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1.
Ann Neurol ; 2019 Aug 06.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31385358

RESUMO

OBJECTIVE: Spinal cord atrophy is a clinically relevant feature of multiple sclerosis (MS), but longitudinal assessments on magnetic resonance imaging using segmentation-based methods suffer from measurement variability, especially in multicenter studies. We compared the generalized boundary shift integral (GBSI), a registration-based method, with a standard segmentation-based method. METHODS: Baseline and 1-year spinal cord 3-dimensional T1-weighted images (1mm isotropic) were obtained from 282 patients (52 clinically isolated syndrome [CIS], 196 relapsing-remitting MS [RRMS], 34 progressive MS [PMS]), and 82 controls from 8 MAGNIMS (Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Multiple Sclerosis) sites on multimanufacturer and multi-field-strength scans. Spinal Cord Toolbox was used for C2-5 segmentation and cross-sectional area (CSA) calculation. After cord straightening and registration, GBSI measured atrophy based on the probabilistic boundary-shift region of interest. CSA and GBSI percentage annual volume change was calculated. RESULTS: GBSI provided similar rates of atrophy, but reduced measurement variability compared to CSA in all MS subtypes (CIS: -0.95 ± 2.11% vs -1.19 ± 3.67%; RRMS: -1.74 ± 2.57% vs -1.74 ± 4.02%; PMS: -2.29 ± 2.40% vs -1.29 ± 3.20%) and healthy controls (0.02 ± 2.39% vs -0.56 ± 3.77%). GBSI performed better than CSA in differentiating healthy controls from CIS (area under the curve [AUC] = 0.66 vs 0.53; p = 0.03), RRMS (AUC = 0.73 vs 0.59; p < 0.001), PMS (AUC = 0.77 vs 0.53; p < 0.001), and patients with disability progression from patients without progression (AUC = 0.59 vs 0.50; p = 0.04). Sample size to detect 60% treatment effect on spinal cord atrophy over 1 year was lower for GBSI than CSA (CIS: 106 vs 830; RRMS: 95 vs 335; PMS: 44 vs 215; power = 80%; alpha = 5%). INTERPRETATION: The registration-based method (GBSI) allowed better separation between MS patients and healthy controls and improved statistical power, when compared with a conventional segmentation-based method (CSA), although it is still far from perfect. ANN NEUROL 2019.

2.
Brain ; 142(8): 2276-2287, 2019 Aug 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31342055

RESUMO

The clinical course of relapse-onset multiple sclerosis is highly variable. Demographic factors, clinical features and global brain T2 lesion load have limited value in counselling individual patients. We investigated early MRI predictors of key long-term outcomes including secondary progressive multiple sclerosis, physical disability and cognitive performance, 15 years after a clinically isolated syndrome. A cohort of patients with clinically isolated syndrome (n = 178) was prospectively recruited within 3 months of clinical disease onset and studied with MRI scans of the brain and spinal cord at study entry (baseline) and after 1 and 3 years. MRI measures at each time point included: supratentorial, infratentorial, spinal cord and gadolinium-enhancing lesion number, brain and spinal cord volumetric measures. The patients were followed-up clinically after ∼15 years to determine disease course, and disability was assessed using the Expanded Disability Status Scale, Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test and Symbol Digit Modalities Test. Multivariable logistic regression and multivariable linear regression models identified independent MRI predictors of secondary progressive multiple sclerosis and Expanded Disability Status Scale, Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test and Symbol Digit Modalities Test, respectively. After 15 years, 166 (93%) patients were assessed clinically: 119 (72%) had multiple sclerosis [94 (57%) relapsing-remitting, 25 (15%) secondary progressive], 45 (27%) remained clinically isolated syndrome and two (1%) developed other disorders. Physical disability was overall low in the multiple sclerosis patients (median Expanded Disability Status Scale 2, range 0-10); 71% were untreated. Baseline gadolinium-enhancing (odds ratio 3.16, P < 0.01) and spinal cord lesions (odds ratio 4.71, P < 0.01) were independently associated with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis at 15 years. When considering 1- and 3-year MRI variables, baseline gadolinium-enhancing lesions remained significant and new spinal cord lesions over time were associated with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis. Baseline gadolinium-enhancing (ß = 1.32, P < 0.01) and spinal cord lesions (ß = 1.53, P < 0.01) showed a consistent association with Expanded Disability Status Scale at 15 years. Baseline gadolinium-enhancing lesions was also associated with performance on the Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test (ß = - 0.79, P < 0.01) and Symbol Digit Modalities Test (ß = -0.70, P = 0.02) at 15 years. Our findings suggest that early focal inflammatory disease activity and spinal cord lesions are predictors of very long-term disease outcomes in relapse-onset multiple sclerosis. Established MRI measures, available in routine clinical practice, may be useful in counselling patients with early multiple sclerosis about long-term prognosis, and personalizing treatment plans.

