Resting quantitative cerebral blood flow in schizophrenia measured by pulsed arterial spin labeling perfusion MRI.
ABSTRACT: Arterial spin labeling (ASL) perfusion MRI is a relatively novel technique that can allow for quantitative measurement of cerebral blood flow (CBF) by using magnetically labeled arterial blood water as an endogenous tracer. Available data on resting CBF in schizophrenia primarily come from invasive and expensive nuclear medicine techniques that are often limited to small samples and yield mixed results. The noninvasive nature of ASL offers promise for larger-scale studies. The utility of this approach was examined in 24 healthy controls and 30 patients with schizophrenia. Differences between groups in quantitative CBF were assessed, as were relationships between CBF and psychiatric symptoms. Group comparisons demonstrated greater CBF for controls in several regions including bilateral precuneus and middle frontal gyrus. Patients showed increased CBF in left putamen/superior corona radiata and right middle temporal gyrus. For patients, greater severity of negative symptoms was associated with reduced CBF in bilateral superior temporal gyrus, cingulate gyrus, and left middle frontal gyrus. Increased severity of positive symptoms was related to both higher CBF in cingulate gyrus and superior frontal gyrus and decreased CBF in precentral gyrus/middle frontal gyrus. These findings support the feasibility and utility of implementing ASL in schizophrenia research and expand upon previous results.
Project description:The aim of this study was to explore the functions of cerebral blood perfusion and glucose metabolism in the prefrontal lobe of patients with major depression disorder (MDD), and to analyze the correlations between these functional changes and depressive symptoms. 3D-arterial spin labeling (ASL) and 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) were successfully performed in 17 patients with MDD and 16 healthy controls in a resting state. The depressive symptoms of the patients were classified into seven factors and scored with the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale. Regional cerebral blood flow (CBF) values and standardized uptake values (SUV) of 18F-FDG in the whole brain were respectively compared between the patients and healthy controls using a two-sample t-test, and the correlations between the CBF and SUV in the prefrontal cerebral regions with the patients' Hamilton scores were evaluated using Pearson correlation analysis. Decreased regional CBF was indicated in the bilateral middle and the right superior frontal gyri, and decreased regional SUV was indicated in the bilateral superior, middle and inferior frontal gyri in the MDD patients compared with the controls. Positive correlations were observed between CBF values and aggregate Hamilton scores in the left middle and right middle frontal gyri of the patients. Positive correlations were also observed between SUVs and aggregate Hamilton scores in the left middle and right middle frontal gyri. 18F-FDG PET/CT was indicated to be more sensitive than 3D-ASL in identifying the functional abnormalities in the prefrontal lobe. Decreased CBF and SUV in the prefrontal lobe were closely correlated with Hamilton score. The left middle frontal gyrus may be a key functional region in MDD.
Project description:Background:Altered cerebral blood flow (CBF) and amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (ALFF) have been reported in hemodialysis patients. However, neurovascular coupling impairments, which provide a novel insight into the human brain, have not been reported in hemodialysis patients. Methods:We combined arterial spin labeling (ASL) and blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) techniques to investigate neurovascular coupling alterations and its relationships with demographic and clinical data in 46 hemodialysis patients and 47 healthy controls. To explore regional neuronal activity, ALFF was obtained from resting-state functional MRI. To measure cerebral vascular response, CBF was calculated from ASL. The across-voxel CBF-ALFF correlations for global neurovascular coupling and CBF/ALFF ratio for regional neurovascular coupling were compared between hemodialysis patients and healthy controls. Two-sample t-tests were used to compare the intergroup differences in CBF and ALFF. Multiple comparisons were corrected using a voxel-wise false discovery rate (FDR) method (P < 0.05). Results:All hemodialysis patients and healthy controls showed significant across-voxel correlations between CBF and ALFF. Hemodialysis patients showed a significantly reduced global CBF-ALFF coupling (P = 0.0011) compared to healthy controls at the voxel-level. Of note, decreased CBF/ALFF ratio was exclusively located in the bilateral amygdala involved in emotional regulation and cognitive processing in hemodialysis patients. In hemodialysis patients, the decreased CBF (right olfactory cortex, anterior cingulate gyrus and bilateral insula) and ALFF (bilateral precuneus and superior frontal gyrus) were mainly located in the default mode network and salience network-related regions as well as increased CBF in the bilateral thalamus. Conclusions:These novel findings reveal that disrupted neurovascular coupling may be a potential neural mechanism in hemodialysis patients.
