Advancing functional dysconnectivity and atrophy in progressive supranuclear palsy.
ABSTRACT: Progressive supranuclear palsy syndrome (PSP-S) results from neurodegeneration within a network of brainstem, subcortical, frontal and parietal cortical brain regions. It is unclear how network dysfunction progresses and relates to longitudinal atrophy and clinical decline. In this study, we evaluated patients with PSP-S (n = 12) and healthy control subjects (n = 20) at baseline and 6 months later. Subjects underwent structural MRI and task-free functional MRI (tf-fMRI) scans and clinical evaluations at both time points. At baseline, voxel based morphometry (VBM) revealed that patients with mild-to-moderate clinical symptoms showed structural atrophy in subcortex and brainstem, prefrontal cortex (PFC; supplementary motor area, paracingulate, dorsal and ventral medial PFC), and parietal cortex (precuneus). Tf-fMRI functional connectivity (FC) was examined in a rostral midbrain tegmentum (rMT)-anchored intrinsic connectivity network that is compromised in PSP-S. In healthy controls, this network contained a medial parietal module, a prefrontal-paralimbic module, and a subcortical-brainstem module. Baseline FC deficits in PSP-S were most severe in rMT network integrative hubs in the prefrontal-paralimbic and subcortical-brainstem modules. Longitudinally, patients with PSP-S had declining intermodular FC between the subcortical-brainstem and parietal modules, while progressive atrophy was observed in subcortical-brainstem regions (midbrain, pallidum) and posterior frontal (perirolandic) cortex. This suggested that later-stage subcortical-posterior cortical change may follow an earlier-stage subcortical-anterior cortical disease process. Clinically, patients with more severe baseline impairment showed greater subsequent prefrontal-parietal cortical FC declines and posterior frontal atrophy rates, while patients with more rapid longitudinal clinical decline showed coupled prefrontal-paralimbic FC decline. VBM and FC can augment disease monitoring in PSP-S by tracking the disease through stages while detecting changes that accompany heterogeneous clinical progression.
Project description:To examine the utility and reliability of volumetric MRI in measuring disease progression in the 4 repeat tauopathies, progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) and corticobasal syndrome (CBS), to support clinical development of new tau-directed therapeutic agents.Six- and 12-month changes in regional MRI volumes and PSP Rating Scale scores were examined in 55 patients with PSP and 33 patients with CBS (78% amyloid PET negative) compared to 30 normal controls from a multicenter natural history study. Longitudinal voxel-based morphometric analyses identified patterns of volume loss, and region-of-interest analyses examined rates of volume loss in brainstem (midbrain, pons, superior cerebellar peduncle), cortical, and subcortical regions based on previously validated atlases. Results were compared to those in a replication cohort of 226 patients with PSP with MRI data from the AL-108-231 clinical trial.Patients with CBS exhibited greater baseline atrophy and greater longitudinal atrophy rates in cortical and basal ganglia regions than patients with PSP; however, midbrain and pontine atrophy rates were similar. Voxel-wise analyses showed distinct patterns of regional longitudinal atrophy in each group as compared to normal controls. The midbrain/pons volumetric ratio differed between diagnoses but remained stable over time. In both patient groups, brainstem atrophy rates were correlated with disease progression measured using the PSP Rating Scale.Volume loss is quantifiable over a period of 6 months in CBS and PSP. Future clinical trials may be able to combine CBS and PSP to measure therapeutic effects.