3.
Magn Reson Med ; 82(3): 1025-1040, 2019 Sep.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31081239

RESUMO

PURPOSE: To enable clinical applications of quantitative magnetization transfer (qMT) imaging by developing a fast method to map one of its fundamental model parameters, the bound pool fraction (BPF), in the human brain. THEORY AND METHODS: The theory of steady-state MT in the fast-exchange approximation is used to provide measurements of BPF, and bound pool transverse relaxation time ( T 2 B ). A sequence that allows sampling of the signal during steady-state MT saturation is used to perform BPF mapping with a 10-min-long fully echo planar imaging-based MRI protocol, including inversion recovery T1 mapping and B1 error mapping. The approach is applied in 6 healthy subjects and 1 multiple sclerosis patient, and validated against a single-slice full qMT reference acquisition. RESULTS: BPF measurements are in agreement with literature values using off-resonance MT, with average BPF of 0.114(0.100-0.128) in white matter and 0.068(0.054-0.085) in gray matter. Median voxel-wise percentage error compared with standard single slice qMT is 4.6%. Slope and intercept of linear regression between new and reference BPF are 0.83(0.81-0.85) and 0.013(0.11-0.16). Bland-Altman plot mean bias is 0.005. In the multiple sclerosis case, the BPF is sensitive to pathological changes in lesions. CONCLUSION: The method developed provides accurate BPF estimates and enables shorter scan time compared with currently available approaches, demonstrating the potential of bringing myelin sensitive measurement closer to the clinic.

4.
Cereb Cortex ; 29(3): 1351-1368, 2019 Mar 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30615116

RESUMO

Action observation (AO) is crucial for motor planning, imitation learning, and social interaction, but it is not clear whether and how an action execution-observation network (AEON) processes the effort of others engaged in performing actions. In this functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study, we used a "squeeze ball" task involving different grip forces to investigate whether AEON activation showed similar patterns when executing the task or observing others performing it. Both in action execution, AE (subjects performed the visuomotor task) and action observation, AO (subjects watched a video of the task being performed by someone else), the fMRI signal was detected in cerebral and cerebellar regions. These responses showed various relationships with force mapping onto specific areas of the sensorimotor and cognitive systems. Conjunction analysis of AE and AO was repeated for the "0th" order and linear and nonlinear responses, and revealed multiple AEON nodes remapping the detection of actions, and also effort, of another person onto the observer's own cerebrocerebellar system. This result implies that the AEON exploits the cerebellum, which is known to process sensorimotor predictions and simulations, performing an internal assessment of forces and integrating information into high-level schemes, providing a crucial substrate for action imitation.

5.
J Neuroimaging ; 29(3): 410-417, 2019 May.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30582252

RESUMO

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-derived spinal cord (SC) gray and white matter (GM/WM) volume are useful indirect measures of atrophy and neurodegeneration over time, typically obtained in the upper SC. Neuropathological evidence suggests that in certain neurological conditions, early degeneration may occur as low as the sacral SC. In this study, the feasibility of GM/WM segmentation of the conus medullaris (CM) was assessed in vivo. METHODS: Twenty-three healthy volunteers (11 female, mean age 47 years) underwent high-resolution 3T MRI of the CM using a 3-dimensional fast field echo sequence. Reproducibility of the volume measurements was assessed in 5 subjects (2 female, 25-37 years) by one rater who repeated the analysis 3 times and also with 2 additional raters working independently in order to calculate the intra- and interrater coefficient of variation (COV), respectively. Furthermore, the influence of age, gender, spine and SC metrics on tissue-specific measures of the CM was investigated. RESULTS: Volumetric CM analyses (N = 23) for the SC, GM, and WM revealed a mean (SD) total volume of CM-TV = 1746.9 (296.7) mm3 , CM-GM-TV = 731.2 (106.0) mm3 , and CM-WM-TV = 1014.6 (211.3) mm3 , respectively. The intra-rater COV for measuring the CM-TV and CM-GM-TV was 3.38% and 7.42%, respectively; the interrater COV was 3.43% and 10.80%, respectively. Using age, gender, spine and SC metrics in regression models substantially reduced group variability for CM-TV, CM-WM-TV, and CM-GM-TV by up to 39.2%, 42.7%, and 21.2%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: The results from this study demonstrate the feasibility of obtaining tissue-specific volume measurements in the CM by means of MRI with good reproducibility and provide normative data for future applications in neurological diseases affecting the lower SC.

