ResearchPad - frontal-lobe https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[The role of frontal and parietal cortex in the performance of gifted and average adolescents in a mental rotation task]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14471 Visual-spatial abilities are usually neglected in academic settings, even though several studies have shown that their predictive power in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics domains exceeds that of math and verbal ability. This neglect means that many spatially talented youths are not identified and nurtured, at a great cost to society. In the present work, we aim to identify behavioral and electrophysiological markers associated with visual spatial-ability in intellectually gifted adolescents (N = 15) compared to age-matched controls (N = 15). The participants performed a classic three-dimensional mental rotation task developed by Shepard and Metzler (1971) [33] while event-related potentials were measured in both frontal and parietal regions of interest. While response time was similar in the two groups, gifted subjects performed the test with greater accuracy. There was no indication of interhemispheric asymmetry of ERPs over parietal regions in both groups, although interhemispheric differences were observed in the frontal lobes. Moreover, intelligence quotient and working memory measures predicted variance in ERP’s amplitude in the right parietal and frontal hemispheres. We conclude that while gifted adolescents do not display a different pattern of electroencephalographic activity over the parietal cortex while performing the mental rotation task, their performance is correlated with the amplitude of ERPs in the frontal cortex during the execution of this task.

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<![CDATA[Zika virus infection at mid-gestation results in fetal cerebral cortical injury and fetal death in the olive baboon]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c4b7f5dd5eed0c4848412b9

Zika virus (ZIKV) infection during pregnancy in humans is associated with an increased incidence of congenital anomalies including microcephaly as well as fetal death and miscarriage and collectively has been referred to as Congenital Zika Syndrome (CZS). Animal models for ZIKV infection in pregnancy have been developed including mice and non-human primates (NHPs). In macaques, fetal CZS outcomes from maternal ZIKV infection range from none to significant. In the present study we develop the olive baboon (Papio anubis), as a model for vertical transfer of ZIKV during pregnancy. Four mid-gestation, timed-pregnant baboons were inoculated with the French Polynesian ZIKV isolate (104 ffu). This study specifically focused on the acute phase of vertical transfer. Dams were terminated at 7 days post infection (dpi; n = 1), 14 dpi (n = 2) and 21 dpi (n = 1). All dams exhibited mild to moderate rash and conjunctivitis. Viremia peaked at 5–7 dpi with only one of three dams remaining mildly viremic at 14 dpi. An anti-ZIKV IgM response was observed by 14 dpi in all three dams studied to this stage, and two dams developed a neutralizing IgG response by either 14 dpi or 21 dpi, the latter included transfer of the IgG to the fetus (cord blood). A systemic inflammatory response (increased IL2, IL6, IL7, IL15, IL16) was observed in three of four dams. Vertical transfer of ZIKV to the placenta was observed in three pregnancies (n = 2 at 14 dpi and n = 1 at 21 dpi) and ZIKV was detected in fetal tissues in two pregnancies: one associated with fetal death at ~14 dpi, and the other in a viable fetus at 21 dpi. ZIKV RNA was detected in the fetal cerebral cortex and other tissues of both of these fetuses. In the fetus studied at 21 dpi with vertical transfer of virus to the CNS, the frontal cerebral cortex exhibited notable defects in radial glia, radial glial fibers, disorganized migration of immature neurons to the cortical layers, and signs of pathology in immature oligodendrocytes. In addition, indices of pronounced neuroinflammation were observed including astrogliosis, increased microglia and IL6 expression. Of interest, in one fetus examined at 14 dpi without detection of ZIKV RNA in brain and other fetal tissues, increased neuroinflammation (IL6 and microglia) was observed in the cortex. Although the placenta of the 14 dpi dam with fetal death showed considerable pathology, only minor pathology was noted in the other three placentas. ZIKV was detected immunohistochemically in two placentas (14 dpi) and one placenta at 21 dpi but not at 7 dpi. This is the first study to examine the early events of vertical transfer of ZIKV in a NHP infected at mid-gestation. The baboon thus represents an additional NHP as a model for ZIKV induced brain pathologies to contrast and compare to humans as well as other NHPs.