Project description:To explore the potential alterations in cerebral blood flow (CBF) and functional connectivity of recent onset post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) induced by a single prolonged trauma exposure, we recruited 20 survivors experiencing the same coal mining flood disaster as the PTSD (n = 10) and non-PTSD (n = 10) group, respectively. The pulsed arterial spin labeling (ASL) images were acquired with a 3.0T MRI scanner and the partial volume (PV) effect in the images was corrected for better CBF estimation. Alterations in CBF were analyzed using both uncorrected and PV-corrected CBF maps. By using altered CBF regions as regions-of-interest, seed-based functional connectivity analysis was then performed. While only one CBF deficit in right corpus callosum of PTSD patients was detected using uncorrected CBF, three more regions (bilateral frontal lobes and right superior frontal gyrus) were identified using PV-corrected CBF. Furthermore, the regional CBF of right superior frontal gyrus exhibited significantly negative correlation with the symptom severity (r = -0.759, p = 0.018). The resting-state functional connectivity analysis revealed increased connectivity between left frontal lobe and right parietal lobe. The results indicated the symptom-specific perfusion deficits and an aberrant connectivity in memory-related regions of PTSD patients when using PV-corrected ASL data. It also suggested that PV-corrected CBF exhibits more subtle changes that may be beneficial to perfusion and connectivity analysis.
Project description:<h4>Aims</h4>Functional brain abnormalities, including altered cerebral perfusion and functional connectivities, have been illustrated in adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (aADHD). The present study attempted to explore the alterations of cerebral blood flow (CBF) and resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) simultaneously to understand the neural mechanisms for adults with ADHD comprehensively.<h4>Methods</h4>Resting-state arterial spin labeling (ASL) and blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data were acquired for 69 male aADHD and 69 matched healthy controls (HCs). The altered CBFs associated with aADHD were explored based on both categorical (aADHD vs HCs) and dimensional (correlation with aADHD core symptoms) perspectives. Then, the seed-based RSFC analyses were developed for the regions showing significant alterations of CBF.<h4>Results</h4>Significantly decreased CBF in the large-scale resting-state networks regions (eg, ventral attentional network, somatomotor network, limbic network) and subcortical regions was indicated in aADHD compared with HCs. The correlation analyses indicated that the hypoperfusion in left putamen/global pallidum and left amygdala/hippocampus was correlated with ADHD inattentive and total symptoms, respectively. Further, weaker negative functional connectivity between left amygdala and bilateral supplementary motor area, bilateral superior frontal gyrus, and left medial frontal gyrus was found in adults with ADHD.<h4>Conclusion</h4>The present findings suggested alterations of both cerebral perfusion and functional connectivity for the left amygdala in aADHD. The combination of CBF and RSFCs may help to interpret the neuropathogenesis of ADHD more comprehensively.
Project description:Patients with cirrhosis often exhibit cognitive deficits, particularly executive dysfunction, which is considered a predictor of overt hepatic encephalopathy (OHE). We examined brain intrinsic networks associated with executive function to investigate the neural basis of this cognitive deficiency in cirrhosis.Resting-state functional MRI data were acquired from 20 cirrhotic patients and 18 healthy controls. Seed-based correlation analysis was used to identify the three well-known networks associated with executive function, including executive control (ECN), default mode (DMN), and salience (SN) networks. Functional connectivity (FC) within each network was compared between groups and correlated with patient executive performance (assessed by the Stroop task).Patients showed decreased FC between the ECN seed (right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex) and several regions (including right middle/inferior frontal gyrus, left inferior frontal gyrus, bilateral inferior/superior parietal lobules, bilateral middle/inferior temporal gyrus, and right medial frontal gyrus), between the DMN seed [posterior cingulate cortex (PCC)] and several regions (including bilateral medial frontal gyrus, bilateral anterior cingulate cortex, bilateral superior frontal gyrus, bilateral precuneus/PCC, left supramarginal gyrus, and left middle temporal gyrus), and between the SN seed (right anterior insula) and right supramarginal gyrus. FC strength in the ECN and SN was negatively correlated with patient performance during the Stroop task.Disrupted functional integration in the core brain cognitive networks, which is reflected by reductions in FC, occurs before OHE bouts and may play an important role in the neural mechanism of executive dysfunction associated with cirrhosis.