6.
Front Neurosci ; 12: 810, 2018.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30473659

RESUMO

Brain function has been investigated via the blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) effect using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for the past decades. Advances in sodium imaging offer the unique chance to access signal changes directly linked to sodium ions (23Na) flux across the cell membrane, which generates action potentials, hence signal transmission in the brain. During this process 23Na transiently accumulates in the intracellular space. Here we show that quantitative functional sodium imaging (fNaI) at 3T is potentially sensitive to 23Na concentration changes during finger tapping, which can be quantified in gray and white matter regions key to motor function. For the first time, we measured a 23Na concentration change of 0.54 mmol/l in the ipsilateral cerebellum, 0.46 mmol/l in the contralateral primary motor cortex (M1), 0.27 mmol/l in the corpus callosum and -11 mmol/l in the ipsilateral M1, suggesting that fNaI is sensitive to distributed functional alterations. Open issues persist on the role of the glymphatic system in maintaining 23Na homeostasis, the role of excitation and inhibition as well as volume distributions during neuronal activity. Haemodynamic and physiological signal recordings coupled to realistic models of tissue function will be critical to understand the mechanisms of such changes and contribute to meeting the overarching challenge of measuring neuronal activity in vivo.

7.
Magn Reson Med ; 2018 Sep 05.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30229564

RESUMO

PURPOSE: Time-dependence is a key feature of the diffusion-weighted (DW) signal, knowledge of which informs biophysical modelling. Here, we study time-dependence in the human spinal cord, as its axonal structure is specific and different from the brain. THEORY AND METHODS: We run Monte Carlo simulations using a synthetic model of spinal cord white matter (WM) (large axons), and of brain WM (smaller axons). Furthermore, we study clinically feasible multi-shell DW scans of the cervical spinal cord (b = 0; b = 711 s mm-2 ; b = 2855 s mm-2 ), obtained using three diffusion times (Δ of 29, 52 and 76 ms) from three volunteers. RESULTS: Both intra-/extra-axonal perpendicular diffusivities and kurtosis excess show time-dependence in our synthetic spinal cord model. This time-dependence is reflected mostly in the intra-axonal perpendicular DW signal, which also exhibits strong decay, unlike our brain model. Time-dependence of the total DW signal appears detectable in the presence of noise in our synthetic spinal cord model, but not in the brain. In WM in vivo, we observe time-dependent macroscopic and microscopic diffusivities and diffusion kurtosis, NODDI and two-compartment SMT metrics. Accounting for large axon calibers improves fitting of multi-compartment models to a minor extent. CONCLUSIONS: Time-dependence of clinically viable DW MRI metrics can be detected in vivo in spinal cord WM, thus providing new opportunities for the non-invasive estimation of microstructural properties. The time-dependence of the perpendicular DW signal may feature strong intra-axonal contributions due to large spinal axon caliber. Hence, a popular model known as "stick" (zero-radius cylinder) may be sub-optimal to describe signals from the largest spinal axons.