Project description:We provide novel evidence of specific clinical and neuroimaging features that may help for the in vivo prediction of underlying pathology in patients with nonfluent/agrammatic primary progressive aphasia (nfvPPA) and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) or corticobasal degeneration (CBD) proved by autopsy.To characterize the neurological, cognitive, and neuroimaging features of patients with nfvPPA-in whom either PSP or CBD was eventually confirmed at autopsy-at initial presentation and at 1-year follow-up.A prospective longitudinal clinical-pathological study was conducted in a tertiary research clinic that specialized in cognitive disorders. Fourteen patients were evaluated between January 2002 and December 2014. Inclusion criteria for the study were a clinical diagnosis of nfvPPA; the availability of speech, language, and cognitive testing for at least 1 evaluation; magnetic resonance imaging within 6 months of initial evaluation; and a postmortem pathological diagnosis of PSP or CBD. Ten matched healthy control participants were also included.Clinical, cognitive, and neuroimaging longitudinal data were analyzed to characterize the whole nfvPPA-4-repeat-tau group and identify differences between nfvPPA-PSP and nfvPPA-CBD both at presentation and longitudinally.Patient groups did not differ significantly in age, sex, or handedness (nfvPPA-PSP group: median [interquartile range (IQR)] age, 74 [67-76] years; 1 of 5 male [20%]; 1 of 5 left-handed [20%]; and nfvPPA-CBD group: mean [IQR] age, 65 [54-81] years; 3 of 9 male [33%]; 0 left-handed). Motor speech impairment and left frontal white matter atrophy were the most prominent common features. At presentation, dysarthria (Motor Speech Examination median [IQR] score: nfvPPA-PSP, 4 [2-7]; nfvPPA-CBD, 0 [0-4]; P?=?.02), depression (Geriatric Depression Scale median [IQR] score: nfvPPA-PSP, 19 [3-28]; nfvPPA-CBD, 4 [0-16]; P?=?.04), and relatively selective white matter atrophy were typical of the nfvPPA-PSP group, while greater gray matter atrophy and a trend toward greater sentence comprehension deficits (median [IQR] sentence comprehension correct: nfvPPA-PSP, 98% [80-100]; nfvPPA-CBD, 81% [65-98]; P?=?.08) were found in the nfvPPA-CBD group. At follow-up after 1 year, we observed no significant differences in any speech or language measures. Furthermore, atrophy in patients with PSP progressed within the subcortical/brainstem motor system generating greater oculomotors deficits and swallowing difficulty; atrophy in patients with CBD spread anteriorly in prefrontal regions consistent with their greater working memory impairment and development of behavioral symptoms.In patients presenting with nfvPPA, presence of early severe dysarthria, relatively selective white matter atrophy at presentation, and a greater rate of change in the brainstem measured by longitudinal imaging may be useful for differentiating underlying PSP from CBD pathology during life.
Project description:Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), multiple system atrophy (MSA) and idiopathic Parkinson's disease (IPD) can be clinically indistinguishable, especially in the early stages, despite distinct patterns of molecular pathology. Structural neuroimaging holds promise for providing objective biomarkers for discriminating these diseases at the single subject level but all studies to date have reported incomplete separation of disease groups. In this study, we employed multi-class pattern recognition to assess the value of anatomical patterns derived from a widely available structural neuroimaging sequence for automated classification of these disorders. To achieve this, 17 patients with PSP, 14 with IPD and 19 with MSA were scanned using structural MRI along with 19 healthy controls (HCs). An advanced probabilistic pattern recognition approach was employed to evaluate the diagnostic value of several pre-defined anatomical patterns for discriminating the disorders, including: (i) a subcortical motor network; (ii) each of its component regions and (iii) the whole brain. All disease groups could be discriminated simultaneously with high accuracy using the subcortical motor network. The region providing the most accurate predictions overall was the midbrain/brainstem, which discriminated all disease groups from one another and from HCs. The subcortical network also produced more accurate predictions than the whole brain and all of its constituent regions. PSP was accurately predicted from the midbrain/brainstem, cerebellum and all basal ganglia compartments; MSA from the midbrain/brainstem and cerebellum and IPD from the midbrain/brainstem only. This study demonstrates that automated analysis of structural MRI can accurately predict diagnosis in individual patients with Parkinsonian disorders, and identifies distinct patterns of regional atrophy particularly useful for this process.
Project description:Alzheimer's disease and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) represent neurodegenerative tauopathies with predominantly cortical versus subcortical disease burden. In Alzheimer's disease, neuropathology and atrophy preferentially affect 'hub' brain regions that are densely connected. It was unclear whether hubs are differentially affected by neurodegeneration because they are more likely to receive pathological proteins that propagate trans-neuronally, in a prion-like manner, or whether they are selectively vulnerable due to a lack of local trophic factors, higher metabolic demands, or differential gene expression. We assessed the relationship between tau burden and brain functional connectivity, by combining in vivo PET imaging using the ligand AV-1451, and graph theoretic measures of resting state functional MRI in 17 patients with Alzheimer's disease, 17 patients with PSP, and 12 controls. Strongly connected nodes displayed more tau pathology in Alzheimer's disease, independently of intrinsic connectivity network, validating the predictions of theories of trans-neuronal spread but not supporting a role for metabolic demands or deficient trophic support in tau accumulation. This was not a compensatory phenomenon, as the functional consequence of increasing tau burden in Alzheimer's disease was a progressive weakening of the connectivity of these same nodes, reducing weighted degree and local efficiency and resulting in weaker 'small-world' properties. Conversely, in PSP, unlike in Alzheimer's disease, those nodes that accrued pathological tau were those that displayed graph metric properties associated with increased metabolic demand and a lack of trophic support rather than strong functional connectivity. Together, these findings go some way towards explaining why Alzheimer's disease affects large scale connectivity networks throughout cortex while neuropathology in PSP is concentrated in a small number of subcortical structures. Further, we demonstrate that in PSP increasing tau burden in midbrain and deep nuclei was associated with strengthened cortico-cortical functional connectivity. Disrupted cortico-subcortical and cortico-brainstem interactions meant that information transfer took less direct paths, passing through a larger number of cortical nodes, reducing closeness centrality and eigenvector centrality in PSP, while increasing weighted degree, clustering, betweenness centrality and local efficiency. Our results have wide-ranging implications, from the validation of models of tau trafficking in humans to understanding the relationship between regional tau burden and brain functional reorganization.
