Cortical gray and subcortical white matter associations in Parkinson's disease.
ABSTRACT: 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.
Project description:To determine the cortical mechanism that underlies the cognitive impairment and motor disability in hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP), nine HSP patients from a Chinese family were examined using clinical evaluation, cognitive screening, and genetic testing. Controls were matched healthy subjects. White-matter fractional anisotropy (FA), mean diffusivity (MD), axial diffusivity (AD), and radial diffusivity (RD; tract-based spatial statistics), cortical thickness (FreeSurfer), and subcortical gray matter (FIRST) based on T1-weighted MRI and diffusion tensor imaging were analyzed. A novel mutation in the SPAST gene (NM_014946.3, c.1321+2T>C) was detected. Patients had motor disability and low Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) scores. Patients showed significantly decreased total gray- and white-matter volumes, corpus callosum volume, cortical thickness, and subcortical gray-matter volume as well as significantly lower FA and AD values and significantly higher MD and RD values in the corpus callosum and corticospinal tract. Cortical thickness, subcortical gray-matter volume, and MoCA score were negatively correlated with disease duration. Cortical thickness in the right inferior frontal cortex was negatively correlated with Spastic Paraplegia Rating Scale score. Cortical thickness and right hippocampus volume were positively correlated with the MoCA score and subscores. In conclusion, brain damage is not restricted to the white matter in SPG4-HSP patients, and widespread gray-matter damage may account for the disease progression, cognitive impairment, and disease severity in SPG4-HSP.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:A 71-year-old (MN) with an 11-year history of left onset tremor diagnosed as Parkinson's disease (PD) completed longitudinal brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and neuropsychological testing. MRI scans showed an asymmetric caudate nucleus (right < left volume). We describe this asymmetry at baseline and the progression over time relative to other subcortical gray, frontal white matter, and cortical gray matter regions of interest. Isolated structural changes are compared to MN's cognitive profiles. METHOD:MN completed yearly MRIs and neuropsychological assessments. For comparison, left onset PD (n = 15) and non-PD (n = 43) peers completed the same baseline protocol. All MRI scans were processed with FreeSurfer and the FMRIB Software Library to analyze gray matter structures and frontal fractional anisotropy (FA) metrics. Processing speed, working memory, language, verbal memory, abstract reasoning, visuospatial, and motor functions were examined using reliable change methods. RESULTS:At baseline, MN had striatal volume and frontal lobe thickness asymmetry relative to peers with mild prefrontal white matter FA asymmetry. Over time only MN's right caudate nucleus showed accelerated atrophy. Cognitively, MN had slowed psychomotor speed and visuospatial-linked deficits with mild visuospatial working memory declines longitudinally. CONCLUSIONS:This is a unique report using normative neuroimaging and neuropsychology to describe an individual diagnosed with PD who had striking striatal asymmetry followed secondarily by cortical thickness asymmetry and possible frontal white matter asymmetry. His decline and variability in visual working memory could be linked to ongoing atrophy of his right caudate nucleus.