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<![CDATA[Locus Coeruleus tracking of prediction errors optimises cognitive flexibility: An Active Inference model]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c390b8dd5eed0c48491d307

The locus coeruleus (LC) in the pons is the major source of noradrenaline (NA) in the brain. Two modes of LC firing have been associated with distinct cognitive states: changes in tonic rates of firing are correlated with global levels of arousal and behavioural flexibility, whilst phasic LC responses are evoked by salient stimuli. Here, we unify these two modes of firing by modelling the response of the LC as a correlate of a prediction error when inferring states for action planning under Active Inference (AI). We simulate a classic Go/No-go reward learning task and a three-arm ‘explore/exploit’ task and show that, if LC activity is considered to reflect the magnitude of high level ‘state-action’ prediction errors, then both tonic and phasic modes of firing are emergent features of belief updating. We also demonstrate that when contingencies change, AI agents can update their internal models more quickly by feeding back this state-action prediction error–reflected in LC firing and noradrenaline release–to optimise learning rate, enabling large adjustments over short timescales. We propose that such prediction errors are mediated by cortico-LC connections, whilst ascending input from LC to cortex modulates belief updating in anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). In short, we characterise the LC/ NA system within a general theory of brain function. In doing so, we show that contrasting, behaviour-dependent firing patterns are an emergent property of the LC that translates state-action prediction errors into an optimal balance between plasticity and stability.

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<![CDATA[Increased Alzheimer's risk during the menopause transition: A 3-year longitudinal brain imaging study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1ab866d5eed0c484027e49

Two thirds of all persons with late-onset Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are women. Identification of sex-based molecular mechanisms underpinning the female-based prevalence of AD would advance development of therapeutic targets during the prodromal AD phase when prevention or delay in progression is most likely to be effective. This 3-year brain imaging study examines the impact of the menopausal transition on Alzheimer’s disease (AD) biomarker changes [brain β-amyloid load via 11C-PiB PET, and neurodegeneration via 18F-FDG PET and structural MRI] and cognitive performance in midlife. Fifty-nine 40–60 year-old cognitively normal participants with clinical, neuropsychological, and brain imaging exams at least 2 years apart were examined. These included 41 women [15 premenopausal controls (PRE), 14 perimenopausal (PERI), and 12 postmenopausal women (MENO)] and 18 men. We used targeted minimum loss-based estimation to evaluate AD biomarker and cognitive changes. Older age was associated with baseline Aβ and neurodegeneration markers, but not with rates of change in these biomarkers. APOE4 status influenced change in Aβ load, but not neurodegenerative changes. Longitudinally, MENO and PERI groups showed declines in estrogen-dependent memory tests as compared to men (p < .04). Adjusting for age, APOE4 status, and vascular risk confounds, the MENO and PERI groups exhibited higher rates of CMRglc decline as compared to males (p ≤ .015). The MENO group exhibited the highest rate of hippocampal volume loss (p’s ≤ .001), and higher rates of Aβ deposition than males (p < .01). CMRglc decline exceeded Aβ and atrophy changes in all female groups vs. men. These findings indicate emergence and progression of a female-specific hypometabolic AD-endophenotype during the menopausal transition. These findings suggest that the optimal window of opportunity for therapeutic intervention to prevent or delay progression of AD endophenotype in women is early in the endocrine aging process.

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<![CDATA[Effect of verbal task complexity in a working memory paradigm in patients with type 1 diabetes. A fMRI study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5cab0ee8fa60be0336

Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is commonly diagnosed in childhood and adolescence, and the developing brain has to cope with its deleterious effects. Although brain adaptation to the disease may not result in evident cognitive dysfunction, the effects of T1D on neurodevelopment could alter the pattern of BOLD fMRI activation. The aim of this study was to explore the neural BOLD activation pattern in patients with T1D versus that of healthy matched controls while performing two visuospatial working memory tasks, which included a pair of assignments administered through a block design. In the first task (condition A), the subjects were shown a trial sequence of 3 or 4 white squares positioned pseudorandomly around a fixation point on a black background. After a fixed delay, a second corresponding sequence of 3 or 4 red squares was shown that either resembled (direct, 50%) or differed from (50%) the previous stimulation order. The subjects were required to press one button if the two spatial sequences were identical or a second button if they were not. In condition B, the participants had to determine whether the second sequence of red squares appeared in inverse order (inverse, 50%) or not (50%) and respond by pressing a button. If the latter sequence followed an order distinct from the inverse sequence, the subjects were instructed to press a different button. Sixteen patients with normal IQ and without diabetes complications and 16 healthy control subjects participated in the study. In the behavioral analysis, there were no significant differences between the groups in the pure visuo-spatial task, but the patients with diabetes exhibited poorer performance in the task with verbal stimuli (p < .001). However, fMRI analyses revealed that the patients with T1D showed significantly increased activation in the prefrontal inferior cortex, subcortical regions and the cerebellum (in general p < .001). These different activation patterns could be due to adaptive compensation mechanisms that are devoted to improving efficiency while solving more complex cognitive tasks.

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<![CDATA[Decreased Brain Levels of Vitamin B12 in Aging, Autism and Schizophrenia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db34ab0ee8fa60bd298f

Many studies indicate a crucial role for the vitamin B12 and folate-dependent enzyme methionine synthase (MS) in brain development and function, but vitamin B12 status in the brain across the lifespan has not been previously investigated. Vitamin B12 (cobalamin, Cbl) exists in multiple forms, including methylcobalamin (MeCbl) and adenosylcobalamin (AdoCbl), serving as cofactors for MS and methylmalonylCoA mutase, respectively. We measured levels of five Cbl species in postmortem human frontal cortex of 43 control subjects, from 19 weeks of fetal development through 80 years of age, and 12 autistic and 9 schizophrenic subjects. Total Cbl was significantly lower in older control subjects (> 60 yrs of age), primarily reflecting a >10-fold age-dependent decline in the level of MeCbl. Levels of inactive cyanocobalamin (CNCbl) were remarkably higher in fetal brain samples. In both autistic and schizophrenic subjects MeCbl and AdoCbl levels were more than 3-fold lower than age-matched controls. In autistic subjects lower MeCbl was associated with decreased MS activity and elevated levels of its substrate homocysteine (HCY). Low levels of the antioxidant glutathione (GSH) have been linked to both autism and schizophrenia, and both total Cbl and MeCbl levels were decreased in glutamate-cysteine ligase modulatory subunit knockout (GCLM-KO) mice, which exhibit low GSH levels. Thus our findings reveal a previously unrecognized decrease in brain vitamin B12 status across the lifespan that may reflect an adaptation to increasing antioxidant demand, while accelerated deficits due to GSH deficiency may contribute to neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders.

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<![CDATA[Cerebral Apolipoprotein-D Is Hypoglycosylated Compared to Peripheral Tissues and Is Variably Expressed in Mouse and Human Brain Regions]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db43ab0ee8fa60bd794f

Recent studies have shown that cerebral apoD levels increase with age and in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In addition, loss of cerebral apoD in the mouse increases sensitivity to lipid peroxidation and accelerates AD pathology. Very little data are available, however, regarding the expression of apoD protein levels in different brain regions. This is important as both brain lipid peroxidation and neurodegeneration occur in a region-specific manner. Here we addressed this using western blotting of seven different regions (olfactory bulb, hippocampus, frontal cortex, striatum, cerebellum, thalamus and brain stem) of the mouse brain. Our data indicate that compared to most brain regions, the hippocampus is deficient in apoD. In comparison to other major organs and tissues (liver, spleen, kidney, adrenal gland, heart and skeletal muscle), brain apoD was approximately 10-fold higher (corrected for total protein levels). Our analysis also revealed that brain apoD was present at a lower apparent molecular weight than tissue and plasma apoD. Utilising peptide N-glycosidase-F and neuraminidase to remove N-glycans and sialic acids, respectively, we found that N-glycan composition (but not sialylation alone) were responsible for this reduction in molecular weight. We extended the studies to an analysis of human brain regions (hippocampus, frontal cortex, temporal cortex and cerebellum) where we found that the hippocampus had the lowest levels of apoD. We also confirmed that human brain apoD was present at a lower molecular weight than in plasma. In conclusion, we demonstrate apoD protein levels are variable across different brain regions, that apoD levels are much higher in the brain compared to other tissues and organs, and that cerebral apoD has a lower molecular weight than peripheral apoD; a phenomenon that is due to the N-glycan content of the protein.