Project description:Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) is a rare movement disorder and often difficult to distinguish clinically from Parkinson's disease (PD) and multiple system atrophy (MSA) in early phases. In this study, we report reproducible disease-related topographies of brain network and regional glucose metabolism associated with PSP in clinically-confirmed independent cohorts of PSP, MSA, and PD patients and healthy controls in the USA and China. Using 18 F-FDG PET images from PSP and healthy subjects, we applied spatial covariance analysis with bootstrapping to identify a PSP-related pattern (PSPRP) and estimate its reliability, and evaluated the ability of network scores for differential diagnosis. We also detected regional metabolic differences using statistical parametric mapping analysis. We produced a highly reliable PSPRP characterized by relative metabolic decreases in the middle prefrontal cortex/cingulate, ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, striatum, thalamus and midbrain, covarying with relative metabolic increases in the hippocampus, insula and parieto-temporal regions. PSPRP network scores correlated positively with PSP duration and accurately discriminated between healthy, PSP, MSA and PD groups in two separate cohorts of parkinsonian patients at both early and advanced stages. Moreover, PSP patients shared many overlapping areas with abnormal metabolism in the same cortical and subcortical regions as in the PSPRP. With rigorous cross-validation, this study demonstrated highly comparable and reproducible PSP-related metabolic topographies at network and regional levels across different patient populations and PET scanners. Metabolic brain network activity may serve as a reliable and objective marker of PSP, although cross-validation applying recent diagnostic criteria and classification is warranted.
Project description:Aging-related tau astrogliopathy (ARTAG) describes tau pathology in astrocytes in different locations and anatomical regions. In the present study we addressed the question of whether sequential distribution patterns can be recognized for ARTAG or astroglial tau pathologies in both primary FTLD-tauopathies and non-FTLD-tauopathy cases. By evaluating 687 postmortem brains with diverse disorders we identified ARTAG in 455. We evaluated frequencies and hierarchical clustering of anatomical involvement and used conditional probability and logistic regression to model the sequential distribution of ARTAG and astroglial tau pathologies across different brain regions. For subpial and white matter ARTAG we recognize three and two patterns, respectively, each with three stages initiated or ending in the amygdala. Subependymal ARTAG does not show a clear sequential pattern. For grey matter (GM) ARTAG we recognize four stages including a striatal pathway of spreading towards the cortex and/or amygdala, and the brainstem, and an amygdala pathway, which precedes the involvement of the striatum and/or cortex and proceeds towards the brainstem. GM ARTAG and astrocytic plaque pathology in corticobasal degeneration follows a predominantly frontal-parietal cortical to temporal-occipital cortical, to subcortical, to brainstem pathway (four stages). GM ARTAG and tufted astrocyte pathology in progressive supranuclear palsy shows a striatum to frontal-parietal cortical to temporal to occipital, to amygdala, and to brainstem sequence (four stages). In Pick's disease cases with astroglial tau pathology an overlapping pattern with PSP can be appreciated. We conclude that tau-astrogliopathy type-specific sequential patterns cannot be simplified as neuron-based staging systems. The proposed cytopathological and hierarchical stages provide a conceptual approach to identify the initial steps of the pathogenesis of tau pathologies in ARTAG and primary FTLD-tauopathies.
Project description:Regions within the default mode network (DMN) are particularly vulnerable to Alzheimer's disease pathology and mechanisms of DMN disruption in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) are still unclear. White matter lesions are presumed to be mechanistically linked to vascular dysfunction whereas cortical atrophy may be related to neurodegeneration. We examined associations between DMN seed-based connectivity, white matter lesion load, and cortical atrophy in MCI and cognitively healthy controls. MCI showed decreased functional connectivity (FC) between the precuneus-seed and bilateral lateral temporal cortex (LTC), medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), posterior cingulate cortex, and inferior parietal lobe compared to those with controls. When controlling for white matter lesion volume, DMN connectivity differences between groups were diminished within bilateral LTC, although were significantly increased in the mPFC explained by significant regional associations between white matter lesion volume and DMN connectivity only in the MCI group. When controlling for cortical thickness, DMN FC was similarly decreased across both groups. These findings suggest that white matter lesions and cortical atrophy are differentially associated with alterations in FC patterns in MCI. Associations between white matter lesions and DMN connectivity in MCI further support at least a partial but important vascular contribution to age-associated neural and cognitive impairment.
