonance imaging and sleep assessment. Self-reported SDB was associated with WMH. After adjusting for demographic and vascular risk factors, WMH volumes were larger in individuals with frequent snoring (β = 2.113, P = 0.004) and among those who reported waking short of breath or with headache (β = 1.862, P = 0.048). Conclusions: In community-dwelling older adults, self-reported measures of SDB are associated with larger WMH volumes. The cognitive effects of SDB that are increasingly being recognized may be mediated at the small vessel level. Citation: Rostanski SK, Zimmerman ME, Schupf N, Manly JJ, Westwood AJ, Brickman AM, Gu Y. Sleep disordered breathing and white matter hyperintensities in community-dwelling elders. SLEEP 2016;39(4):785–791. PMID:27071695
Ryan, Lee; Walther, Katrin; Bendlin, Barbara B.; Lue, Lih-Fen; Walker, Douglas G.; Glisky, Elizabeth L.
While an extensive literature is now available on age-related differences in white matter integrity measured by diffusion MRI, relatively little is known about the relationships between diffusion and cognitive functions in older adults. Even less is known about whether these relationships are influenced by the apolipoprotein (APOE) ε4 allele, despite growing evidence that ε4 increases cognitive impairment in older adults. The purpose of the present study was to examine these relationships in a group of community-dwelling cognitively normal older adults. Data were obtained from a sample of 126 individuals (ages 52–92) that included 32 ε4 heterozygotes, 6 ε4 homozygotes, and 88 non-carriers. Two measures of diffusion, the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) and fractional anisotropy (FA), were obtained from six brain regions – frontal white matter, lateral parietal white matter, the centrum semiovale, the genu and splenium of the corpus callosum, and the temporal stem white matter – and were used to predict composite scores of cognitive function in two domains, executive function and memory function. Results indicated that ADC and FA differed with increasing age in all six brain regions, and these differences were significantly greater for ε4 carriers compared to noncarriers. Importantly, after controlling for age, diffusion measures predicted cognitive function in a region-specific way that was also influenced by ε4 status. Regardless of APOE status, frontal ADC and FA independently predicted executive function scores for all participants, while temporal lobe ADC additionally predicted executive function for ε4 carriers, but not noncarriers. Memory scores were predicted by temporal lobe ADC but not frontal diffusion for all participants, and this relationship was significantly stronger in ε4 carriers compared to noncarriers. Taken together, age and temporal lobe ADC accounted for a striking 53% of the variance in memory scores within the ε4 carrier
Stufflebeam, Steven M; Witzel, Thomas; Mikulski, Szymon; Hämäläinen, Matti S; Temereanca, Simona; Barton, Jason J S; Tuch, David S; Manoach, Dara S
The neurophysiological basis of variability in the latency of evoked neural responses has been of interest for decades. We describe a method to identify white matter pathways that may contribute to inter-individual variability in the timing of neural activity. We investigated the relation of the latency of peak visual responses in occipital cortex as measured by magnetoencephalography (MEG) to fractional anisotropy (FA) in the entire brain as measured with diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in eight healthy young adults. This method makes no assumptions about the anatomy of white matter connections. Visual responses were evoked during a saccadic paradigm and were time-locked to arrival at a saccadic goal. The latency of the peak visual response was inversely related to FA in bilateral parietal and right lateral frontal white matter adjacent to cortical regions that modulate early visual responses. These relations suggest that biophysical properties of white matter affect the timing of early visual responses. This preliminary report demonstrates a non-invasive, unbiased method to relate the timing information from evoked-response experiments to the biophysical properties of white matter measured with DTI.
Stufflebeam, Steven M.; Witzel, Thomas; Mikulski, Szymon; Hämäläinen, Matti S.; Temereanca, Simona; Barton, Jason J. S.; Tuch, David S.; Manoach, Dara S.
The neurophysiological basis of variability in the latency of evoked neural responses has been of interest for decades. We describe a method to identify white matter pathways that may contribute to inter-individual variability in the timing of neural activity. We investigated the relation of the latency of peak visual responses in occipital cortex as measured by magnetoencephalography (MEG) to fractional anisotropy (FA) in the entire brain as measured with diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in eight healthy young adults. This method makes no assumptions about the anatomy of white matter connections. Visual responses were evoked during a saccadic paradigm and were time-locked to arrival at a saccadic goal. The latency of the peak visual response was inversely related to FA in bilateral parietal and right lateral frontal white matter adjacent to cortical regions that modulate early visual responses. These relations suggest that biophysical properties of white matter affect the timing of early visual responses. This preliminary report demonstrates a non-invasive, unbiased method to relate the timing information from evoked-response experiments to the biophysical properties of white matter measured with DTI. PMID:18565766
Mettler, Lisa N.; Shott, Megan E.; Pryor, Tamara; Yang, Tony T.; Frank, Guido K.W.
Objective To investigate brain white matter (WM) functionality in bulimia nervosa (BN) in relation to anxiety. Method Twenty-one control (CW, mean age 27±7 years) and 20 BN women (mean age 25±5 years) underwent brain diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to measure fractional anisotropy (FA; an indication of WM axon integrity) and the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC; reflecting WM cell damage). Results FA was decreased in BN in the bilateral corona radiata extending into the posterior limb of the internal capsule, the corpus callosum, the right sub-insular white matter and right fornix. In CW but not BN trait anxiety correlated negatively with fornix, corpus callosum and left corona radiata FA. ADC was increased in BN compared to CW in the bilateral corona radiata, corpus callosum, inferior fronto-occipital and uncinate fasciculus. Alterations in BN WM functionality were not due to structural brain alterations. Discussion WM integrity is disturbed in BN, especially in the corona radiate, which has been associated with taste and brain reward processing. Whether this is a premorbid condition or an effect from the illness is yet uncertain. The relationships between WM FA and trait anxiety in CW but not BN may suggest that altered WM functionality contributes to high anxious traits in BN. PMID:23354827
Muftuler, L Tugan; Davis, Elysia Poggi; Buss, Claudia; Solodkin, Ana; Su, Min Ying; Head, Kevin M; Hasso, Anton N; Sandman, Curt A
The first phase of major neuronal rearrangements in the brain takes place during the prenatal period. While the brain continues maturation throughout childhood, a critical second phase of synaptic overproduction and elimination takes place during the preadolescent period. Despite the importance of this developmental phase, few studies have evaluated neural changes taking place during this period. In this study, MRI diffusion tensor imaging data from a normative sample of 126 preadolescent children (59 girls and 67 boys) between the ages of 6 and 10 years were analyzed in order to characterize age-relationships in the white matter microstructure. Tract Based Spatial Statistics (TBSS) method was used for whole brain analysis of white matter tracts without a priori assumption about the location of age associated differences. Our results demonstrate significant age-associated differences in most of the major fiber tracts bilaterally and along the whole body of the tracts. In contrast, developmental differences in the cingulum at the level of the parahippocampal region were only observed in the right hemisphere. We suggest that these age-relationships with a widespread distribution seen during the preadolescent years maybe relevant for the implementation of cognitive and social behaviors needed for a normal development into adulthood.
Gregory, Sarah; Scahill, Rachael I.; Seunarine, Kiran K.; Stopford, Cheryl; Zhang, Hui; Zhang, Jiaying; Orth, Michael; Durr, Alexandra; Roos, Raymund A.C.; Langbehn, Douglas R.; Long, Jeffrey D.; Johnson, Hans; Rees, Geraint; Tabrizi, Sarah J.; Craufurd, David
Abstract Background: Neuropsychiatric symptoms in Huntington’s disease (HD) are often evident prior to clinical diagnosis. Apathy is highly correlated with disease progression, while depression and irritability occur at different stages of the disease, both before and after clinical onset. Little is understood about the neural bases of these neuropsychiatric symptoms and to what extent those neural bases are analogous to neuropsychiatric disorders in the general population. Objective: We used Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) to investigate structural connectivity between brain regions and any putative microstructural changes associated with depression, apathy and irritability in HD. Methods: DTI data were collected from 39 premanifest and 45 early-HD participants in the Track-HD study and analysed using whole-brain Tract-Based Spatial Statistics. We used regression analyses to identify white matter tracts whose structural integrity (as measured by fractional anisotropy, FA) was correlated with HADS-depression, PBA-apathy or PBA-irritability scores in gene-carriers and related to cumulative probability to onset (CPO). Results: For those with the highest CPO, we found significant correlations between depression scores and reduced FA in the splenium of the corpus callosum. In contrast, those with lowest CPO demonstrated significant correlations between irritability scores and widespread FA reductions. There was no significant relationship between apathy and FA throughout the whole brain. Conclusions: We demonstrate that white matter changes associated with both depression and irritability in HD occur at different stages of disease progression concomitant with their clinical presentation. PMID:26443926
Poletti, Sara; Aggio, Veronica; Bollettini, Irene; Falini, Andrea; Colombo, Cristina; Benedetti, Francesco
The aim of the study is to investigate if gene polymorphisms in sterol regulatory element binding protein transcriptional factors SREBF-1 and SREBF-2, which regulate lipid and cholesterol metabolism, could affect white matter (WM) microstructure, the most recognized structural biomarker of bipolar disorder (BD). In a sample of 93 patients affected by BD, we investigated the effect of SREBF-1 rs11868035, and SREBF-2 rs1052717, on WM microstructure, using diffusion tensor imaging and tract-based spatial statistics. We observed increased radial diffusivity in the rs1052717 A/A genotype compared to A/G and G/G, and reduced fractional anisotropy (FA) in the rs1052717 A/A genotype compared to G carriers in cingulum, corpus callosum, superior and inferior longitudinal fasciculi, and anterior thalamic radiation. These results seem to suggest an involvement of SREBF-2 in the integrity of white matter tracts in BD and therefore a possible role of SREBP pathway in CNS myelination processes.
Barnes, Jill N; Harvey, Ronée E; Zuk, Samantha M; Lundt, Emily S; Lesnick, Timothy G; Gunter, Jeffrey L; Senjem, Matthew L; Shuster, Lynne T; Miller, Virginia M; Jack, Clifford R; Joyner, Michael J; Kantarci, Kejal
Hypertension is associated with development of white matter hyperintensities (WMH) in the brain, which are risk factors for mild cognitive impairment. Hormonal shifts at menopause alter vascular function putting women at risk for both hypertension and WMH. Elevations in aortic hemodynamics precede the appearance of clinically defined hypertension but the relationship of aortic hemodynamics to development of WMH in women is not known. Therefore, this study aimed to characterize aortic hemodynamics in relationship to WMH in postmenopausal women. Aortic systolic and diastolic blood pressure (BP), aortic augmentation index (Alx) and aortic round trip travel time (Aortic T R) by tonometry were examined in 53 postmenopausal women (age 60 ± 2 years). WMH was calculated from fluid-attenuated inversion recovery MRI using a semi-automated segmentation algorithm. WMH as a fraction of total white matter volume positively associated with aortic systolic BP (regression coefficient = 0.018; p = 0.04) after adjusting for age. In addition, WMH fraction was positively associated with AIx (0.025; p = 0.04), and inversely associated with Aortic T R (-0.015; p = 0.04) after adjusting for age. Our results suggest that assessing aortic hemodynamics may identify individuals at risk for accelerated development of WMH and guide early treatment to reduce WMH burden and cognitive impairment in the future.
Mansour, Ali R; Baliki, Marwan N; Huang, Lejian; Torbey, Souraya; Herrmann, Kristi M; Schnitzer, Thomas J; Apkarian, A Vania
Neural mechanisms mediating the transition from acute to chronic pain remain largely unknown. In a longitudinal brain imaging study, we followed up patients with a single sub-acute back pain (SBP) episode for more than 1 year as their pain recovered (SBPr), or persisted (SBPp) representing a transition to chronic pain. We discovered brain white matter structural abnormalities (n=24 SBP patients; SBPp=12 and SBPr=12), as measured by diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), at entry into the study in SBPp in comparison to SBPr. These white matter fractional anisotropy (FA) differences accurately predicted pain persistence over the next year, which was validated in a second cohort (n=22 SBP patients; SBPp=11 and SBPr=11), and showed no further alterations over a 1-year period. Tractography analysis indicated that abnormal regional FA was linked to differential structural connectivity to medial vs lateral prefrontal cortex. Local FA was correlated with functional connectivity between medial prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens in SBPr. As we have earlier shown that the latter functional connectivity accurately predicts transition to chronic pain, we can conclude that brain structural differences, most likely existing before the back pain-inciting event and independent of the back pain, predispose subjects to pain chronification.
Zheng, Weimin; Chen, Qian; Chen, Xin; Wan, Lu; Qin, Wen; Qi, Zhigang; Li, Kuncheng
It remains unknown whether spinal cord injury (SCI) could indirectly impair or reshape the white matter (WM) of human brain and whether these changes are correlated with injury severity, duration, or clinical performance. We choose tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) to investigate the possible changes in whole-brain white matter integrity and their associations with clinical variables in fifteen patients with SCI. Compared with the healthy controls, the patients exhibited significant decreases in WM fractional anisotropy (FA) in the left angular gyrus (AG), right cerebellum (CB), left precentral gyrus (PreCG), left lateral occipital region (LOC), left superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF), left supramarginal gyrus (SMG), and left postcentral gyrus (PostCG) (p < 0.01, TFCE corrected). No significant differences were found in all diffusion indices between the complete and incomplete SCI. However, significantly negative correlation was shown between the increased radial diffusivity (RD) of left AG and total motor scores (uncorrected p < 0.05). Our findings provide evidence that SCI can cause not only direct degeneration but also transneuronal degeneration of brain WM, and these changes may be irrespective of the injury severity. The affection of left AG on rehabilitation therapies need to be further researched in the future. PMID:28255458
Puentes, Sandra; Kurachi, Masashi; Shibasaki, Koji; Naruse, Masae; Yoshimoto, Yuhei; Mikuni, Masahiko; Imai, Hideaki; Ishizaki, Yasuki
Ischemic insults affecting the internal capsule result in sensory-motor disabilities which adversely affect the patient's life. Cerebral endothelial cells have been reported to exert a protective effect against brain damage, so the transplantation of healthy endothelial cells might have a beneficial effect on the outcome of ischemic brain damage. In this study, endothelin-1 (ET-1) was injected into the rat internal capsule to induce lacunar infarction. Seven days after ET-1 injection, microvascular endothelial cells (MVECs) were transplanted into the internal capsule. Meningeal cells or 0.2% bovine serum albumin-Hank's balanced salt solution were injected as controls. Two weeks later, the footprint test and histochemical analysis were performed. We found that MVEC transplantation improved the behavioral outcome based on recovery of hind-limb rotation angle (P<0.01) and induced remyelination (P<0.01) compared with the control groups. Also the inflammatory response was repressed by MVEC transplantation, judging from fewer ED-1-positive activated microglial cells in the MVEC-transplanted group than in the other groups. Elucidation of the mechanisms by which MVECs ameliorate ischemic damage of the white matter may provide important information for the development of effective therapies for white matter ischemia.
Fortier, Catherine Brawn; Leritz, Elizabeth C.; Salat, David H.; Lindemer, Emily; Maksimovskiy, Arkadiy L.; Shepel, Juli; Williams, Victoria; Venne, Jonathan R.; Milberg, William P.; McGlinchey, Regina E.
Background Evidence suggests that chronic misuse of alcohol may preferentially affect the integrity of frontal white matter tracts, which can impact executive functions important to achieve and maintain abstinence. Methods Global and regional white matter (WM) microstructure was assessed using diffusion magnetic resonance (MR) measures of fractional anisotropy (FA) for 31 abstinent alcoholics with an average of 25 years of abuse and approximately 5 years of sobriety and 20 nonalcoholic control participants. Data processing was conducted with FreeSurfer and FSL processing streams. Voxelwise processing of the FA data was carried out using TBSS (Tract-Based Spatial Statistics). Clusters of significance were created to provide a quantitative summary of highly significant regions within the voxel wise analysis. Results Widespread, bilateral reductions in FA were observed in abstinent alcoholics as compared to nonalcoholic control participants in multiple frontal, temporal, parietal, and cerebellar WM tracts. FA in the left inferior frontal gyrus was associated with drinking severity. Conclusions The present study found widespread reductions in WM integrity in a group of abstinent alcoholics compared to nonalcoholic control participants, with most pronounced effects in frontal and superior tracts. Decreased FA throughout the frontostriatal circuits that mediate inhibitory control may result in impulsive behavior and inability to maintain sobriety. PMID:25406797
Lippé, Sarah; Poupon, Cyril; Cachia, Arnaud; Archambaud, Frédérique; Rodrigo, Sébastian; Dorfmuller, Georg; Chiron, Catherine; Hertz-Pannier, Lucie
For patients with focal epilepsy scheduled for surgery, including MRI-negative cases, (18)FDG-PET was shown to disclose hypometabolism in the seizure onset zone. However, it is not clear whether grey matter hypometabolism is informative of the integrity of the surrounding white matter cerebral tissue. In order to study the relationship between metabolism of the seizure onset zone grey matter and the integrity of the surrounding white matter measured by diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), we performed a monocentric prospective study (from 2006 to 2009) in 15 children with pharmacoresistant focal epilepsy, suitable for interictal (18)FDG-PET, T1-, T2-, FLAIR sequence MRI and DTI. Children had either positive or negative MRI (eight with symptomatic and seven with cryptogenic epilepsies, respectively). Seven children subsequently underwent surgery. Standardised uptake values of grey matter PET metabolism were compared with DTI indices (fractional anisotropy [FA], apparent diffusion coefficient [ADC], parallel diffusion coefficient [PDC], and transverse diffusion coefficient [TDC]) in grey matter within the seizure onset zone and adjacent white matter, using regions of interest automatically drawn from individual sulcal and gyral parcellation. Hypometabolism correlated positively with white matter ADC, PDC, and TDC, and negatively with white matter FA. In the cryptogenic group of children, hypometabolism correlated positively with white matter ADC. Our results demonstrate a relationship between abnormalities of grey matter metabolism in the seizure onset zone and adjacent white matter structural alterations in childhood focal epilepsies, even in cryptogenic epilepsy. This relationship supports the hypothesis that microstructural alterations of the white matter are related to epileptic networks and has potential implications for the evaluation of children with MRI-negative epilepsy.
Jolly, Todd A D; Cooper, Patrick S; Rennie, Jaime L; Levi, Christopher R; Lenroot, Rhoshel; Parsons, Mark W; Michie, Patricia T; Karayanidis, Frini
Task-switching performance relies on a broadly distributed frontoparietal network and declines in older adults. In this study, they investigated whether this age-related decline in task switching performance was mediated by variability in global or regional white matter microstructural health. Seventy cognitively intact adults (43-87 years) completed a cued-trials task switching paradigm. Microstructural white matter measures were derived using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) analyses on the diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) sequence. Task switching performance decreased with increasing age and radial diffusivity (RaD), a measure of white matter microstructure that is sensitive to myelin structure. RaD mediated the relationship between age and task switching performance. However, the relationship between RaD and task switching performance remained significant when controlling for age and was stronger in the presence of cardiovascular risk factors. Variability in error and RT mixing cost were associated with RaD in global white matter and in frontoparietal white matter tracts, respectively. These findings suggest that age-related increase in mixing cost may result from both global and tract-specific disruption of cerebral white matter linked to the increased incidence of cardiovascular risks in older adults. Hum Brain Mapp 38:1588-1603, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Travers, Brittany G; Bigler, Erin D; Tromp, Do P M; Adluru, Nagesh; Froehlich, Alyson L; Ennis, Chad; Lange, Nicholas; Nielsen, Jared A; Prigge, Molly B D; Alexander, Andrew L; Lainhart, Janet E
The present study used an accelerated longitudinal design to examine group differences and age-related changes in processing speed in 81 individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) compared to 56 age-matched individuals with typical development (ages 6-39 years). Processing speed was assessed using the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-3rd edition (WISC-III) and the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-3rd edition (WAIS-III). Follow-up analyses examined processing speed subtest performance and relations between processing speed and white matter microstructure (as measured with diffusion tensor imaging [DTI] in a subset of these participants). After controlling for full scale IQ, the present results show that processing speed index standard scores were on average 12 points lower in the group with ASD compared to the group with typical development. There were, however, no significant group differences in standard score age-related changes within this age range. For subtest raw scores, the group with ASD demonstrated robustly slower processing speeds in the adult versions of the IQ test (i.e., WAIS-III) but not in the child versions (WISC-III), even though age-related changes were similar in both the ASD and typically developing groups. This pattern of results may reflect difficulties that become increasingly evident in ASD on more complex measures of processing speed. Finally, DTI measures of whole-brain white matter microstructure suggested that fractional anisotropy (but not mean diffusivity, radial diffusivity, or axial diffusivity) made significant but small-sized contributions to processing speed standard scores across our entire sample. Taken together, the present findings suggest that robust decreases in processing speed may be present in ASD, more pronounced in adulthood, and partially attributable to white matter microstructural integrity.
Travers, Brittany G.; Bigler, Erin D.; Tromp, Do P. M.; Adluru, Nagesh; Froehlich, Alyson L.; Ennis, Chad; Lange, Nicholas; Nielsen, Jared A.; Prigge, Molly B. D.; Alexander, Andrew L.; Lainhart, Janet E.
The present study used an accelerated longitudinal design to examine group differences and age-related changes in processing speed in 81 individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) compared to 56 age-matched individuals with typical development (ages 6–39 years). Processing speed was assessed using the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-3rd edition (WISC-III) and the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-3rd edition (WAIS-III). Follow-up analyses examined processing speed subtest performance and relations between processing speed and white matter microstructure (as measured with diffusion tensor imaging [DTI] in a subset of these participants). After controlling for full scale IQ, the present results show that processing speed index standard scores were on average 12 points lower in the group with ASD compared to the group with typical development. There were, however, no significant group differences in standard score age-related changes within this age range. For subtest raw scores, the group with ASD demonstrated robustly slower processing speeds in the adult versions of the IQ test (i.e., WAIS-III) but not in the child versions (WISC-III), even though age-related changes were similar in both the ASD and typically developing groups. This pattern of results may reflect difficulties that become increasingly evident in ASD on more complex measures of processing speed. Finally, DTI measures of whole-brain white matter microstructure suggested that fractional anisotropy (but not mean diffusivity, radial diffusivity, or axial diffusivity) made significant but small-sized contributions to processing speed standard scores across our entire sample. Taken together, the present findings suggest that robust decreases in processing speed may be present in ASD, more pronounced in adulthood, and partially attributable to white matter microstructural integrity. PMID:24269298
Egashira, Yusuke; Hua, Ya; Keep, Richard F; Iwama, Toru; Xi, Guohua
We reported previously that subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) causes acute white matter injury in mice. In this study, we investigated lipocalin 2 (LCN2) mediated blood-brain barrier (BBB) disruption in white matter, which may lead to subsequent injury. SAH was induced by endovascular perforation in wild-type (WT) and LCN2-knockout (LCN2(-/-)) mice. Sham mice underwent the same procedure without perforation. Mice underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) 24 h after SAH to confirm the development of T2-hyperintensity in white matter. Western blotting and immunohistochemistry were performed to elucidate the mechanisms of LCN2-mediated white matter injury and BBB disruption. It was confirmed that LCN2 expression was significantly increased in white matter of WT mice after SAH by Western blotting (versus sham; p < 0.05). Immunohistochemistry showed that LCN2 receptor 24p3R was expressed in oligodendrocytes, astrocytes, endothelial cells, and pericytes in the white matter. In WT mice with SAH, albumin leakage along the white matter was prominently observed and was consistent with T2-hyperintensity on MRI. As with our previous report, LCN2(-/-) mice scarcely developed T2-hyperintensity on MRI or albumin leakage in white matter. Our results suggest that BBB leakage occurs in white matter after SAH and that LCN2 contributes to SAH-induced BBB disruption.
Rosenzweig, Shira; Carmichael, S Thomas
Approximately one quarter of all strokes in humans occur in white matter, and the progressive nature of white matter lesions often results in severe physical and mental disability. Unlike cortical grey matter stroke, the pathology of white matter stroke revolves around disrupted connectivity and injured axons and glial cells, rather than neuronal cell bodies. Consequently, the mechanisms behind ischemic damage to white matter elements, the regenerative responses of glial cells and their signaling pathways, all differ significantly from those in grey matter. Development of effective therapies for white matter stroke would require an enhanced understanding of the complex cellular and molecular interactions within the white matter, leading to the identification of new therapeutic targets. This review will address the unique properties of the axon-glia unit during white matter stroke, describe the challenging process of promoting effective white matter repair, and discuss recently-identified signaling pathways which may hold potential targets for repair in this disease. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Cell Interactions In Stroke.