Project description:This study aimed to identify the utility of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in measuring the regional distribution of abnormal microstructural progression in patients with Parkinson's disease who were enrolled in the Parkinson's progression marker initiative (PPMI). One hundred and twenty two de-novo PD patients (age = 60.5±9) and 50 healthy controls (age = 60.6±11) had DTI scans at baseline and 12.6±1 months later. Automated image processing included an intra-subject registration of all time points and an inter-subjects registration to a brain atlas. Annualized rates of DTI variations including fractional anisotropy (FA), radial (rD) and axial (aD) diffusivity were estimated in a total of 118 white matter and subcortical regions of interest. A mixed effects model framework was used to determine the degree to which DTI changes differed in PD relative to changes in healthy subjects. Significant DTI changes were also tested for correlations with changes in clinical measures, dopaminergic imaging and CSF biomarkers in PD patients. Compared to normal aging, PD was associated with higher rates of FA reduction, rD and aD increases predominantly in the substantia nigra, midbrain and thalamus. The highest rates of FA reduction involved the substantia nigra (3.6±1.4%/year from baseline, whereas the highest rates of increased diffusivity involved the thalamus (rD: 8.0±2.9%/year, aD: 4.0±1.5%/year). In PD patients, high DTI changes in the substantia nigra correlated with increasing dopaminergic deficits as well as with declining ?-synuclein and total tau protein concentrations in cerebrospinal fluid. Increased DTI rates in the thalamus correlated with progressive decline in global cognition in PD. The results suggest that higher rates of regional microstructural degeneration are potential markers of PD progression.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is known to have adverse effects on brain structure and function. Multimodal assessments investigating volumetric, diffusion, and cognitive characteristics may facilitate understanding of the consequences of long-term alcohol use on brain circuitry, their structural impairment patterns, and their impact on cognitive function in AUD. METHODS:Voxel- and surface-based volumetric estimations, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), and neuropsychological tests were performed on 60 individuals: 30 abstinent individuals with AUD (DSM-IV) and 30 healthy controls. Group differences in the volumes of cortical and subcortical regions, fractional anisotropy (FA), axial and radial diffusivities (AD and RD, respectively), and performance on neuropsychological tests were analyzed, and the relationship among significantly different measures was assessed using canonical correlation. RESULTS:AUD participants had significantly smaller volumes in left pars orbitalis, right medial orbitofrontal, right caudal middle frontal, and bilateral hippocampal regions, lower FA in 9 white matter (WM) regions, and higher FA in left thalamus, compared to controls. In AUD, lower FA in 6 of 9 WM regions was due to higher RD and due to lower AD in the left external capsule. AUD participants scored lower on problem-solving ability, visuospatial memory span, and working memory. Positive correlations of prefrontal cortical, left hippocampal volumes, and FA in 4 WM regions with visuospatial memory performance and negative correlation with lower problem-solving ability were observed. Significant positive correlation between age and FA was observed in bilateral putamen. CONCLUSIONS:Findings showed specific structural brain abnormalities to be associated with visuospatial memory and problem-solving ability-related impairments observed in AUD. Higher RD in 6 WM regions suggests demyelination, and lower AD in left external capsule suggests axonal loss in AUD. The positive correlation between FA and age in bilateral putamen may reflect accumulation of iron depositions with increasing age.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Little is known about the interactions between the default mode network (DMN) subregions in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). This study used diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) to examine alterations of long white matter tracts in paired DMN subregions and their functional connectivity in RRMS patients. METHODS: Twenty-four RRMS patients and 24 healthy subjects participated in this study. The fiber connections derived from DTI tractography and the temporal correlation coefficient derived from rs-fMRI were combined to examine the inter-subregion structural-functional connectivity (SC-FC) within the DMN and its correlations with clinical markers. RESULTS: Compared with healthy subjects, the RRMS patients showed the following: 1) significantly decreased SC and increased FC in the pair-wise subregions; 2) two significant correlations in SC-FC coupling patterns, including the positive correlation between slightly increased FC value and long white matter tract damage in the PCC/PCUN-MPFC connection, and the negative correlations between significantly increased FC values and long white matter tract damage in the PCC/PCUN-bilateral mTL connections; 3) SC alterations [log(N track) of the PCC/PCUN-left IPL, RD value of the MPFC-left IPL, FA value of the PCC/PCUN-left mTL connections] correlated with EDSS, increases in the RD value of MPFC-left IPL connection was positively correlated to the MFIS; and decreases in the FA value of PCC/PCUN-right IPL connection was negatively correlated with the PASAT; 4) decreased SC (FA value of the MPFC-left IPL, track volume of the PCC/PCUN-MPFC, and log(N track) of PCC/PCUN-left mTL connections) was positively correlated with brain atrophy. CONCLUSIONS: In the connections of paired DMN subregions, we observed decreased SC and increased FC in RRMS patients. The relationship between MS-related structural abnormalities and clinical markers suggests that the disruption of this long-distance "inter-subregion" connectivity (white matter) may significantly impact the integrity of the network's function.
