Decreased functional connectivity within a language subnetwork in benign epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes.
ABSTRACT: Objective:Benign epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes (BECTS, also known as Rolandic epilepsy) is a common epilepsy syndrome that is associated with literacy and language impairments. The neural mechanisms of the syndrome are not known. The primary objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that functional connectivity within the language network is decreased in children with BECTS. We also tested the hypothesis that siblings of children with BECTS have similar abnormalities. Methods:Echo planar magnetic resonance (MR) imaging data were acquired from 25 children with BECTS, 12 siblings, and 20 healthy controls, at rest. After preprocessing with particular attention to intrascan motion, the mean signal was extracted from each of 90 regions of interest. Sparse, undirected graphs were constructed from adjacency matrices consisting of Spearman's rank correlation coefficients. Global and nodal graph metrics and subnetwork and pairwise connectivity were compared between groups. Results:There were no significant differences in graph metrics between groups. Children with BECTS had decreased functional connectivity relative to controls within a four-node subnetwork, which consisted of the left inferior frontal gyrus, the left superior frontal gyrus, the left supramarginal gyrus, and the right inferior parietal lobe (p = 0.04). A similar but nonsignificant decrease was also observed for the siblings. The BECTS groups had significant increases in connectivity within a five-node, five-edge frontal subnetwork. Significance:The results provide further evidence of decreased functional connectivity between key mediators of speech processing, language, and reading in children with BECTS. We hypothesize that these decreases reflect delayed lateralization of the language network and contribute to specific cognitive impairments.
Project description:Childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) is a paediatric speech sound disorder in which precision and consistency of speech movements are impaired. Most children with idiopathic CAS have normal structural brain MRI. We hypothesize that children with CAS have altered structural connectivity in speech/language networks compared to controls and that these altered connections are related to functional speech/language measures. Whole brain probabilistic tractography, using constrained spherical deconvolution, was performed for connectome generation in 17 children with CAS and 10 age-matched controls. Fractional anisotropy (FA) was used as a measure of connectivity and the connections with altered FA between CAS and controls were identified. Further, the relationship between altered FA and speech/language scores was determined. Three intra-hemispheric/interhemispheric subnetworks showed reduction of FA in CAS compared to controls, including left inferior (opercular part) and superior (dorsolateral, medial and orbital part) frontal gyrus, left superior and middle temporal gyrus and left post-central gyrus (subnetwork 1); right supplementary motor area, left middle and inferior (orbital part) frontal gyrus, left precuneus and cuneus, right superior occipital gyrus and right cerebellum (subnetwork 2); right angular gyrus, right superior temporal gyrus and right inferior occipital gyrus (subnetwork 3). Reduced FA of some connections correlated with diadochokinesis, oromotor skills, expressive grammar and poor lexical production in CAS. These findings provide evidence of structural connectivity anomalies in children with CAS across specific brain regions involved in speech/language function. We propose altered connectivity as a possible epiphenomenon of complex pathogenic mechanisms in CAS which need further investigation.
Project description:<h4>Introduction</h4>Rolandic epilepsy (RE) is a childhood epilepsy with centrotemporal (rolandic) spikes, that is increasingly associated with language impairment. In this study, we tested for a white matter (connectivity) correlate, employing diffusion weighted MRI and language testing.<h4>Methods</h4>Twenty-three children with RE and 23 matched controls (age: 8-14 years) underwent structural (T1-weighted) and diffusion-weighted MRI (b?=?1200 s/mm(2), 66 gradient directions) at 3T, as well as neuropsychological language testing. Combining tractography and a cortical segmentation derived from the T1-scan, the rolandic tract were reconstructed (pre- and postcentral gyri), and tract fractional anisotropy (FA) values were compared between patients and controls. Aberrant tracts were tested for correlations with language performance.<h4>Results</h4>Several reductions of tract FA were found in patients compared to controls, mostly in the left hemisphere; the most significant effects involved the left inferior frontal (p?=?0.005) and supramarginal (p?=?0.004) gyrus. In the patient group, lower tract FA values were correlated with lower language performance, among others for the connection between the left postcentral and inferior frontal gyrus (p?=?0.043, R?=?0.43).<h4>Conclusion</h4>In RE, structural connectivity is reduced for several connections involving the rolandic regions, from which the epileptiform activity originates. Most of these aberrant tracts involve the left (typically language mediating) hemisphere, notably the pars opercularis of the inferior frontal gyrus (Broca's area) and the supramarginal gyrus (Wernicke's area). For the former, reduced language performance for lower tract FA was found in the patients. These findings provide a first microstructural white matter correlate for language impairment in RE.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:Benign childhood epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes (BECTS) does not always have a benign cognitive outcome. We investigated the relationship between cognitive performance and altered functional connectivity (FC) in the resting-state brain networks of BECTS patients. METHODS:We studied 42 subjects, comprising 19 BECTS patients and 23 healthy controls. Cognitive performance was assessed using the Korean version of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-III, in addition to verbal and visuospatial memory tests and executive function tests. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging was acquired in addition to high-resolution structural data. We selected Rolandic and language-related areas as regions of interest (ROIs) and analyzed the seed-based FC to voxels throughout the brain. We evaluated the correlations between the neuropsychological test scores and seed-based FC values using the same ROIs. RESULTS:The verbal intelligence quotient (VIQ) and full-scale intelligence quotient (FSIQ) were lower in BECTS patients than in healthy controls (p<0.001). The prevalence of subjects with a higher performance IQ than VIQ was significantly higher in BECTS patients than in healthy controls (73.7% vs. 26.1%, respectively; p=0.002). Both the Rolandic and language-related ROIs exhibited more enhanced FC to voxels in the left inferior temporal gyrus in BECTS patients than in healthy controls. A particularly interestingly finding was that the enhanced FC was correlated with lower cognitive performance as measured by the VIQ and the FSIQ in both patients and control subjects. CONCLUSIONS:Our findings suggest that the FC alterations in resting-state brain networks related to the seizure onset zone and language processing areas could be related to adaptive plasticity for coping with cognitive dysfunction.