Magistro, Daniele; Takeuchi, Hikaru; Nejad, Keyvan Kashkouli; Taki, Yasuyuki; Sekiguchi, Atsushi; Nouchi, Rui; Kotozaki, Yuka; Nakagawa, Seishu; Miyauchi, Carlos Makoto; Iizuka, Kunio; Yokoyama, Ryoichi; Shinada, Takamitsu; Yamamoto, Yuki; Hanawa, Sugiko; Araki, Tsuyoshi; Hashizume, Hiroshi; Sassa, Yuko; Kawashima, Ryuta
Processing speed is considered a key cognitive resource and it has a crucial role in all types of cognitive performance. Some researchers have hypothesised the importance of white matter integrity in the brain for processing speed; however, the relationship at the whole-brain level between white matter volume (WMV) and processing speed relevant to the modality or problem used in the task has never been clearly evaluated in healthy people. In this study, we used various tests of processing speed and Voxel-Based Morphometry (VBM) analyses, it is involves a voxel-wise comparison of the local volume of gray and white, to assess the relationship between processing speed and regional WMV (rWMV). We examined the association between processing speed and WMV in 887 healthy young adults (504 men and 383 women; mean age, 20.7 years, SD, 1.85). We performed three different multiple regression analyses: we evaluated rWMV associated with individual differences in the simple processing speed task, word–colour and colour–word tasks (processing speed tasks with words) and the simple arithmetic task, after adjusting for age and sex. The results showed a positive relationship at the whole-brain level between rWMV and processing speed performance. In contrast, the processing speed performance did not correlate with rWMV in any of the regions examined. Our results support the idea that WMV is associated globally with processing speed performance regardless of the type of processing speed task. PMID:26397946
Olsen, Rosanna K; Pangelinan, Melissa M; Bogulski, Cari; Chakravarty, M Mallar; Luk, Gigi; Grady, Cheryl L; Bialystok, Ellen
Lifelong bilingualism is associated with the delayed diagnosis of dementia, suggesting bilingual experience is relevant to brain health in aging. While the effects of bilingualism on cognitive functions across the lifespan are well documented, less is known about the neural substrates underlying differential behaviour. It is clear that bilingualism affects brain regions that mediate language abilities and that these regions are at least partially overlapping with those that exhibit age-related decline. Moreover, the behavioural advantages observed in bilingualism are generally found in executive function performance, suggesting that the frontal lobes may also be sensitive to bilingualism, which exhibit volume reductions with age. The current study investigated structural differences in the brain of lifelong bilingual older adults (n=14, mean age=70.4) compared with older monolinguals (n=14, mean age=70.6). We employed two analytic approaches: 1) we examined global differences in grey and white matter volumes; and, 2) we examined local differences in volume and cortical thickness of specific regions of interest previously implicated in bilingual/monolingual comparisons (temporal pole) or in aging (entorhinal cortex and hippocampus). We expected bilinguals would exhibit greater volume of the frontal lobe and temporal lobe (grey and white matter), given the importance of these regions in executive and language functions, respectively. We further hypothesized that regions in the medial temporal lobe, which demonstrate early changes in aging and exhibit neural pathology in dementia, would be more preserved in the bilingual group. As predicted, bilinguals exhibit greater frontal lobe white matter compared with monolinguals. Moreover, increasing age was related to decreasing temporal pole cortical thickness in the monolingual group, but no such relationship was observed for bilinguals. Finally, Stroop task performance was positively correlated with frontal lobe white
Trotter, Benjamin B.; Robinson, Meghan E.; Milberg, William P.; McGlinchey, Regina E.
Mild traumatic brain injury, or concussion, is associated with a range of neural changes including altered white matter structure. There is emerging evidence that blast exposure—one of the most pervasive causes of casualties in the recent overseas conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan—is accompanied by a range of neurobiological events that may result in pathological changes to brain structure and function that occur independently of overt concussion symptoms. The potential effects of brain injury due to blast exposure are of great concern as a history of mild traumatic brain injury has been identified as a risk factor for age-associated neurodegenerative disease. The present study used diffusion tensor imaging to investigate whether military-associated blast exposure influences the association between age and white matter tissue structure integrity in a large sample of veterans of the recent conflicts (n = 190 blast-exposed; 59 without exposure) between the ages of 19 and 62 years. Tract-based spatial statistics revealed a significant blast exposure × age interaction on diffusion parameters with blast-exposed individuals exhibiting a more rapid cross-sectional age trajectory towards reduced tissue integrity. Both distinct and overlapping voxel clusters demonstrating the interaction were observed among the examined diffusion contrast measures (e.g. fractional anisotropy and radial diffusivity). The regions showing the effect on fractional anisotropy included voxels both within and beyond the boundaries of the regions exhibiting a significant negative association between fractional anisotropy and age in the entire cohort. The regional effect was sensitive to the degree of blast exposure, suggesting a ‘dose-response’ relationship between the number of blast exposures and white matter integrity. Additionally, there was an age-independent negative association between fractional anisotropy and years since most severe blast exposure in a subset of the blast
Trotter, Benjamin B; Robinson, Meghan E; Milberg, William P; McGlinchey, Regina E; Salat, David H
Mild traumatic brain injury, or concussion, is associated with a range of neural changes including altered white matter structure. There is emerging evidence that blast exposure-one of the most pervasive causes of casualties in the recent overseas conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan-is accompanied by a range of neurobiological events that may result in pathological changes to brain structure and function that occur independently of overt concussion symptoms. The potential effects of brain injury due to blast exposure are of great concern as a history of mild traumatic brain injury has been identified as a risk factor for age-associated neurodegenerative disease. The present study used diffusion tensor imaging to investigate whether military-associated blast exposure influences the association between age and white matter tissue structure integrity in a large sample of veterans of the recent conflicts (n = 190 blast-exposed; 59 without exposure) between the ages of 19 and 62 years. Tract-based spatial statistics revealed a significant blast exposure × age interaction on diffusion parameters with blast-exposed individuals exhibiting a more rapid cross-sectional age trajectory towards reduced tissue integrity. Both distinct and overlapping voxel clusters demonstrating the interaction were observed among the examined diffusion contrast measures (e.g. fractional anisotropy and radial diffusivity). The regions showing the effect on fractional anisotropy included voxels both within and beyond the boundaries of the regions exhibiting a significant negative association between fractional anisotropy and age in the entire cohort. The regional effect was sensitive to the degree of blast exposure, suggesting a 'dose-response' relationship between the number of blast exposures and white matter integrity. Additionally, there was an age-independent negative association between fractional anisotropy and years since most severe blast exposure in a subset of the blast-exposed group
Nagamatsu, Lindsay S.; Hsu, Chun Liang; Davis, Jennifer C.; Best, John R.; Liu-Ambrose, Teresa
Background With our aging population, understanding determinants of healthy aging is a priority. One essential component of healthy aging is mobility. While self-efficacy can directly impact mobility in older adults, it is unknown what role brain health may play in this relationship. Methods We conducted a cross-sectional pilot analysis of community-dwelling women (n = 80, mean age = 69 years) to examine whether brain volume mediates the relationship between falls-related self-efficacy, as measured by the Activities-specific Balance Confidence (ABC) scale, and mobility, as measured by the Timed Up and Go (TUG) test. Age, depression, education, functional comorbidities, and Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) were included in the model as covariates. Results We report that total white matter volume, specifically, significantly mediates the relationship between self-efficacy and mobility, where higher self-efficacy was associated with greater white matter volume (r=0.28), which in turn, was associated with better mobility (r=−0.30). Conclusions Our pilot study extends our understanding of the psychosocial and neurological factors that contribute to mobility, and provides insight into effective strategies that may be used to improve functional independence among older adults. Future prospective and intervention studies are required to further elucidate the nature of the relationship between self-efficacy, mobility, and brain health. PMID:27749206
Lin, Xiao; Dong, Guangheng; Wang, Qiandong; Du, Xiaoxia
Internet gaming addiction (IGA) is usually defined as the inability of an individual to control his/her use of the Internet with serious negative consequences. It is becoming a prevalent mental health concern around the world. To understand whether Internet gaming addiction contributes to cerebral structural changes, the present study examined the brain gray matter density and white matter density changes in participants suffering IGA using voxel-based morphometric analysis. Compared with the healthy controls (N=36, 22.2 ± 3.13 years), IGA participants (N=35, 22.28 ± 2.54 years) showed significant lower gray matter density in the bilateral inferior frontal gyrus, left cingulate gyrus, insula, right precuneus, and right hippocampus (all p<0.05). IGA participants also showed significant lower white matter density in the inferior frontal gyrus, insula, amygdala, and anterior cingulate than healthy controls (all p<0.05). Previous studies suggest that these brain regions are involved in decision-making, behavioral inhibition and emotional regulation. Current findings might provide insight in understanding the biological underpinnings of IGA.
Herculano-Houzel, Suzana; Mota, Bruno; Kaas, Jon H.
Larger brains have an increasingly folded cerebral cortex whose white matter scales up faster than the gray matter. Here we analyze the cellular composition of the subcortical white matter in 11 primate species, including humans, and one Scandentia, and show that the mass of the white matter scales linearly across species with its number of nonneuronal cells, which is expected to be proportional to the total length of myelinated axons in the white matter. This result implies that the average axonal cross-section area in the white matter, a, does not scale significantly with the number of neurons in the gray matter, N. The surface area of the white matter increases with N0.87, not N1.0. Because this surface can be defined as the product of N, a, and the fraction n of cortical neurons connected through the white matter, we deduce that connectivity decreases in larger cerebral cortices as a slowly diminishing fraction of neurons, which varies with N−0.16, sends myelinated axons into the white matter. Decreased connectivity is compatible with previous suggestions that neurons in the cerebral cortex are connected as a small-world network and should slow down the increase in global conduction delay in cortices with larger numbers of neurons. Further, a simple model shows that connectivity and cortical folding are directly related across species. We offer a white matter-based mechanism to account for increased cortical folding across species, which we propose to be driven by connectivity-related tension in the white matter, pulling down on the gray matter. PMID:20956290
Kuceyeski, A.F.; Vargas, W.; Dayan, M.; Monohan, E.; Blackwell, C.; Raj, A.; Fujimoto, K.; Gauthier, S.A.
Background and Purpose Quantitative assessment of clinical and pathologic consequences of white matter abnormalities in multiple sclerosis is critical in understanding the pathways of disease. This study aimed to test whether gray matter atrophy was related to abnormalities in connecting white matter and to identify patterns of imaging biomarker abnormalities that were related to patient processing speed. Materials and Methods Image data and Symbol Digit Modalities Test scores were collected from a cohort of patients with early multiple sclerosis. The Network Modification Tool was used to estimate connectivity irregularities by projecting white matter abnormalities onto connecting gray matter regions. Partial least-squares regression quantified the relationship between imaging biomarkers and processing speed as measured by the Symbol Digit Modalities Test. Results Atrophy in deep gray matter structures of the thalami and putamen had moderate and significant correlations with abnormalities in connecting white matter (r = 0.39–0.41, P < .05 corrected). The 2 models of processing speed, 1 for each of the WM imaging biomarkers, had goodness-of-fit (R2) values of 0.42 and 0.30. A measure of the impact of white matter lesions on the connectivity of occipital and parietal areas had significant nonzero regression coefficients. Conclusions We concluded that deep gray matter regions may be susceptible to inflammation and/or demyelination in white matter, possibly having a higher sensitivity to remote degeneration, and that lesions affecting visual processing pathways were related to processing speed. The Network Modification Tool may be used to quantify the impact of early white matter abnormalities on both connecting gray matter structures and processing speed. PMID:25414004
Matute, Carlos; Ransom, Bruce R
The phylogenetic enlargement of cerebral cortex culminating in the human brain imposed greater communication needs that have been met by the massive expansion of WM (white matter). Damage to WM alters brain function, and numerous neurological diseases feature WM involvement. In the current review, we discuss the major features of WM, the contributions of WM compromise to brain pathophysiology, and some of the mechanisms mediating WM injury. We will emphasize the newly appreciated importance of neurotransmitter signalling in WM, particularly glutamate and ATP signalling, to understanding both normal and abnormal brain functions. A deeper understanding of the mechanisms leading to WM damage will generate much-needed insights for developing therapies for acute and chronic diseases with WM involvement. PMID:22313331
Owen, Julia P; Wang, Maxwell B; Mukherjee, Pratik
The edges of the structural connectome traverse the white matter to connect cortical and subcortical nodes, although the anatomic embedding of these edges is generally overlooked in the literature. Characterization of the geometry of the structural connectome could provide an improved understanding of the relative importance of various white matter regions to the network architecture of the human brain in normal development and aging, as well as in white matter diseases with regionally specific patterns of vulnerability. Edge density imaging (EDI) has previously been used to show that the posterior periventricular white matter contains a disproportionately large number of connectome edges. In this study, the regional distribution of connectome edges within cerebral white matter, including the importance of posterior periventricular white matter, is further investigated and demonstrated to be invariant to different gray matter parcellations and different diffusion MRI acquisition and postprocessing/tractography methods. An examination of the highest k-core edges and a virtual lesion analysis illuminate hemispheric asymmetries (left>right) in the embedding of connectome edges. Therefore, EDI reveals specific areas of vulnerability within the white matter connectivity of the human brain, especially in the periventricular white matter. The idea of a periventricular nexus fits with the known neurobiology of brain development and may result from simple geometrical considerations in minimizing wiring cost in structural brain connectivity.
Habes, Mohamad; Erus, Guray; Toledo, Jon B; Zhang, Tianhao; Bryan, Nick; Launer, Lenore J; Rosseel, Yves; Janowitz, Deborah; Doshi, Jimit; Van der Auwera, Sandra; von Sarnowski, Bettina; Hegenscheid, Katrin; Hosten, Norbert; Homuth, Georg; Völzke, Henry; Schminke, Ulf; Hoffmann, Wolfgang; Grabe, Hans J; Davatzikos, Christos
White matter hyperintensities are associated with increased risk of dementia and cognitive decline. The current study investigates the relationship between white matter hyperintensities burden and patterns of brain atrophy associated with brain ageing and Alzheimer's disease in a large populatison-based sample (n = 2367) encompassing a wide age range (20-90 years), from the Study of Health in Pomerania. We quantified white matter hyperintensities using automated segmentation and summarized atrophy patterns using machine learning methods resulting in two indices: the SPARE-BA index (capturing age-related brain atrophy), and the SPARE-AD index (previously developed to capture patterns of atrophy found in patients with Alzheimer's disease). A characteristic pattern of age-related accumulation of white matter hyperintensities in both periventricular and deep white matter areas was found. Individuals with high white matter hyperintensities burden showed significantly (P < 0.0001) lower SPARE-BA and higher SPARE-AD values compared to those with low white matter hyperintensities burden, indicating that the former had more patterns of atrophy in brain regions typically affected by ageing and Alzheimer's disease dementia. To investigate a possibly causal role of white matter hyperintensities, structural equation modelling was used to quantify the effect of Framingham cardiovascular disease risk score and white matter hyperintensities burden on SPARE-BA, revealing a statistically significant (P < 0.0001) causal relationship between them. Structural equation modelling showed that the age effect on SPARE-BA was mediated by white matter hyperintensities and cardiovascular risk score each explaining 10.4% and 21.6% of the variance, respectively. The direct age effect explained 70.2% of the SPARE-BA variance. Only white matter hyperintensities significantly mediated the age effect on SPARE-AD explaining 32.8% of the variance. The direct age effect explained 66.0% of the SPARE
Manninen, Otto; Laitinen, Teemu; Lehtimäki, Kimmo K.; Tegelberg, Saara; Lehesjoki, Anna-Elina; Gröhn, Olli; Kopra, Outi
Unverricht-Lundborg type progressive myoclonus epilepsy (EPM1, OMIM 254800) is an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by onset at the age of 6 to 16 years, incapacitating stimulus-sensitive myoclonus and tonic-clonic epileptic seizures. It is caused by mutations in the gene encoding cystatin B. Previously, widespread white matter changes and atrophy has been detected both in adult EPM1 patients and in 6-month-old cystatin B–deficient mice, a mouse model for the EPM1 disease. In order to elucidate the spatiotemporal dynamics of the brain atrophy and white matter changes in EPM1, we conducted longitudinal in vivo magnetic resonance imaging and ex vivo diffusion tensor imaging accompanied with tract-based spatial statistics analysis to compare volumetric changes and fractional anisotropy in the brains of 1 to 6 months of age cystatin B–deficient and control mice. The results reveal progressive but non-uniform volume loss of the cystatin B–deficient mouse brains, indicating that different neuronal populations possess distinct sensitivity to the damage caused by cystatin B deficiency. The diffusion tensor imaging data reveal early and progressive white matter alterations in cystatin B–deficient mice affecting all major tracts. The results also indicate that the white matter damage in the cystatin B–deficient brain is most likely secondary to glial activation and neurodegenerative events rather than a primary result of CSTB deficiency. The data also show that diffusion tensor imaging combined with TBSS analysis provides a feasible approach not only to follow white matter damage in neurodegenerative mouse models but also to detect fractional anisotropy changes related to normal white matter maturation and reorganisation. PMID:24603771
Riddle, Art; Maire, Jennifer; Cai, Victor; Nguyen, Thuan; Gong, Xi; Hansen, Kelly; Grafe, Marjorie R.; Hohimer, A. Roger; Back, Stephen A.
Background and Purpose Although the spectrum of perinatal white matter injury (WMI) in preterm infants is shifting from cystic encephalomalacia to milder forms of WMI, the factors that contribute to this changing spectrum are unclear. We hypothesized that the variability in WMI quantified by immunohistochemical markers of inflammation could be correlated with the severity of impaired blood oxygen, glucose and lactate. Methods We employed a preterm fetal sheep model of in utero moderate hypoxemia and global severe but not complete cerebral ischemia that reproduces the spectrum of human WMI. Since there is small but measurable residual brain blood flow during occlusion, we sought to determine if the metabolic state of the residual arterial blood was associated with severity of WMI. Near the conclusion of hypoxia-ischemia, we recorded cephalic arterial blood pressure, blood oxygen, glucose and lactate levels. To define the spectrum of WMI, an ordinal WMI rating scale was compared against an unbiased quantitative image analysis protocol that provided continuous histo-pathological outcome measures for astrogliosis and microgliosis derived from the entire white matter. Results A spectrum of WMI was observed that ranged from diffuse non-necrotic lesions to more severe injury that comprised discrete foci of microscopic or macroscopic necrosis. Residual arterial pressure, oxygen content and blood glucose displayed a significant inverse association with WMI and lactate concentrations were directly related. Elevated glucose levels were the most significantly associated with less severe WMI. Conclusions Our results suggest that under conditions of hypoxemia and severe cephalic hypotension, WMI severity measured using unbiased immunohistochemical measurements correlated with several physiologic parameters, including glucose, which may be a useful marker of fetal response to hypoxia or provide protection against energy failure and more severe WMI. PMID:24416093
Riad, Medhat M.; Platel, Bram; de Leeuw, Frank-Erik; Karssemeijer, Nico
White matter lesions (WML) are diffuse white matter abnormalities commonly found in older subjects and are important indicators of stroke, multiple sclerosis, dementia and other disorders. We present an automated WML detection method and evaluate it on a dataset of small vessel disease (SVD) patients. In early SVD, small WMLs are expected to be of importance for the prediction of disease progression. Commonly used WML segmentation methods tend to ignore small WMLs and are mostly validated on the basis of total lesion load or a Dice coefficient for all detected WMLs. Therefore, in this paper, we present a method that is designed to detect individual lesions, large or small, and we validate the detection performance of our system with FROC (free-response ROC) analysis. For the automated detection, we use supervised classification making use of multimodal voxel based features from different magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) sequences, including intensities, tissue probabilities, voxel locations and distances, neighborhood textures and others. After preprocessing, including co-registration, brain extraction, bias correction, intensity normalization, and nonlinear registration, ventricle segmentation is performed and features are calculated for each brain voxel. A gentle-boost classifier is trained using these features from 50 manually annotated subjects to give each voxel a probability of being a lesion voxel. We perform ROC analysis to illustrate the benefits of using additional features to the commonly used voxel intensities; significantly increasing the area under the curve (Az) from 0.81 to 0.96 (p<0.05). We perform the FROC analysis by testing our classifier on 50 previously unseen subjects and compare the results with manual annotations performed by two experts. Using the first annotator results as our reference, the second annotator performs at a sensitivity of 0.90 with an average of 41 false positives per subject while our automated method reached the same
Dohn, Anders; Garza-Villarreal, Eduardo A; Chakravarty, M Mallar; Hansen, Mads; Lerch, Jason P; Vuust, Peter
Absolute pitch (AP), the ability to identify a musical pitch without a reference, has been examined behaviorally in numerous studies for more than a century, yet only a few studies have examined the neuroanatomical correlates of AP. Here, we used MRI and diffusion tensor imaging to investigate structural differences in brains of musicians with and without AP, by means of whole-brain vertex-wise cortical thickness (CT) analysis and tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) analysis. APs displayed increased CT in a number of areas including the bilateral superior temporal gyrus (STG), the left inferior frontal gyrus, and the right supramarginal gyrus. Furthermore, we found higher fractional anisotropy in APs within the path of the inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus, the uncinate fasciculus, and the inferior longitudinal fasciculus. The findings in gray matter support previous studies indicating an increased left lateralized posterior STG in APs, yet they differ from previous findings of thinner cortex for a number of areas in APs. Finally, we found a relation between the white-matter results and the CT in the right parahippocampal gyrus. In this study, we present novel findings in AP research that may have implications for the understanding of the neuroanatomical underpinnings of AP ability.
Prins, Marloes; Schul, Emma; Geurts, Jeroen; van der Valk, Paul; Drukarch, Benjamin; van Dam, Anne-Marie
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a debilitating disease characterized by demyelination of the central nervous system (CNS), resulting in widespread formation of white matter lesions (WMLs) and grey matter lesions (GMLs). WMLs are pathologically characterized by the presence of immune cells that infiltrate the CNS, whereas these immune cells are barely present in GMLs. This striking pathological difference between WMLs and GMLs raises questions about the underlying mechanism. It is known that infiltrating leukocytes contribute to the generation of WMLs; however, since GMLs show a paucity of infiltrating immune cells, their importance in GML formation remains to be determined. Here, we review pathological characteristics of WMLs and GMLs, and suggest some possible explanations for the observed pathological differences. In our view, cellular and molecular characteristics of WM and GM, and local differences within WMLs and GMLs (in particular, in glial cell populations and the molecules they express), determine the pathway to demyelination. Further understanding of GML pathogenesis, considered to contribute to chronic MS, may have a direct impact on the development of novel therapeutic targets to counteract this progressive neurological disorder.
Park, In Sung; Lee, Ye Na; Kwon, Soonwook; Lee, Nam Joon
Recent neuroimaging studies indicate that learning a novel motor skill induces plastic changes in the brain structures of both gray matter (GM) and white matter (WM) that are associated with a specific practice. We previously reported an increased volume of vermian lobules VI-VII (declive, folium, and tuber) in elite basketball athletes who require coordination for dribbling and shooting a ball, which awakened the central role of the cerebellum in motor coordination. However, the precise factor contributing to the increased volume was not determined. In the present study, we compared the volumes of the GM and WM in the sub-regions of the cerebellar vermis based on manual voxel analysis with the ImageJ program. We found significantly larger WM volumes of vermian lobules VI-VII (declive, folium, and tuber) in elite basketball athletes in response to long-term intensive motor learning. We suggest that the larger WM volumes of this region in elite basketball athletes represent a motor learning-induced plastic change, and that the WM of this region likely plays a critical role in coordination. This finding will contribute to gaining a deeper understanding of motor learning-evoked WM plasticity. PMID:26770877
Riederer, Justin W; Shott, Megan E; Deguzman, Marisa; Pryor, Tamara L; Frank, Guido K W
Despite the prevalence of obesity, our understanding of its neurobiological underpinnings is insufficient. Diffusion weighted imaging and calculation of white matter connection strength are methods to describe the architecture of anatomical white matter tracts. This study is aimed to characterize white matter architecture within taste-reward circuitry in a population of obese individuals. Obese (n = 18, age = 28.7 ± 8.3 years) and healthy control (n = 24, age = 27.4 ± 6.3 years) women underwent diffusion weighted imaging. Using probabilistic fiber tractography (FSL PROBTRACKX2 toolbox) we calculated connection strength within 138 anatomical white matter tracts. Obese women (OB) displayed lower and greater connectivity within taste-reward circuitry compared to controls (Wilks' λ < 0.001; p < 0.001). Connectivity was lower in white matter tracts connecting insula, amygdala, prefrontal cortex (PFC), orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and striatum. Connectivity was greater between the amygdala and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). This study indicates that lower white matter connectivity within white matter tracts of insula-fronto-striatal taste-reward circuitry are associated with obesity as well as greater connectivity within white matter tracts connecting the amygdala and ACC. The specificity of regions suggests sensory integration and reward processing are key associations that are altered in and might contribute to obesity.
White matter occupies almost half of the human brain. It contains axons connecting spatially segregated modules and, as such, it is essential for the smooth flow of information in functional networks. Structural maturation of white matter continues during adolescence, as reflected in age-related changes in its volume, as well as in its…
Cecil, Kim M; Kos, Radmila Savcic
This review provides the reader with an overview of the magnetic resonance spectroscopy technique and the clinical, pathological, imaging, and metabolic features for select white matter disorders of interest. With this composite summary, the reader should find it easier to implement and interpret spectroscopy in the clinical setting for the diagnosis and monitoring of patients with white matter disorders.