Project description:Atrophy of the cortical thickness and gray matter volume are regarded as sensitive markers for the early clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). This study aimed to investigate differences in atrophy patterns in the frontal-subcortical circuits between MCI and AD, assess whether these differences were essential for the pathologic basis of cognitive impairment. A total of 131 individuals were recruited, including 45 with cognitively normal controls (CN), 46 with MCI, and 40 with AD. FreeSurfer software was used to perform volumetric measurements of the frontal-subcortical circuits from 3.0 T magnetic resonance (MR) scans. Data revealed that both MCI and AD subjects had a thinner cortex in the left caudal middle frontal gyrus and the left lateral orbitofrontal gyrus compared with CN individuals. The left lateral orbitofrontal gyrus was also thinner in AD compared with MCI patients. There were no statistically significant differences in the cortical mean curvature among the three groups. Both MCI and AD subjects exhibited smaller bilateral hippocampus volumes compared with CN individuals. The volumes of the bilateral hippocampus and the right putamen were also smaller in AD compared with MCI patients. Logistic regression analyses revealed that the left lateral orbitofrontal gyrus and bilateral hippocampus were risk factors for cognitive impairment. These current results suggest that atrophy was heterogeneous in subregions of the frontal-subcortical circuits in MCI and AD patients. Among these subregions, the reduced thickness of the left lateral orbitofrontal and the smaller volume of the bilateral hippocampus seemed to be markers for predicting cognitive impairment.
Project description:The cat brain is a useful model for neuroscientific research and with the increasing use of advanced neuroimaging techniques there is a need for an open-source stereotaxic white matter brain atlas to accompany the cortical gray matter atlas, currently available. A stereotaxic white matter atlas would facilitate anatomic registration and segmentation of the white matter to aid in lesion localization or standardized regional analysis of specific regions of the white matter. In this article, we document the creation of a stereotaxic feline white matter atlas from diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) data obtained from a population of eight mesaticephalic felines. Deterministic tractography reconstructions were performed to create tract priors for the major white matter projections of Corpus callosum (CC), fornix, cingulum, uncinate, Corona Radiata (CR), Corticospinal tract (CST), inferior longitudinal fasciculus (ILF), Superior Longitudinal Fasciculus (SLF), and the cerebellar tracts. T1-weighted, fractional anisotropy (FA), mean diffusivity (MD), radial diffusivity (RD) and axial diffusivity (AD) population maps were generated. The volume, mean tract length and mean FA, MD, AD and RD values for each tract prior were documented. A structural connectome was then created using previously published cortical priors and the connectivity metrics for all cortical regions documented. The provided white matter atlas, diffusivity maps, tract priors and connectome will be a valuable resource for anatomical, pathological and translational neuroimaging research in the feline model. Multi-atlas population maps and segmentation priors are available at Cornell's digital repository: https://ecommons.cornell.edu/handle/1813/58775.2.
Project description:Introduction: Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder with a clinical presentation characterized by memory impairment and executive dysfunction. Our group previously demonstrated significant alterations in white matter microstructural metrics in AD compared to healthy older adults. We aimed to further investigate the relationship between white matter microstructure in AD and cognitive function, including memory and executive function.Methods: Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and neuropsychological data were downloaded from the AD Neuroimaging Initiative database for 49 individuals with AD and 48 matched healthy older adults. The relationship between whole-brain fractional anisotropy (FA), mean diffusivity (MD), axial diffusivity (AxD), radial diffusivity (RD), and composite scores of memory and executive function was examined. We also considered voxel-wise relationships using Tract-Based Spatial Statistics.Results: As expected, individuals with AD had lower composite scores on tests of memory and executive function, as well as disrupted white matter integrity (low FA, high MD, AxD, and RD) relative to healthy older adults in widespread regions, including the hippocampus. When the AD and healthy older adult groups were combined, we found significant relationships between DTI metrics (FA/MD/AxD/RD) and memory scores across widespread regions of the brain, including the medial temporal regions. We also found significant relationships between DTI metrics (FA/MD/AxD/RD) and executive function in widespread regions, including the frontal areas in the combined group. However, when the groups were examined separately, no significant relationships were found between DTI metrics (FA/MD/AxD/RD) and memory performance for either group. Further, we did not find any significant relationships between DTI metrics (FA/MD/AxD/RD) and executive function in the AD group, but we did observe significant relationships between FA/RD, and executive function in healthy older adults.Conclusion: White matter integrity is disrupted in AD. In a mixed sample of AD and healthy elderly persons, associations between measures of white matter microstructure and memory and executive cognitive test performance were evident. However, no significant linear relationship between the degree of white matter disruption and level of cognitive functioning (memory and executive abilities) was found in those with AD. Future longitudinal studies of the relations between DTI metrics and cognitive function in AD are required to determine whether DTI has potential to measure progression of AD and/or treatment efficacy.