Project description:Widespread cortical gray matter alternations in people with schizophrenia are correlated with both psychotic symptoms and cognitive/behavioral abnormalities, including the impairments of exploratory eye movement (EEM). Particularly, the loss of gray matter density is specifically related to deficits of the responsive search score (RSS) of EEM in schizophrenia. It is unknown, however, whether the schizophrenia-related RSS deficits are associated with certain psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations.In 33 participants with schizophrenia, the measurement of EEM, assessment of the hallucination severity using Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) and a voxel-based morphometric analysis of cortical gray matter volume (GMV) were conducted to investigate the relationships between the RSS of EEM, symptom severity, and GMV. In 29 matched healthy controls, the measurement of EEM and a voxel-based morphometric analysis of cortical GMV were also conducted to investigate the relationship between the RSS of EEM and GMV.In participants with schizophrenia, the hallucination severity was significantly negatively correlated with both the RSS and the GMV of a large number of brain regions in the frontal, temporal, parietal, orbitofrontal, calcarine, cingulate, and insular cortices, and rolandic operculum, hippocampus, parahippocampal gyrus, and thalamus. Also in participants with schizophrenia, the RSS was significantly positively correlated with the GMV in the left supplementary motor area (SMA), left superior frontal cortex (SFG), bilateral precentral gyri, bilateral postcentral gyri, and bilateral middle frontal cortices. More importantly, the GMV of the SMA, SFG, and precentral gyrus in the left hemisphere was not only significantly negatively correlated with the hallucination severity but also significantly positively correlated with the RSS. No significant correlation could be revealed between the RSS and the GMV of any brain regions in healthy controls.There was a significantly negative association between the hallucination severity and the RSS of EEM, suggesting that the RSS may be a potential biomarker for predicting the hallucination severity of schizophrenia. Also, the GMV of the left SMA, SFG, and precentral gyrus may be the common substrates underlying both hallucination induction and the RSS in people with schizophrenia.
Project description:Previous evaluation of brain function in schizophrenia has focused on standard experimental tasks, with cerebral response to natural stimuli less clear. This study employed inter-subject correlation (ISC) analysis to investigate the neural basis of humor processing during free viewing of comedy movies in patients with schizophrenia. We recruited 29 patients diagnosed with schizophrenia and 29 healthy, age- and sex-matched controls. Each participant underwent fMRI scanning during two viewings of three comedy movie clips. The ISC map from each participant pair within each population group and each movie viewing was separately derived. The significance of ISC within a group and between two groups were assessed by bootstrapping. The ISC map from each patient pair were also correlated with the product of Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) rating between the same participant pair in schizophrenia patients. Schizophrenia patients showed significant ISC in bilateral lateraloccipital, bilateral superior frontal, left supramarginal, and right lateralorbiofrontal cortices. Compared with the controls, the schizophrenia group exhibited significantly lower ISC in the left superior temporal sulcus, bilateral supramarginal, and bilateral inferiorparietal cortices. Higher clinical severity (higher total PANSS rating) was associated with lower ISC in the middle frontal and middle temporal regions, and also higher ISC in the visual cortex, inferior temporal gyrus, and anterior cingulate. The findings indicated that patients with schizophrenia are characterized by lower ISC in a frontal parietal network while viewing comedy film clips, which implicated a deficit in the cognitive component of humor processing. The lower synchronization in parts of the frontal parietal network also correlated with symptom severity.