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<![CDATA[Altered gut microbiome in a mouse model of Gulf War Illness causes neuroinflammation and intestinal injury via leaky gut and TLR4 activation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db50ab0ee8fa60bdc109

Many of the symptoms of Gulf War Illness (GWI) that include neurological abnormalities, neuroinflammation, chronic fatigue and gastrointestinal disturbances have been traced to Gulf War chemical exposure. Though the association and subsequent evidences are strong, the mechanisms that connect exposure to intestinal and neurological abnormalities remain unclear. Using an established rodent model of Gulf War Illness, we show that chemical exposure caused significant dysbiosis in the gut that included increased abundance of phylum Firmicutes and Tenericutes, and decreased abundance of Bacteroidetes. Several gram negative bacterial genera were enriched in the GWI-model that included Allobaculum sp. Altered microbiome caused significant decrease in tight junction protein Occludin with a concomitant increase in Claudin-2, a signature of a leaky gut. Resultant leaching of gut caused portal endotoxemia that led to upregulation of toll like receptor 4 (TLR4) activation in the small intestine and the brain. TLR4 knock out mice and mice that had gut decontamination showed significant decrease in tyrosine nitration and inflammatory mediators IL1β and MCP-1 in both the small intestine and frontal cortex. These events signified that gut dysbiosis with simultaneous leaky gut and systemic endotoxemia-induced TLR4 activation contributes to GW chemical-induced neuroinflammation and gastrointestinal disturbances.

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<![CDATA[Rediscovery of the enigmatic fungus-farming ant "Mycetosoritis" asper Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): Implications for taxonomy, phylogeny, and the evolution of agriculture in ants]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5aab0ee8fa60bdf6b2

We report the rediscovery of the exceedingly rarely collected and enigmatic fungus-farming ant species Mycetosoritis asper. Since the description of the type specimen in 1887, only four additional specimens are known to have been added to the world's insect collections. Its biology is entirely unknown and its phylogenetic position within the fungus-farming ants has remained puzzling due to its aberrant morphology. In 2014 we excavated and collected twenty-one colonies of M. asper in the Floresta Nacional de Chapecó in Santa Catarina, Brazil. We describe here for the first time the male and larva of the species and complement the previous descriptions of both the queen and the worker. We describe, also for the first time, M. asper biology, nest architecture, and colony demographics, and identify its fungal cultivar. Molecular phylogenetic analyses indicate that both M. asper and M. clorindae are members of the genus Cyphomyrmex, which we show to be paraphyletic as currently defined. More precisely, M. asper is a member of the Cyphomyrmex strigatus group, which we also show to be paraphyletic with respect to the genus Mycetophylax. Based on these results, and in the interest of taxonomic stability, we transfer the species M. asper, M. clorindae, and all members of the C. strigatus group to the genus Mycetophylax, the oldest available name for this clade. Based on ITS sequence data, Mycetophylax asper practices lower agriculture, cultivating a fungal species that belongs to lower-attine fungal Clade 2, subclade F.

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<![CDATA[Heterogeneous Aging Effects on Functional Connectivity in Different Cortical Regions: A Resting-State Functional MRI Study Using Functional Data Analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db49ab0ee8fa60bd989c

Brain aging is a complex and heterogeneous process characterized by the selective loss and preservation of brain functions. This study examines the normal aging effects on the cerebral cortex by characterizing changes in functional connectivity using resting-state fMRI data. Previous resting-state fMRI studies on normal aging have examined specific networks of the brain, whereas few studies have examined cortical-cortical connectivities across the entire brain. To characterize the effects of normal aging on the cerebral cortex, we proposed the Pearson functional product-moment correlation coefficient for measuring functional connectivity, which has advantages over the traditional correlation coefficient. The distinct patterns of changes in functional connectivity within and among the four cerebral lobes clarified the effects of normal aging on cortical function. Besides, the advantages of the proposed approach over other methods considered were demonstrated through simulation comparisons. The results showed heterogeneous changes in functional connectivity in normal aging. Specifically, the elderly group exhibited enhanced inter-lobe connectivity between the frontal lobe and the other lobes. Inter-lobe connectivity decreased between the temporal and parietal lobes. The results support the frontal aging hypothesis proposed in behavioral and structural MRI studies. In conclusion, functional correlation analysis enables differentiation of changes in functional connectivities and characterizes the heterogeneous aging effects in different cortical regions.