8.
Front Neurol ; 9: 690, 2018.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30177910

RESUMO

Resting state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) has provided important insights into functional reorganization in subjects with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) at different stage of disease. In this cross-sectional study we first assessed, by means of rs-fMRI, the impact of overall T2 lesion load (T2LL) and MS severity score (MSSS) on resting state networks (RSNs) in 62 relapsing remitting MS (RRMS) patients with mild disability (MSSS < 3). Independent Component Analysis (ICA) followed by dual regression analysis confirmed functional connectivity (FC) alterations of many RSNs in RRMS subjects compared to healthy controls. The anterior default mode network (DMNa) and the superior precuneus network (PNsup) showed the largest areas of decreased FC, while the sensory motor networks area M1 (SMNm1) and the medial visual network (MVN) showed the largest areas of increased FC. In order to better understand the nature of these alterations as well as the mechanisms of functional alterations in MS we proposed a method, based on linear regression, that takes into account FC changes and their correlation with T2LL and MSSS. Depending on the sign of the correlation between FC and T2LL, and furthermore the sign of the correlation with MSSS, we suggested the following possible underlying mechanisms to interpret altered FC: (1) FC reduction driven by MS lesions, (2) "true" functional compensatory mechanism, (3a) functional compensation attempt, (3b) "false" functional compensation, (4a) neurodegeneration, (4b) pre-symptomatic condition (damage precedes MS clinical manifestation). Our data shows areas satisfying 4 of these 6 conditions (i.e., 1,2,3b,4b), supporting the suggestion that increased FC has a complex nature that may exceed the simplistic assumption of an underlying compensatory mechanism attempting to limit the brain damage caused by MS progression. Exploring differences between RRMS subjects with short disease duration (MSshort) and RRMS with similar disability but longer disease duration (MSlong), we found that MSshort and MSlong were characterized by clearly distinct pattern of FC, involving predominantly sensory and cognitive networks respectively. Overall, these results suggest that the analysis of FC alterations in multiple large-scale networks in relation to radiological (T2LL) and clinical (MSSS, disease duration) status may provide new insights into the pathophysiology of relapse onset MS evolution.

9.
Neuroimage Clin ; 19: 466-475, 2018.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29984155

RESUMO

Atrophy of the brain grey matter (GM) is an accepted and important feature of multiple sclerosis (MS). However, its accurate measurement is hampered by various technical, pathological and physiological factors. As a consequence, it is challenging to investigate the role of GM atrophy in the disease process as well as the effect of treatments that aim to reduce neurodegeneration. In this paper we discuss the most important challenges currently hampering the measurement and interpretation of GM atrophy in MS. The focus is on measurements that are obtained in individual patients rather than on group analysis methods, because of their importance in clinical trials and ultimately in clinical care. We discuss the sources and possible solutions of the current challenges, and provide recommendations to achieve reliable measurement and interpretation of brain GM atrophy in MS.

10.
Neuroimage Clin ; 18: 814-821, 2018.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29876267

RESUMO

There is increasing recognition of a relationship between regional variability in cerebral gyrification and neurodevelopment. Recent work in morphometric MRI has shown that the local gyrification index (lGI), a measure of regional brain folding, may be altered in certain neurodevelopmental disorders. Other studies report that the lGI generally decreases with age in adolescence and young adulthood; however, little is known about how these age-dependent differences in brain maturation occur in atypical neurodevelopment and mechanisms underlying gyrification, such as synaptic pruning. Organization and optimization of dendrites and axons connections across the brain might be driving gyrification and folding processes. In this study, we first assessed lGI differences in the left hemisphere in a cohort of 39 children with developmental dyslexia (DD) between the ages of 7 and 15 years in comparison to 56 typically developing controls (TDC). To better understand the microstructural basis of these changes, we next explored the relationship between lGI differences and cortical thickness and neurite morphology by applying neurite orientation dispersion and density imaging (NODDI). We identified significant differences in lGI between children with DD and TDC in left lateral temporal and middle frontal regions. Further, DD failed to show the expected age-related decreases in lGI in the same regions. Age-related differences in lGI in DD were not explained by differences in cortical thickness, but did correlate with NODDI neurite density and orientation dispersion index. Our findings suggest that gyrification changes in DD are related to abnormal neurite morphology, and are possibly an expression of differences in synaptic pruning.

11.
Front Neurosci ; 12: 274, 2018.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29922120

RESUMO

Alzheimer disease (AD) and vascular dementia (VaD) together represent the majority of dementia cases. Since their neuropsychological profiles often overlap and white matter lesions are observed in elderly subjects including AD, differentiating between VaD and AD can be difficult. Characterization of these different forms of dementia would benefit by identification of quantitative imaging biomarkers specifically sensitive to AD or VaD. Parameters of microstructural abnormalities derived from diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) have been reported to be helpful in differentiating between dementias, but only few studies have used them to compare AD and VaD with a voxelwise approach. Therefore, in this study a whole brain statistical analysis was performed on DTI data of 93 subjects (31 AD, 27 VaD, and 35 healthy controls-HC) to identify specific white matter patterns of alteration in patients affected by VaD and AD with respect to HC. Parahippocampal tracts were found to be mainly affected in AD, while VaD showed more spread white matter damages associated with thalamic radiations involvement. The genu of the corpus callosum was predominantly affected in VaD, while the splenium was predominantly affected in AD revealing the existence of specific patterns of alteration useful in distinguishing between VaD and AD. Therefore, DTI parameters of these regions could be informative to understand the pathogenesis and support the etiological diagnosis of dementia. Further studies on larger cohorts of subjects, characterized for brain amyloidosis, will allow to confirm and to integrate the present findings and, furthermore, to elucidate the mechanisms of mixed dementia. These steps will be essential to translate these advances to clinical practice.

