Multistage Grading of Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment: The Associated Brain Gray Matter Volume and Cognitive Behavior Characterization.
ABSTRACT: Background and Purpose: It is well known that there is a wide range of different pathological stages related to Alzheimer's disease (AD) among patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI). Further refinement of the stages based on neuropsychological and neuroimaging methods is important for earlier disease detection, as well as for the development and evaluation of disease-modifying interventions. Materials and Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 125 aMCI patients were classified into declined progressively three stages of mild, moderate and severe, utilizing the extreme groups approach (EGA) based on their memory function. Fifty-two patients, in addition to 24 cognitively normal subjects, were included in further structural MRI analyses. Characteristics of cognitive functions and brain structures across these newly defined stages were explored through general linear models. Results: Almost all the non-memory cognitive functions showed progressive decline as memory function deteriorated. In addition, medial structures including the right hippocampus, right lingual and left fusiform gyrus, presented with greater gray matter (GM) atrophy during the later stages of aMCI (corrected p < 0.05). Correlations were found between GM volume of the lingual gyrus and processing speed (r = 0.419, p = 0.003) and between the fusiform gyrus and general cognitive function (r = 0.281, p = 0.046). Moreover, both cognitive function and GM volume presented non-linear trajectories over stages of aMCI. Conclusion: Our study characterized the cognitive profiles along with the degree of episodic memory impairment, and these three stages of aMCI showed non-linear progressive decline in cognitive functions and GM volumes.
Project description:We used resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate changes in the thalamus functional connectivity in early and late stages of amnestic mild cognitive impairment. Data of 25 late stages of amnestic mild cognitive impairment (LMCI) patients, 30 early stages of amnestic mild cognitive impairment (EMCI) patients and 30 well-matched healthy controls (HC) were analyzed from the Alzheimer's disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI). We focused on the correlation between low frequency fMRI signal fluctuations in the thalamus and those in all other brain regions. Compared to healthy controls, we found functional connectivity between the left/right thalamus and a set of brain areas was decreased in LMCI and/or EMCI including right fusiform gyrus (FG), left and right superior temporal gyrus, left medial frontal gyrus extending into supplementary motor area, right insula, left middle temporal gyrus (MTG) extending into middle occipital gyrus (MOG). We also observed increased functional connectivity between the left/right thalamus and several regions in LMCI and/or EMCI including left FG, right MOG, left and right precuneus, right MTG and left inferior temporal gyrus. In the direct comparison between the LMCI and EMCI groups, we obtained several brain regions showed thalamus-seeded functional connectivity differences such as the precentral gyrus, hippocampus, FG and MTG. Briefly, these brain regions mentioned above were mainly located in the thalamo-related networks including thalamo-hippocampus, thalamo-temporal, thalamo-visual, and thalamo-default mode network. The decreased functional connectivity of the thalamus might suggest reduced functional integrity of thalamo-related networks and increased functional connectivity indicated that aMCI patients could use additional brain resources to compensate for the loss of cognitive function. Our study provided a new sight to understand the two important states of aMCI and revealed resting-state fMRI is an appropriate method for exploring pathophysiological changes in aMCI.
Project description:Visual cognition such as face recognition requests a high degree of functional integration between distributed brain areas of a network. It has been reported that the fusiform gyrus (FG) is an important brain area involved in facial cognition; altered connectivity of FG to some other regions may lead to a deficit in visual cognition especially face recognition. However, whether functional connectivity between the FG and other brain areas changes remains unclear in the resting state in amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) subjects. Here, we employed a resting-state functional MRI (fMRI) to examine alterations in functional connectivity of left/right FG comparing aMCI patients with age-matched control subjects. Forty-eight aMCI and 38 control subjects from the Alzheimer's disease Neuroimaging Initiative were analyzed. We concentrated on the correlation between low frequency fMRI time courses in the FG and those in all other brain regions. Relative to the control group, we found some discrepant regions in the aMCI group which presented increased or decreased connectivity with the left/right FG including the left precuneus, left lingual gyrus, right thalamus, supramarginal gyrus, left supplementary motor area, left inferior temporal gyrus, and left parahippocampus. More importantly, we also obtained that both left and right FG have increased functional connections with the left middle occipital gyrus (MOG) and right anterior cingulate gyrus (ACC) in aMCI patients. That was not a coincidence and might imply that the MOG and ACC also play a critical role in visual cognition, especially face recognition. These findings in a large part supported our hypothesis and provided a new insight in understanding the important subtype of MCI.