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<![CDATA[Decreased Functional Connectivity of Homotopic Brain Regions in Chronic Stroke Patients: A Resting State fMRI Study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da43ab0ee8fa60b8ab13

The recovery of motor functions is accompanied by brain reorganization, and identifying the inter-hemispheric interaction post stroke will conduce to more targeted treatments. However, the alterations of bi-hemispheric coordination pattern between homologous areas in the whole brain for chronic stroke patients were still unclear. The present study focuses on the functional connectivity (FC) of mirror regions of the whole brain to investigate the inter-hemispheric interaction using a new fMRI method named voxel-mirrored homotopic connectivity (VMHC). Thirty left subcortical chronic stroke patients with pure motor deficits and 37 well-matched healthy controls (HCs) underwent resting-state fMRI scans. We employed a VMHC analysis to determine the brain areas showed significant differences between groups in FC between homologous regions, and we explored the relationships between the mean VMHC of each survived area and clinical tests within patient group using Pearson correlation. In addition, the brain areas showed significant correlations between the mean VMHC and clinical tests were defined as the seed regions for whole brain FC analysis. Relative to HCs, patients group displayed lower VMHC in the precentral gyrus, postcentral gyrus, inferior frontal gyrus, middle temporal gyrus, calcarine gyrus, thalamus, cerebellum anterior lobe, and cerebellum posterior lobe (CPL). Moreover, the VMHC of CPL was positively correlated with the Fugl–Meyer Score of hand (FMA-H), while a negative correlation between illness duration and the VMHC of this region was also detected. Furthermore, we found that when compared with HCs, the right CPL exhibited reduced FC with the left precentral gyrus, inferior frontal gyrus, inferior parietal lobule, middle temporal gyrus, thalamus and hippocampus. Our results suggest that the functional coordination across hemispheres is impaired in chronic stroke patients, and increased VMHC of the CPL is significantly associated with higher FMA-H scores. These findings may be helpful in understanding the mechanism of hand deficit after stroke, and the CPL may serve as a target region for hand rehabilitation following stroke.

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<![CDATA[Altered Resting-State Functional Connectivity of the Striatum in Parkinson's Disease after Levodopa Administration]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dabaab0ee8fa60bae2fc

Background

Despite improvement in motor symptoms, the effect of dopaminergic medications on cognition in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) is less clear. The purpose of this study was to reveal levodopa-induced acute changes in the functional connectivity of the striatum in patients with PD compared with matched untreated patients and healthy volunteers.

Methods

Twenty-two patients with PD underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging both ON and OFF dopamine-replacement therapy on two consecutive days. Twenty-eight normal aging volunteers also did them without taking in levodopa. Three caudate seeds and two putamen seeds were selected to calculate functional connectivity intensity.

Results

Motor symptoms measured by UPDRS were significantly worse in PD OFF than PD ON. Decreased functional connectivity in PD OFF compared to controls was detected in the following seed regions: dorsal caudate, ventral putamen and dorsal putamen. Increases in connectivity in PD ON compared to controls were found in the primary and supplementary motor areas and the associative prefrontal and parietal regions, while decreases in anterior cingulate, ventromedial prefrontal cortex, and parahippocampal gyrus. For the ventral striatal seeds, decreased connectivity in PD ON compared to PD OFF was found in the ventromedial prefrontal and orbitofrontal regions, dorsolateral prefrontal regions. For the dorsal striatal seeds, increased connectivity in PD ON compared to PD OFF was observed in the primary and secondary motor areas.

Conclusion

Our results suggest that levodopa significantly changes the motor and cognitive networks of the cortico-striatal pathways. This knowledge will lead clinicians to survey a broader range of symptoms in determining optimal therapy.