12.
Ann Clin Transl Neurol ; 5(3): 346-356, 2018 03.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29560379

RESUMO

Objective: To investigate the relationship between brain volume and disability worsening over ≥3 years in the natural history of primary progressive multiple sclerosis using data from the placebo group of the INFORMS trial (n = 487; clinicaltrials.gov NCT00731692). Methods: Magnetic resonance imaging scans were collected annually. Brain volume loss was determined using SIENA. Patients were stratified by baseline normalized brain volume after adjusting for demographic and disease-burden covariates. Results: Baseline normalized brain volume was predictive of disability worsening: Risk of 3-month confirmed disability progression was reduced by 36% for high versus low baseline normalized brain volume (Cox's model hazard ratio 0.64, P = 0.0339; log-rank test: P = 0.0297). Moreover, on-study brain volume loss was significantly associated with disability worsening (P = 0.012) and was evident in patients with or without new lesions or relapses. Brain volume loss depended significantly on baseline T2 lesion volume (P < 0.0001). Despite low inflammatory activity at baseline (13% of patients had gadolinium-enhancing lesions) and throughout the study (mean 0.5 new/enlarging T2 lesions and 172 mm3 T2 lesion volume increase per year), baseline T2 lesion volume was substantial (mean 10 cm3). Lower normalized brain volume at baseline correlated with higher baseline T2 volume and older age (both P < 0.0001). Interpretation: Baseline brain volume and the rate of ongoing brain atrophy are significantly associated with disability worsening in primary progressive multiple sclerosis. Brain volume loss is significantly related to baseline T2 lesion volume, but partially independent of new lesion activity, which might explain the limited efficacy of anti-inflammatory treatment.

13.
Magn Reson Med ; 79(5): 2576-2588, 2018 May.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28921614

RESUMO

PURPOSE: To develop a framework to fully characterize quantitative magnetization transfer indices in the human cervical cord in vivo within a clinically feasible time. METHODS: A dedicated spinal cord imaging protocol for quantitative magnetization transfer was developed using a reduced field-of-view approach with echo planar imaging (EPI) readout. Sequence parameters were optimized based in the Cramer-Rao-lower bound. Quantitative model parameters (i.e., bound pool fraction, free and bound pool transverse relaxation times [ T2F, T2B], and forward exchange rate [kFB ]) were estimated implementing a numerical model capable of dealing with the novelties of the sequence adopted. The framework was tested on five healthy subjects. RESULTS: Cramer-Rao-lower bound minimization produces optimal sampling schemes without requiring the establishment of a steady-state MT effect. The proposed framework allows quantitative voxel-wise estimation of model parameters at the resolution typically used for spinal cord imaging (i.e. 0.75 × 0.75 × 5 mm3 ), with a protocol duration of ∼35 min. Quantitative magnetization transfer parametric maps agree with literature values. Whole-cord mean values are: bound pool fraction = 0.11(±0.01), T2F = 46.5(±1.6) ms, T2B = 11.0(±0.2) µs, and kFB = 1.95(±0.06) Hz. Protocol optimization has a beneficial effect on reproducibility, especially for T2B and kFB . CONCLUSION: The framework developed enables robust characterization of spinal cord microstructure in vivo using qMT. Magn Reson Med 79:2576-2588, 2018. © 2017 The Authors Magnetic Resonance in Medicine published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