Project description:Altered function of the medial temporal lobe (MTL) is a valuable indicator of conversion from amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) to Alzheimer's disease. This study is to delineate the functional circuitry of multiple subdivisions of parahippocampal gyrus and hippocampus (HIP) and to examine how this knowledge contributes to a more principled understanding of the contributions of its subregions to memory in aMCI. The functional connectivity (FC) analysis was performed in 85 aMCI and 129 healthy controls. The aMCI demonstrated the distinct disruptive patterns of the MTL subregional connectivity with the whole-brain. The right entorhinal cortex (ERC) and perirhinal cortex (PRC) showed increased connectivity with the left inferior and middle occipital gyrus, respectively, which potentially indicated a compensatory mechanism. Furthermore, the right altered MTL subregional FC was associated with episodic memory performance in aMCI. These results provide novel insights into the heterogeneous nature of its large-scale connectivity in MTL subregions in memory system underlying the memory deficits in aMCI. It further suggests that altered FC of MTL subregions is associated with the impairment of the differential encoding stages of memories and the functional changes in the specific right HIP-ERC-PRC-temporal circuitry may contribute to the impairment of episodic memory in aMCI.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Subjective cognitive decline (SCD), non-amnestic mild cognitive impairment (naMCI), and amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) are regarded to be at high risk of converting to Alzheimer's disease (AD). Amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (ALFF) can reflect functional deterioration while diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) is capable of detecting white matter integrity. Our study aimed to investigate the structural and functional alterations to further reveal convergence and divergence among SCD, naMCI, and aMCI and how these contribute to cognitive deterioration.<h4>Methods</h4>We analyzed ALFF under slow-4 (0.027-0.073 Hz) and slow-5 (0.01-0.027 Hz) bands and white matter fiber integrity among normal controls (CN), SCD, naMCI, and aMCI groups. Correlation analyses were further utilized among paired DTI alteration, ALFF deterioration, and cognitive decline.<h4>Results</h4>For ALFF calculation, ascended ALFF values were detected in the lingual gyrus (LING) and superior frontal gyrus (SFG) within SCD and naMCI patients, respectively. Descended ALFF values were presented mainly in the LING, SFG, middle frontal gyrus, and precuneus in aMCI patients compared to CN, SCD, and naMCI groups. For DTI analyses, white matter alterations were detected within the uncinate fasciculus (UF) in aMCI patients and within the superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF) in naMCI patients. SCD patients presented alterations in both fasciculi. Correlation analyses revealed that the majority of these structural and functional alterations were associated with complicated cognitive decline. Besides, UF alterations were correlated with ALFF deterioration in the SFG within aMCI patients.<h4>Conclusions</h4>SCD shares structurally and functionally deteriorative characteristics with aMCI and naMCI, and tends to convert to either of them. Furthermore, abnormalities in white matter fibers may be the structural basis of abnormal brain activation in preclinical AD stages. Combined together, it suggests that structural and functional integration may characterize the preclinical AD progression.