Project description:<h4>Purpose</h4>BECTS (benign epilepsy with centro-temporal spikes) is one of the most common childhood-onset epilepsy syndromes. We investigated quantitative evidence for brain morphological variation associated with BECTS to provide insights into the neuroanatomical basis of this disorder.<h4>Methods</h4>Three independent BECTS groups were imaged at different stages: (a) near onset (n=16, mean age 9.3±1.6 years), (b) ~9 years after onset (n=9, mean age 15.8±2.3 years), and (c) ~15 years after onset (n=10, mean age 22.7±2.7 years). Age-matched controls were imaged with each group. Whole brain T1-weighted MRI was acquired. Voxel-based morphometry (groups a-c) and cortical thickness analyses (groups b and c) were undertaken within each group and for the groups combined. The relationship between cortical morphology and age was investigated.<h4>Key findings</h4>The voxel-based morphometry analysis indicated increased bilateral grey matter volume in the superior frontal gyrus, insula and right inferior frontal gyrus regions in BECTS. The magnitude of the increase lessened with age of the cases. Cortical thickness analysis revealed thicker cortex in BECTS along middle and inferior frontal gyri bilaterally, left insula and bilateral supramarginal gyrus in the 9-year-after-onset group, that normalised with age. The rate of cortical thickness changes with age were greater in BECTS cases than in controls.<h4>Significance</h4>Increased cortical gray matter associated with BECTS was found. The decreasing magnitude of the effect with increasing age parallels the natural history of the disorder. The areas affected are consistent with neurocognitive dysfunction in BECTS.
Project description:Benign childhood epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes (BECTS) is associated with cognitive and language problems. According to recent studies, disruptions in brain structure and function in children with BECTS are beyond a Rolandic focus, suggesting atypical cortical development. However, previous studies utilizing surface-based metrics (e.g., cortical gyrification) and their structural covariance networks at high resolution in children with BECTS are limited. Twenty-six children with BECTS (15 males/11 females; 10.35 ± 2.91 years) and 26 demographically matched controls (15 males/11 females; 11.35 ± 2.51 years) were included in this study and subjected to high-resolution structural brain MRI scans. The gyrification index was calculated, and structural brain networks were reconstructed based on the covariance of the cortical folding. In the BECTS group, significantly increased gyrification was observed in the bilateral Sylvain fissures and the left pars triangularis, temporal, rostral middle frontal, lateral orbitofrontal, and supramarginal areas (cluster-corrected p < 0.05). Global brain network measures were not significantly different between the groups; however, the nodal alterations were most pronounced in the insular, frontal, temporal, and occipital lobes (FDR corrected, p < 0.05). In children with BECTS, brain hubs increased in number and tended to shift to sensorimotor and temporal areas. Furthermore, we observed significantly positive relationships between the gyrification index and age (vertex p < 0.001, cluster-level correction) as well as duration of epilepsy (vertex p < 0.001, cluster-level correction). Our results suggest that BECTS may be a condition that features abnormal over-folding of the Sylvian fissures and uncoordinated development of structural wiring, disrupted nodal profiles of centrality, and shifted hub distribution, which potentially represents a neuroanatomical hallmark of BECTS in the developing brain.