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<![CDATA[Association of Common Polymorphisms in the Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Alpha4 Subunit Gene with an Electrophysiological Endophenotype in a Large Population-Based Sample]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da17ab0ee8fa60b7bb1a

Variation in genes coding for nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunits affect cognitive processes and may contribute to the genetic architecture of neuropsychiatric disorders. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the CHRNA4 gene that codes for the alpha4 subunit of alpha4/beta2-containing receptors have previously been implicated in aspects of (mostly visual) attention and smoking-related behavioral measures. Here we investigated the effects of six synonymous but functional CHRNA4 exon 5 SNPs on the N100 event-related potential (ERP), an electrophysiological endophenotype elicited by a standard auditory oddball. A total of N = 1,705 subjects randomly selected from the general population were studied with electroencephalography (EEG) as part of the German Multicenter Study on nicotine addiction. Two of the six variants, rs1044396 and neighboring rs1044397, were significantly associated with N100 amplitude. This effect was pronounced in females where we also observed an effect on reaction time. Sequencing of the complete exon 5 region in the population sample excluded the existence of additional/functional variants that may be responsible for the observed effects. This is the first large-scale population-based study investigation the effects of CHRNA4 SNPs on brain activity measures related to stimulus processing and attention. Our results provide further evidence that common synonymous CHRNA4 exon 5 SNPs affect cognitive processes and suggest that they also play a role in the auditory system. As N100 amplitude reduction is considered a schizophrenia-related endophenotype the SNPs studied here may also be associated with schizophrenia outcome measures.

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<![CDATA[Visualization of Anatomic Variation of the Anterior Septal Vein on Susceptibility-Weighted Imaging]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9e0ab0ee8fa60b694f4

Background and Purpose

Understanding the anatomy of the anterior septal vein (ASV) is critical for minimally invasive procedures to the third ventricle and for assessing lesion size and venous drainage in the anterior cranial fossa. Accordingly, this study evaluated topographic anatomy and anatomic variation of the ASV using susceptibility-weighted imaging (SWI).

Methods

Sixty volunteers were examined using a 3.0T MR system. The diameter of the ASV and distance between bilateral septal points were measured. ASVs were divided into types 1 (only drains frontal lobe) and 2 (drains both frontal lobe and head of the caudate nucleus). We evaluated the ASV-internal cerebral vein (ICV) junction based on its positional relationship with the appearance of a venous angle or a false venous angle and the foramen of Monro. Fused SW and T1-weighted images were used to observe positional relationships between the course of the ASV and the surrounding brain structures.

Results

The ASV and its small tributaries were clearly visualized in 120 hemispheres (100%). The average diameter of ASVs was 1.05±0.17 mm (range 0.9–1.6 mm). The average distance between bilateral septal points was 2.23±1.03 mm (range 1.3–6.6 mm). The ASV types 1 and 2 were in 77 (64.2%) and 43 (35.8%) hemispheres, respectively. In 83 (69.2%) hemispheres, the ASV-ICV junction was situated at the venous angle and the posterior margin of the foramen of Monro. In 37 (30.8%) hemispheres, the ASV-ICV junction was situated beyond the posterior margin of the foramen of Monro. The average distance between the posteriorly located ASV-ICV junction and the posterior margin of the foramen of Monro was 6.41±3.95 mm (range 2.4–15.9 mm).

Conclusion

Using SWI, the topographic anatomy and anatomic variation of the ASV were clearly demonstrated. Preoperative assessment of anatomic variation of the ASV may be advantageous for minimally invasive neurosurgical procedures.