Project description:Amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) is considered as a transitional stage between the expected cognitive decline of normal aging and Alzheimer's disease (AD). Structural brain difference has shown the potential in cognitive related diagnosis, however cortical thickness patterns transferred from aMCI to AD, especially in the subtypes of aMCI, is still unclear. In this study, we investigated the cortical thickness discrepancies among AD, aMCI and normal control (NC) entities, especially for two subtypes of aMCI - multiple-domain aMCI (aMCI-m) and single-domain aMCI (aMCI-s). Both region of interest (ROI)-based and vertex-based statistical strategies were performed for group-level cortical thickness comparison. Spearman correlation was utilized to identify the correlation between cortical thickness and clinical neuropsychological scores. The result demonstrated that there was a significant cortical thickness decreasing tendency in fusiform gyrus from NC to aMCI-s to aMCI-m to finally AD in both left and right hemispheres. Meanwhile, the two subtypes of aMCI showed cortical thickness difference in middle temporal gyrus in left hemisphere. Spearman correlation indicated that neuropsychological scores had significant correlations with entorhinal, inferior temporal and middle temporal gyrus. The findings suggested that cortical thickness might serve as a potential imaging biomarker for the differential diagnosis of cognitive impairment.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:While amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) and non-amnestic mild cognitive impairment (naMCI) are theoretically different entities, only a few investigations studied the structural brain differences between these subtypes of mild cognitive impairment. The aim of the study was to find the structural differences between aMCI and naMCI, and to replicate previous findings on the differentiation between aMCI and healthy controls. METHODS:Altogether 62 aMCI, naMCI, and healthy control subjects were included into the study based on the Petersen criteria. All patients underwent a routine brain MR examination, and a detailed neuropsychological examination. RESULTS:The sizes of the hippocampus, the entorhinal cortex and the amygdala were decreased in aMCI relative to naMCI and to controls. Furthermore the cortical thickness of the entorhinal cortex, the fusiform gyrus, the precuneus and the isthmus of the cingulate gyrus were significantly decreased in aMCI relative to naMCI and healthy controls. The largest differences relative to controls were detected for the volume of the hippocampus (18% decrease vs. controls) and the cortical thickness (20% decrease vs. controls) of the entorhinal cortex: 1.6 and 1.4 in terms of Cohen's d. Only the volume of the precuneus were decreased in the naMCI group (5% decrease) compared to the control subjects: 0.9 in terms of Cohen's d. Significant between group differences were also found in the neuropsychological test results: a decreased anterograde, retrograde memory, and category fluency performance was detected in the aMCI group relative to controls and naMCI subjects. Subjects with naMCI showed decreased letter fluency relative to controls, while both MCI groups showed decreased executive functioning relative to controls as measured by the Trail Making test part B. Memory performance in the aMCI group and in the entire sample correlated with the thickness of the entorhinal cortex and with the volume of the amygdala. CONCLUSION:The amnestic mild cognitive impairment/non-amnestic mild cognitive impairment separation is not only theoretical but backed by structural imaging methods and neuropsychological tests. A better knowledge of the MCI subtypes can help to predict the direction of progression and create targeted prevention.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Understanding morphologic changes in vulnerable and early disease state of schizophrenia (SZ) may provide further insight into the development of psychosis.<h4>Method</h4>Whole brain voxel-based morphometry was performed to identify gray matter (GM) regional differences in 60 individuals with SZ during their first psychotic episode (FE-SZ), 31 individuals at genetic high risk for SZ (GHR-SZ) individuals, and 71 healthy controls.<h4>Results</h4>Significant differences were found in several regions including the prefrontal cortex, parietal lobe, temporal lobe, hippocampus, occipital lobe, and cerebellum among the three groups (p<0.05, corrected). Compared to the HC group, the FE-SZ group had significantly decreased GM volumes in several regions including the cerebellum, hippocampus, fusiform gyrus, lingual gyrus, supramarginal gyrus, and superior, middle, and inferior temporal gyri and significantly increased GM volumes in the middle frontal gyrus and inferior operculum frontal gyrus (p<0.05). The GHR-SZ group had significant decreases in GM volumes in the supramaginal gyrus, precentral gyrus, and rolandic operculum and significant increases in GM volumes in the cerebellum, fusiform gyrus, middle frontal gyrus, inferior operculum frontal gyrus, and superior, middle, and inferior temporal gyri when compared to the HC group (p<0.05). Compared to the GHR-SZ group, the FE-SZ group had significant decreases in GM volumes in several regions including the cerebellum, fusiform gyrus, supramarginal gyrus, and superior, middle, and inferior temporal gyri (p<0.05).