Ferrer, Emilio; Whitaker, Kirstie J.; Steele, Joel S.; Green, Chloe T.; Wendelken, Carter; Bunge, Silvia A.
The structure of the human brain changes in several ways throughout childhood and adolescence. Perhaps the most salient of these changes is the strengthening of white matter tracts that enable distal brain regions to communicate with one another more quickly and efficiently. Here, we sought to understand whether and how white matter changes…
Riederer, Justin W.; Shott, Megan E.; Deguzman, Marisa; Pryor, Tamara L.; Frank, Guido K. W.
Despite the prevalence of obesity, our understanding of its neurobiological underpinnings is insufficient. Diffusion weighted imaging and calculation of white matter connection strength are methods to describe the architecture of anatomical white matter tracts. This study is aimed to characterize white matter architecture within taste-reward circuitry in a population of obese individuals. Obese (n = 18, age = 28.7 ± 8.3 years) and healthy control (n = 24, age = 27.4 ± 6.3 years) women underwent diffusion weighted imaging. Using probabilistic fiber tractography (FSL PROBTRACKX2 toolbox) we calculated connection strength within 138 anatomical white matter tracts. Obese women (OB) displayed lower and greater connectivity within taste-reward circuitry compared to controls (Wilks’ λ < 0.001; p < 0.001). Connectivity was lower in white matter tracts connecting insula, amygdala, prefrontal cortex (PFC), orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and striatum. Connectivity was greater between the amygdala and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). This study indicates that lower white matter connectivity within white matter tracts of insula-fronto-striatal taste-reward circuitry are associated with obesity as well as greater connectivity within white matter tracts connecting the amygdala and ACC. The specificity of regions suggests sensory integration and reward processing are key associations that are altered in and might contribute to obesity. PMID:27375463
Back, Stephen A.
Perinatal brain injury in survivors of premature birth has a unique and unexplained predilection for periventricular cerebral white matter. Periventricular white-matter injury (PWMI) is now the most common cause of brain injury in preterm infants and the leading cause of chronic neurological morbidity. The spectrum of chronic PWMI includes focal…
Shukla, Dinesh K.; Keehn, Brandon; Smylie, Daren M.; Muller, Ralph-Axel
Recent functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) studies have suggested atypical functional connectivity and reduced integrity of long-distance white matter fibers in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, evidence for short-distance white matter fibers is still limited, despite some speculation of…
Gait impairment is common in the elderly, especially affected by stroke and white matter hyper intensities found in conventional brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) is more sensitive to white matter damage than conventional MRI. The relationship between DTI measure...
Dockstader, Colleen; Gaetz, William; Rockel, Conrad; Mabbott, Donald J
In humans, white matter maturation is important for the improvement of cognitive function and performance with age. Across studies the variables of white matter maturity and age are highly correlated; however, the unique contributions of white matter to information processing speed remain relatively unknown. We investigated the relations between the speed of the visually-evoked P100m response and the biophysical properties of white matter in 11 healthy children performing a simple, visually-cued finger movement. We found that: (1) the latency of the early, visually-evoked response was related to the integrity of white matter in both visual and motor association areas and (2) white matter maturation in these areas accounted for the variations in visual processing speed, independent of age. Our study is a novel investigation of spatial-temporal dynamics in the developing brain and provides evidence that white matter maturation accounts for age-related decreases in the speed of visual response. Developmental models of cortical specialization should incorporate the unique role of white matter maturation in mediating changes in performance during tasks involving visual processing.
Nagel, Bonnie J.; Bathula, Deepti; Herting, Megan; Schmitt, Colleen; Kroenke, Christopher D.; Fair, Damien; Nigg, Joel T.
Objective: Identification of biomarkers is a priority for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Studies have documented macrostructural brain alterations in ADHD, but few have examined white matter microstructure, particularly in preadolescent children. Given dramatic white matter maturation across childhood, microstructural differences…
Connally, Emily L; Ward, David; Howell, Peter; Watkins, Kate E
White matter tracts connecting areas involved in speech and motor control were examined using diffusion-tensor imaging in a sample of people who stutter (n=29) who were heterogeneous with respect to age, sex, handedness and stuttering severity. The goals were to replicate previous findings in developmental stuttering and to extend our knowledge by evaluating the relationship between white matter differences in people who stutter and factors such as age, sex, handedness and stuttering severity. We replicated previous findings that showed reduced integrity in white matter underlying ventral premotor cortex, cerebral peduncles and posterior corpus callosum in people who stutter relative to controls. Tractography analysis additionally revealed significantly reduced white matter integrity in the arcuate fasciculus bilaterally and the left corticospinal tract and significantly reduced connectivity within the left corticobulbar tract in people who stutter. Region-of-interest analyses revealed reduced white matter integrity in people who stutter in the three pairs of cerebellar peduncles that carry the afferent and efferent fibers of the cerebellum. Within the group of people who stutter, the higher the stuttering severity index, the lower the white matter integrity in the left angular gyrus, but the greater the white matter connectivity in the left corticobulbar tract. Also, in people who stutter, handedness and age predicted the integrity of the corticospinal tract and peduncles, respectively. Further studies are needed to determine which of these white matter differences relate to the neural basis of stuttering and which reflect experience-dependent plasticity.
Sahyoun, Cherif P.; Belliveau, John W.; Mody, Maria
The current study investigated the neurobiological role of white matter in visuospatial versus linguistic processing abilities in autism using diffusion tensor imaging. We examined differences in white matter integrity between high-functioning children with autism (HFA) and typically developing controls (CTRL), in relation to the groups' response…
Medina, Krista Lisdahl; Nagel, Bonnie J.; Park, Ann; McQueeny, Tim; Tapert, Susan F.
Background: Depressed mood has been associated with decreased white matter and reduced hippocampal volumes. However, the relationship between brain structure and mood may be unique among adolescents who use marijuana heavily. The goal of this study was to examine the relationship between white matter and hippocampal volumes and depressive symptoms…
Gawryluk, Jodie R.; Mazerolle, Erin L.; D'Arcy, Ryan C. N.
Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is a non-invasive technique that allows for visualization of activated brain regions. Until recently, fMRI studies have focused on gray matter. There are two main reasons white matter fMRI remains controversial: (1) the blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) fMRI signal depends on cerebral blood flow and volume, which are lower in white matter than gray matter and (2) fMRI signal has been associated with post-synaptic potentials (mainly localized in gray matter) as opposed to action potentials (the primary type of neural activity in white matter). Despite these observations, there is no direct evidence against measuring fMRI activation in white matter and reports of fMRI activation in white matter continue to increase. The questions underlying white matter fMRI activation are important. White matter fMRI activation has the potential to greatly expand the breadth of brain connectivity research, as well as improve the assessment and diagnosis of white matter and connectivity disorders. The current review provides an overview of the motivation to investigate white matter fMRI activation, as well as the published evidence of this phenomenon. We speculate on possible neurophysiologic bases of white matter fMRI signals, and discuss potential explanations for why reports of white matter fMRI activation are relatively scarce. We end with a discussion of future basic and clinical research directions in the study of white matter fMRI. PMID:25152709
Wu, Tung-Lin; Wang, Feng; Anderson, Adam W; Chen, Li Min; Ding, Zhaohua; Gore, John C
Resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rsfMRI) has been widely used to measure functional connectivity between cortical regions of the brain. However, there have been minimal reports of bold oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) signals in white matter, and even fewer attempts to detect resting state connectivity. Recently, there has been growing evidence that suggests that reliable detection of white matter BOLD signals may be possible. We have previously shown that nearest neighbor inter-voxel correlations of resting state BOLD signal fluctuations in white matter are anisotropic and can be represented by a functional correlation tensor, but the biophysical origins of these signal variations are not clear. We aimed to assess whether MRI signal fluctuations in white matter vary for different baseline levels of neural activity. We performed imaging studies on live squirrel monkeys under different levels of isoflurane anesthesia at 9.4T. We found 1) the fractional power (0.01-0.08Hz) in white matter was between 60 to 75% of the level in gray matter; 2) the power in both gray and white matter low frequencies decreased monotonically in similar manner with increasing levels of anesthesia; 3) the distribution of fractional anisotropy values of the functional tensors in white matter were significantly higher than those in gray matter; and 4) the functional tensor eigenvalues decreased with increasing level of anesthesia. Our results suggest that as anesthesia level changes baseline neural activity, white matter signal fluctuations behave similarly to those in gray matter, and functional tensors in white matter are affected in parallel.
Burzynska, Agnieszka Z; Wong, Chelsea N; Voss, Michelle W; Cooke, Gillian E; McAuley, Edward; Kramer, Arthur F
Decline in cognitive performance in old age is linked to both suboptimal neural processing in grey matter (GM) and reduced integrity of white matter (WM), but the whole-brain structure-function-cognition associations remain poorly understood. Here we apply a novel measure of GM processing-moment-to-moment variability in the blood oxygenation level-dependent signal (SDBOLD)-to study the associations between GM function during resting state, performance on four main cognitive domains (i.e., fluid intelligence, perceptual speed, episodic memory, vocabulary), and WM microstructural integrity in 91 healthy older adults (aged 60-80 years). We modeled the relations between whole-GM SDBOLD with cognitive performance using multivariate partial least squares analysis. We found that greater SDBOLD was associated with better fluid abilities and memory. Most of regions showing behaviorally relevant SDBOLD (e.g., precuneus and insula) were localized to inter- or intra-network "hubs" that connect and integrate segregated functional domains in the brain. Our results suggest that optimal dynamic range of neural processing in hub regions may support cognitive operations that specifically rely on the most flexible neural processing and complex cross-talk between different brain networks. Finally, we demonstrated that older adults with greater WM integrity in all major WM tracts had also greater SDBOLD and better performance on tests of memory and fluid abilities. We conclude that SDBOLD is a promising functional neural correlate of individual differences in cognition in healthy older adults and is supported by overall WM integrity.
Frank, Guido K.W.; Shott, Megan E.; Hagman, Jennifer O.; Yang, Tony T.
Objective The neurobiological underpinnings of anorexia nervosa (AN) are poorly understood. In this study we tested whether brain gray matter (GM) and white matter (WM) in adolescents with AN would show alterations comparable to adults. Method We used magnetic resonance imaging to study GM and WM volume, and diffusion tensor imaging to assess fractional anisotropy for WM integrity in 19 adolescents with AN and 22 controls. Results Individuals with AN showed greater left orbitofrontal, right insular, and bilateral temporal cortex GM, as well as temporal lobe WM volumes compared to controls. WM integrity in adolescents with AN was lower (lower fractional anisotropy) in fornix, posterior frontal, and parietal areas, but higher in anterior frontal, orbitofrontal, and temporal lobes. In individuals with AN, orbitofrontal GM volume correlated negatively with sweet taste pleasantness. An additional comparison of this study cohort with adult individuals with AN and healthy controls supported greater orbitofrontal cortex and insula volumes in AN across age groups. Conclusions This study indicates larger orbitofrontal and insular GM volumes, as well as lower fornix WM integrity in adolescents with AN, similar to adults. The pattern of larger anteroventral GM and WM volume as well as WM integrity, but lower WM integrity in posterior frontal and parietal regions may indicate that developmental factors such as GM pruning and WM growth could contribute to brain alterations in AN. The negative correlation between taste pleasantness and orbitofrontal cortex volume in individuals with AN could contribute to food avoidance in this disorder. PMID:24074473
Wang, Maggie; Norman, Jennifer E; Srinivasan, Vivek J; Rutledge, John C
White Matter Disease is increasingly being recognized as an important cause of cognitive decline and dementia. Various investigations have linked chronic diet-related conditions to the development of white matter lesions, which appear as white matter hyperintensities on T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of the brain. Thus, it can be postulated that the metabolic, inflammatory, and microvascular changes accompanying a western diet, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, and diabetes mellitus type II (DMII) are potential mediators in the development and progression of white matter disease, which in turn contributes to the development and progression of cognitive decline. This review will examine evidence for potential metabolic, inflammatory, and microvascular determinants of white matter disease and cognitive decline. Specifically, we will focus on the effects of altered insulin signaling in diabetes, obesity-induced oxidative stress, neuroinflammation, arterial stiffness due to hypertension, ischemia secondary to cerebral small vessel disease, and blood brain barrier disturbances. PMID:28078193
Elvsåshagen, Torbjørn; Norbom, Linn B.; Pedersen, Per Ø.; Quraishi, Sophia H.; Bjørnerud, Atle; Malt, Ulrik F.; Groote, Inge R.; Westlye, Lars T.
Background Elucidating the neurobiological effects of sleep and waking remains an important goal of the neurosciences. Recently, animal studies indicated that sleep is important for cell membrane and myelin maintenance in the brain and that these structures are particularly susceptible to insufficient sleep. Here, we tested the hypothesis that a day of waking and sleep deprivation would be associated with changes in diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) indices of white matter microstructure sensitive to axonal membrane and myelin alterations. Methods Twenty-one healthy adult males underwent DTI in the morning [7:30AM; time point (TP)1], after 14 hours of waking (TP2), and then after another 9 hours of waking (TP3). Whole brain voxel-wise analysis was performed with tract based spatial statistics. Results A day of waking was associated with widespread increases in white matter fractional anisotropy, which were mainly driven by radial diffusivity reductions, and sleep deprivation was associated with widespread fractional anisotropy decreases, which were mainly explained by reductions in axial diffusivity. In addition, larger decreases in axial diffusivity after sleep deprivation were associated with greater sleepiness. All DTI changes remained significant after adjusting for hydration measures. Conclusions This is the first DTI study of sleep deprivation in humans. Although previous studies have observed localized changes in DTI indices of cerebral microstructure over the course of a few hours, further studies are needed to confirm widespread DTI changes within hours of waking and to clarify whether such changes in white matter microstructure serve as neurobiological substrates of sleepiness. PMID:26020651
Wu, Chinglin; Zhong, Suyu; Chen, Hsuehchih
Remote association is a core ability that influences creative output. In contrast to close association, remote association is commonly agreed to be connected with more original and unique concepts. However, although existing studies have discovered that creativity is closely related to the white-matter structure of the brain, there are no studies that examine the relevance between the connectivity efficiencies and creativity of the brain regions from the perspective of networks. Consequently, this study constructed a brain white matter network structure that consisted of cerebral tissues and nerve fibers and used graph theory to analyze the connection efficiencies among the network nodes, further illuminating the differences between remote and close association in relation to the connectivity of the brain network. Researchers analyzed correlations between the scores of 35 healthy adults with regard to remote and close associations and the connectivity efficiencies of the white-matter network of the brain. Controlling for gender, age, and verbal intelligence, the remote association positively correlated with the global efficiency and negatively correlated with the levels of small-world. A close association negatively correlated with the global efficiency. Notably, the node efficiency in the middle temporal gyrus (MTG) positively correlated with remote association and negatively correlated with close association. To summarize, remote and close associations work differently as patterns in the brain network. Remote association requires efficient and convenient mutual connections between different brain regions, while close association emphasizes the limited connections that exist in a local region. These results are consistent with previous results, which indicate that creativity is based on the efficient integration and connection between different regions of the brain and that temporal lobes are the key regions for discriminating remote and close associations. PMID
Daianu, Madelaine; Mendez, Mario F; Baboyan, Vatche G; Jin, Yan; Melrose, Rebecca J; Jimenez, Elvira E; Thompson, Paul M
Cortical and subcortical nuclei degenerate in the dementias, but less is known about changes in the white matter tracts that connect them. To better understand white matter changes in behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) and early-onset Alzheimer's disease (EOAD), we used a novel approach to extract full 3D profiles of fiber bundles from diffusion-weighted MRI (DWI) and map white matter abnormalities onto detailed models of each pathway. The result is a spatially complex picture of tract-by-tract microstructural changes. Our atlas of tracts for each disease consists of 21 anatomically clustered and recognizable white matter tracts generated from whole-brain tractography in 20 patients with bvFTD, 23 with age-matched EOAD, and 33 healthy elderly controls. To analyze the landscape of white matter abnormalities, we used a point-wise tract correspondence method along the 3D profiles of the tracts and quantified the pathway disruptions using common diffusion metrics - fractional anisotropy, mean, radial, and axial diffusivity. We tested the hypothesis that bvFTD and EOAD are associated with preferential degeneration in specific neural networks. We mapped axonal tract damage that was best detected with mean and radial diffusivity metrics, supporting our network hypothesis, highly statistically significant and more sensitive than widely studied fractional anisotropy reductions. From white matter diffusivity, we identified abnormalities in bvFTD in all 21 tracts of interest but especially in the bilateral uncinate fasciculus, frontal callosum, anterior thalamic radiations, cingulum bundles and left superior longitudinal fasciculus. This network of white matter alterations extends beyond the most commonly studied tracts, showing greater white matter abnormalities in bvFTD versus controls and EOAD patients. In EOAD, network alterations involved more posterior white matter - the parietal sector of the corpus callosum and parahipoccampal cingulum bilaterally
Blackmon, Karen; Halgren, Eric; Barr, William B.; Carlson, Chad; Devinsky, Orrin; DuBois, Jonathan; Quinn, Brian T.; French, Jacqueline; Kuzniecky, Ruben
Blurring of the cortical gray and white matter border on MRI is associated with normal aging, pathological aging, and the presence of focal cortical dysplasia. However, it remains unclear whether normal variations in signal intensity contrast at the gray and white matter junction reflect the functional integrity of subjacent tissue. This study explores the relationship between verbal abilities and gray and white matter contrast (GWC) in healthy human adults. Participants were scanned at 3 T MRI and administered standardized measures of verbal expression and verbal working memory. GWC was estimated by calculating the non-normalized T1 image intensity contrast above and below the cortical gray/white matter interface. Spherical averaging and whole-brain correlational analyses were performed. Sulcal regions exhibited higher contrast compared to gyral regions. We found a strongly lateralized and regionally specific profile with reduced verbal expression abilities associated with blurring in left hemisphere inferior frontal cortex and temporal pole. Reduced verbal working memory was associated with blurring in widespread left frontal and temporal cortices. Such lateralized and focal results provide support for GWC as a measure of regional functional integrity and highlight its potential role in probing the neuroanatomical substrates of cognition in healthy and diseased populations. PMID:22031871
Hathout, Leith; Huang, Jimmy; Zamani, Amir; Morioka, Craig; El-Saden, Suzie
Advanced liver disease has long been associated with cerebral abnormalities. These abnormalities, termed acquired hepatocerebral degeneration, are typically visualized as T1 weighted hyperintensity on MRI in the deep gray matter of the basal ganglia. Recent reports, however, have demonstrated that a subset of patients with chronic alcoholic liver disease may also develop white matter abnormalities. Thus far, the morphology of these changes is not well characterized. Previous studies have described these changes as patchy, sporadic white matter abnormalities but have not posited localization of these changes to any particular white matter tracts. This paper hypothesizes that the white matter findings associated with advanced alcoholic liver disease localize to the corticocerebellar tracts. As an initial investigation of this hypothesis, 78 patients with a diagnosis of liver cirrhosis and an MRI showing clearly abnormal T1 weighted hyperintensity in the bilateral globus pallidus, characteristic of chronic liver disease, were examined for white matter signal abnormalities in the corticocerebellar tracts using FLAIR and T2 weighted images. The corticocerebellar tracts were subdivided into two regions: periventricular white matter (consisting of the sum of the centrum-semiovale and corona radiata), and lower white matter (consisting of the corona radiata, internal capsules, middle cerebral peduncles, middle cerebellar peduncles and cerebellum). As compared to matched controls, significantly greater signal abnormalities in both the periventricular white matter and lower white matter regions of the corticocerebellar tracts were observed in patients with known liver cirrhosis and abnormal T1 W hyperintensity in the globi pallidi. This difference was most pronounced in the lower white matter region of the corticocerebellar tract, with statistical significance of p<0.0005. Furthermore, the pathophysiologic mechanism underlying these changes remains unknown. This paper
Poteat, V. Paul; Spanierman, Lisa B.
To examine the validity and test the generalizability of the Psychosocial Costs of Racism to Whites Scale (PCRW) beyond the original college student sample, a geographically dispersed sample of employed White adults (N = 284) in eight states completed the measure to assess for White empathic reactions toward racism, White guilt, and White fear of…
Peeva, M.G.; Tourville, J.A.; Agam, Y.; Holland, B.; Manoach, D.S.; Guenther, F.H.
Impairments in language and communication are core features of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and a substantial percentage of children with ASD do not develop speech. ASD is often characterized as a disorder of brain connectivity, and a number of studies have identified white matter impairments in affected individuals. The current study investigated white matter integrity in the speech network of high-functioning adults with ASD. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) scans were collected from 18 participants with ASD and 18 neurotypical participants. Probabilistic tractography was used to estimate the connection strength between ventral premotor cortex (vPMC), a cortical region responsible for speech motor planning, and five other cortical regions in the network of areas involved in speech production. We found a weaker connection between the left vPMC and the supplementary motor area in the ASD group. This pathway has been hypothesized to underlie the initiation of speech motor programs. Our results indicate that a key pathway in the speech production network is impaired in ASD, and that this impairment can occur even in the presence of normal language abilities. Therapies that result in normalization of this pathway may hold particular promise for improving speech output in ASD. PMID:24273708
Thore, Clara R; Anstrom, John A; Moody, Dixon M; Challa, Venkata R; Marion, Miranda C; Brown, William R
Arteriolar tortuousities, consisting of vascular coils, loops, and spirals, appear in white matter in a subset of human cerebral vessels. Computerized morphometry was used to analyze brain sections from a broad age range of subjects to determine whether tortuosity is a phenomenon of aging or is associated with leukoaraiosis (LA) or Alzheimer disease (AD). Autopsy brains were studied from 55 subjects ranging in age from 23 weeks postconception to 102 years. Fourteen aged subjects were diagnosed with LA and 7 with AD. By using computerized morphometry, vascular curl (curvilinear length/straight length) was measured in white matter arterioles in 100-microm-thick, alkaline phosphatase-stained sections. Aging subjects, compared with young subjects, showed significant increases in both the prevalence and severity of tortuosity. Curl scores in aged subjects with LA or AD were not significantly different from aged controls without LA or AD. We conclude that 1) tortuous vessels are extremely rare in preterm babies, children, or young adults; 2) significant tortuosity, as indicated by elevated curl scores, begins in middle age; 3) tortuosity does not appear in a subset of aged individuals regardless of longevity; and 4) tortuosity does not appear in a subset of individuals with either LA or AD.
Nemeth, Christina L.; Gutman, David A.; Majeed, Waqas; Keilholz, Shella D.; Neigh, Gretchen N.