Project description:There are 2 intrinsic networks in the human brain: the task positive network (TPN) and task negative network (alternately termed the default mode network, DMN) in which inverse correlations have been observed during resting state and event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The antagonism between the 2 networks might indicate a dynamic interaction in the brain that is associated with development.To evaluate the alterations in the relations of the 2 networks in children with benign childhood epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes (BECTS), resting state fMRI was performed in 17 patients with BECTS and 17 healthy controls. The functional and effective connectivities of 29 nodes in the TPN and DMN were analyzed. Positive functional connectivity (FC) within the networks and negative FC between the 2 networks were observed in both groups.The patients exhibited increased FC within both networks, particularly in the frontoparietal nodes such as the left superior frontal cortex, and enhanced antagonism between the 2 networks, suggesting abnormal functional integration of the nodes of the 2 networks in the patients. Granger causality analysis revealed a significant difference in the degree of outflow to inflow in the left superior frontal cortex and the left ventral occipital lobe.The alterations observed in the combined functional and effective connectivity analyses might indicate an association of an abnormal ability to integrate information between the DMN and TPN and the epileptic neuropathology of BECTS and provide preliminary evidence supporting the occurrence of abnormal development in children with BECTS.
Project description:Recent investigations have used diffusion-weighted imaging to reveal disturbances in the neurocircuitry that underlie cognitive-emotional control in bipolar disorder (BD) and in unaffected siblings or children at high genetic risk (HR). It has been difficult to quantify the mechanism by which structural changes disrupt the superimposed brain dynamics, leading to the emotional lability that is characteristic of BD. Average controllability is a concept from network control theory that extends structural connectivity data to estimate the manner in which local neuronal fluctuations spread from a node or subnetwork to alter the state of the rest of the brain. We used this theory to ask whether structural connectivity deficits previously observed in HR individuals (<i>n</i>?=?84, mean age 22.4), patients with BD (<i>n</i>?=?38, mean age 23.9), and age- and gender-matched controls (<i>n</i>?=?96, mean age 22.6) translate to differences in the ability of brain systems to be manipulated between states. Localized impairments in network controllability were seen in the left parahippocampal, left middle occipital, left superior frontal, right inferior frontal, and right precentral gyri in BD and HR groups. Subjects with BD had distributed deficits in a subnetwork containing the left superior and inferior frontal gyri, postcentral gyrus, and insula (<i>p</i>?=?0.004). HR participants had controllability deficits in a right-lateralized subnetwork involving connections between the dorsomedial and ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, the superior temporal pole, putamen, and caudate nucleus (<i>p</i>?=?0.008). Between-group controllability differences were attenuated after removal of topological factors by network randomization. Some previously reported differences in network connectivity were not associated with controllability-differences, likely reflecting the contribution of more complex brain network properties. These analyses highlight the potential functional consequences of altered brain networks in BD, and may guide future clinical interventions.
Project description:Reading plays a key role in education and communication in modern society. Learning to read establishes the connections between the visual word form area (VWFA) and language areas responsible for speech processing. Using resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) and Granger Causality Analysis (GCA) methods, the current developmental study aimed to identify the difference in the relationship between the connections of VWFA-language areas and reading performance in both adults and children. The results showed that: (1) the spontaneous connectivity between VWFA and the spoken language areas, i.e., the left inferior frontal gyrus/supramarginal gyrus (LIFG/LSMG), was stronger in adults compared with children; (2) the spontaneous functional patterns of connectivity between VWFA and language network were negatively correlated with reading ability in adults but not in children; (3) the causal influence from LIFG to VWFA was negatively correlated with reading ability only in adults but not in children; (4) the RSFCs between left posterior middle frontal gyrus (LpMFG) and VWFA/LIFG were positively correlated with reading ability in both adults and children; and (5) the causal influence from LIFG to LSMG was positively correlated with reading ability in both groups. These findings provide insights into the relationship between VWFA and the language network for reading, and the role of the unique features of Chinese in the neural circuits of reading.
Project description:Despite language disabilities in autism, music abilities are frequently preserved. Paradoxically, brain regions associated with these functions typically overlap, enabling investigation of neural organization supporting speech and song in autism. Neural systems sensitive to speech and song were compared in low-functioning autistic and age-matched control children using passive auditory stimulation during functional magnetic resonance and diffusion tensor imaging. Activation in left inferior frontal gyrus was reduced in autistic children relative to controls during speech stimulation, but was greater than controls during song stimulation. Functional connectivity for song relative to speech was also increased between left inferior frontal gyrus and superior temporal gyrus in autism, and large-scale connectivity showed increased frontal-posterior connections. Although fractional anisotropy of the left arcuate fasciculus was decreased in autistic children relative to controls, structural terminations of the arcuate fasciculus in inferior frontal gyrus were indistinguishable between autistic and control groups. Fractional anisotropy correlated with activity in left inferior frontal gyrus for both speech and song conditions. Together, these findings indicate that in autism, functional systems that process speech and song were more effectively engaged for song than for speech and projections of structural pathways associated with these functions were not distinguishable from controls.