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<![CDATA[Frontal Lobe Contusion in Mice Chronically Impairs Prefrontal-Dependent Behavior]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da00ab0ee8fa60b73b17

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major cause of chronic disability in the world. Moderate to severe TBI often results in damage to the frontal lobe region and leads to cognitive, emotional, and social behavioral sequelae that negatively affect quality of life. More specifically, TBI patients often develop persistent deficits in social behavior, anxiety, and executive functions such as attention, mental flexibility, and task switching. These deficits are intrinsically associated with prefrontal cortex (PFC) functionality. Currently, there is a lack of analogous, behaviorally characterized TBI models for investigating frontal lobe injuries despite the prevalence of focal contusions to the frontal lobe in TBI patients. We used the controlled cortical impact (CCI) model in mice to generate a frontal lobe contusion and studied behavioral changes associated with PFC function. We found that unilateral frontal lobe contusion in mice produced long-term impairments to social recognition and reversal learning while having only a minor effect on anxiety and completely sparing rule shifting and hippocampal-dependent behavior.

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<![CDATA[Striatofrontal Deafferentiation in MSA-P: Evaluation with [18F]FDG Brain PET]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da35ab0ee8fa60b860df

Background

Although cognitive impairment is not a consistent feature of multiple system atrophy (MSA), increasing evidence suggests that cognitive impairment is common in MSA with predominant parkinsonism (MSA-P). It is assumed that the cognitive impairment in MSA-P is caused by the striatal dysfunction and disruption of striatofrontal connections. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between regional glucose metabolism in the frontal cortex and striatum in patients with MSA-P using [18F]FDG brain PET.

Methods

Twenty-nine patients with MSA-P and 28 healthy controls underwent [18F]FDG brain PET scan. The [18F]FDG brain PET images were semiquantitatively analyzed on the basis of a template in standard space. The regional glucose metabolism of the cerebral cortex and striatum were compared between MSA-P and healthy control groups. The correlations between age, symptom duration, H&Y stage, UPDRS III score, MMSE score, and glucose metabolism in the cerebellum and striatum to glucose metabolism in the frontal cortex were evaluated by multivariate analysis.

Results

The glucose metabolism in the frontal cortex and striatum in MSA-P patients were significantly lower than those in healthy controls. Glucose metabolism in the striatum was the most powerful determinant of glucose metabolism in the frontal cortex in MSA-P. Only age and glucose metabolism in the cerebellum were independent variables affecting the glucose metabolism in the frontal cortex in healthy controls.

Conclusion

The decrease in frontal glucose metabolism in MSA-P is related to the decrease in striatal glucose metabolism. This result provided evidence of striatofrontal deafferentiation in patients with MSA-P.

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<![CDATA[Decreased Fronto-Temporal Interaction during Fixation after Memory Retrieval]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da22ab0ee8fa60b7f7b2

Previous studies have revealed top-down control during memory retrieval from the prefrontal cortex to the temporal cortex. In the present functional MRI study, we investigated whether the fronto-temporal functional interaction occurs even during fixation periods after memory retrieval trials. During recency judgments, subjects judged the temporal order of two items in a study list. The task used in the present study consisted of memory trials of recency judgments and non-memory trials of counting dots, and post-trial fixation periods. By comparing the brain activity during the fixation periods after the memory trials with that during the fixation periods after the non-memory trials, we detected heightened brain activity in the lateral prefrontal cortex, the lateral temporal cortex and the hippocampus. Functional interactions during the fixation periods after the memory vs. non-memory trials as examined using a psychophysiological interaction revealed a decreased interaction from the lateral prefrontal cortex to the lateral temporal cortex, but not to the hippocampus. The functional interaction between the same frontal and temporal regions was also present during the memory trials. A trial-based functional connectivity analysis further revealed that the fronto-temporal interaction was positive and decreased during the fixation periods after the memory trials, relative to the fixation periods after the non-memory trials. These results suggest that the fronto-temporal interaction existed during the post-trial fixation periods, which had been present during the memory trials and temporally extended into the fixation periods.