Microvascular disease leads to alterations of cerebral vasculature including the formation of microembolic (ME) strokes. Though ME are associated with changes in mood and the severity and progression of cognitive decline, the effect of ME strokes on cerebral microstructure and its relationship to behavioral endpoints is unknown. Here, we used adult and aged male rats to test the hypotheses that ME lesions result in subtle changes to white and gray matter integrity as detected by high-throughput diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and that these structural disruptions correspond to behavioral deficits. Two weeks post-surgery, aged animals showed depressive-like behaviors in the sucrose consumption test in the absence of altered cerebral diffusivity as assessed by ex-vivo DTI. Furthermore, DTI indices did not correlate with the degree of behavioral disruption in aged animals or in a subset of animals with observed tissue cavitation and subtle DTI alterations. Together, data suggest that behavioral deficits are not the result of damage to brain regions or white matter tracts, rather the activity of other systems may underlie functional disruption and recovery. PMID:24811070
Espinosa-Jeffrey, Araceli; Barajas, Socorro A. R.; Arrazola, Alfonso R.; Taniguchi, Alana; Zhao, Paul M.; Bokhoor, Payam; Holley, Sandra M.; Dejarme, Don P.; Chu, Brian; Cepeda, Carlos; Levine, Michael S.; Gressens, Pierre; Feria-Velasco, Alfredo; de Vellis, Jean
Periventricular leukomalacia (PVL) is the most frequent cause of cerebral palsy and other intellectual disabilities, and currently there is no treatment. In PVL, glutamate excitotoxicity (GME) leads to abnormal oligodendrocytes (OLs), myelin deficiency, and ventriculomegaly. We have previously identified that the combination of transferrin and insulin growth factors (TSC1) promotes endogenous OL regeneration and remyelination in the postnatal and adult rodent brain. Here, we produced a periventricular white matter lesion with a single intracerebral injection of N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA). Comparing lesions produced by NMDA alone and those produced by NMDA + TSC1 we found that: NMDA affected survival and reduced migration of OL progenitors (OLPs). In contrast, mice injected with NMDA + TSC1 proliferated twice as much indicating that TSC1 supported regeneration of the OLP population after the insult. Olig2-mRNA expression showed 52% OLP survival in mice receiving a NMDA injection and increased to 78% when TSC1 + NMDA were injected simultaneously and ventricular size was reduced by TSC1. Furthermore, in striatal slices TSC1 reduced the inward currents induced by NMDA in medium-sized spiny neurons, demonstrating neuroprotection. Thus, white matter loss after excitotoxicity can be partially rescued as TSC1 conferred neuroprotection to preexisting OLP and regeneration via OLP proliferation. Furthermore, we showed that early TSC1 administration maximizes neuroprotection. PMID:24961618
Schmidt, Martin J; Laubner, Steffi; Kolecka, Malgorzata; Failing, Klaus; Moritz, Andreas; Kramer, Martin; Ondreka, Nele
Large cerebral ventricles are a frequent finding in brains of dogs with brachycephalic skull conformation, in comparison with mesaticephalic dogs. It remains unclear whether oversized ventricles represent a normal variant or a pathological condition in brachycephalic dogs. There is a distinct relationship between white matter and grey matter in the cerebrum of all eutherian mammals. The aim of this study was to determine if this physiological proportion between white matter and grey matter of the forebrain still exists in brachycephalic dogs with oversized ventricles. The relative cerebral grey matter, white matter and cerebrospinal fluid volume in dogs were determined based on magnetic-resonance-imaging datasets using graphical software. In an analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) using body mass as the covariate, the adjusted means of the brain tissue volumes of two groups of dogs were compared. Group 1 included 37 mesaticephalic dogs of different sizes with no apparent changes in brain morphology, and subjectively normal ventricle size. Group 2 included 35 brachycephalic dogs in which subjectively enlarged cerebral ventricles were noted as an incidental finding in their magnetic-resonance-imaging examination. Whereas no significant different adjusted means of the grey matter could be determined, the group of brachycephalic dogs had significantly larger adjusted means of lateral cerebral ventricles and significantly less adjusted means of relative white matter volume. This indicates that brachycephalic dogs with subjective ventriculomegaly have less white matter, as expected based on their body weight and cerebral volume. Our study suggests that ventriculomegaly in brachycephalic dogs is not a normal variant of ventricular volume. Based on the changes in the relative proportion of WM and CSF volume, and the unchanged GM proportions in dogs with ventriculomegaly, we rather suggest that distension of the lateral ventricles might be the underlying cause of pressure
Cui, Xu; Chopp, Michael; Zacharek, Alex; Cui, Chengcheng; Yan, Tao; Ning, Ruizhuo; Chen, Jieli
Background and Purpose Stroke induced neuroinflammation and white-matter damage are associated with neurological deficits. Whether D-4F, an apolipoprotein A-I mimetic peptide, treatment of stroke decreases neuroinflammation and white-matter damage and improves functional outcome has not been investigated. Methods Adult male C57BL/6 mice were subjected to permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAo) and were orally administered saline as a vehicle control and different doses of D-4F (2, 4, 8, 16 or 32mg/kg) starting at 2h after MCAo and daily until sacrifice at 7 days after MCAo. D-4F-treatment did not alter the blood levels of high density lipoprotein, total-cholesterol, triglyceride, blood-brain barrier leakage and infarction volume compared to control group. Results D-4F (16mg/kg) treatment of stroke significantly improved functional outcome, increased the white-matter density and the number of oligodendrocyte-progenitor cells in the ischemic boundary zone of the ipsilateral striatum, and increased myelin basic protein, insulin-like growth factor-1, but decreased inflammatory factor toll-like receptor-4 and tumor necrosis factor alpha expression in the ischemic brain 7 days after MCAo (p<0.05, n=11/group). The neurite/axonal outgrowth in primary cultured neurons was significantly increased when treated with D-4F (100ng/ml) and insulin-like growth factor-1 (100ng/ml) compared with the non-treatment control. Inhibition of IGF1 significantly attenuated D-4F or insulin-like growth factor-1 treatment induced axonal outgrowth. D-4F-treatment did not increase oligodendrocyte-progenitor cell proliferation but decreased oligodendrocyte-progenitor cell death. Conclusions D-4F-treatment initiated 2h after MCAo decreases neuroinflammation and white-matter damage and improves functional outcome after stroke. D-4F-induced increase in insulin-like growth factor-1 may contribute to D-4F-induced neurite/axonal outgrowth after stroke. PMID:26604250
Ahmad, Hena; Cerchiai, Niccolò; Mancuso, Michelangelo; Casani, Augusto P.; Bronstein, Adolfo M.
Introduction Although cerebral small vessel disease is a significant contributor to the development of imbalance and falls in the elderly, whether it causes dizziness is not known. Methods A retrospective case analysis was conducted for 122 dizzy patients referred to two neuro-otology tertiary centres in London and Pisa. Patients were divided into ‘explained’ causes of dizziness (e.g. benign positional vertigo, vestibular neuritis, orthostatic hypotension, cerebellar ataxias) and ‘unexplained’ dizziness. White matter hyperintensities (WMH) in MRI (T2 weighted and FLAIR sequences) were blindly rated according to the Fazekas scale. Results 122 patients; 58 (mean age = 72, SD = 7.95 years) in the ‘unexplained’ group and 64 (mean age = 72.01, SD = 8.28 years) in the ‘explained’ group were recruited. The overall frequency of lesions (Fazekas 1–3) significantly differed between groups (p = 0.011). The frequency of severe lesions (Fazekas 3) was significantly higher in the ‘unexplained’ group (22%) than in the ‘explained’ group (5%; p = 0.003). Conclusion Increased severity of WMH in cases of unexplained dizziness suggests that such abnormalities are likely contributory to the development of dizziness. WM lesions may induce dizziness either because patients perceive a degree of objective unsteadiness or by a disconnection syndrome involving vestibular or locomotor areas of the brain. PMID:26412160
Lener, Marc S; Wong, Edmund; Tang, Cheuk Y; Byne, William; Goldstein, Kim E; Blair, Nicholas J; Haznedar, M Mehmet; New, Antonia S; Chemerinski, Eran; Chu, King-Wai; Rimsky, Liza S; Siever, Larry J; Koenigsberg, Harold W; Hazlett, Erin A
Prior diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) studies examining schizotypal personality disorder (SPD) and schizophrenia, separately have shown that compared with healthy controls (HCs), patients show frontotemporal white matter (WM) abnormalities. This is the first DTI study to directly compare WM tract coherence with tractography and fractional anisotropy (FA) across the schizophrenia spectrum in a large sample of demographically matched HCs (n = 55), medication-naive SPD patients (n = 49), and unmedicated/never-medicated schizophrenia patients (n = 22) to determine whether (a) frontal-striatal-temporal WM tract abnormalities in schizophrenia are similar to, or distinct from those observed in SPD; and (b) WM tract abnormalities are associated with clinical symptom severity indicating a common underlying pathology across the spectrum. Compared with both the HC and SPD groups, schizophrenia patients showed WM abnormalities, as indexed by lower FA in the temporal lobe (inferior longitudinal fasciculus) and cingulum regions. SPD patients showed lower FA in the corpus callosum genu compared with the HC group, but this regional abnormality was more widespread in schizophrenia patients. Across the schizophrenia spectrum, greater WM disruptions were associated with greater symptom severity. Overall, frontal-striatal-temporal WM dysconnectivity is attenuated in SPD compared with schizophrenia patients and may mitigate the emergence of psychosis.
Bjørnebekk, Astrid; Westlye, Lars T; Fjell, Anders M; Grydeland, Håkon; Walhovd, Kristine B
People show consistent differences in their cognitive and emotional responses to environmental cues, manifesting, for example, as variability in social reward processing and novelty-seeking behavior. However, the neurobiological foundation of human temperament and personality is poorly understood. A likely hypothesis is that personality traits rely on the integrity and function of distributed neurocircuitry. In this diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) study, this hypothesis was tested by examining the associations between reward dependence (RD) and novelty seeking (NS), as measured by Cloninger's Temperament and Character Inventory, and fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD) as DTI-derived indices of white matter (WM) microstructure across the brain. The results supported the hypothesis. RD was associated with WM architecture coherence as indicated by a negative correlation between RD and FA in frontally distributed areas including pathways connecting important constituents of reward-related neurocircuitry. The associations between RD and FA could not be explained by age, sex, alcohol consumption, or trait anxiety. In contrast, no effects were observed for NS. These findings support the theory that WM fiber tract properties modulate individual differences in social reward processing.
Ghafoorian, Mohsen; Karssemeijer, Nico; van Uden, Inge; de Leeuw, Frank E.; Heskes, Tom; Marchiori, Elena; Platel, Bram
Cerebral small vessel disease (SVD) is a common finding on magnetic resonance images of elderly people. White matter lesions (WML) are important markers for not only the small vessel disease, but also neuro-degenerative diseases including multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia. Volumetric measurements such as the "total lesion load", have been studied and related to these diseases. With respect to SVD we conjecture that small lesions are important, as they have been observed to grow over time and they form the majority of lesions in number. To study these small lesions they need to be annotated, which is a complex and time-consuming task. Existing (semi) automatic methods have been aimed at volumetric measurements and large lesions, and are not suitable for the detection of small lesions. In this research we established a supervised voxel classification CAD system, optimized and trained to exclusively detect small WMLs. To achieve this, several preprocessing steps were taken, which included a robust standardization of subject intensities to reduce inter-subject intensity variability as much as possible. A number of features that were found to be well identifying small lesions were calculated including multimodal intensities, tissue probabilities, several features for accurate location description, a number of second order derivative features as well as multi-scale annular filter for blobness detection. Only small lesions were used to learn the target concept via Adaboost using random forests as its basic classifiers. Finally the results were evaluated using Free-response receiver operating characteristic.
Lewandowski, Kathryn E; Ongür, Dost; Sperry, Sarah H; Cohen, Bruce M; Sehovic, Selma; Goldbach, Jacqueline R; Du, Fei
White matter (WM) abnormalities are among the most commonly reported neuroimaging findings in bipolar disorder. Nonetheless, the specific nature and pathophysiology of these abnormalities remain unclear. Use of a combination of magnetization transfer ratio (MTR) and diffusion tensor spectroscopy (DTS) permits examination of myelin and axon abnormalities separately. We aimed to examine myelination and axon geometry in euthymic patients with bipolar disorder with psychosis (BDP) by combining these two complementary noninvasive MRI techniques. We applied a combined MRI approach using MTR to study myelin content and DTS to study metabolite (N-acetylaspartate, NAA) diffusion within axons in patients with BDP (n=21) and healthy controls (n=24). Data were collected from a 1 × 3 × 3-cm voxel within the right prefrontal cortex WM at 4 Tesla. Clinical and cognitive data were examined in association with MTR and DTS data. MTR was significantly reduced in BDP, suggesting reduced myelin content. The apparent diffusion coefficient of NAA did not differ from healthy controls, suggesting no changes in axon geometry in patients with BDP. These findings suggest that patients with BDP exhibit reduced myelin content, but no changes in axon geometry compared with controls. These findings are in contrast with our recent findings, using the same techniques, in patients with schizophrenia (SZ), which suggest both myelination and axon abnormalities in SZ. This difference may indicate that alterations in WM in BDP may have unique causes and may be less extensive than WM abnormalities seen in SZ.
Poletti, Sara; Myint, Aye Mu; Schüetze, Gregor; Bollettini, Irene; Mazza, Elena; Grillitsch, Doris; Locatelli, Clara; Schwarz, Markus; Colombo, Cristina; Benedetti, Francesco
Decreased availability of serotonin in the central nervous system has been suggested to be a central factor in the pathogenesis of depression. Activation of indoleamine 2-3 dioxygenase following a pro-inflammatory state could reduce the amount of tryptophan converted to serotonin and increase the production of tryptophan catabolites such as kynurenic acid, an antagonist of ionotropic excitatory aminoacid receptors, whose levels are reduced in bipolar disorder. Abnormalities in white matter (WM) integrity have been widely reported in BD. We then hypothesized that metabolites involved in serotoninergic turnover in BD could influence DTI measures of WM microstructure. Peripheral levels of tryptophan, kynurenine, kynurenic acid, 3-hydroxy-kynurenine, and 5-HIAA were analysed in 22 patients affected by BD and 15 healthy controls. WM microstructure was evaluated using diffusion tensor imaging and tract-based spatial statistics with threshold-free cluster enhancement only in bipolar patients. We observed that kynurenic acid and 5-HIAA were reduced in BD and associated with DTI measures of WM integrity in several association fibres: inferior and superior longitudinal fasciculus, cingulum bundle, corpus callosum, uncus, anterior thalamic radiation and corona radiata. Our results seem to suggest that higher levels of 5-HIAA, a measure of serotonin levels, and higher levels of kynurenic acid, which protects from glutamate excitotoxicity, could exert a protective effect on WM microstructure. Reduced levels of these metabolites in BD thus seem to confirm a crucial role of serotonin turnover in BD pathophysiology.
Lewandowski, Kathryn E; Ongür, Dost; Sperry, Sarah H; Cohen, Bruce M; Sehovic, Selma; Goldbach, Jacqueline R; Du, Fei
White matter (WM) abnormalities are among the most commonly reported neuroimaging findings in bipolar disorder. Nonetheless, the specific nature and pathophysiology of these abnormalities remain unclear. Use of a combination of magnetization transfer ratio (MTR) and diffusion tensor spectroscopy (DTS) permits examination of myelin and axon abnormalities separately. We aimed to examine myelination and axon geometry in euthymic patients with bipolar disorder with psychosis (BDP) by combining these two complementary noninvasive MRI techniques. We applied a combined MRI approach using MTR to study myelin content and DTS to study metabolite (N-acetylaspartate, NAA) diffusion within axons in patients with BDP (n=21) and healthy controls (n=24). Data were collected from a 1 × 3 × 3-cm voxel within the right prefrontal cortex WM at 4 Tesla. Clinical and cognitive data were examined in association with MTR and DTS data. MTR was significantly reduced in BDP, suggesting reduced myelin content. The apparent diffusion coefficient of NAA did not differ from healthy controls, suggesting no changes in axon geometry in patients with BDP. These findings suggest that patients with BDP exhibit reduced myelin content, but no changes in axon geometry compared with controls. These findings are in contrast with our recent findings, using the same techniques, in patients with schizophrenia (SZ), which suggest both myelination and axon abnormalities in SZ. This difference may indicate that alterations in WM in BDP may have unique causes and may be less extensive than WM abnormalities seen in SZ. PMID:25409595
Ziegler, Erik; Foret, Ariane; Mascetti, Laura; Muto, Vincenzo; Le Bourdiec-Shaffii, Anahita; Stender, Johan; Balteau, Evelyne; Dideberg, Vinciane; Bours, Vincent; Maquet, Pierre; Phillips, Christophe
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) modulates the pruning of synaptically silent axonal arbors. The Met allele of the BDNF gene is associated with a reduction in the neurotrophin's activity-dependent release. We used diffusion-weighted imaging to construct structural brain networks for 36 healthy subjects with known BDNF genotypes. Through permutation testing we discovered clear differences in connection strength between subjects carrying the Met allele and those homozygotic for the Val allele. We trained a Gaussian process classifier capable of identifying the subjects' allelic group with 86% accuracy and high predictive value. In Met carriers structural connectivity was greatly increased throughout the forebrain, particularly in connections corresponding to the anterior and superior corona radiata as well as corticothalamic and corticospinal projections from the sensorimotor, premotor, and prefrontal portions of the internal capsule. Interhemispheric connectivity was also increased via the corpus callosum and anterior commissure, and extremely high connectivity values were found between inferior medial frontal polar regions via the anterior forceps. We propose that the decreased availability of BDNF leads to deficits in axonal maintenance in carriers of the Met allele, and that this produces mesoscale changes in white matter architecture. PMID:23935975
Ingalhalikar, Madhura A.; Andreasen, Nancy C.; Kim, Jinsuh; Alexander, Andrew L.; Magnotta, Vincent A.
Schizophrenia is a serious and disabling mental disorder. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) studies performed on schizophrenia have demonstrated white matter degeneration either due to loss of myelination or deterioration of fiber tracts although the areas where the changes occur are variable across studies. Most of the population based studies analyze the changes in schizophrenia using scalar indices computed from the diffusion tensor such as fractional anisotropy (FA) and relative anisotropy (RA). The scalar measures may not capture the complete information from the diffusion tensor. In this paper we have applied the RADTI method on a group of 9 controls and 9 patients with schizophrenia. The RADTI method converts the tensors to log-Euclidean space where a linear regression model is applied and hypothesis testing is performed between the control and patient groups. Results show that there is a significant difference in the anisotropy between patients and controls especially in the parts of forceps minor, superior corona radiata, anterior limb of internal capsule and genu of corpus callosum. To check if the tensor analysis gives a better idea of the changes in anisotropy, we compared the results with voxelwise FA analysis as well as voxelwise geodesic anisotropy (GA) analysis.
Hall, Scott S.; Dougherty, Robert F.; Reiss, Allan L.
Previous studies attempting to quantify white matter (WM) microstructure in individuals with fragile X syndrome (FXS) have produced inconsistent findings, most likely due to the various control groups employed, differing analysis methods, and failure to examine for potential motion artifact. In addition, analyses have heretofore lacked sufficient specificity to provide regional information. In this study, we used Automated Fiber-tract Quantification (AFQ) to identify specific regions of aberrant WM microstructure along WM tracts in patients with FXS that differed from controls who were matched on age, IQ and degree of autistic symptoms. Participants were 20 patients with FXS, aged 10 to 23 years, and 20 matched controls. Using Automated Fiber-tract Quantification (AFQ), we created Tract Profiles of fractional anisotropy and mean diffusivity along 18 major WM fascicles. We found that fractional anisotropy was significantly increased in the left and right inferior longitudinal fasciculus (ILF), right uncinate fasciculus, and left cingulum hippocampus in individuals with FXS compared to controls. Conversely, mean diffusivity was significantly decreased in the right ILF in patients with FXS compared to controls. Age was significantly negatively associated with MD values across both groups in 11 tracts. Taken together, these findings indicate that FXS results in abnormal WM microstructure in specific regions of the ILF and uncinate fasciculus, most likely caused by inefficient synaptic pruning as a result of decreased or absent Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein (FMRP). Longitudinal studies are needed to confirm these findings. PMID:26937381
Recent studies from the field of language genetics and evolutionary anthropology have put forward the hypothesis that the emergence of our species-specific brain is to be understood not in terms of size, but in light of developmental changes that gave rise to a more globular braincase configuration after the split from Neanderthals-Denisovans. On the grounds that (i) white matter myelination is delayed relative to other brain structures and, in humans, is protracted compared with other primates and that (ii) neural connectivity is linked genetically to our brain/skull morphology and language-ready brain, I argue that one significant evolutionary change in Homo sapiens’ lineage is the interhemispheric connectivity mediated by the Corpus Callosum. The size, myelination and fiber caliber of the Corpus Callosum present an anterior-to-posterior increase, in a way that inter-hemispheric connectivity is more prominent in the sensory motor areas, whereas “high- order” areas are more intra-hemispherically connected. Building on evidence from language-processing studies that account for this asymmetry (‘lateralization’) in terms of brain rhythms, I present an evo-devo hypothesis according to which the myelination of the Corpus Callosum, Brain Asymmetry, and Globularity are conjectured to make up the angles of a co-evolutionary triangle that gave rise to our language-ready brain. PMID:26441731
Iwabuchi, Sarina J; Häberling, Isabelle S; Badzakova-Trajkov, Gjurgjica; Patston, Lucy L M; Waldie, Karen E; Tippett, Lynette J; Corballis, Michael C; Kirk, Ian J
The form of the structural asymmetries across the cerebral hemispheres, that support well-established functional asymmetries, are not well understood. Although, many previous studies have investigated structural differences in areas associated with strong functional asymmetries, such as language processes, regions of the brain with less well established functional laterality have received less attention. The current study aims to address this by exploring global white matter asymmetries of the healthy human brain using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and tractography. DTI was conducted on twenty-nine healthy right-handed males, and pathways from the four major lobes were reconstructed using probabilistic tractography. Mean FA, parallel and perpendicular diffusion values were calculated and compared across hemispheres for each pathway generated. Significant asymmetries in the parietal (rightward asymmetry) and occipital (leftward asymmetry) pathways were found in FA measures. However, asymmetric patterns in parallel and/or perpendicular diffusion were observed in all four lobes, even in pathways with symmetrical FA. For instance, significant rightward asymmetry in parallel diffusion was found in the parietal and frontal lobes, whereas significant leftward asymmetry was found in the temporal and occipital lobes. We suggest that these different patterns of diffusion asymmetry reflect differences in microanatomy that support the known patterns of differential functional asymmetry. The different directions of anatomical asymmetry support the notion that there may be a number of different lateralising influences operating in the brain.
Recent studies from the field of language genetics and evolutionary anthropology have put forward the hypothesis that the emergence of our species-specific brain is to be understood not in terms of size, but in light of developmental changes that gave rise to a more globular braincase configuration after the split from Neanderthals-Denisovans. On the grounds that (i) white matter myelination is delayed relative to other brain structures and, in humans, is protracted compared with other primates and that (ii) neural connectivity is linked genetically to our brain/skull morphology and language-ready brain, I argue that one significant evolutionary change in Homo sapiens' lineage is the interhemispheric connectivity mediated by the Corpus Callosum. The size, myelination and fiber caliber of the Corpus Callosum present an anterior-to-posterior increase, in a way that inter-hemispheric connectivity is more prominent in the sensory motor areas, whereas "high- order" areas are more intra-hemispherically connected. Building on evidence from language-processing studies that account for this asymmetry ('lateralization') in terms of brain rhythms, I present an evo-devo hypothesis according to which the myelination of the Corpus Callosum, Brain Asymmetry, and Globularity are conjectured to make up the angles of a co-evolutionary triangle that gave rise to our language-ready brain.
Gao, Yuan; Ma, Jing; Tang, Jing; Liang, Xin; Huang, Chun-Xia; Wang, San-Rong; Chen, Lin-Mu; Wang, Fei-Fei; Tan, Chuan-Xue; Chao, Feng-Lei; Zhang, Lei; Qiu, Xuan; Luo, Yan-Min; Xiao, Qian; Du, Lian; Xiao, Qian; Tang, Yong
Brain imaging and postmortem studies have indicated that white matter abnormalities may contribute to the pathology and pathogenesis of depression. However, until now, no study has quantitatively investigated white matter changes in depression in rats. The current study used the chronic unpredictable stress (CUS) model of depression. Body weight and sucrose preference test (SPT) scores were assessed weekly. Upon successfully establishing the CUS animal model, all animals were tested using the SPT and the open field test (OFT). Then, transmission electron microscopy and unbiased stereological methods were used to investigate white matter changes in the rats. Compared with the control group, the body weight and sucrose preference of the CUS rats were significantly decreased (p < .001, p < .001, respectively). In the OFT, the total time spent and the total distance traveled in the inner area by the CUS rats were significantly lower than those of the control group (p = .002, p = .001, respectively). The stereological results revealed that white matter volume, the total volume, and the total length and mean diameter of myelinated fibers in the white matter of the CUS rats were significantly decreased compared to the control rats (p = .042, p = .038, p = .035, p = .019, respectively). The results of this study suggested that white matter atrophy and disruption of myelinated fibers in the white matter may contribute to the pathophysiology underlying depression, which might provide new targets for the development of novel therapeutic interventions for depression.
Cremers, Lotte G M; de Groot, Marius; Hofman, Albert; Krestin, Gabriel P; van der Lugt, Aad; Niessen, Wiro J; Vernooij, Meike W; Ikram, M Arfan
White matter microstructural integrity has been related to cognition. Yet, the potential role of specific white matter tracts on top of a global white matter effect remains unclear, especially when considering specific cognitive domains. Therefore, we determined the tract-specific effect of white matter microstructure on global cognition and specific cognitive domains. In 4400 nondemented and stroke-free participants (mean age 63.7 years, 55.5% women), we obtained diffusion magnetic resonance imaging parameters (fractional anisotropy and mean diffusivity) in 14 white matter tracts using probabilistic tractography and assessed cognitive performance with a cognitive test battery. Tract-specific white matter microstructure in all supratentorial tracts was associated with poorer global cognition. Lower fractional anisotropy in association tracts, primarily the inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus, and higher mean diffusivity in projection tracts, in particular the posterior thalamic radiation, most strongly related to poorer cognition. Altered white matter microstructure related to poorer information processing speed, executive functioning, and motor speed, but not to memory. Tract-specific microstructural changes may aid in better understanding the mechanism of cognitive impairment and neurodegenerative diseases.
Dean, Douglas C; Travers, Brittany G; Adluru, Nagesh; Tromp, Do P M; Destiche, Daniel J; Samsin, Danica; Prigge, Molly B; Zielinski, Brandon A; Fletcher, P Thomas; Anderson, Jeffrey S; Froehlich, Alyson L; Bigler, Erin D; Lange, Nicholas; Lainhart, Janet E; Alexander, Andrew L
White matter microstructure forms a complex and dynamical system that is critical for efficient and synchronized brain function. Neuroimaging findings in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) suggest this condition is associated with altered white matter microstructure, which may lead to atypical macroscale brain connectivity. In this study, we used diffusion tensor imaging measures to examine the extent that white matter tracts are interrelated within ASD and typical development. We assessed the strength of inter-regional white matter correlations between typically developing and ASD diagnosed individuals. Using hierarchical clustering analysis, clustering patterns of the pairwise white matter correlations were constructed and revealed to be different between the two groups. Additionally, we explored the use of graph theory analysis to examine the characteristics of the patterns formed by inter-regional white matter correlations and compared these properties between ASD and typical development. We demonstrate that the ASD sample has significantly less coherence in white matter microstructure across the brain compared to that in the typical development sample. The ASD group also presented altered topological characteristics, which may implicate less efficient brain networking in ASD. These findings highlight the potential of graph theory based network characteristics to describe the underlying networks as measured by diffusion magnetic resonance imaging and furthermore indicates that ASD may be associated with altered brain network characteristics. Our findings are consistent with those of a growing number of studies and hypotheses that have suggested disrupted brain connectivity in ASD.