14.
Magn Reson Med ; 79(4): 2142-2148, 2018 Apr.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28736946

RESUMO

PURPOSE: To develop a fast and robust method for measuring T1 in the whole cervical spinal cord in vivo, and to assess its reproducibility. METHODS: A spatially nonselective adiabatic inversion pulse is combined with zonally oblique-magnified multislice echo-planar imaging to produce a reduced field-of-view inversion-recovery echo-planar imaging protocol. Multi- inversion time data are obtained by cycling slice order throughout sequence repetitions. Measurement of T1 is performed using 12 inversion times for a total protocol duration of 7 min. Reproducibility of regional T1 estimates is assessed in a scan-rescan experiment on five heathy subjects. RESULTS: Regional mean (standard deviation) T1 was: 1108.5 (±77.2) ms for left lateral column, 1110.1 (±83.2) ms for right lateral column, 1150.4 (±102.6) ms for dorsal column, and 1136.4 (±90.8) ms for gray matter. Regional T1 estimates showed good correlation between sessions (Pearson correlation coefficient = 0.89 (P value < 0.01); mean difference = 2 ms, 95% confidence interval ± 20 ms); and high reproducibility (intersession coefficient of variation approximately 1% in all the regions considered, intraclass correlation coefficient = 0.88 (P value < 0.01, confidence interval 0.71-0.95)). CONCLUSIONS: T1 estimates in the cervical spinal cord are reproducible using inversion-recovery zonally oblique-magnified multislice echo-planar imaging. The short acquisition time and large coverage of this method paves the way for accurate T1 mapping for various spinal cord pathologies. Magn Reson Med 79:2142-2148, 2018. © 2017 The Authors Magnetic Resonance in Medicine published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

15.
Sci Rep ; 7(1): 12841, 2017 Oct 09.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28993670

RESUMO

Cerebellar involvement in cognition, as well as in sensorimotor control, is increasingly recognized and is thought to depend on connections with the cerebral cortex. Anatomical investigations in animals and post-mortem humans have established that cerebro-cerebellar connections are contralateral to each other and include the cerebello-thalamo-cortical (CTC) and cortico-ponto-cerebellar (CPC) pathways. CTC and CPC characterization in humans in vivo is still challenging. Here advanced tractography was combined with quantitative indices to compare CPC to CTC pathways in healthy subjects. Differently to previous studies, our findings reveal that cerebellar cognitive areas are reached by the largest proportion of the reconstructed CPC, supporting the hypothesis that a CTC-CPC loop provides a substrate for cerebro-cerebellar communication during cognitive processing. Amongst the cerebral areas identified using in vivo tractography, in addition to the cerebral motor cortex, major portions of CPC streamlines leave the prefrontal and temporal cortices. These findings are useful since provide MRI-based indications of possible subtending connectivity and, if confirmed, they are going to be a milestone for instructing computational models of brain function. These results, together with further multi-modal investigations, are warranted to provide important cues on how the cerebro-cerebellar loops operate and on how pathologies involving cerebro-cerebellar connectivity are generated.

16.
Ann Clin Transl Neurol ; 4(9): 663-679, 2017 09.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28904988

RESUMO

OBJECTIVE: Conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the multiple sclerosis spinal cord is limited by low specificity regarding the underlying pathological processes, and new MRI metrics assessing microscopic damage are required. We aim to show for the first time that neurite orientation dispersion (i.e., variability in axon/dendrite orientations) is a new biomarker that uncovers previously undetected layers of complexity of multiple sclerosis spinal cord pathology. Also, we validate against histology a clinically viable MRI technique for dispersion measurement (neurite orientation dispersion and density imaging, NODDI), to demonstrate the strong potential of the new marker. METHODS: We related quantitative metrics from histology and MRI in four post mortem spinal cord specimens (two controls; two progressive multiple sclerosis cases). The samples were scanned at high field, obtaining maps of neurite density and orientation dispersion from NODDI and routine diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) indices. Histological procedures provided markers of astrocyte, microglia, myelin and neurofilament density, as well as neurite dispersion. RESULTS: We report from both NODDI and histology a trend toward lower neurite dispersion in demyelinated lesions, indicative of reduced neurite architecture complexity. Also, we provide unequivocal evidence that NODDI-derived dispersion matches its histological counterpart (P < 0.001), while DTI metrics are less specific and influenced by several biophysical substrates. INTERPRETATION: Neurite orientation dispersion detects a previously undescribed and potentially relevant layer of microstructural complexity of multiple sclerosis spinal cord pathology. Clinically feasible techniques such as NODDI may play a key role in clinical trial and practice settings, as they provide histologically meaningful dispersion indices.