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<![CDATA[Chronic Drinking During Adolescence Predisposes the Adult Rat for Continued Heavy Drinking: Neurotrophin and Behavioral Adaptation after Long-Term, Continuous Ethanol Exposure]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da87ab0ee8fa60b9ca1b

Previous research has found that adolescent ethanol (EtOH) exposure alters drug seeking behaviors, cognition and neuroplasticity. Using male Sprague Dawley rats, differences in spatial working memory, non-spatial discrimination learning and behavioral flexibility were explored as a function of age at the onset (mid-adolescent vs. adult) of chronic EtOH exposure (CET). Concentrations of mature brain-derived neurotrophic factor (mBDNF) and beta-nerve growth factor (β-NGF) in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus were also assessed at different time-points: during CET, following acute abstinence (48-hrs), and after protracted abstinence (6–8 wks). Our results revealed that an adolescent onset of CET leads to increased EtOH consumption that persisted into adulthood. In both adult and adolescent onset CET groups, there were significant long-term reductions in prefrontal cortical mBDNF and β-NGF levels. However, only adult onset CET rats displayed decreased hippocampal BDNF levels. Spatial memory, assessed by spontaneous alternation and delayed alternation, was not significantly affected by CET as a function of age of drinking onset, but higher blood–EtOH levels were correlated with lower spontaneous alternation scores. Regardless of the age of onset, EtOH exposed rats were impaired on non-spatial discrimination learning and displayed inflexible behavioral patterns upon reversal learning. Our results indicate that adolescent EtOH exposure changes long-term consumption patterns producing behavioral and neural dysfunctions that persist across the lifespan.

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<![CDATA[Agreement between functional connectivity and cortical thickness-driven correlation maps of the medial frontal cortex]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db50ab0ee8fa60bdc151

Parcellation of the human cortex has important implications in neuroscience. Parcellation is often a crucial requirement before meaningful regional analysis can occur. The human cortex can be parcellated into distinct regions based on structural features, such as gyri and sulci. Brain network patterns in a given region with respect to its neighbors, known as connectional fingerprints, can be used to parcellate the cortex. Distinct imaging modalities might provide complementary information for brain parcellation. Here, we established functional connectivity with time series data from functional MRI (fMRI) combined with a correlation map of cortical thickness obtained from T1-weighted MRI. We aimed to extend the previous study, which parcellated the medial frontal cortex (MFC) using functional connectivity, and to test the value of additional information regarding cortical thickness. Two types of network information were used to parcellate the MFC into two sub-regions with spectral and Ward’s clustering approaches. The MFC region was defined using manual delineation based on in-house data (n = 12). Parcellation was applied to independent large-scale data obtained from the Human Connectome Project (HCP, n = 248). Agreement between parcellation using fMRI- and thickness-driven connectivity yielded dice coefficient overlaps of 0.74 (Ward’s clustering) and 0.54 (spectral clustering). We also explored whole brain connectivity using the MFC sub-regions as seed regions based on these two types of information. The results of whole brain connectivity analyses were also consistent for both types of information. We observed that an inter-regional correlation map derived from cortical thickness strongly reflected the underlying functional connectivity of MFC region.

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<![CDATA[Arterial Spin Labeling Perfusion Study in the Patients with Subacute Mild Traumatic Brain Injury]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da0dab0ee8fa60b78434

Background

This study uses a MRI technique, three-dimension pulse continuous arterial spin labeling (3D-PCASL), to measure the patient’s cerebral blood flow (CBF) at the subacute stage of mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) in order to analyze the relationship between cerebral blood flow and neurocognitive deficits.

Objective

To provide the relationship between cortical CBF and neuropsychological dysfunction for the subacute MTBI patients.

Methods

After MTBI, perfusion MR imaging technique (3D-PCASL) measures the CBF of MTBI patients (n = 23) within 1 month and that of normal controls (n = 22) to determine the quantity and location of perfusion defect. The correlation between CBF abnormalities and cognitive deficits was elucidated by combining the results of the neuropsychological tests of the patients.

Result

We observed a substantial reduction in CBF in the bilateral frontal and left occipital cortex as compared with the normal persons. In addition, there were correlation between post concussive symptoms (including dizziness and simulator sickness) and CBF in the hypoperfused areas. The more severe symptom was correlated with higher CBF in bilateral frontal and left occipital lobes.

Conclusion

First, this study determined that despite no significant abnormality detected on conventional CT and MRI studies, hypoperfusion was observed in MTBI group using 3D-PCASL technique in subacute stage, which suggested that this approach may increase sensitivity to MTBI. Second, the correlation between CBF and the severity of post concussive symptoms suggested that changes in cerebral hemodynamics may play a role in pathophysiology underlies the symptoms.

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