Wu, Xi; Yang, Zhipeng; Bailey, Stephen K; Zhou, Jiliu; Cutting, Laurie E; Gore, John C; Ding, Zhaohua
Functional MRI has proven to be effective in detecting neural activity in brain cortices on the basis of blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) contrast, but has relatively poor sensitivity for detecting neural activity in white matter. To demonstrate that BOLD signals in white matter are detectable and contain information on neural activity, we stimulated the somatosensory system and examined distributions of BOLD signals in related white matter pathways. The temporal correlation profiles and frequency contents of BOLD signals were compared between stimulation and resting conditions, and between relevant white matter fibers and background regions, as well as between left and right side stimulations. Quantitative analyses show that, overall, MR signals from white matter fiber bundles in the somatosensory system exhibited significantly greater temporal correlations with the primary sensory cortex and greater signal power during tactile stimulations than in a resting state, and were stronger than corresponding measurements for background white matter both during stimulations and in a resting state. The temporal correlation and signal power under stimulation were found to be twice those observed from the same bundle in a resting state, and bore clear relations with the side of stimuli. These indicate that BOLD signals in white matter fibers encode neural activity related to their functional roles connecting cortical volumes, which are detectable with appropriate methods.
Yoo, Hye Bin; De Ridder, Dirk; Vanneste, Sven
Tinnitus is a condition characterized by the perception of auditory phantom sounds. It is known as the result of complex interactions between auditory and nonauditory regions. However, previous structural imaging studies on tinnitus patients showed evidence of significant white matter changes caused by hearing loss that are positively correlated with aging. Current study focused on which aspects of tinnitus pathologies affect the white matter integrity the most. We used the diffusion tensor imaging technique to acquire images that have higher contrast in brain white matter to analyze how white matter is influenced by tinnitus-related factors using voxel-based methods, region of interest analysis, and deterministic tractography. As a result, white matter integrity in chronic tinnitus patients was both directly affected by age and also mediated by the hearing loss. The most important changes in white matter regions were found bilaterally in the anterior corona radiata, anterior corpus callosum, and bilateral sagittal strata. In the tractography analysis, the white matter integrity values in tracts of right parahippocampus were correlated with the subjective tinnitus loudness.
Glass, Hannah C; Bowman, Chelsea; Chau, Vann; Moosa, Alisha; Hersh, Adam L; Campbell, Andrew; Poskitt, Kenneth; Azakie, Anthony; Barkovich, A James; Miller, Steven P; McQuillen, Patrick S
More than 60% of newborns with severe congenital cardiac disease develop perioperative brain injuries. Known risk factors include: pre-operative hypoxemia, cardiopulmonary bypass characteristics, and post-operative hypotension. Infection is an established risk factor for white matter injury in premature newborns. In this study, we examined term infants with congenital cardiac disease requiring surgical repair to determine whether infection is associated with white matter injury. Acquired infection was specified by site - bloodstream, pneumonia, or surgical site infection - according to strict definitions. Infection was present in 23 of 127 infants. Pre- and post-operative imaging was evaluated for acquired injury by a paediatric neuroradiologist. Overall, there was no difference in newly acquired post-operative white matter injury in infants with infection (30%), compared to those without (31%). When stratified by anatomy, infants with transposition of the great arteries, and bloodstream infection had an estimated doubling of risk of white matter injury that was not significant, whereas those with single ventricle anatomy had no apparent added risk. When considering only infants without stroke, the estimated association was higher, and became significant after adjusting for duration of inotrope therapy. In this study, nosocomial infection was not associated with white matter injury. Nonetheless, when controlling for risk factors, there was an association between bloodstream infection and white matter injury in selected sub-populations. Infection prevention may have the potential to mitigate long-term neurologic impairment as a consequence of white matter injury, which underscores the importance of attention to infection control for these patients.
Liu, Xiao-Bo; Shen, Yan; Plane, Jennifer M; Deng, Wenbin
Premature birth is a significant economic and public health burden, and its incidence is rising. Periventricular leukomalacia (PVL) is the predominant form of brain injury in premature infants and the leading cause of cerebral palsy. PVL is characterized by selective white-matter damage with prominent oligodendroglial injury. The maturation-dependent vulnerability of developing and premyelinating oligodendrocytes to excitotoxic, oxidative, and inflammatory forms of injury is a major factor in the pathogenesis of PVL. Recent studies using mouse models of PVL reveal that synapses between axons and developing oligodendrocytes are quickly and profoundly damaged in immature white matter. Axon-glia synapses are highly vulnerable to white-matter injury in the developing brain, and the loss of synapses between axons and premyelinating oligodendrocytes occurs before any cellular loss in the immature white matter. Microglial activation and astrogliosis play important roles in triggering white-matter injury. Impairment of white-matter development and function in the neonatal period contributes critically to functional and behavioral deficits. Preservation of the integrity of the white matter is likely key in the treatment of PVL and subsequent neurological consequences and disabilities.
Smaers, Jeroen Bert; Schleicher, Axel; Zilles, Karl; Vinicius, Lucio
Previous research has indicated the importance of the frontal lobe and its ‘executive’ connections to other brain structures as crucial in explaining primate neocortical adaptations. However, a representative sample of volumetric measurements of frontal connective tissue (white matter) has not been available. In this study, we present new volumetric measurements of white and grey matter in the frontal and non-frontal neocortical lobes from 18 anthropoid species. We analyze this data in the context of existing theories of neocortex, frontal lobe and white versus grey matter hyperscaling. Results indicate that the ‘universal scaling law’ of neocortical white to grey matter applies separately for frontal and non-frontal lobes; that hyperscaling of both neocortex and frontal lobe to rest of brain is mainly due to frontal white matter; and that changes in frontal (but not non-frontal) white matter volume are associated with changes in rest of brain and basal ganglia, a group of subcortical nuclei functionally linked to ‘executive control’. Results suggest a central role for frontal white matter in explaining neocortex and frontal lobe hyperscaling, brain size variation and higher neural structural connectivity in anthropoids. PMID:20161758
Feng, Yuan; Lee, Chung-Hao; Sun, Lining; Ji, Songbai; Zhao, Xuefeng
Characterizing the mechanical properties of white matter is important to understand and model brain development and injury. With embedded aligned axonal fibers, white matter is typically modeled as a transversely isotropic material. However, most studies characterize the white matter tissue using models with a single anisotropic invariant or in a small-strain regime. In this study, we combined a single experimental procedure - asymmetric indentation - with inverse finite element (FE) modeling to estimate the nearly incompressible transversely isotropic material parameters of white matter. A minimal form comprising three parameters was employed to simulate indentation responses in the large-strain regime. The parameters were estimated using a global optimization procedure based on a genetic algorithm (GA). Experimental data from two indentation configurations of porcine white matter, parallel and perpendicular to the axonal fiber direction, were utilized to estimate model parameters. Results in this study confirmed a strong mechanical anisotropy of white matter in large strain. Further, our results suggested that both indentation configurations are needed to estimate the parameters with sufficient accuracy, and that the indenter-sample friction is important. Finally, we also showed that the estimated parameters were consistent with those previously obtained via a trial-and-error forward FE method in the small-strain regime. These findings are useful in modeling and parameterization of white matter, especially under large deformation, and demonstrate the potential of the proposed asymmetric indentation technique to characterize other soft biological tissues with transversely isotropic properties.
Croteau-Chonka, Elise C; Dean, Douglas C; Remer, Justin; Dirks, Holly; O'Muircheartaigh, Jonathan; Deoni, Sean C L
Cortical development and white matter myelination are hallmark processes of infant and child neurodevelopment, and play a central role in the evolution of cognitive and behavioral functioning. Non-invasive magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been used to independently track these microstructural and morphological changes in vivo, however few studies have investigated the relationship between them despite their concurrency in the developing brain. Further, because measures of cortical morphology rely on underlying gray-white matter tissue contrast, which itself is a function of white matter myelination, it is unclear if contrast-based measures of cortical development accurately reflect cortical architecture, or if they merely represent adjacent white matter maturation. This may be particularly true in young children, in whom brain structure is rapidly maturing. Here for the first time, we investigate the dynamic relationship between cortical and white matter development across early childhood, from 1 to 6years. We present measurements of cortical thickness with respect to cortical and adjacent myelin water fraction (MWF) in 33 bilateral cortical regions. Significant results in only 14 of 66 (21%) cortical regions suggest that cortical thickness measures are not heavily driven by changes in adjacent white matter, and that brain imaging studies of cortical and white matter maturation reflect distinct, but complimentary, neurodevelopmental processes.
Ni, Wei; Okauchi, Masanobu; Hatakeyama, Tetsuhiro; Gu, Yuxiang; Keep, Richard F; Xi, Guohua; Hua, Ya
Iron contributes to c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNK) activation in young rats and white matter injury in piglets after intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). In the present study, we examined the effect of deferoxamine on ICH-induced white matter injury and JNK activation and in aged rats. Male Fischer 344 rats (18months old) had either an intracaudate injection of 100μl of autologous blood or a needle insertion (sham). The rats were treated with deferoxamine or vehicle with different regimen (dosage, duration and time window). White matter injury and activation of JNK were examined. We found that a dose of DFX should be at more than 10mg/kg for a therapeutic duration more than 2days with a therapeutic time window of 12h to reduce ICH-induced white matter loss at 2months. ICH-induced white matter injury was associated with JNK activation. The protein levels of phosphorylated-JNK (P-JNK) were upregulated at day-1 after ICH and then gradually decreased. P-JNK immunoreactivity was mostly located in white matter bundles. ICH-induced JNK activation was reduced by DFX treatment. This study demonstrated that DFX can reduce ICH-induced JNK activation and white matter damage.
Vergani, Francesco; Morris, Christopher M; Mitchell, Patrick; Duffau, Hugues
In recent years, there has been a renewed interest in the study of white matter anatomy, both with the use of postmortem dissections and diffusion tensor imaging tractography. One of the precursors in the study of white matter anatomy was Raymond de Vieussens (1641-1716), a French anatomist born in Le Vigan. He studied medicine at the University of Montpellier in southern France, one of the most ancient and lively schools of medicine in Europe. In 1684 Vieussens published his masterpiece, the Neurographia Universalis, which is still considered one of the most complete and accurate descriptions of the nervous system provided in the 17th century. He described the white matter of the centrum ovale and was the first to demonstrate the continuity of the white matter fibers from the centrum ovale to the brainstem. He also described the dentate nuclei, the pyramids, and the olivary nuclei. According to the theory of Galen, Vieussens considered that the function of the white matter was to convey the "animal spirit" from the centrum ovale to the spinal cord. Although neglected, Vieussens' contribution to the study of white matter is relevant. His pioneering work showed that the white matter is not a homogeneous substance, but rather a complex structure rich in fibers that are interconnected with different parts of the brain. These initial results paved the way to advancements observed in later centuries that eventually led to modern hodology.
Gordon, Brian A.; Najmi, Safa; Hsu, Phillip; Roe, Catherine M.; Morris, John C.; Benzinger, Tammie L.S.
Background and purpose Elevated levels of amyloid deposition as well as white matter damage are thought to be risk factors for Alzheimer Disease (AD). Here we examined whether qualitative ratings of white matter damage predicted cognitive impairment beyond measures of amyloid. Materials and methods The study examined 397 cognitively normal, 51 very mildly demented, and 11 mildly demented individuals aged 42–90 (mean 68.5). Participants obtained a T2-weighted scan as well as a positron emission tomography scan using 11[C] Pittsburgh Compound B. Periventricular white matter hyperintensities (PVWMHs) and deep white matter hyperintensities (DWMHs) were measured on each T2 scan using the Fazekas rating scale. The effects of amyloid deposition and white matter damage were assessed using logistic regressions. Results Levels of amyloid deposition (ps < 0.01), as well as ratings of PVWMH (p < 0.01) and DWMH (p < 0.05) discriminated between cognitively normal and demented individuals. Conclusions The amount of amyloid deposition and white matter damage independently predicts cognitive impairment. This suggests a diagnostic utility of qualitative white matter scales in addition to measuring amyloid levels. PMID:26106548
McGrath, Jane; Johnson, Katherine; O'Hanlon, Erik; Garavan, Hugh; Gallagher, Louise; Leemans, Alexander
Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are associated with a marked disturbance of neural functional connectivity, which may arise from disrupted organization of white matter. The aim of this study was to use constrained spherical deconvolution (CSD)-based tractography to isolate and characterize major intrahemispheric white matter tracts that are important in visuospatial processing. CSD-based tractography avoids a number of critical confounds that are associated with diffusion tensor tractography, and to our knowledge, this is the first time that this advanced diffusion tractography method has been used in autism research. Twenty-five participants with ASD and aged 25, intelligence quotient-matched controls completed a high angular resolution diffusion imaging scan. The inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus (IFOF) and arcuate fasciculus were isolated using CSD-based tractography. Quantitative diffusion measures of white matter microstructural organization were compared between groups and associated with visuospatial processing performance. Significant alteration of white matter organization was present in the right IFOF in individuals with ASD. In addition, poorer visuospatial processing was associated in individuals with ASD with disrupted white matter in the right IFOF. Using a novel, advanced tractography method to isolate major intrahemispheric white matter tracts in autism, this research has demonstrated that there are significant alterations in the microstructural organization of white matter in the right IFOF in ASD. This alteration was associated with poorer visuospatial processing performance in the ASD group. This study provides an insight into structural brain abnormalities that may influence atypical visuospatial processing in autism.
Takao, H; Hayashi, N; Ohtomo, K
Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) provides information regarding white matter microstructure; however, macroscopic fiber architectures can affect DTI measures. A larger brain (fiber tract) has a 'relatively' smaller voxel size, and the voxels are less likely to contain more than one fiber orientation and more likely to have higher fractional anisotropy (FA). Previous DTI studies report left-to-right differences in the white matter; however, these may reflect true microscopic differences or be caused purely by volume differences. Using tract-based spatial statistics, we investigated left-to-right differences in white matter microstructure across the whole brain. Voxel-wise analysis revealed a large number of white matter volume asymmetries, including leftward asymmetry of the arcuate fasciculus and cingulum. In many white matter regions, FA asymmetry was positively correlated with volume asymmetry. Voxel-wise analysis with adjustment for volume asymmetry revealed many white matter FA asymmetries, including leftward asymmetry of the arcuate fasciculus and cingulum. The voxel-wise analysis showed a reduced number of regions with significant FA asymmetry compared with analysis performed without adjustment for volume asymmetry; however, the overall trend of the results was unchanged. The results of the present study suggest that these FA asymmetries are not caused by volume differences and reflect microscopic differences in the white matter.
Griffis, Joseph C; Nenert, Rodolphe; Allendorfer, Jane B; Szaflarski, Jerzy P
Damage to the white matter underlying the left posterior temporal lobe leads to deficits in multiple language functions. The posterior temporal white matter may correspond to a bottleneck where both dorsal and ventral language pathways are vulnerable to simultaneous damage. Damage to a second putative white matter bottleneck in the left deep prefrontal white matter involving projections associated with ventral language pathways and thalamo-cortical projections has recently been proposed as a source of semantic deficits after stroke. Here, we first used white matter atlases to identify the previously described white matter bottlenecks in the posterior temporal and deep prefrontal white matter. We then assessed the effects of damage to each region on measures of verbal fluency, picture naming, and auditory semantic decision-making in 43 chronic left hemispheric stroke patients. Damage to the posterior temporal bottleneck predicted deficits on all tasks, while damage to the anterior bottleneck only significantly predicted deficits in verbal fluency. Importantly, the effects of damage to the bottleneck regions were not attributable to lesion volume, lesion loads on the tracts traversing the bottlenecks, or damage to nearby cortical language areas. Multivariate lesion-symptom mapping revealed additional lesion predictors of deficits. Post-hoc fiber tracking of the peak white matter lesion predictors using a publicly available tractography atlas revealed evidence consistent with the results of the bottleneck analyses. Together, our results provide support for the proposal that spatially specific white matter damage affecting bottleneck regions, particularly in the posterior temporal lobe, contributes to chronic language deficits after left hemispheric stroke. This may reflect the simultaneous disruption of signaling in dorsal and ventral language processing streams.
Wisnowski, Jessica L; Blüml, Stefan; Paquette, Lisa; Zelinski, Elizabeth; Nelson, Marvin D; Painter, Michael J; Damasio, Hanna; Gilles, Floyd; Panigrahy, Ashok
Preterm infants (∼10% of all births) are at high-risk for long-term neurodevelopmental disabilities, most often resulting from white matter injury sustained during the neonatal period. Glutamate excitotoxicity is hypothesized to be a key mechanism in the pathogenesis of white matter injury; however, there has been no in vivo demonstration of glutamate excitotoxicity in preterm infants. Using magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), we tested the hypothesis that glutamate and glutamine, i.e., markers of glutamatergic metabolism, are altered in association with punctate white matter lesions and "diffuse excessive high signal intensity" (DEHSI), the predominant patterns of preterm white matter injury. We reviewed all clinically-indicated MRS studies conducted on preterm infants at a single institution during a six-year period and determined the absolute concentration of glutamate, glutamine, and four other key metabolites in the parietal white matter in 108 of those infants after two investigators independently evaluated the studies for punctate white matter lesions and DEHSI. Punctate white matter lesions were associated with a 29% increase in glutamine concentration (p = 0.002). In contrast, there were no differences in glutamatergic metabolism in association with DEHSI. Severe DEHSI, however, was associated with increased lactate concentration (p = 0.001), a marker of tissue acidosis. Findings from this study support glutamate excitotoxicity in the pathogenesis of punctate white matter lesions, but not necessarily in DEHSI, and suggest that MRS provides a useful biomarker for determining the pathogenesis of white matter injury in preterm infants during a period when neuroprotective agents may be especially effective.
Longoni, Giulia; Brown, Robert A; MomayyezSiahkal, Parya; Elliott, Colm; Narayanan, Sridar; Bar-Or, Amit; Ann Marrie, Ruth; Ann Yeh, E; Filippi, Massimo; Banwell, Brenda; Arnold, Douglas L
Most children who experience an acquired demyelinating syndrome of the central nervous system will have a monophasic disease course, with no further clinical or radiological symptoms. A subset will be diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a life-long disorder. Using linear mixed effects models we examined longitudinal diffusion properties of normal-appearing white matter in 505 serial scans of 132 paediatric participants with acquired demyelinating syndromes followed for a median of 4.4 years, many from first clinical presentation, and 106 scans of 80 healthy paediatric participants. Fifty-three participants with demyelinating syndromes eventually received a diagnosis of paediatric-onset multiple sclerosis. Diffusion tensor imaging measures properties of water diffusion through tissue, which normally becomes increasingly restricted and anisotropic in the brain during childhood and adolescence, as fibre bundles develop and myelinate. In the healthy paediatric participants, our data demonstrate the expected trajectory of more restricted and anisotropic white matter diffusivity with increasing age. However, in participants with multiple sclerosis, fractional anisotropy decreased and mean diffusivity of non-lesional, normal-appearing white matter progressively increased after clinical presentation, suggesting not only a failure of age-expected white matter development but also a progressive loss of tissue integrity. Surprisingly, patients with monophasic disease failed to show age-expected changes in diffusion parameters in normal-appearing white matter, although they did not show progressive loss of integrity over time. Further analysis demonstrated that participants with monophasic disease experienced different post-onset trajectories in normal-appearing white matter depending on their presenting phenotype: those with acute disseminated encephalomyelitis demonstrated abnormal trajectories of diffusion parameters compared to healthy paediatric participants, as did
Bugiani, Marianna; Postma, Nienke; Polder, Emiel; Dieleman, Nikki; Scheffer, Peter G; Sim, Fraser J; van der Knaap, Marjo S; Boor, Ilja
Vanishing white matter disease is a genetic leukoencephalopathy caused by mutations in eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2B. Patients experience a slowly progressive neurological deterioration with episodes of rapid clinical worsening triggered by stress. The disease may occur at any age and leads to early death. Characteristic neuropathological findings include cystic degeneration of the white matter with feeble, if any, reactive gliosis, dysmorphic astrocytes and paucity of myelin despite an increase in oligodendrocytic density. These features have been linked to a maturation defect of astrocytes and oligodendrocytes. However, the nature of the link between glial immaturity and the observed neuropathological features is unclear. We hypothesized that the defects in maturation and function of astrocytes and oligodendrocytes are related. Brain tissue of seven patients with genetically proven vanishing white matter disease was investigated using immunohistochemistry, western blotting, quantitative polymerase chain reaction and size exclusion chromatography. The results were compared with those obtained from normal brain tissue of age-matched controls, from chronic demyelinated multiple sclerosis lesions and from other genetic and acquired white matter disorders. We found that the white matter of patients with vanishing white matter disease is enriched in CD44-expressing astrocyte precursor cells and accumulates the glycosaminoglycan hyaluronan. Hyaluronan is a major component of the extracellular matrix, and CD44 is a hyaluronan receptor. We found that a high molecular weight form of hyaluronan is overabundant, especially in the most severely affected areas. Comparison between the more severely affected frontal white matter and the relatively spared cerebellum confirms that high molecular weight hyaluronan accumulation is more pronounced in the frontal white matter than in the cerebellum. High molecular weight hyaluronan is known to inhibit astrocyte and
Ohira, Junichiro; Mori, Nobuyuki; Kajikawa, Shunsuke; Nakamura, Takeshi; Arisato, Tetsuya; Takahashi, Makio
Posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES) typically affects the posterior subcortical white matter. We report the case of a 55-year-old man with atypical PRES, who had malignant hypertension and renal dysfunction. Magnetic resonance imaging of the brain revealed extensive vasogenic edema in the deep white matter including the temporal pole, as well as in the brainstem and cerebellum. Antihypertensive therapy and hemodialysis contributed to both clinical and radiological improvement. Involvement of the deep white matter including the temporal pole, which is rarely affected in an ischemic stroke, should be recognized as a potential sign of PRES. PMID:27904123
Kanchibhotla, Sri C; Mather, Karen A; Wen, Wei; Schofield, Peter R; Kwok, John B J; Sachdev, Perminder S
White matter (WM) plays a vital role in the efficient transfer of information between grey matter regions. Modern imaging techniques such as diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) have enabled the examination of WM microstructural changes across the lifespan, but there is limited knowledge about the role genetics plays in the pattern and aetiology of age-related WM microstructural changes. Family and twin studies suggest that the heritability of WM integrity measures changes over the lifespan, with the common DTI measure, fractional anisotropy (FA), showing moderate to high heritability in adults. However, few heritability studies have been undertaken in older adults. Linkage studies in middle-aged adults suggest that specific regions on chromosomes 3 and 15 may harbour genetic variants for WM integrity. A number of studies have investigated candidate genes, with the APOE ɛ4 polymorphism being the most frequently studied. Although these candidate gene studies suggest associations of particular genes with WM integrity measures in some specific brain regions, the findings remain inconsistent due to differences in their methodologies, samples and the outcome measures used. The APOE ɛ4 allele has been associated with decreased WM integrity (FA) in the cingulum, corpus callosum and parahippocampal gyrus. Only one genome-wide association study of global WM integrity measures in older adults has been published, and reported suggestive single nucleotide polymorphisms await replication. Overall, genetic age-related WM integrity studies are lacking and a concerted effort to examine the genetic determinants of age-related decline in WM integrity is clearly needed to improve our understanding of the ageing brain.