Project description:Alzheimer's disease (AD) is generally considered to be characterized by pathology in gray matter of the brain, but convergent evidence suggests that white matter degradation also plays a vital role in its pathogenesis. The evolution of white matter deterioration and its relationship with gray matter atrophy remains elusive in amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI), a prodromal stage of AD.We studied 155 cognitively normal (CN) and 27 'late' aMCI individuals with stable diagnosis over 2 years, and 39 'early' aMCI individuals who had converted from CN to aMCI at 2-year follow up. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) tractography was used to reconstruct six white matter tracts three limbic tracts critical for episodic memory function - the fornix, the parahippocampal cingulum, and the uncinate fasciculus; two cortico-cortical association fiber tracts - superior longitudinal fasciculus and inferior longitudinal fasciculus; and one projection fiber tract - corticospinal tract. Microstructural integrity as measured by fractional anisotropy (FA), mean diffusivity (MD), radial diffusivity (RD) and axial diffusivity (AxD) was assessed for these tracts.Compared with CN, late aMCI had lower white matter integrity in the fornix, the parahippocampal cingulum, and the uncinate fasciculus, while early aMCI showed white matter damage in the fornix. In addition, fornical measures were correlated with hippocampal atrophy in late aMCI, whereas abnormality of the fornix in early aMCI occurred in the absence of hippocampal atrophy and did not correlate with hippocampal volumes.Limbic white matter tracts are preferentially affected in the early stages of cognitive dysfunction. Microstructural degradation of the fornix preceding hippocampal atrophy may serve as a novel imaging marker for aMCI at an early stage.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Risk of morbidity differs between very preterm (VP; <32 weeks' gestational age (GA)), moderate preterm (MP; 32-33 weeks' GA), late preterm (LP; 34-36 weeks' GA), and full-term (FT; ≥37 weeks' GA) infants. However, brain structure at term-equivalent age (TEA; 38-44 weeks) remains to be characterised in all clinically important GA groups. We aimed to compare global and regional brain volumes, and regional white matter microstructure, between VP, MP, LP and FT groups at TEA, in order to establish the magnitude and anatomical locations of between-group differences. METHODS:Structural images from 328 infants (91 VP, 63 MP, 104 LP and 70 FT) were segmented into white matter, cortical grey matter, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), subcortical grey matter, brainstem and cerebellum. Global tissue volumes were analysed, and additionally, cortical grey matter and white matter volumes were analysed at the regional level using voxel-based morphometry. Fractional anisotropy (FA), mean diffusivity (MD), axial diffusivity (AD) and radial diffusivity (RD) images from 361 infants (92 VP, 69 MP, 120 LP and 80 FT) were analysed using Tract-Based Spatial Statistics. Statistical analyses involved examining the overall effect of GA group on global volumes (using linear regressions) and regional volumes and microstructure (using non-parametric permutation testing), as well performing post-hoc comparisons between the GA sub-groups. RESULTS:On global analysis, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) volume was larger in all preterm sub-groups compared with the FT group. On regional analysis, volume was smaller in parts of the temporal cortical grey matter, and parts of the temporal white matter and corpus callosum, in all preterm sub-groups compared with the FT group. FA was lower, and RD and MD were higher in voxels located in much of the white matter in all preterm sub-groups compared with the FT group. The anatomical locations of group differences were similar for each preterm vs. FT comparison, but the magnitude and spatial extent of group differences was largest for the VP, followed by the MP, and then the LP comparison. Comparing within the preterm groups, the VP sub-group had smaller frontal and temporal grey and white matter volume, and lower FA and higher MD and RD within voxels in the approximate location of the corpus callosum compared with the MP sub-group. There were few volume and microstructural differences between the MP and LP sub-groups. CONCLUSION:All preterm sub-groups had atypical brain volume and microstructure at TEA when compared with a FT group, particularly for the CSF, temporal grey and white matter, and corpus callosum. In general, the groups followed a gradient, where the differences were most pronounced for the VP group, less pronounced for the MP group, and least pronounced for the LP group. The VP sub-group was particularly vulnerable compared with the MP and LP sub-groups.