Project description:Although smaller gray matter volumes (GMV) in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder have been reported cross-sectionally, there are, to our knowledge, no reports of longitudinal comparisons using manually drawn, gyrally based ROI, and their associations with symptoms. The object of this study was to determine whether first-episode schizophrenia (FESZ) and first-episode affective psychosis (FEAFF) patients show initial and progressive PFC GMV reduction in bilateral frontal pole, superior frontal gyrus (SFG), middle frontal gyrus (MFG), and inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) and examine their symptom associations. Twenty-one FESZ, 24 FEAFF and 23 healthy control subjects (HC) underwent 1.5T MRI with follow-up imaging on the same scanner ~ 1.5 years later. Groups were strikingly different in progressive GMV loss. FESZ showed significant progressive GMV loss in the left SFG, bilateral MFG, and bilateral IFG. In addition, left MFG and/or IFG GMV loss was associated with worsening of withdrawal-retardation and total BPRS symptoms scores. In contrast, FEAFF showed no significant difference in GMV compared with HC, either cross-sectionally or longitudinally. Of note, FreeSurfer run on the same images showed no significant changes longitudinally.
Project description:AIM:Previous studies have reported different brain morphologies in different cognitive subgroups of patients with schizophrenia. We aimed to examine the brain structures and functional connectivity in these cognitive subgroups of schizophrenia. METHODS:We compared brain structures among healthy controls and cognitively deteriorated and preserved subgroups of patients with schizophrenia according to the decline in IQ. Connectivity analyses between subcortical regions and other brain areas were performed using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging among the groups. RESULTS:Whole brain and total cortical gray matter, right fusiform gyrus, left pars orbitalis gyrus, right pars triangularis, left superior temporal gyrus and left insula volumes, and bilateral cortical thickness were decreased in the deteriorated group compared to the control and preserved groups. Both schizophrenia subgroups had increased left lateral ventricle, right putamen and left pallidum, and decreased bilateral hippocampus, left precentral gyrus, right rostral middle frontal gyrus, and bilateral superior frontal gyrus volumes compared with controls. Hyperconnectivity between the thalamus and a broad range of brain regions was observed in the deteriorated group compared to connectivity in the control group, and this hyperconnectivity was less evident in the preserved group. We also found hyperconnectivity between the accumbens and the superior and middle frontal gyri in the preserved group compared with connectivity in the deteriorated group. CONCLUSION:These findings provide evidence of prominent structural and functional brain abnormalities in deteriorated patients with schizophrenia, suggesting that cognitive subgroups in schizophrenia might be useful biotypes to elucidate brain pathophysiology for new diagnostic and treatment strategies.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Imaging studies have provided evidence that cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is able to change brain activation in phobic patients in response to threatening stimuli. The changes occurred in both emotion-generating and modulatory regions. In this study, we use a data-driven approach to explore resting state cerebral blood flow (CBF) measured by arterial spin labeling (ASL), before and after CBT. METHODS:Eight female patients with spider phobia were scanned before and 1 month after an exposure-based group therapy for spider phobia. Each MRI session consisted of an ASL resting state measurement acquired before and after a symptom provocation task involving the showing of spider pictures in the scanner. The first ASL acquisition measured anticipatory anxiety and the second measured postprocessing of phobia-relevant stimuli. RESULTS:Cognitive-behavioral therapy significantly reduced spider phobic symptoms in all patients. Symptom reduction during anticipatory anxiety was accompanied by reduced bilateral CBF in the parahippocampal gyrus, ventral anterior thalamus, Brodmann area 8, and the anterior cingulate cortex. During postprocessing of phobia-relevant stimuli, patients showed reduced CBF in the bilateral insula, components of the motor cortex, and areas associated with language functions. CONCLUSIONS:Longitudinal CBF dynamics following CBT were in concordance with results from several studies using BOLD fMRI to investigate the effects of psychotherapy on brain activity. CBF can be quantified by ASL, with the principal advantage of sensitivity to slow variations in neural activity and task independence. Therefore, ASL may be a suitable method for monitoring and evaluating the efficacy of psychotherapy or pharmacotherapy approaches.