Minnerop, Martina; Weber, Bernd; Schoene-Bake, Jan-Christoph; Roeske, Sandra; Mirbach, Sandra; Anspach, Christian; Schneider-Gold, Christiane; Betz, Regina C; Helmstaedter, Christoph; Tittgemeyer, Marc; Klockgether, Thomas; Kornblum, Cornelia
Myotonic dystrophy types 1 and 2 are progressive multisystemic disorders with potential brain involvement. We compared 22 myotonic dystrophy type 1 and 22 myotonic dystrophy type 2 clinically and neuropsychologically well-characterized patients and a corresponding healthy control group using structural brain magnetic resonance imaging at 3 T (T(1)/T(2)/diffusion-weighted). Voxel-based morphometry and diffusion tensor imaging with tract-based spatial statistics were applied for voxel-wise analysis of cerebral grey and white matter affection (P(corrected) < 0.05). We further examined the association of structural brain changes with clinical and neuropsychological data. White matter lesions rated visually were more prevalent and severe in myotonic dystrophy type 1 compared with controls, with frontal white matter most prominently affected in both disorders, and temporal lesions restricted to myotonic dystrophy type 1. Voxel-based morphometry analyses demonstrated extensive white matter involvement in all cerebral lobes, brainstem and corpus callosum in myotonic dystrophy types 1 and 2, while grey matter decrease (cortical areas, thalamus, putamen) was restricted to myotonic dystrophy type 1. Accordingly, we found more prominent white matter affection in myotonic dystrophy type 1 than myotonic dystrophy type 2 by diffusion tensor imaging. Association fibres throughout the whole brain, limbic system fibre tracts, the callosal body and projection fibres (e.g. internal/external capsules) were affected in myotonic dystrophy types 1 and 2. Central motor pathways were exclusively impaired in myotonic dystrophy type 1. We found mild executive and attentional deficits in our patients when neuropsychological tests were corrected for manual motor dysfunctioning. Regression analyses revealed associations of white matter affection with several clinical parameters in both disease entities, but not with neuropsychological performance. We showed that depressed mood and fatigue were
Kostović, Ivica; Judaš, Miloš; Sedmak, Goran
The subplate zone is a transient cytoarchitectonic compartment of the fetal telencephalic wall and contains a population of subplate neurons which are the main neurons of the fetal neocortex and play a key role in normal development of cerebral cortical structure and connectivity. While the subplate zone disappears during the perinatal and early postnatal period, numerous subplate neurons survive and remain embedded in the superficial (gyral) white matter of adolescent and adult brain as so-called interstitial neurons. In both fetal and adult brain, subplate/interstitial neurons belong to two major classes of cortical cells: (a) projection (glutamatergic) neurons and (b) local circuit (GABAergic) interneurons. As interstitial neurons remain strategically positioned at the cortical/white matter interface through which various cortical afferent systems enter the deep cortical layers, they probably serve as auxiliary interneurons involved in differential "gating" of cortical input systems. It is widely accepted that prenatal lesions which alter the number of surviving subplate neurons (i.e., the number of interstitial neurons) and/or the nature of their involvement in cortical circuitry represent an important causal factor in pathogenesis of at least some types of schizophrenia--e.g., in the subgroup of patients with cognitive impairment and deficits of frontal lobe functions. The abnormal functioning of cortical circuitry in schizophrenia becomes manifest during the adolescence, when there is an increased demand for proper functioning of the prefrontal cortex. In this review, we describe developmental history of subplate zone, subplate neurons and surviving interstitial neurons, as well as presumed consequences of the increased number of GABAergic interstitial neurons in the prefrontal cortex. We propose that the increased number of GABAergic interstitial neurons leads to the increased inhibition of prefrontal cortical neurons. This inhibitory action of GABAergic
Blackmon, Karen; Ben-Avi, Emma; Wang, Xiuyuan; Pardoe, Heath R; Di Martino, Adriana; Halgren, Eric; Devinsky, Orrin; Thesen, Thomas; Kuzniecky, Ruben
Malformations of cortical development are found at higher rates in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) than in healthy controls on postmortem neuropathological evaluation but are more variably observed on visual review of in-vivo MRI brain scans. This may be due to the visually elusive nature of many malformations on MRI. Here, we utilize a quantitative approach to determine whether a volumetric measure of heterotopic gray matter in the white matter is elevated in people with ASD, relative to typically developing controls (TDC). Data from a primary sample of 48 children/young adults with ASD and 48 age-, and gender-matched TDCs, selected from the Autism Brain Imaging Data Exchange (ABIDE) open-access database, were analyzed to compare groups on (1) blinded review of high-resolution T1-weighted research sequences; and (2) quantitative measurement of white matter hypointensity (WMH) volume calculated from the same T1-weighted scans. Groupwise WMH volume comparisons were repeated in an independent, multi-site sample (80 ASD/80 TDC), also selected from ABIDE. Visual review resulted in equivalent proportions of imaging abnormalities in the ASD and TDC group. However, quantitative analysis revealed elevated periventricular and deep subcortical WMH volumes in ASD. This finding was replicated in the independent, multi-site sample. Periventricular WMH volume was not associated with age but was associated with greater restricted repetitive behaviors on both parent-reported and clinician-rated assessment inventories. Thus, findings demonstrate that periventricular WMH volume is elevated in ASD and associated with a higher degree of repetitive behaviors and restricted interests. Although the etiology of focal WMH clusters is unknown, the absence of age effects suggests that they may reflect a static anomaly.
Blackmon, Karen; Ben-Avi, Emma; Wang, Xiuyuan; Pardoe, Heath R.; Di Martino, Adriana; Halgren, Eric; Devinsky, Orrin; Thesen, Thomas; Kuzniecky, Ruben
Malformations of cortical development are found at higher rates in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) than in healthy controls on postmortem neuropathological evaluation but are more variably observed on visual review of in-vivo MRI brain scans. This may be due to the visually elusive nature of many malformations on MRI. Here, we utilize a quantitative approach to determine whether a volumetric measure of heterotopic gray matter in the white matter is elevated in people with ASD, relative to typically developing controls (TDC). Data from a primary sample of 48 children/young adults with ASD and 48 age-, and gender-matched TDCs, selected from the Autism Brain Imaging Data Exchange (ABIDE) open-access database, were analyzed to compare groups on (1) blinded review of high-resolution T1-weighted research sequences; and (2) quantitative measurement of white matter hypointensity (WMH) volume calculated from the same T1-weighted scans. Groupwise WMH volume comparisons were repeated in an independent, multi-site sample (80 ASD/80 TDC), also selected from ABIDE. Visual review resulted in equivalent proportions of imaging abnormalities in the ASD and TDC group. However, quantitative analysis revealed elevated periventricular and deep subcortical WMH volumes in ASD. This finding was replicated in the independent, multi-site sample. Periventricular WMH volume was not associated with age but was associated with greater restricted repetitive behaviors on both parent-reported and clinician-rated assessment inventories. Thus, findings demonstrate that periventricular WMH volume is elevated in ASD and associated with a higher degree of repetitive behaviors and restricted interests. Although the etiology of focal WMH clusters is unknown, the absence of age effects suggests that they may reflect a static anomaly. PMID:26693400
Coltman, Robin; Spain, Aisling; Tsenkina, Yanina; Fowler, Jill H; Smith, Jessica; Scullion, Gillian; Allerhand, Mike; Scott, Fiona; Kalaria, Rajesh N; Ihara, Masafumi; Daumas, Stephanie; Deary, Ian J; Wood, Emma; McCulloch, James; Horsburgh, Karen
The integrity of the white matter is critical in regulating efficient neuronal communication and maintaining cognitive function. Damage to brain white matter putatively contributes to age-related cognitive decline. There is a growing interest in animal models from which the mechanistic basis of white matter pathology in aging can be elucidated but to date there has been a lack of systematic behavior and pathology in the same mice. Anatomically widespread, diffuse white matter damage was induced, in 3 different cohorts of C57Bl/6J mice, by chronic hypoperfusion produced by bilateral carotid stenosis. A comprehensive assessment of spatial memory (spatial reference learning and memory; cohort 1) and serial spatial learning and memory (cohort 2) using the water maze, and spatial working memory (cohort 3) using the 8-arm radial arm maze, was conducted. In parallel, a systematic assessment of white matter components (myelin, axon, glia) was conducted using immunohistochemical markers (myelin-associated glycoprotein [MAG], degraded myelin basic protein [dMBP], anti-amyloid precursor protein [APP], anti-ionized calcium-binding adapter molecule [Iba-1]). Ischemic neuronal perikarya damage, assessed using histology (hematoxylin and eosin; H&E), was absent in all shams but was present in some hypoperfused mice (2/11 in cohort 1, 4/14 in cohort 2, and 17/24 in cohort 3). All animals with neuronal perikaryal damage were excluded from further study. Diffuse white matter damage occurred, throughout the brain, in all hypoperfused mice in each cohort and was essentially absent in sham-operated controls. There was a selective impairment in spatial working memory, with all other measures of spatial memory remaining intact, in hypoperfused mice with selective white matter damage. The results demonstrate that diffuse white matter pathology, in the absence of gray matter damage, induces a selective impairment of spatial working memory. This highlights the importance of assessing
Deoni, Sean C L; Dean, Douglas C; Piryatinsky, Irene; O'Muircheartaigh, Jonathan; Waskiewicz, Nicole; Lehman, Katie; Han, Michelle; Dirks, Holly
Does breastfeeding alter early brain development? The prevailing consensus from large epidemiological studies posits that early exclusive breastfeeding is associated with improved measures of IQ and cognitive functioning in later childhood and adolescence. Prior morphometric brain imaging studies support these findings, revealing increased white matter and sub-cortical gray matter volume, and parietal lobe cortical thickness, associated with IQ, in adolescents who were breastfed as infants compared to those who were exclusively formula-fed. Yet it remains unknown when these structural differences first manifest and when developmental differences that predict later performance improvements can be detected. In this study, we used quiet magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to compare measures of white matter microstructure (mcDESPOT measures of myelin water fraction) in 133 healthy children from 10 months through 4 years of age, who were either exclusively breastfed a minimum of 3 months; exclusively formula-fed; or received a mixture of breast milk and formula. We also examined the relationship between breastfeeding duration and white matter microstructure. Breastfed children exhibited increased white matter development in later maturing frontal and association brain regions. Positive relationships between white matter microstructure and breastfeeding duration are also exhibited in several brain regions, that are anatomically consistent with observed improvements in cognitive and behavioral performance measures. While the mechanisms underlying these structural differences remains unclear, our findings provide new insight into the earliest developmental advantages associated with breastfeeding, and support the hypothesis that breast milk constituents promote healthy neural growth and white matter development.
Amaro-Seoane, P.; Casanellas, J.; Schödel, R.; Davidson, E.; Cuadra, J.
White dwarfs (WDs) are the most promising captors of dark matter (DM) particles in the crests that are expected to build up in the cores of dense stellar clusters. The DM particles could reach sufficient densities in WD cores to liberate energy through self-annihilation. The extinction associated with our Galactic Centre makes it impossible to detect the potential-associated luminosities, contrary to smaller stellar systems which are close enough to us and not heavily extincted, such as -Cen. We investigate the prospects of detection of DM-burning WDs in a stellar cluster harbouring an intermediate-mass black hole (IMBH), which leads to higher densities of DM at the centre. We calculate the capture rate and estimate the luminosity that a WD would emit depending on its distance to the centre of the cluster. Direct-summation N-body simulations of -Cen yield a non-negligible number of WDs in the range of radii of interest. We apply our assumption to published Hubble Space Telescope/Advanced Camera for Surveys observations of stars in the centre of -Cen and, although we are not able to identify any evident candidate, we proof that their bunching up at high luminosities would be unique. We predict that DM burning will lead to a truncation of the cooling sequence at the faint end. The detection of DM burning in future observations of dense stellar clusters could allow us to probe different models of DM distributions and characteristics. On the other hand, if DM-burning WDs really exist, their number and properties could give hints to the existence of IMBHs.
Dean, D C; Lange, N; Travers, B G; Prigge, M B; Matsunami, N; Kellett, K A; Freeman, A; Kane, K L; Adluru, N; Tromp, D P M; Destiche, D J; Samsin, D; Zielinski, B A; Fletcher, P T; Anderson, J S; Froehlich, A L; Leppert, M F; Bigler, E D; Lainhart, J E; Alexander, A L
The complexity and heterogeneity of neuroimaging findings in individuals with autism spectrum disorder has suggested that many of the underlying alterations are subtle and involve many brain regions and networks. The ability to account for multivariate brain features and identify neuroimaging measures that can be used to characterize individual variation have thus become increasingly important for interpreting and understanding the neurobiological mechanisms of autism. In the present study, we utilize the Mahalanobis distance, a multidimensional counterpart of the Euclidean distance, as an informative index to characterize individual brain variation and deviation in autism. Longitudinal diffusion tensor imaging data from 149 participants (92 diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and 57 typically developing controls) between 3.1 and 36.83 years of age were acquired over a roughly 10-year period and used to construct the Mahalanobis distance from regional measures of white matter microstructure. Mahalanobis distances were significantly greater and more variable in the autistic individuals as compared to control participants, demonstrating increased atypicalities and variation in the group of individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Distributions of multivariate measures were also found to provide greater discrimination and more sensitive delineation between autistic and typically developing individuals than conventional univariate measures, while also being significantly associated with observed traits of the autism group. These results help substantiate autism as a truly heterogeneous neurodevelopmental disorder, while also suggesting that collectively considering neuroimaging measures from multiple brain regions provides improved insight into the diversity of brain measures in autism that is not observed when considering the same regions separately. Distinguishing multidimensional brain relationships may thus be informative for identifying
Matsui, Joy T.; Vaidya, Jatin G.; Wassermann, Demian; Kim, Regina Eunyoung; Magnotta, Vincent A.; Johnson, Hans J.; Paulsen, Jane S.
Huntington disease (HD) is most widely known for its selective degeneration of striatal neurons but there is also growing evidence for white matter (WM) deterioration. The primary objective of this research was to conduct a large-scale analysis using multisite diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) tractography data to quantify diffusivity properties along major prefrontal cortex WM tracts in prodromal HD. Fifteen international sites participating in the PREDICT-HD study collected imaging and neuropsychological data on gene-positive HD participants without a clinical diagnosis (i.e. prodromal) and gene-negative control participants. The anatomical prefrontal WM tracts of the corpus callosum (PFCC), anterior thalamic radiations (ATR), inferior fronto-occipital fasciculi (IFO), and uncinate fasciculi (UNC) were identified using streamline tractography of DWI. Within each of these tracts, tensor scalars for fractional anisotropy, mean diffusivity, radial diffusivity, and axial diffusivity coefficients were calculated. We divided prodromal HD subjects into three CAG-age product (CAP) groups having Low, Medium, or High probabilities of onset indexed by genetic exposure. We observed significant differences in WM properties for each of the four anatomical tracts for the High CAP group in comparison to controls. Additionally, the Medium CAP group presented differences in the ATR and IFO in comparison to controls. Furthermore, WM alterations in the PFCC, ATR, and IFO showed robust associations with neuropsychological measures of executive functioning. These results suggest long-range tracts essential for cross-region information transfer show early vulnerability in HD and may explain cognitive problems often present in the prodromal stage. PMID:26179962
Matsui, Joy T; Vaidya, Jatin G; Wassermann, Demian; Kim, Regina Eunyoung; Magnotta, Vincent A; Johnson, Hans J; Paulsen, Jane S
Huntington disease (HD) is most widely known for its selective degeneration of striatal neurons but there is also growing evidence for white matter (WM) deterioration. The primary objective of this research was to conduct a large-scale analysis using multisite diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) tractography data to quantify diffusivity properties along major prefrontal cortex WM tracts in prodromal HD. Fifteen international sites participating in the PREDICT-HD study collected imaging and neuropsychological data on gene-positive HD participants without a clinical diagnosis (i.e., prodromal) and gene-negative control participants. The anatomical prefrontal WM tracts of the corpus callosum (PFCC), anterior thalamic radiations (ATRs), inferior fronto-occipital fasciculi (IFO), and uncinate fasciculi (UNC) were identified using streamline tractography of DWI. Within each of these tracts, tensor scalars for fractional anisotropy, mean diffusivity, radial diffusivity, and axial diffusivity coefficients were calculated. We divided prodromal HD subjects into three CAG-age product (CAP) groups having Low, Medium, or High probabilities of onset indexed by genetic exposure. We observed significant differences in WM properties for each of the four anatomical tracts for the High CAP group in comparison to controls. Additionally, the Medium CAP group presented differences in the ATR and IFO in comparison to controls. Furthermore, WM alterations in the PFCC, ATR, and IFO showed robust associations with neuropsychological measures of executive functioning. These results suggest long-range tracts essential for cross-region information transfer show early vulnerability in HD and may explain cognitive problems often present in the prodromal stage. Hum Brain Mapp 36:3717-3732, 2015. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Lederer, Katharina; Fouche, Jean-Paul; Wilson, Don; Stein, Dan J; Uhlmann, Anne
Chronic methamphetamine (MA) use can lead to white matter (WM) changes and increased levels of aggression. While previous studies have examined WM abnormalities relating to cognitive impairment, associations between WM integrity and aggression in MA dependence remain unclear. Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) was used to investigate WM changes in 40 individuals with MA dependence and 40 matched healthy controls. A region of interest (ROI) approach using tract based spatial statistics (TBSS) in FSL was performed. We compared fractional anisotropy (FA), mean diffusivity (MD), parallel diffusivity (λ║) and perpendicular diffusivity (λ┴) in WM tracts of the frontal brain. A relationship of WM with aggression scores from the Buss & Perry Questionnaire was investigated. Mean scores for anger (p < 0.001), physical aggression (p = 0.032) and total aggression (p = 0.021) were significantly higher in the MA group relative to controls. ROI analysis showed increased MD (U = 439.5, p = 0.001) and λ┴ (U = 561.5, p = 0.021) values in the genu of the corpus callosum, and increased MD (U = 541.5, p = 0.012) values in the right cingulum in MA dependence. None of the WM changes were significantly associated with aggression scores. This study provides evidence of frontal WM changes and increased levels of aggression in individuals with MA dependence. The lack of significant associations between WM and aggressive behaviour may reflect methodological issues in measuring such behaviour, or may indicate that the neurobiology of aggression is not simply correlated with WM damage but is more complex.
Norcross, Jason; Sherman, Paul; McGuire, Steve; Kochunov, Peter
Introduction: Previous literature has described the increase in white matter hyperintensity (WMH) burden associated with hypobaric exposure in the U-2 and altitude chamber operating personnel. Although astronauts have similar hypobaric exposure pressures to the U2 pilot population, astronauts have far fewer exposures and each exposure would be associated with a much lower level of decompression stress due to rigorous countermeasures to prevent decompression sickness. Therefore, we postulated that the WMH burden in the astronaut population would be less than in U2 pilots. Methods: Twenty-one post-flight de-identified astronaut MRIs (5 mm slice thickness FLAIR sequences) were evaluated for WMH count and volume. The only additional data provided was an age range of the astronauts (43-57) and if they had ever performed an EVA (13 yes, 8 no). Results: WMH count in these 21 astronaut MRI was 21.0 +/- 24.8 (mean+/- SD) and volume was 0.382 +/- 0.602 ml, which was significantly higher than previously published results for the U2 pilots. No significant differences between EVA and no EVA groups existed. Age range of astronaut population is not directly comparable to the U2 population. Discussion: With significantly less frequent (sometimes none) and less stressful hypobaric exposures, yet a much higher incidence of increased WMH, this indicates the possibility of additional mechanisms beyond hypobaric exposure. This increase unlikely to be attributable just to the differences in age between astronauts and U2 pilots. Forward work includes continuing review of post-flight MRI and evaluation of pre to post flight MRI changes if available. Data mining for potential WMH risk factors includes collection of age, sex, spaceflight experience, EVA hours, other hypobaric exposures, hyperoxic exposures, radiation, high performance aircraft experience and past medical history. Finally, neurocognitive and vision/eye results will be evaluated for any evidence of impairment linked to
Grimmer, Timo; Faust, Maximilian; Auer, Florian; Alexopoulos, Panagiotis; Förstl, Hans; Henriksen, Gjermund; Perneczky, Robert; Sorg, Christian; Yousefi, Behrooz H; Drzezga, Alexander; Kurz, Alexander
Impaired amyloid clearance probably contributes to increased amyloid deposition in sporadic Alzheimer's disease (AD). Diminished perivascular drainage due to cerebral small-vessel disease (CSVD) has been proposed as a cause of reduced amyloid clearance. White matter hyperintensities (WMHs) are considered to reflect CSVD and can be measured using fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Amyloid deposition can be determined in vivo using Pittsburgh compound B ([11C]PiB) positron emission tomography (PET). We aimed to elucidate the association between WMH and the progression of amyloid deposition in patients with AD. Twenty-two patients with probable AD underwent FLAIR-MRI and [11C]PiB-PET examinations at baseline (BL) and after a mean follow-up (FU) interval of 28 months. The relationship between BL-WMH and the progression of cerebral amyloid between BL and FU was examined using a regions-of-interest (ROI) approach. The region-specific variability of this relationship was analyzed using a voxel-based method. The longitudinal analysis revealed a statistically significant association between the amount of BL-WMH and the progression of amyloid load between BL and FU (p = 0.006, adjusted R2 = 0.375, standardized coefficient β = 0.384). The association was particularly observed in parieto-occipital regions and tended to be closer in regions adjacent to the brain surface. According to our knowledge, this is the first in vivo study in human being supporting the hypothesis that impaired amyloid clearance along perivascular drainage pathways may contribute to β-amyloid deposition in sporadic AD. The extent of WMH might be a relevant factor to be assessed in antiamyloid drug trials.
Iorio, Mariangela; Spalletta, Gianfranco; Chiapponi, Chiara; Luccichenti, Giacomo; Cacciari, Claudia; Orfei, Maria D; Caltagirone, Carlo; Piras, Fabrizio
White matter hyperintensities (WMH) are brain areas of increased signal on T2-weighted or fluid-attenuated inverse recovery magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. In this study we present a new semi-automated method to measure WMH load that is based on the segmentation of the intensity histogram of fluid-attenuated inversion recovery images. Thirty patients with mild cognitive impairment with variable WMH load were enrolled. The semi-automated WMH segmentation included removal of non-brain tissue, spatial normalization, removal of cerebellum and brain stem, spatial filtering, thresholding to segment probable WMH, manual editing for correction of false positives and negatives, generation of WMH map, and volumetric estimation of the WMH load. Accuracy was quantitatively evaluated by comparing semi-automated and manual WMH segmentations performed by two independent raters. Differences between the two procedures were assessed using Student's t-tests and similarity was evaluated using linear regression model and Dice similarity coefficient (DSC). The volumes of the manual and semi-automated segmentations did not statistically differ (t-value = -1.79, DF = 29, p = 0.839 for rater 1; t-value = 1.113, DF = 29, p = 0.2749 for rater 2), were highly correlated [R (2) = 0.921, F (1,29) = 155.54, p < 0.0001 for rater 1; R (2) = 0.935, F (1,29) = 402.709, p < 0.0001 for rater 2] and showed a very strong spatial similarity (mean DSC = 0.78, for rater 1 and 0.77 for rater 2). In conclusion, our semi-automated method to measure the load of WMH is highly reliable and could represent a good tool that could be easily implemented in routinely neuroimaging analyses to map clinical consequences of WMH.
Budday, Silvia; Nay, Richard; de Rooij, Rijk; Steinmann, Paul; Wyrobek, Thomas; Ovaert, Timothy C; Kuhl, Ellen
The mammalian brain is composed of an outer layer of gray matter, consisting of cell bodies, dendrites, and unmyelinated axons, and an inner core of white matter, consisting primarily of myelinated axons. Recent evidence suggests that microstructural differences between gray and white matter play an important role during neurodevelopment. While brain tissue as a whole is rheologically well characterized, the individual features of gray and white matter remain poorly understood. Here we quantify the mechanical properties of gray and white matter using a robust, reliable, and repeatable method, flat-punch indentation. To systematically characterize gray and white matter moduli for varying indenter diameters, loading rates, holding times, post-mortem times, and locations we performed a series of n=192 indentation tests. We found that indenting thick, intact coronal slices eliminates the common challenges associated with small specimens: it naturally minimizes boundary effects, dehydration, swelling, and structural degradation. When kept intact and hydrated, brain slices maintained their mechanical characteristics with standard deviations as low as 5% throughout the entire testing period of five days post mortem. White matter, with an average modulus of 1.89 5kPa ± 0.592 kPa, was on average 39% stiffer than gray matter, p<0.01, with an average modulus of 1.389 kPa ± 0.289 kPa, and displayed larger regional variations. It was also more viscous than gray matter and responded less rapidly to mechanical loading. Understanding the rheological differences between gray and white matter may have direct implications on diagnosing and understanding the mechanical environment in neurodevelopment and neurological disorders.
Aldridge, Fiona; Iain Murray; Berry, Caroline
The National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) Adult Participation in Learning Survey 10 years ago showed that two-fifths of the adult population said that they had taken part in learning in the last three years. A decade later, the 2012 survey shows that little has changed--active participation in learning remains a minority…
Ferrer, Emilio; Whitaker, Kirstie J; Steele, Joel S; Green, Chloe T; Wendelken, Carter; Bunge, Silvia A
The structure of the human brain changes in several ways throughout childhood and adolescence. Perhaps the most salient of these changes is the strengthening of white matter tracts that enable distal brain regions to communicate with one another more quickly and efficiently. Here, we sought to understand whether and how white matter changes contribute to improved reasoning ability over development. In particular, we sought to understand whether previously reported relationships between white matter microstructure and reasoning are mediated by processing speed. To this end, we analyzed diffusion tensor imaging data as well as data from standard psychometric tests of cognitive abilities from 103 individuals between the ages of 6 and 18. We used structural equation modeling to investigate the network of relationships between brain and behavior variables. Our analyses provide support for the hypothesis that white matter maturation (as indexed either by microstructural organization or volume) supports improved processing speed, which, in turn, supports improved reasoning ability.