17.
Hum Brain Mapp ; 38(5): 2566-2579, 2017 05.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28240422

RESUMO

The relationship between the BOLD response and an applied force was quantified in the cerebellum using a power grip task. To investigate whether the cerebellum responds in an on/off way to motor demands or contributes to motor responses in a parametric fashion, similarly to the cortex, five grip force levels were investigated under visual feedback. Functional MRI data were acquired in 13 healthy volunteers and their responses were analyzed using a cerebellum-optimized pipeline. This allowed us to evaluate, within the cerebellum, voxelwise linear and non-linear associations between cerebellar activations and forces. We showed extensive non-linear activations (with a parametric design), covering the anterior and posterior lobes of the cerebellum with a BOLD-force relationship that is region-dependent. Linear responses were mainly located in the anterior lobe, similarly to the cortex, where linear responses are localized in M1. Complex responses were localized in the posterior lobe, reflecting its key role in attention and executive processing, required during visually guided movement. Given the highly organized responses in the cerebellar cortex, a key question is whether deep cerebellar nuclei show similar parametric effects. We found positive correlations with force in the ipsilateral dentate nucleus and negative correlations on the contralateral side, suggesting a somatotopic organization of the dentate nucleus in line with cerebellar and cortical areas. Our results confirm that there is cerebellar organization involving all grey matter structures that reflect functional segregation in the cortex, where cerebellar lobules and dentate nuclei contribute to complex motor tasks with different BOLD response profiles in relation to the forces. Hum Brain Mapp 38:2566-2579, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Assuntos
Mapeamento Encefálico , Núcleos Cerebelares/irrigação sanguínea , Cerebelo/irrigação sanguínea , Oxigênio/sangue , Adulto , Núcleos Cerebelares/diagnóstico por imagem , Cerebelo/diagnóstico por imagem , Feminino , Lateralidade Funcional , Humanos , Processamento de Imagem Assistida por Computador , Imagem por Ressonância Magnética , Masculino , Análise e Desempenho de Tarefas
18.
Brain ; 140(2): 387-398, 2017 02.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28043954

RESUMO

In established multiple sclerosis, tissue abnormality-as assessed using magnetization transfer ratio-increases close to the lateral ventricles. We aimed to determine whether or not (i) these changes are present from the earliest clinical stages of multiple sclerosis; (ii) they occur independent of white matter lesions; and (iii) they are associated with subsequent conversion to clinically definite multiple sclerosis and disability. Seventy-one subjects had MRI scanning a median of 4.6 months after a clinically isolated optic neuritis (49 females, mean age 33.5 years) and were followed up clinically 2 and 5 years later. Thirty-seven healthy controls (25 females, mean age 34.4 years) were also scanned. In normal-appearing white matter, magnetization transfer ratio gradients were measured 1-5 mm and 6-10 mm from the lateral ventricles. In control subjects, magnetization transfer ratio was highest adjacent to the ventricles and decreased with distance from them; in optic neuritis, normal-appearing white matter magnetization transfer ratio was lowest adjacent to the ventricles, increased over the first 5 mm, and then paralleled control values. The magnetization transfer ratio gradient over 1-5 mm differed significantly between the optic neuritis and control groups [+0.059 percentage units/mm (pu/mm) versus -0.033 pu/mm, P = 0.010], and was significantly steeper in those developing clinically definite multiple sclerosis within 2 years compared to those who did not (0.132 pu/mm versus 0.016 pu/mm, P = 0.020). In multivariate binary logistic regression the magnetization transfer ratio gradient was independently associated with the development of clinically definite multiple sclerosis within 2 years (magnetization transfer ratio gradient odds ratio 61.708, P = 0.023; presence of T2 lesions odds ratio 8.500, P = 0.071). At 5 years, lesional measures overtook magnetization transfer ratio gradients as significant predictors of conversion to multiple sclerosis. The magnetization transfer ratio gradient was not significantly affected by the presence of brain lesions [T2 lesions (P = 0.918), periventricular T2 lesions (P = 0.580) or gadolinium-enhancing T1 lesions (P = 0.724)]. The magnetization transfer ratio gradient also correlated with Expanded Disability Status Scale score 5 years later (Spearman r = 0.313, P = 0.027). An abnormal periventricular magnetization transfer ratio gradient occurs early in multiple sclerosis, is clinically relevant, and may arise from one or more mechanisms that are at least partly independent of lesion formation.