Project description:Working memory is a limited capacity system that integrates and manipulates information across brief periods of time, engaging a network of prefrontal, parietal and subcortical brain regions. Genetic control of these heritable brain processes have been suggested by functional genetic variations influencing dopamine signalling, which affect prefrontal activity during complex working memory tasks. However, less is known about genetic control over component working memory cortical-subcortical networks in humans, and the pharmacogenetic implications of dopamine-related genes on cognition in patients receiving anti-dopaminergic drugs. Here, we examined predictions from basic models of dopaminergic signalling in cortical and cortical-subcortical circuitries implicated in dissociable working memory maintenance and manipulation processes. We also examined pharmacogenetic effects on cognition in the context of anti-dopaminergic drug therapy. Using dynamic causal models of functional magnetic resonance imaging in normal subjects (n?=?46), we identified differentiated effects of functional polymorphisms in COMT, DRD2 and AKT1 genes on prefrontal-parietal and prefrontal-striatal circuits engaged during maintenance and manipulation, respectively. Cortical synaptic dopamine monitored by the COMT Val158Met polymorphism influenced prefrontal control of both parietal processing in working memory maintenance and striatal processing in working memory manipulation. DRD2 and AKT1 polymorphisms implicated in DRD2 signalling influenced only the prefrontal-striatal network associated with manipulation. In the context of anti-psychotic drugs, the DRD2 and AKT1 polymorphisms altered dose-response effects of anti-psychotic drugs on cognition in schizophrenia (n?=?111). Thus, we suggest that genetic modulation of DRD2-AKT1-related prefrontal-subcortical circuits could at least in part influence cognitive dysfunction in psychosis and its treatment.
Project description:Whole-brain voxel-based morphometry (VBM) studies of progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) have demonstrated heterogeneous findings regarding gray matter (GM) abnormalities. Here, we used Seed-based d Mapping, a coordinate-based meta-analytic approach to identify consistent regions of GM anomalies across studies of PSP. Totally, 18 original VBM studies, comprising 284 patients with PSP and 367 healthy controls were included. As compared to healthy controls, patients with PSP demonstrated significant GM reductions in both cortical and subcortical regions, including the frontal motor cortices, medial (including anterior cingulate cortex) and lateral frontal cortices, insula, superior temporal gyrus, striatum (putamen and caudate nucleus), thalamus, midbrain, and anterior cerebellum. Our study further suggests that many confounding factors, such as age, male ratio, motor severity, cognitive impairment severity, and illness duration of PSP patients, and scanner field-strength, could contribute to the heterogeneity of GM alterations in PSP across studies. Our comprehensive meta-analysis demonstrates a specific neuroanatomical pattern of GM atrophy in PSP with the involvement of the cortical-subcortical circuitries that mediate vertical supranuclear gaze palsy, motor disabilities (postural instability with falls and parkinsonism), and cognitive-behavioral disturbances. Confounding factors merit attention in future studies.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Pathophysiology models of major depression (MD) center on the dysfunction of various cortical areas within the orbital and medial prefrontal cortex. While independent structural and functional abnormalities in these areas are consistent findings in MD, the complex interactions among them and the rest of the cortex remain largely unexplored. METHODS:We used resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging connectivity to systematically map alterations in the communication between orbital and medial prefrontal cortex fields and the rest of the brain in MD. Functional connectivity (FC) maps from participants with current MD (n = 35), unaffected first-degree relatives (n = 36), and healthy control subjects (n = 38) were subjected to conjunction analyses to distinguish FC markers of MD vulnerability and FC markers of MD disease. RESULTS:FC abnormalities in MD vulnerability were found for dorsal medial wall regions and the anterior insula and concerned altered communication of these areas with the inferior parietal cortex and dorsal posterior cingulate, occipital areas and the brainstem. FC aberrations in current MD included the anterior insula, rostral and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, and lateral orbitofrontal areas and concerned altered communication with the dorsal striatum, the cerebellum, the precuneus, the anterior prefrontal cortex, somatomotor cortex, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and visual areas in the occipital and inferior temporal lobes. CONCLUSIONS:Functionally delineated parcellation maps can be used to identify putative connectivity markers in extended cortical regions such as the orbital and medial prefrontal cortex. The anterior insula and the rostral anterior cingulate cortex play a central role in the pathophysiology of MD, being consistently implicated both in the MD vulnerability and MD disease states.