Michielse, Stijn; Coupland, Nick; Camicioli, Richard; Carter, Rawle; Seres, Peter; Sabino, Jennifer; Malykhin, Nikolai
We examined age-related changes in the cerebral white matter. Structural magnetic resonance images (MRIs) and diffusion tensor images (DTIs) were acquired from 69 healthy subjects aged 22-84 years. Quantitative DTI tractography was performed for nine different white matter tracts to determine tract volume, fractional anisotropy (FA), mean diffusivity (MD), axial, and radial diffusivities. We used automated and manual segmentation to determine volumes of gray matter (GM), white mater (WM), cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), and intracranial space. The results showed significant effects of aging on WM, GM, CSF volumes, and selective effects of aging on structural integrity of different white matter tracts. WM of the prefrontal region was the most vulnerable to aging, while temporal lobe connections, cingulum, and parieto-occipital commissural connections showed relative preservation with age. This study was cross-sectional, and therefore, additional longitudinal studies are needed to confirm our findings.
Venneri, Annalena; Lane, Roger
Brain white matter volume changes were quantified by using voxel-based morphometry in 26 minimal-to-mild Alzheimer's disease patients receiving cholinesterase inhibitors over 20 weeks. Patients treated with rivastigmine, an inhibitor of acetylcholinesterase and butyrylcholinesterase, did not show those reductions in white matter volume that were observed in patients treated with acetylcholinesterase-selective agents, donepezil and galantamine. This is the first time that dual cholinesterase inhibition has been shown to influence white matter volume specifically. The findings are consistent with a thesis that dual cholinesterase inhibition may have neuroprotective potential. Attenuated loss of brain volumes and delayed/slower long-term clinical decline in patients treated with agents such as rivastigmine may be due to less extensive white matter damage and loss of corticosubcortical connectivity.
Powell, Michael H; Nguyen, Hao Van; Gilbert, Mary; Parekh, Mansi; Colon-Perez, Luis M; Mareci, Thomas H; Montie, Eric
Humans and wildlife are exposed to environmental pollutants that have been shown to interfere with the thyroid hormone system and thus may affect brain development. Our goal was to expose pregnant rats to propylthiouracil (PTU) to measure the effects of a goitrogen on white matter development in offspring using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and volumetric analysis. We exposed pregnant Sprague Dawley (SD) rats to 3 or 10 ppm PTU from gestation day 7 (GD7) until postnatal day 25 (P25) to determine the effects on white matter (WM), gray matter (GM), and hippocampus volumes in offspring. We sacrificed offspring at P25 but continued the life of some offspring to P90 to measure persistent effects in adult animals. P25 offspring exposed to 10 ppm PTU displayed lowered levels of triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4); cerebral WM, GM, and total brain volumes were significantly lower than the volumes in control animals. P90 adults exposed to 10 ppm PTU displayed normal T3 levels but lowered T4 levels; WM, GM, total brain, and hippocampal volumes were significantly lower than the volumes in control adults. Both P25 and P90 rats exposed to 10 ppm PTU displayed significant reductions in percent WM as well as heterotopias in the corpus callosum. Exposure to 3 ppm PTU did not produce any significant effects. These results suggest that MRI coupled with volumetric analysis is a powerful tool in assessing the effects of thyroid hormone disruption on white matter development and brain structure. This approach holds great promise in assessing neurotoxicity of xenobiotics in humans and wildlife.
Powell, Michael H.; Van Nguyen, Hao; Gilbert, Mary; Parekh, Mansi; Colon-Perez, Luis M.; Mareci, Thomas H.; Montie, Eric
Humans and wildlife are exposed to environmental pollutants that have been shown to interfere with the thyroid hormone system and thus may affect brain development. Our goal was to expose pregnant rats to propylthiouracil (PTU) to measure the effects of a goitrogen on white matter development in offspring using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and volumetric analysis. We exposed pregnant Sprague Dawley (SD) rats to 3 or 10 ppm PTU from gestation day 7 (GD7) until postnatal day 25 (P25) to determine the effects on white matter (WM), gray matter (GM), and hippocampus volumes in offspring. We sacrificed offspring at P25 but continued the life of some offspring to P90 to measure persistent effects in adult animals. P25 offspring exposed to 10 ppm PTU displayed lowered levels of triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4); cerebral WM, GM, and total brain volumes were significantly lower than the volumes in control animals. P90 adults exposed to 10 ppm PTU displayed normal T3 levels but lowered T4 levels; WM, GM, total brain, and hippocampal volumes were significantly lower than the volumes in control adults. Both P25 and P90 rats exposed to 10 ppm PTU displayed significant reductions in percent WM as well as heterotopias in the corpus callosum. Exposure to 3 ppm PTU did not produce any significant effects. These results suggest that MRI coupled with volumetric analysis is a powerful tool in assessing the effects of thyroid hormone disruption on white matter development and brain structure. This approach holds great promise in assessing neurotoxicity of xenobiotics in humans and wildlife. PMID:22975424
van Bloemendaal, Liselotte; Ijzerman, Richard G; Ten Kulve, Jennifer S; Barkhof, Frederik; Diamant, Michaela; Veltman, Dick J; van Duinkerken, Eelco
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is characterized by obesity, hyperglycemia and insulin resistance. Both T2DM and obesity are associated with cerebral complications, including an increased risk of cognitive impairment and dementia, however the underlying mechanisms are largely unknown. In the current study, we aimed to determine the relative contributions of obesity and the presence of T2DM to altered white matter structure. We used diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and voxel-based morphometry (VBM) to measure white matter integrity and volume in obese T2DM patients without micro- or macrovascular complications, age- gender- and BMI-matched normoglycemic obese subjects and age- and gender-matched normoglycemic lean subjects. We found that obese T2DM patients compared with lean subjects had lower axial diffusivity (in the right corticospinal tract, right inferior fronto-occipital tract, right superior longitudinal fasciculus and right forceps major) and reduced white matter volume (in the right inferior parietal lobe and the left external capsule region). In normoglycemic obese compared with lean subjects axial diffusivity as well as white matter volume tended to be reduced, whereas there were no significant differences between normoglycemic obese subjects and T2DM patients. Decreased white matter integrity and volume were univariately related to higher age, being male, higher BMI, HbA1C and fasting glucose and insulin levels. However, multivariate analyses demonstrated that only BMI was independently related to white matter integrity, and age, gender and BMI to white matter volume loss. Our data indicate that obese T2DM patients have reduced white matter integrity and volume, but that this is largely explained by BMI, rather than T2DM per se.
Klauser, Paul; Baker, Simon T; Cropley, Vanessa L; Bousman, Chad; Fornito, Alex; Cocchi, Luca; Fullerton, Janice M; Rasser, Paul; Schall, Ulrich; Henskens, Frans; Michie, Patricia T; Loughland, Carmel; Catts, Stanley V; Mowry, Bryan; Weickert, Thomas W; Shannon Weickert, Cynthia; Carr, Vaughan; Lenroot, Rhoshel; Pantelis, Christos; Zalesky, Andrew
White matter abnormalities associated with schizophrenia have been widely reported, although the consistency of findings across studies is moderate. In this study, neuroimaging was used to investigate white matter pathology and its impact on whole-brain white matter connectivity in one of the largest samples of patients with schizophrenia. Fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD) were compared between patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder (n = 326) and age-matched healthy controls (n = 197). Between-group differences in FA and MD were assessed using voxel-based analysis and permutation testing. Automated whole-brain white matter fiber tracking and the network-based statistic were used to characterize the impact of white matter pathology on the connectome and its rich club. Significant reductions in FA associated with schizophrenia were widespread, encompassing more than 40% (234ml) of cerebral white matter by volume and involving all cerebral lobes. Significant increases in MD were also widespread and distributed similarly. The corpus callosum, cingulum, and thalamic radiations exhibited the most extensive pathology according to effect size. More than 50% of cortico-cortical and cortico-subcortical white matter fiber bundles comprising the connectome were disrupted in schizophrenia. Connections between hub regions comprising the rich club were disproportionately affected. Pathology did not differ between patients with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder and was not mediated by medication. In conclusion, although connectivity between cerebral hubs is most extensively disturbed in schizophrenia, white matter pathology is widespread, affecting all cerebral lobes and the cerebellum, leading to disruptions in the majority of the brain's fiber bundles.
Szaflarski, Jerzy P.; Lee, Seongtaek; Allendorfer, Jane B.; Gaston, Tyler E.; Knowlton, Robert C.; Pati, Sandipan; Ver Hoef, Lawrence W.; Deutsch, Georg
Background Genetic generalized epilepsies (GGEs) are associated with microstructural brain abnormalities that can be evaluated with diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). Available studies on GGEs have conflicting results. Our primary goal was to compare the white matter structure in a cohort of patients with video/EEG-confirmed GGEs to healthy controls (HCs). Our secondary goal was to assess the potential effect of age at GGE onset on the white matter structure. Material/Methods A convenience sample of 23 patients with well-characterized treatment-resistant GGEs (13 female) was compared to 23 HCs. All participants received MRI at 3T. DTI indices, including fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD), were compared between groups using Tract-Based Spatial Statistics (TBSS). Results After controlling for differences between groups, abnormalities in DTI parameters were observed in patients with GGEs, including decreases in functional anisotropy (FA) in the hemispheric (left>right) and brain stem white matter. The examination of the effect of age at GGE onset on the white matter integrity revealed a significant negative correlation in the left parietal white matter region FA (R=−0.504; p=0.017); similar trends were observed in the white matter underlying left motor cortex (R=−0.357; p=0.103) and left posterior limb of the internal capsule (R=−0.319; p=0.148). Conclusions Our study confirms the presence of widespread white matter abnormalities in patients with GGEs and provides evidence that the age at GGE onset may have an important effect on white matter integrity. PMID:27283395
Monnig, Mollie A.; Yeo, Ronald A.; Tonigan, J. Scott; McCrady, Barbara S.; Thoma, Robert J.; Sabbineni, Amithrupa; Hutchison, Kent E.
Damage to the brain’s white matter is a signature injury of alcohol use disorders (AUDs), yet understanding of risks associated with clinical and demographic characteristics is incomplete. This study investigated alcohol problem severity, recent drinking behavior, and demographic factors in relation to white matter microstructure in heavy drinkers. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, including diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), were collected from 324 participants (mean age = 30.9 ± 9.1 years; 30% female) who reported five or more heavy drinking episodes in the past 30 days. Drinking history and alcohol problem severity were assessed. A common white matter factor was created from fractional anisotropy (FA) values of five white matter tracts: body of corpus callosum, fornix, external capsule, superior longitudinal fasciculus, and cingulate gyrus. Previous research has implicated these tracts in heavy drinking. Structural equation modeling (SEM) analyses tested the hypothesis that, after controlling for duration of alcohol exposure, clinical and behavioral measures of alcohol use severity would be associated with lower white matter factor scores. Potential interactions with smoking status, gender, age, treatment-seeking status, and depression or anxiety symptoms also were tested. Controlling for number of years drinking, greater alcohol problem severity and recent drinking frequency were significantly associated with lower white matter factor scores. The effect of drinking frequency differed significantly for men and women, such that higher drinking frequency was linked to lower white matter factor scores in women but not in men. In conclusion, alcohol problem severity was a significant predictor of lower white matter FA in heavy drinkers, after controlling for duration of alcohol exposure. In addition, more frequent drinking contributed to lower FA in women but not men, suggesting gender-specific vulnerability to alcohol neurotoxicity. PMID:26529515
Shen, Yan; Liu, Xiao-Bo; Pleasure, David E; Deng, Wenbin
The biology of cerebral white matter injury has been woefully understudied, in part because of the difficulty of reliably modeling this type of injury in rodents. Periventricular leukomalacia (PVL) is the predominant form of brain injury and the most common cause of cerebral palsy in premature infants. PVL is characterized by predominant white matter injury. No specific therapy for PVL is presently available, because the pathogenesis is not well understood. Here we report that two types of mouse PVL models have been created by hypoxia-ischemia with or without systemic coadministration of lipopolysaccharide (LPS). LPS coadministration exacerbated hypoxic-ischemic white matter injury and led to enhanced microglial activation and astrogliosis. Drug trials with the antiinflammatory agent minocycline, the antiexcitotoxic agent NBQX, and the antioxidant agent edaravone showed various degrees of protection in the two models, indicating that excitotoxic, oxidative, and inflammatory forms of injury are involved in the pathogenesis of injury to immature white matter. We then applied immunoelectron microscopy to reveal fine structural changes in the injured white matter and found that synapses between axons and oligodendroglial precursor cells (OPCs) are quickly and profoundly damaged. Hypoxia-ischemia caused a drastic decrease in the number of postsynaptic densities associated with the glutamatergic axon-OPC synapses defined by the expression of vesicular glutamate transporters, vGluT1 and vGluT2, on axon terminals that formed contacts with OPCs in the periventricular white matter, resulted in selective shrinkage of the postsynaptic OPCs contacted by vGluT2 labeled synapses, and led to excitotoxicity mediated by GluR2-lacking, Ca(2+) -permeable AMPA receptors. Overall, the present study provides novel mechanistic insights into the pathogenesis of PVL and reveals that axon-glia synapses are highly vulnerable to white matter injury in the developing brain. More broadly, the
Monnig, Mollie A; Yeo, Ronald A; Tonigan, J Scott; McCrady, Barbara S; Thoma, Robert J; Sabbineni, Amithrupa; Hutchison, Kent E
Damage to the brain's white matter is a signature injury of alcohol use disorders (AUDs), yet understanding of risks associated with clinical and demographic characteristics is incomplete. This study investigated alcohol problem severity, recent drinking behavior, and demographic factors in relation to white matter microstructure in heavy drinkers. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, including diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), were collected from 324 participants (mean age = 30.9 ± 9.1 years; 30% female) who reported five or more heavy drinking episodes in the past 30 days. Drinking history and alcohol problem severity were assessed. A common white matter factor was created from fractional anisotropy (FA) values of five white matter tracts: body of corpus callosum, fornix, external capsule, superior longitudinal fasciculus, and cingulate gyrus. Previous research has implicated these tracts in heavy drinking. Structural equation modeling (SEM) analyses tested the hypothesis that, after controlling for duration of alcohol exposure, clinical and behavioral measures of alcohol use severity would be associated with lower white matter factor scores. Potential interactions with smoking status, gender, age, treatment-seeking status, and depression or anxiety symptoms also were tested. Controlling for number of years drinking, greater alcohol problem severity and recent drinking frequency were significantly associated with lower white matter factor scores. The effect of drinking frequency differed significantly for men and women, such that higher drinking frequency was linked to lower white matter factor scores in women but not in men. In conclusion, alcohol problem severity was a significant predictor of lower white matter FA in heavy drinkers, after controlling for duration of alcohol exposure. In addition, more frequent drinking contributed to lower FA in women but not men, suggesting gender-specific vulnerability to alcohol neurotoxicity.
Voineskos, Aristotle N
Schizophrenia is a highly heritable disorder. Thus, the combination of genetics and brain imaging may be a useful strategy to investigate the effects of risk genes on anatomical connectivity, and for gene discovery, i.e. discovering the genetic correlates of white matter phenotypes. Following a database search, I review evidence for heritability of white matter phenotypes. I also review candidate gene investigations, examining association of putative risk variants with white matter phenotypes, as well as the recent flurry of research exploring relationships of genome-wide significant risk loci with white matter phenotypes. Finally, I review multivariate and polygene approaches, which constitute a new wave of imaging-genetics research, including large collaborative initiatives aiming to discover new genes that may predict aspects of white matter microstructure. The literature supports the heritability of white matter phenotypes. Loci in genes intimately implicated in oligodendrocyte and myelin development, growth and maintenance, and neurotrophic systems are associated with white matter microstructure. GWAS variants have not yet sufficiently been explored using DTI-based evaluation of white matter to draw conclusions, although micro-RNA 137 is promising due to its potential regulation of other GWAS schizophrenia genes. Many imaging-genetic studies only include healthy participants, which, while helping control for certain confounds, cannot address questions related to disease heterogeneity or symptom expression, and thus more studies should include participants with schizophrenia. With sufficiently large sample sizes, the future of this field lies in polygene strategies aimed at risk prediction and heterogeneity dissection of schizophrenia that can translate to personalized interventions.
Tuladhar, Anil M.; van Norden, Anouk G.W.; de Laat, Karlijn F.; Zwiers, Marcel P.; van Dijk, Ewoud J.; Norris, David G.; de Leeuw, Frank-Erik
Cerebral small vessel disease, including white matter hyperintensities (WMH) and lacunes of presumed vascular origin, is common in elderly people and is related to cognitive impairment and dementia. One possible mechanism could be the disruption of white matter tracts (both within WMH and normal-appearing white matter) that connect distributed brain regions involved in cognitive functions. Here, we investigated the relation between microstructural integrity of the white matter and cognitive functions in patients with small vessel disease. The Radboud University Nijmegen Diffusion tensor and Magnetic resonance Cohort study is a prospective cohort study among 444 independently living, non-demented elderly with cerebral small vessel disease, aged between 5500 and 85 years. All subjects underwent magnetic resonance imaging and diffusion tensor imaging scanning and an extensive neuropsychological assessment. We showed that loss of microstructural integrity of the white matter at specific locations was related to specific cognitive disturbances, which was mainly located in the normal-appearing white matter (p < 0.05, FWE-corrected for multiple comparisons). The microstructural integrity in the genu and splenium showed the highest significant relation with global cognitive function and executive functions, in the cingulum bundle with verbal memory performance. Associations between diffusion tensor imaging parameters and most cognitive domains remained present after adjustment for WMH and lacunes. In conclusion, cognitive disturbances in subjects with cerebral small vessel disease are related to microstructural integrity of multiple white matter fibers (within WMH and normal-appearing white matter) connecting different cortical and subcortical regions. PMID:25737960
Sozmen, Elif G.; Kolekar, Arunima; Havton, Leif A.; Carmichael, S. Thomas
Subcortical white matter stroke is a common stroke subtype but has had limited pre-clinical modeling. Recapitulating this disease process in mice has been impeded by the relative inaccessibility of the sub-cortical white matter arterial supply to induce white matter ischemia in isolation. In this report, we detail a subcortical white matter stroke model developed in the mouse and its characterization with a comprehensive set of MRI, immunohistochemical, neuronal tract tracing and electron microscopic studies. Focal injection of the vasoconstrictor endothelin-1 into the subcortical white matter produces an infarct core that develops a maximal MRI signal by day 2, which is comparable in relative size and location to human subcortical stroke. Immunohistochemical studies indicate that oligodendrocyte apoptosis is maximal at day 1 and apoptotic cells extend away from the stroke core into the peri-infarct white matter. The amount of myelin loss exceeds axonal fiber loss in this peri-infarct region. Activation of microglia/macrophages takes place at 1 day after injection near injured axons. Neuronal tract tracing demonstrates that subcortical white matter stroke disconnects a large region of bilateral sensorimotor cortex. There is a robust glial response after stroke by BrdU pulse-labeling, and oligodendrocyte precursor cells are initiated to proliferate and differentiate within the first week of injury. These results demonstrate the utility of the endothelin-1 mediated subcortical stroke in the mouse to study post-stroke repair mechanisms, as the infarct core extends through the partially damaged peri-infarct white matter and induces an early glial progenitor response. PMID:19439360
Manniesing, Rashindra; Oei, Marcel T H; Oostveen, Luuk J; Melendez, Jaime; Smit, Ewoud J; Platel, Bram; Sánchez, Clara I; Meijer, Frederick J A; Prokop, Mathias; van Ginneken, Bram
Modern Computed Tomography (CT) scanners are capable of acquiring contrast dynamics of the whole brain, adding functional to anatomical information. Soft tissue segmentation is important for subsequent applications such as tissue dependent perfusion analysis and automated detection and quantification of cerebral pathology. In this work a method is presented to automatically segment white matter (WM) and gray matter (GM) in contrast- enhanced 4D CT images of the brain. The method starts with intracranial segmentation via atlas registration, followed by a refinement using a geodesic active contour with dominating advection term steered by image gradient information, from a 3D temporal average image optimally weighted according to the exposures of the individual time points of the 4D CT acquisition. Next, three groups of voxel features are extracted: intensity, contextual, and temporal. These are used to segment WM and GM with a support vector machine. Performance was assessed using cross validation in a leave-one-patient-out manner on 22 patients. Dice coefficients were 0.81 ± 0.04 and 0.79 ± 0.05, 95% Hausdorff distances were 3.86 ± 1.43 and 3.07 ± 1.72 mm, for WM and GM, respectively. Thus, WM and GM segmentation is feasible in 4D CT with good accuracy.
Burzynska, Agnieszka Z.; Wong, Chelsea N.; Voss, Michelle W.; Cooke, Gillian E.; McAuley, Edward; Kramer, Arthur F.
Decline in cognitive performance in old age is linked to both suboptimal neural processing in grey matter (GM) and reduced integrity of white matter (WM), but the whole-brain structure-function-cognition associations remain poorly understood. Here we apply a novel measure of GM processing–moment-to-moment variability in the blood oxygenation level-dependent signal (SDBOLD)—to study the associations between GM function during resting state, performance on four main cognitive domains (i.e., fluid intelligence, perceptual speed, episodic memory, vocabulary), and WM microstructural integrity in 91 healthy older adults (aged 60-80 years). We modeled the relations between whole-GM SDBOLD with cognitive performance using multivariate partial least squares analysis. We found that greater SDBOLD was associated with better fluid abilities and memory. Most of regions showing behaviorally relevant SDBOLD (e.g., precuneus and insula) were localized to inter- or intra-network “hubs” that connect and integrate segregated functional domains in the brain. Our results suggest that optimal dynamic range of neural processing in hub regions may support cognitive operations that specifically rely on the most flexible neural processing and complex cross-talk between different brain networks. Finally, we demonstrated that older adults with greater WM integrity in all major WM tracts had also greater SDBOLD and better performance on tests of memory and fluid abilities. We conclude that SDBOLD is a promising functional neural correlate of individual differences in cognition in healthy older adults and is supported by overall WM integrity. PMID:25853882
Wisnowski, Jessica L.; Ceschin, Rafael C.; Choi, So Young; Schmithorst, Vincent J.; Painter, Michael J.; Nelson, Marvin D.; Blüml, Stefan; Panigrahy, Ashok
Introduction Altered thalamocortical development is hypothesized to be a key substrate underlying neurodevelopmental disabilities in preterm infants. However, the pathogenesis of this abnormality is not well-understood. We combined magnetic resonance spectroscopy of the parietal white matter and morphometric analyses of the thalamus to investigate the association between white matter metabolism and thalamic volume and tested the hypothesis that thalamic volume would be associated with diminished N-acetyl-aspartate (NAA), a measure of neuronal/axonal maturation, independent of white matter injury. Methods Data from 106 preterm infants (mean gestational age at birth: 31.0 weeks ± 4.3; range 23–36 weeks) who underwent MR examinations under clinical indications were included in this study. Results Linear regression analyses demonstrated a significant association between parietal white matter NAA concentration and thalamic volume. This effect was above and beyond the effect of white matter injury and age at MRI and remained significant even when preterm infants with punctate white matter lesions (pWMLs) were excluded from the analysis. Furthermore, choline, and amongst the preterm infants without pWMLs, lactate concentrations were also associated with thalamic volume. Of note, the associations between NAA and choline concentration and thalamic volume remained significant even when the sample was restricted to neonates who were term-equivalent age or older. Conclusion These observations provide convergent evidence of a neuroimaging phenotype characterized by widespread abnormal thalamocortical development and suggest that the pathogenesis may involve impaired axonal maturation. PMID:25666231
Liu, Chunlei; Murphy, Nicole E.; Li, Wei
Diffusion MRI has become an invaluable tool for studying white matter microstructure and brain connectivity. The emergence of quantitative susceptibility mapping and susceptibility tensor imaging (STI) has provided another unique tool for assessing the structure of white matter. In the highly ordered white matter structure, diffusion MRI measures hindered water mobility induced by various tissue and cell membranes, while susceptibility sensitizes to the molecular composition and axonal arrangement. Integrating these two methods may produce new insights into the complex physiology of white matter. In this study, we investigated the relationship between diffusion and magnetic susceptibility in the white matter. Experiments were conducted on phantoms and human brains in vivo. Diffusion properties were quantified with the diffusion tensor model and also with the higher order tensor model based on the cumulant expansion. Frequency shift and susceptibility tensor were measured with quantitative susceptibility mapping and susceptibility tensor imaging. These diffusion and susceptibility quantities were compared and correlated in regions of single fiber bundles and regions of multiple fiber orientations. Relationships were established with similarities and differences identified. It is believed that diffusion MRI and susceptibility MRI provide complementary information of the microstructure of white matter. Together, they allow a more complete assessment of healthy and diseased brains. PMID:23507987
In isolated white matter, ischemic tolerance changes dramatically in the period immediately before the onset of myelination. In the absence of an extrinsic energy source, postnatal day 0 to 2 (P0 to P2) white matter axons are here shown to maintain excitability for over twice as long as axons >P2, a differential that was dependent on glycogen metabolism. Prolonged withdrawal of extrinsic energy supply tended to spare axons in zones around astrocytes, which are shown to be the sole repository for glycogen particles in developing white matter. Analysis of mitochondrial volume fraction revealed that neither axons nor astrocytes had a low metabolic rate in neonatal white matter, while oligodendroglia at older ages had an elevated metabolism. The astrocyte population is established early in neural development, and exhibits reduced cell density as maturation progresses and white matter expands. The findings show that this event establishes the necessary conditions for ischemia sensitivity in white matter and indicates that astrocyte proximity may be significant for the survival of neuronal elements in conditions associated with compromised energy supply.