Assuntos
Ventrículos Cerebrais/diagnóstico por imagem , Imagem por Ressonância Magnética , Esclerose Múltipla/diagnóstico por imagem , Adulto , Atrofia , Estudos de Coortes , Avaliação da Deficiência , Progressão da Doença , Feminino , Humanos , Processamento de Imagem Assistida por Computador , Modelos Logísticos , Masculino , Pessoa de Meia-Idade , Esclerose Múltipla/complicações , Neurite Óptica/diagnóstico por imagem , Neurite Óptica/etiologia , Prótons , Substância Branca/patologia , Adulto Jovem
19.
PLoS One ; 11(10): e0164890, 2016.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27741303

RESUMO

Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) has recently started to be adopted into clinical investigations of spinal cord (SC) diseases. However, DTI applications to the lower SC are limited due to a number of technical challenges, related mainly to the even smaller size of the SC structure at this level, its position relative to the receiver coil elements and the effects of motion during data acquisition. Developing methods to overcome these problems would offer new means to gain further insights into microstructural changes of neurological conditions involving the lower SC, and in turn could help explain symptoms such as bladder and sexual dysfunction. In this work, the feasibility of obtaining grey and white matter (GM/WM) DTI indices such as axial/radial/mean diffusivity (AD/RD/MD) and fractional anisotropy (FA) within the lumbosacral enlargement (LSE) was investigated using a reduced field-of-view (rFOV) single-shot echo-planar imaging (ss-EPI) acquisition in 14 healthy participants using a clinical 3T MR system. The scan-rescan reproducibility of the measurements was assessed by calculating the percentage coefficient of variation (%COV). Mean FA was higher in WM compared to GM (0.58 and 0.4 in WM and GM respectively), AD and MD were higher in WM compared to GM (1.66 µm2ms-1 and 0.94 µm2ms-1 in WM and 1.2 µm2ms-1 and 0.82 µm2ms-1 in GM for AD and MD respectively) and RD was lower in WM compared to GM (0.58 µm2ms-1 and 0.63 µm2ms-1 respectively). The scan-rescan %COV was lower than 10% in all cases with the highest values observed for FA and the lowest for MD. This pilot study demonstrates that it is possible to obtain reliable tissue-specific estimation of DTI indices within the LSE using a rFOV ss-EPI acquisition. The DTI acquisition and analysis protocol presented here is clinically feasible and may be used in future investigations of neurological conditions implicating the lower SC.


Assuntos
Imagem por Ressonância Magnética , Medula Espinal/diagnóstico por imagem , Adulto , Feminino , Substância Cinzenta/diagnóstico por imagem , Voluntários Saudáveis , Humanos , Processamento de Imagem Assistida por Computador , Masculino , Pessoa de Meia-Idade , Projetos Piloto , Reprodutibilidade dos Testes , Razão Sinal-Ruído , Substância Branca/diagnóstico por imagem , Adulto Jovem
20.
Front Neurosci ; 10: 380, 2016.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27656119

RESUMO

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by a severe derangement of cognitive functions, primarily memory, in elderly subjects. As far as the functional impairment is concerned, growing evidence supports the "disconnection syndrome" hypothesis. Recent investigations using fMRI have revealed a generalized alteration of resting state networks (RSNs) in patients affected by AD and mild cognitive impairment (MCI). However, it was unclear whether the changes in functional connectivity were accompanied by corresponding structural network changes. In this work, we have developed a novel structural/functional connectomic approach: resting state fMRI was used to identify the functional cortical network nodes and diffusion MRI to reconstruct the fiber tracts to give a weight to internodal subcortical connections. Then, local and global efficiency were determined for different networks, exploring specific alterations of integration and segregation patterns in AD and MCI patients compared to healthy controls (HC). In the default mode network (DMN), that was the most affected, axonal loss, and reduced axonal integrity appeared to compromise both local and global efficiency along posterior-anterior connections. In the basal ganglia network (BGN), disruption of white matter integrity implied that main alterations occurred in local microstructure. In the anterior insular network (AIN), neuronal loss probably subtended a compromised communication with the insular cortex. Cognitive performance, evaluated by neuropsychological examinations, revealed a dependency on integration and segregation of brain networks. These findings are indicative of the fact that cognitive deficits in AD could be associated not only with cortical alterations (revealed by fMRI) but also with subcortical alterations (revealed by diffusion MRI) that extend beyond the areas primarily damaged by neurodegeneration, toward the support of an emerging concept of AD as a "disconnection syndrome." Since only AD but not MCI patients were characterized by a significant decrease in structural connectivity, integrated structural/functional connectomics could provide a useful tool for assessing disease progression from MCI to AD.

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