<h4>Conclusions</h4>The findings herein implicate the involvement of multisensory integration in SZ development and pathophysiology. Additionally, the patterns of observed differences suggest possible indicators of disease, vulnerability, and resiliency in SZ.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging studies using a regional homogeneity (ReHo) method have reported that amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) was associated with abnormalities in local functional connectivity. However, their results were not conclusive.<h4>Methods</h4>Seed-based <i>d</i> Mapping was used to conduct a coordinate-based meta-analysis to identify consistent ReHo alterations in aMCI.<h4>Results</h4>We identified 10 studies with 11 datasets suitable for inclusion, including 378 patients with aMCI and 435 healthy controls. This meta-analysis identified significant ReHo alterations in patients with aMCI relative to healthy controls, mainly within the default mode network (DMN) (bilateral posterior cingulate cortex [PCC], right angular gyrus, bilateral middle temporal gyri, and left parahippocampal gyrus/hippocampus), executive control network (right superior parietal lobule and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex), visual network (right lingual gyrus and left middle occipital gyrus), and sensorimotor network (right paracentral lobule/supplementary motor area, right postcentral gyrus and left posterior insula). Significant heterogeneity of ReHo alterations in the bilateral PCC, left parahippocampal gyrus/hippocampus, and right superior parietal lobule/angular gyrus was observed. Exploratory meta-regression analyses indicated that general cognitive function, gender distribution, age, and education level partially contributed to this heterogeneity.<h4>Conclusions</h4>This study provides provisional evidence that aMCI is associated with abnormal ReHo within the DMN, executive control network, visual network, and sensorimotor network. These local functional connectivity alterations suggest coexistence of functional deficits and compensation in these networks. These findings contribute to the modeling of brain functional connectomes and to a better understanding of the neural substrates of aMCI. Confounding factors merit much attention and warrant future investigations.
Project description:Alzheimer's disease (AD) has a long preclinical stage that can last for decades prior to progressing toward amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) and/or dementia. Subjective cognitive decline (SCD) is characterized by self-experienced memory decline without any evidence of objective cognitive decline and is regarded as the later stage of preclinical AD. It has been reported that the changes in structural covariance patterns are affected by AD pathology in the patients with AD and aMCI within the specific large-scale brain networks. However, the changes in structural covariance patterns including normal control (NC), SCD, aMCI, and AD are still poorly understood. In this study, we recruited 42 NCs, 35 individuals with SCD, 43 patients with aMCI, and 41 patients with AD. Gray matter (GM) volumes were extracted from 10 readily identifiable regions of interest involved in high-order cognitive function and AD-related dysfunctional structures. The volume values were used to predict the regional densities in the whole brain by using voxel-based statistical and multiple linear regression models. Decreased structural covariance and weakened connectivity strength were observed in individuals with SCD compared with NCs. Structural covariance networks (SCNs) seeding from the default mode network (DMN), salience network, subfields of the hippocampus, and cholinergic basal forebrain showed increased structural covariance at the early stage of AD (referring to aMCI) and decreased structural covariance at the dementia stage (referring to AD). Moreover, the SCN seeding from the executive control network (ECN) showed a linearly increased extent of the structural covariance during the early and dementia stages. The results suggest that changes in structural covariance patterns as the order of NC-SCD-aMCI-AD are divergent and dynamic, and support the structural disconnection hypothesis in individuals with SCD.
Project description:Amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) is a prodromal stage of Alzheimer's disease (AD). As no effective drug can cure AD, early diagnosis and intervention for aMCI are urgently needed. The standard diagnostic procedure for aMCI primarily relies on subjective neuropsychological examinations that require the judgment of experienced clinicians. The development of other objective and reliable aMCI markers, such as neural markers, is therefore required. Previous neuroimaging findings revealed various abnormalities in resting-state activity in MCI patients, but the findings have been inconsistent. The current study provides an updated activation likelihood estimation meta-analysis of resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data on aMCI. The authors searched on the MEDLINE/PubMed databases for whole-brain resting-state fMRI studies on aMCI published until March 2015. We included 21 whole-brain resting-state fMRI studies that reported a total of 156 distinct foci. Significant regional resting-state differences were consistently found in aMCI patients relative to controls, including the posterior cingulate cortex, right angular gyrus, right parahippocampal gyrus, left fusiform gyrus, left supramarginal gyrus and bilateral middle temporal gyri. Our findings support that abnormalities in resting-state activities of these regions may serve as neuroimaging markers for aMCI.