Hayakawa, Kazuhide; Lo, Eng H
White matter damage is an important part of cerebrovascular disease and may be a significant contributing factor in vascular mechanisms of cognitive dysfunction and dementia. It is well accepted that white matter homeostasis involves multifactorial interactions between all cells in the axon-glia-vascular unit. But more recently, it has been proposed that beyond cell-cell signaling within the brain per se, dynamic crosstalk between brain and systemic responses such as circulating immune cells and stem/progenitor cells may also be important. In this review, we explore the hypothesis that peripheral cells contribute to damage and repair after white matter damage. Depending on timing, phenotype and context, monocyte/macrophage can possess both detrimental and beneficial effects on oligodendrogenesis and white matter remodeling. Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) can be activated after CNS injury and the response may also influence white matter repair process. These emerging findings support the hypothesis that peripheral-derived cells can be both detrimental or beneficial in white matter pathology in cerebrovascular disease. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Vascular Contributions to Cognitive Impairment and Dementia, edited by M. Paul Murphy, Roderick A. Corriveau and Donna M. Wilcock.
Agrawal, Abhishek; Kapfhammer, Josef P; Kress, Annetrudi; Wichers, Hermann; Deep, Aman; Feindel, William; Sonntag, Volker K H; Spetzler, Robert F; Preul, Mark C
During the 1930s, white matter tracts began to assume relevance for neurosurgery, especially after Cajal's work. In many reviews of white matter neurobiology, the seminal contributions of Josef Klingler (1888-1963) and their neurological applications have been overlooked. In 1934 at the University of Basel under Eugen Ludwig, Klingler developed a new method of dissection based on a freezing technique for brain tissue that eloquently revealed the white matter tracts. Klingler worked with anatomists, surgeons, and other scientists, and his models and dissections of white matter tracts remain arguably the most elegant ever created. He stressed 3-dimensional anatomic relationships and laid the foundation for defining mesial temporal, limbic, insular, and thalamic fiber and functional relationships and contributed to the potential of stereotactic neurosurgery. Around 1947, Klingler was part of a Swiss-German group that independently performed the first stereotactic thalamotomies, basing their targeting and logic on Klingler's white matter studies, describing various applications of stereotaxy and showing Klingler's work integrated into a craniocerebral topographic system for targeting with external localization of eloquent brain structures and stimulation of deep thalamic nuclei. Klingler's work has received renewed interest because it is applicable for correlating the results of the fiber-mapping paradigms from diffusion tensor imaging to actual anatomic evidence. Although others have described white matter tracts, none have had as much practical impact on neuroscience as Klinger's work. More importantly, Josef Klingler was an encouraging mentor, influencing neurosurgeons, neuroscientists, and brain imaging for more than three quarters of a century.
Hummel, Nadine; Hüfner, Katharina; Stephan, Thomas; Linn, Jennifer; Kremmyda, Olympia; Brandt, Thomas; Flanagin, Virginia L
Patients with bilateral vestibular loss suffer from severe balance deficits during normal everyday movements. Ballet dancers, figure skaters, or slackliners, in contrast, are extraordinarily well trained in maintaining balance for the extreme balance situations that they are exposed to. Both training and disease can lead to changes in the diffusion properties of white matter that are related to skill level or disease progression respectively. In this study, we used diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to compare white matter diffusivity between these two study groups and their age- and sex-matched controls. We found that vestibular patients and balance-trained subjects show a reduction of fractional anisotropy in similar white matter tracts, due to a relative increase in radial diffusivity (perpendicular to the main diffusion direction). Reduced fractional anisotropy was not only found in sensory and motor areas, but in a widespread network including long-range connections, limbic and association pathways. The reduced fractional anisotropy did not correlate with any cognitive, disease-related or skill-related factors. The similarity in FA between the two study groups, together with the absence of a relationship between skill or disease factors and white matter changes, suggests a common mechanism for these white matter differences. We propose that both study groups must exert increased effort to meet their respective usual balance requirements. Since balance training has been shown to effectively reduce the symptoms of vestibular failure, the changes in white matter shown here may represent a neuronal mechanism for rehabilitation.
Love, Seth; Miners, J Scott
Neuroimaging has revealed a range of white matter abnormalities that are common in dementia, some that predict cognitive decline. The abnormalities may result from structural diseases of the cerebral vasculature, such as arteriolosclerosis and amyloid angiopathy, but can also be caused by nonstructural vascular abnormalities (eg, of vascular contractility or permeability), neurovascular instability or extracranial cardiac or vascular disease. Conventional histopathological assessment of the white matter has tended to conflate morphological vascular abnormalities with changes that reflect altered interstitial fluid dynamics or white matter ischemic damage, even though the latter may be of extracranial or nonstructural etiology. However, histopathology is being supplemented by biochemical approaches, including the measurement of proteins involved in the molecular responses to brain ischemia, myelin proteins differentially susceptible to ischemic damage, vessel-associated proteins that allow rapid measurement of microvessel density, markers of blood-brain barrier dysfunction and axonal injury, and mediators of white matter damage. By combining neuroimaging with histopathology and biochemical analysis, we can provide reproducible, quantitative data on the severity of white matter damage, and information on its etiology and pathogenesis. Together these have the potential to inform and improve treatment, particularly in forms of dementia to which white matter hypoperfusion makes a significant contribution.
Sanchez-Mut, Jose Vicente; Heyn, Holger; Vidal, Enrique; Delgado-Morales, Raúl; Moran, Sebastian; Sayols, Sergi; Sandoval, Juan; Ferrer, Isidre; Esteller, Manel; Gräff, Johannes
The brain's neocortex is anatomically organized into grey and white matter, which are mainly composed by neuronal and glial cells, respectively. The neocortex can be further divided in different Brodmann areas according to their cytoarchitectural organization, which are associated with distinct cortical functions. There is increasing evidence that brain development and function are governed by epigenetic processes, yet their contribution to the functional organization of the neocortex remains incompletely understood. Herein, we determined the DNA methylation patterns of grey and white matter of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (Brodmann area 9), an important region for higher cognitive skills that is particularly affected in various neurological diseases. For avoiding interindividual differences, we analyzed white and grey matter from the same donor using whole genome bisulfite sequencing, and for validating their biological significance, we used Infinium HumanMethylation450 BeadChip and pyrosequencing in ten and twenty independent samples, respectively. The combination of these analysis indicated robust grey-white matter differences in DNA methylation. What is more, cell type-specific markers were enriched among the most differentially methylated genes. Interestingly, we also found an outstanding number of grey-white matter differentially methylated genes that have previously been associated with Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's disease, as well as Multiple and Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The data presented here thus constitute an important resource for future studies not only to gain insight into brain regional as well as grey and white matter differences, but also to unmask epigenetic alterations that might underlie neurological and neurodegenerative diseases.
Guo, Xiaojuan; Han, Yuan; Chen, Kewei; Wang, Yan; Yao, Li
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease concomitant with grey and white matter damages. However, the interrelationship of volumetric changes between grey and white matter remains poorly understood in AD. Using joint independent component analysis, this study identified joint grey and white matter volume reductions based on structural magnetic resonance imaging data to construct the covariant networks in twelve AD patients and fourteen normal controls (NC). We found that three networks showed significant volume reductions in joint grey-white matter sources in AD patients, including (1) frontal/parietal/temporal-superior longitudinal fasciculus/corpus callosum, (2) temporal/parietal/occipital-frontal/occipital, and (3) temporal-precentral/postcentral. The corresponding expression scores distinguished AD patients from NC with 85.7%, 100% and 85.7% sensitivity for joint sources 1, 2 and 3, respectively; 75.0%, 66.7% and 75.0% specificity for joint sources 1, 2 and 3, respectively. Furthermore, the combined source of three significant joint sources best predicted the AD/NC group membership with 92.9% sensitivity and 83.3% specificity. Our findings revealed joint grey and white matter loss in AD patients, and these results can help elucidate the mechanism of grey and white matter reductions in the development of AD.
Hoppenbrouwers, Sylco S; Nazeri, Arash; de Jesus, Danilo R; Stirpe, Tania; Felsky, Daniel; Schutter, Dennis J L G; Daskalakis, Zafiris J; Voineskos, Aristotle N
Psychopathic offenders show a persistent pattern of emotional unresponsivity to the often horrendous crimes they perpetrate. Recent studies have related psychopathy to alterations in white matter. Therefore, diffusion tensor imaging followed by tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) analysis in 11 psychopathic offenders matched to 11 healthy controls was completed. Fractional anisotropy was calculated within each voxel and comparisons were made between groups using a permutation test. Any clusters of white matter voxels different between groups were submitted to probabilistic tractography. Significant differences in fractional anisotropy were found between psychopathic offenders and healthy controls in three main white matter clusters. These three clusters represented two major networks: an amygdalo-prefrontal network, and a striato-thalamo-frontal network. The interpersonal/affective component of the PCL-R correlated with white matter deficits in the orbitofrontal cortex and frontal pole whereas the antisocial component correlated with deficits in the striato-thalamo-frontal network. In addition to replicating earlier work concerning disruption of an amygdala-prefrontal network, we show for the first time that white matter integrity in a striato-thalamo-frontal network is disrupted in psychopathic offenders. The novelty of our findings lies in the two dissociable white matter networks that map directly onto the two major factors of psychopathy.
Muñoz Maniega, Susana; Chappell, Francesca M; Valdés Hernández, Maria C; Armitage, Paul A; Makin, Stephen D; Heye, Anna K; Thrippleton, Michael J; Sakka, Eleni; Shuler, Kirsten; Dennis, Martin S; Wardlaw, Joanna M
White matter hyperintensities accumulate with age and occur in patients with stroke, but their pathogenesis is poorly understood. We measured multiple magnetic resonance imaging biomarkers of tissue integrity in normal-appearing white matter and white matter hyperintensities in patients with mild stroke, to improve understanding of white matter hyperintensities origins. We classified white matter into white matter hyperintensities and normal-appearing white matter and measured fractional anisotropy, mean diffusivity, water content (T1-relaxation time) and blood-brain barrier leakage (signal enhancement slope from dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging). We studied the effects of age, white matter hyperintensities burden (Fazekas score) and vascular risk factors on each biomarker, in normal-appearing white matter and white matter hyperintensities, and performed receiver-operator characteristic curve analysis. Amongst 204 patients (34.3-90.9 years), all biomarkers differed between normal-appearing white matter and white matter hyperintensities ( P < 0.001). In normal-appearing white matter and white matter hyperintensities, mean diffusivity and T1 increased with age ( P < 0.001), all biomarkers varied with white matter hyperintensities burden ( P < 0.001; P = 0.02 signal enhancement slope), but only signal enhancement slope increased with hypertension ( P = 0.028). Fractional anisotropy showed complex age-white matter hyperintensities-tissue interactions; enhancement slope showed white matter hyperintensities-tissue interactions. Mean diffusivity distinguished white matter hyperintensities from normal-appearing white matter best at all ages. Blood-brain barrier leakage increases with hypertension and white matter hyperintensities burden at all ages in normal-appearing white matter and white matter hyperintensities, whereas water mobility and content increase as tissue damage accrues, suggesting that blood-brain barrier leakage
Gelineau-Morel, Rose; Tomassini, Valentina; Jenkinson, Mark; Johansen-Berg, Heidi; Matthews, Paul M; Palace, Jacqueline
Previous imaging studies assessing the relationship between white matter (WM) damage and matter (GM) atrophy have raised the concern that Multiple Sclerosis (MS) WM lesions may affect measures of GM volume by inducing voxel misclassification during intensity-based tissue segmentation. Here, we quantified this misclassification error in simulated and real MS brains using a lesion-filling method. Using this method, we also corrected GM measures in patients before comparing them with controls in order to assess the impact of this lesion-induced misclassification error in clinical studies. We found that higher WM lesion volumes artificially reduced total GM volumes. In patients, this effect was about 72% of that predicted by simulation. Misclassified voxels were located at the GM/WM border and could be distant from lesions. Volume of individual deep gray matter (DGM) structures generally decreased with higher lesion volumes, consistent with results from total GM. While preserving differences in GM volumes between patients and controls, lesion-filling correction revealed more lateralised DGM shape changes in patients, which were not evident with the original images. Our results confirm that WM lesions can influence MRI measures of GM volume and shape in MS patients through their effect on intensity-based GM segmentation. The greater effect of lesions at increasing levels of damage supports the use of lesion-filling to correct for this problem and improve the interpretability of the results. Volumetric or morphometric imaging studies, where lesion amount and characteristics may vary between groups of patients or change over time, may especially benefit from this correction.
Quandt, Sara A.; Sandberg, Joanne C.; Grzywacz, Joseph G.; Altizer, Kathryn P.; Arcury, Thomas A.
Home remedy use is an often overlooked component of health self-management, with a rich tradition, particularly among African Americans and others who have experienced limited access to medical care or discrimination by the health care system. Home remedies can potentially interfere with biomedical treatments. This study documented the use of home remedies among older rural adults, and compared use by ethnicity (African American and white) and gender. A purposeful sample of 62 community-dwelling adults ages 65+ from rural North Carolina was selected. Each completed an in-depth interview, which probed current use of home remedies, including food and non-food remedies, and the symptoms or conditions for use. Systematic, computer-assisted analysis was used to identify usage patterns. Five food and five non-food remedies were used by a large proportion of older adults. African American elders reported greater use than white elders; women reported more use for a greater number of symptoms than men. Non-food remedies included long-available, over-the-counter remedies (e.g., Epsom salts) for which “off-label” uses were reported. Use focused on alleviating common digestive, respiratory, skin, and musculoskeletal symptoms. Some were used for chronic conditions in lieu of prescription medications. Home remedy use continues to be a common feature of the health self-management of older adults, particularly among African Americans, though at lower levels than previously reported. While some use is likely helpful or benign, other use has the potential to interfere with medical management of disease. Health care providers should be aware of the use of remedies by their patients. PMID:26543255
Yamamoto, Yumi; Ihara, Masafumi; Tham, Carina; Low, Roger WC; Slade, Janet Y; Moss, Tim; Oakley, Arthur E; Polvikoski, Tuomo; Kalaria, Raj N
Background and Purpose White matter (WM) hyperintensities upon magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or leukoaraiosis is characteristic of stroke syndromes. Increased MRI signals in the anterior temporal pole are suggested to be diagnostic for cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy (CADASIL), with 90% sensitivity and 100% specificity. The structural correlates of these specific WM hyperintensities seen on T2-weighted and FLAIR sequences in the temporal pole of CADASIL are unclear. We assessed pathological changes in post-mortem tissue from the temporal pole to reveal the cause of CADASIL specific WM hyperintensities. Materials & Methods A combination of tinctorial and immunostaining approaches and in vitro imaging methods were used to quantify the extent of perivascular space (PVS), arteriosclerosis determined as the sclerotic index (SI), WM myelination as the myelin index (MI) and damage within the WM as accumulated degraded myelin basic protein (dMBP) in samples of the anterior temporal pole from 9 CADASIL and 8 sporadic subcortical ischaemic vascular dementia (SIVD) cases, and 5 similar age (young) and 5 older controls. Luxol fast blue (LFB) stained serial sections from a CADASIL case were also used to reconstruct the temporal pole, which was then compared to the MR images. Results LFB sections used to reconstruct the temporal pole revealed an abundance of enlarged PVS in the WM that topographically appeared as indistinct opaque regions. The mean and total areas of the PVS per WM area (%PVS) were significantly greater in CADASIL compared to the controls. The MI was severely reduced in CADASIL in relation to the SIVD and control sample that was consistent with increased immunoreactivity of dMBP, indicating myelin degeneration. Cerebral microvessels associated with the PVS exhibited a 4.5 fold greater number of basophilic (hyalinised) vessels and a 57% increase in the SI values in CADASIL subjects compared to young
Sullivan, Edith V.; Rohlfing, Torsten; Pfefferbaum, Adolf
The integrity of white matter, as measured in vivo with diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), is disrupted in normal aging. A current consensus is that in adults advancing age affects anterior brain regions disproportionately more than posterior regions; however, the mainstay of studies supporting this anterior-posterior gradient is based primarily on measures of the corpus callosum. Using our quantitative fiber tracking approach, we assessed fiber tract integrity of samples of major white matter cortical, subcortical, interhemispheric, and cerebellar systems (11 bilateral and 2 callosal) on DTI data collected at 1.5 T magnet strength. Participants were 55 men (age 20-78 years) and 65 women (age 28-81 years), deemed healthy and cognitively intact following interview and behavioral testing. Fiber integrity was measured as orientational diffusion coherence (fractional anisotropy, FA) and magnitude of diffusion, which was quantified separately for longitudinal diffusivity (λL), an index of axonal length or number, and transverse diffusivity (λT), an index of myelin integrity. Aging effects were more evident in diffusivity than FA measures. Men and women, examined separately, showed similar age-related increases in longitudinal and transverse diffusivity in fibers of the internal and external capsules bilaterally and the fornix. FA was lower and diffusivity higher in anterior than posterior fibers of regional paired comparisons (genu versus splenium and frontal versus occipital forceps). Diffusivity with older age was generally greater or FA lower in the superior than inferior fiber systems (longitudinal fasciculi, cingulate bundles), with little to no evidence for age-related degradation in pontine or cerebellar systems. The most striking sex difference emerged for the corpus callosum, for which men showed significant decline in FA and increase in longitudinal and transverse diffusivity in the genu but not splenium. By contrast, in women the age effect was present in both
Tice, Elizabeth T.
In the conceptual debate over the appropriate methods for adult learning, both those who think learning only occurs at the feet of the master and those who think that adults should be totally self-directed are right to an extent. A balance is needed, considering the age, leaning style, and desired outcomes of the student. (JOW)
Lee, S-H; Coutu, J-P; Wilkens, P; Yendiki, A; Rosas, H D; Salat, D H
Although much prior work has focused on the known cortical pathology that defines Alzheimer's disease (AD) histologically, recent work has additionally demonstrated substantial damage to the cerebral white matter in this condition. While there is large evidence of diffuse damage to the white matter in AD, it is unclear whether specific white matter tracts exhibit a more accelerated pattern of damage and whether the damage is associated with the classical neurodegenerative changes of AD. In this study, we investigated microstructural differences in the large fascicular bundles of the cerebral white matter of individuals with AD and mild cognitive impairment (MCI), using recently developed automated diffusion tractography procedures in the Alzheimer's disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) dataset. Eighteen major fiber bundles in a total of 36 individuals with AD, 81 MCI and 60 control participants were examined with the TRActs Constrained by UnderLying Anatomy (TRACULA) procedure available as part of the FreeSurfer image processing software package. For each fiber bundle, the mean fractional anisotropy (FA), and mean, radial and axial diffusivities were calculated. Individuals with AD had increased diffusivities in both left and right cingulum-angular bundles compared to control participants (p<0.001). Individuals with MCI also had increased axial and mean diffusivities and increased FA in both cingulum-angular bundles compared to control participants (p<0.05) and decreased radial diffusivity compared to individuals with AD (p<0.05). We additionally examined how white matter deterioration relates to hippocampal volume, a traditional imaging measure of AD pathology, and found the strongest negative correlations in AD patients between hippocampal volume and the diffusivities of the cingulum-angular and cingulum-cingulate gyrus bundles and of the corticospinal tracts (p<0.05). However, statistically controlling for hippocampal volume did not remove all group
Brickman, Adam M; Provenzano, Frank A; Muraskin, Jordan; Manly, Jennifer J; Blum, Sonja; Apa, Zoltan; Stern, Yaakov; Brown, Truman R; Luchsinger, José A; Mayeux, Richard
BACKGROUND New-onset Alzheimer disease (AD) is often attributed to degenerative changes in the hippocampus. However, the contribution of regionally distributed small vessel cerebrovascular disease, visualized as white matter hyperintensities (WMHs) on magnetic resonance imaging, remains unclear. OBJECTIVE To determine whether regional WMHs and hippocampal volume predict incident AD in an epidemiological study. DESIGN A longitudinal community-based epidemiological study of older adults from northern Manhattan, New York. SETTING The Washington Heights/Inwood Columbia Aging Project. PARTICIPANTS Between 2005 and 2007, 717 participants without dementia received magnetic resonance imaging scans. A mean (SD) of 40.28 (9.77) months later, 503 returned for follow-up clinical examination and 46 met criteria for incident dementia (45 with AD). Regional WMHs and relative hippocampal volumes were derived. Three Cox proportional hazards models were run to predict incident dementia, controlling for relevant variables. The first included all WMH measurements; the second included relative hippocampal volume; and the third combined the 2 measurements. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE Incident AD. RESULTS White matter hyperintensity volume in the parietal lobe predicted time to incident dementia (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.194; P = .03). Relative hippocampal volume did not predict incident dementia when considered alone (HR = 0.419; P = .77) or with the WMH measures included in the model (HR = 0.302; P = .70). Including hippocampal volume in the model did not notably alter the predictive utility of parietal lobe WMHs (HR = 1.197; P = .049). CONCLUSIONS The findings highlight the regional specificity of the association of WMHs with AD. It is not clear whether parietal WMHs solely represent a marker for cerebrovascular burden or point to distinct injury compared with other regions. Future work should elucidate pathogenic mechanisms linking WMHs and AD pathology.
Birner, Armin; Seiler, Stephan; Lackner, Nina; Bengesser, Susanne A.; Queissner, Robert; Fellendorf, Frederike T.; Platzer, Martina; Ropele, Stefan; Enzinger, Christian; Schwingenschuh, Petra; Mangge, Harald; Pirpamer, Lukas; Deutschmann, Hannes; McIntyre, Roger S.; Kapfhammer, Hans-Peter; Reininghaus, Bernd; Reininghaus, Eva Z.
Background Cerebral white matter lesions (WML) have been found in normal aging, vascular disease and several neuropsychiatric conditions. Correlations of WML with clinical parameters in BD have been described, but not with the number of affective episodes, illness duration, age of onset and Body Mass Index in a well characterized group of euthymic bipolar adults. Herein, we aimed to evaluate the associations between bipolar course of illness parameters and WML measured with volumetric analysis. Methods In a cross-sectional study 100 euthymic individuals with BD as well as 54 healthy controls (HC) were enrolled to undergo brain magnetic resonance imaging using 3T including a FLAIR sequence for volumetric assessment of WML-load using FSL-software. Additionally, clinical characteristics and psychometric measures including Structured Clinical Interview according to DSM-IV, Hamilton-Depression, Young Mania Rating Scale and Beck’s Depression Inventory were evaluated. Results Individuals with BD had significantly more (F = 3.968, p < .05) WML (Mdn = 3710mm3; IQR = 2961mm3) than HC (Mdn = 2185mm3; IQR = 1665mm3). BD men (Mdn = 4095mm3; IQR = 3295mm3) and BD women (Mdn = 3032mm3; IQR = 2816mm3) did not significantly differ as to the WML-load or the number and type of risk factors for WML. However, in men only, the number of manic/hypomanic episodes (r = 0.72; p < .001) as well as depressive episodes (r = 0.51; p < .001) correlated positively with WML-load. Conclusions WML-load strongly correlated with the number of manic episodes in male BD patients, suggesting that men might be more vulnerable to mania in the context of cerebral white matter changes. PMID:26252714
Gold, Brian T; Johnson, Nathan F; Powell, David K
Recent evidence suggests that lifelong bilingualism may contribute to cognitive reserve (CR) in normal aging. However, there is currently no neuroimaging evidence to suggest that lifelong bilinguals can retain normal cognitive functioning in the face of age-related neurodegeneration. Here we explored this issue by comparing white matter (WM) integrity and gray matter (GM) volumetric patterns of older adult lifelong bilinguals (N=20) and monolinguals (N=20). The groups were matched on a range of relevant cognitive test scores and on the established CR variables of education, socioeconomic status and intelligence. Participants underwent high-resolution structural imaging for assessment of GM volume and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) for assessment of WM integrity. Results indicated significantly lower microstructural integrity in the bilingual group in several WM tracts. In particular, compared to their monolingual peers, the bilingual group showed lower fractional anisotropy and/or higher radial diffusivity in the inferior longitudinal fasciculus/inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus bilaterally, the fornix, and multiple portions of the corpus callosum. There were no group differences in GM volume. Our results suggest that lifelong bilingualism contributes to CR against WM integrity declines in aging.
Gold, Brian T.; Johnson, Nathan F.; Powell, David K.
Recent evidence suggests that lifelong bilingualism may contribute to cognitive reserve (CR) in normal aging. However, there is currently no neuroimaging evidence to suggest that lifelong bilinguals can retain normal cognitive functioning in the face of age-related n