Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) often demonstrates brain lesions in neuropsychiatric systemic lupus erythematosus (NPSL). The present study compared post-mortem histopathology with pre-mortem MRI in NPSL.
200 subjects with NPSLE were studied prospectively with MRI over a 10-year period during which 22 subjects died. In 14 subjects, a brain autopsy with histopathology that permitted direct comparison with pre mortem MRI was successfully obtained. Surface anatomy was used to determine the approximate location of individual lesions.
Pre mortem MRI findings in fatal NPSLE were small focal white matter lesions (100%), cortical atrophy (64%), ventricular dilation (57%), cerebral edema (50%), diffuse white matter abnormalities (43%), focal atrophy (36%), cerebral infarction (29%), acute leukoencephalopathy (25%), intracranial hemorrhage (21%), and calcifications (7%). Microscopic findings in fatal NPSLE included global ischemic changes (57%), parenchymal edema (50%), microhemorrhages (43%), glial hyperplasia (43%), diffuse neuronal/axonal loss (36%), resolved cerebral infarction (33%), microthomboemboli (29%), blood vessel remodeling (29%), acute cerebral infarction (14%), acute macrohemorrhages (14%), and resolved intracranial hemorrhages (7%). Cortical atrophy and ventricular dilation seen by MRI predicted brain mass at autopsy (r = -0.72, p = 0.01, and r = -0.77, p =0.01, respectively). Cerebral autopsy findings, including infarction, cerebral edema, intracranial hemorrhage, calcifications, cysts, and focal atrophy were also predicted accurately by pre mortem MRI.
Brain lesions in NPSLE detected by MRI accurately represent serious underlying cerebrovascular and parenchymal brain injury on pathology.
SLE; Neuropsychiatric; Magnetic Resonance; NPSLE; MRI; Autopsy
We assessed the relationship of insulin resistance with cognitive decline and brain atrophy over two years in early Alzheimer’s disease (AD, n=48) and nondemented controls (n=61). Intravenous glucose tolerance tests were conducted at baseline to determine insulin area-under-the-curve (AUC). A standard battery of cognitive tasks and MRI were conducted at baseline and 2-year follow-up. In nondemented controls, higher baseline insulin AUC was associated with 2-year decline in global cognitive performance (beta=−0.36, p=0.005). In early AD, however, higher insulin AUC was associated with less decline in global cognitive performance (beta=0.26, p=0.06), slower global brain atrophy (beta=0.40, p=0.01) and less regional atrophy in the bilateral hippocampi and cingulate cortices. While insulin resistance is associated with cognitive decline in nondemented aging, higher peripheral insulin may have AD-specific benefits or insulin signaling may be affected by systemic physiologic changes associated with AD.
Despite behavioral differences between genetic subtypes of Prader-Willi syndrome, no studies have been published characterizing brain structure in these subgroups. Our goal was to examine differences in the brain structure phenotype of common subtypes of Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) [chromosome 15q deletions and maternal uniparental disomy 15 (UPD)].
Fifteen individuals with PWS due to a typical deletion ((DEL) Type I; n=5, Type II; n=10), 8 with PWS due to UPD, and 25 age-matched healthy-weight individuals (HWC) participated in structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. A custom voxel-based morphometry processing stream was used to examine regional differences in gray and white matter volume between groups, covarying for age, sex, and body mass index (BMI).
Overall, compared to HWC, PWS individuals had lower gray matter volumes that encompassed the prefrontal, orbitofrontal and temporal cortices, hippocampus and parahippocampal gyrus, and lower white matter volumes in the brain stem, cerebellum, medial temporal and frontal cortex. Compared to UPD, the DEL subtypes had lower gray matter volume primarily in the prefrontal and temporal cortices, and lower white matter in the parietal cortex. The UPD subtype had more extensive lower gray and white matter volumes in the orbitofrontal and limbic cortices compared to HWC.
These preliminary findings are the first structural neuroimaging findings to support potentially separate neural mechanisms mediating the behavioral differences seen in these genetic subtypes.
chromosome 15q; hyperphagia; obesity; voxel-based morphometry; MRI
A hexanucleotide repeat expansion in C9ORF72 has been established as a common cause of frontotemporal dementia (FTD). However, the minimum repeat number necessary for disease pathogenesis is not known. The aims of our study were to determine the frequency of the C9ORF72 repeat expansion in two FTD patient collections (one Australian and one Spanish, combined n = 190), to examine C9ORF72 expansion allele length in a subset of FTD patients, and to examine C9ORF72 allele length in ‘non-expansion’ patients (those with <30 repeats). The C9ORF72 repeat expansion was detected in 5–17% of patients (21–41% of familial FTD patients). For one family, the expansion was present in the proband but absent in the mother, who was diagnosed with dementia at age 68. No association was found between C9ORF72 non-expanded allele length and age of onset and in the Spanish sample mean allele length was shorter in cases than in controls. Southern blotting analysis revealed that one of the nine ‘expansion-positive’ patients examined, who had neuropathologically confirmed frontotemporal lobar degeneration with TDP-43 pathology, harboured an ‘intermediate’ allele with a mean size of only ∼65 repeats. Our study indicates that the C9ORF72 repeat expansion accounts for a significant proportion of Australian and Spanish FTD cases. However, C9ORF72 allele length does not influence the age at onset of ‘non-expansion’ FTD patients in the series examined. Expansion of the C9ORF72 allele to as little as ∼65 repeats may be sufficient to cause disease.
Specific neurochemicals measured with proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS) may serve as biomarkers of pathological mechanism in the brain. We used high field in vivo
1H-MRS to measure a detailed neurochemical profile after experimental traumatic brain injury (TBI) in rats. We characterized neurochemical changes in the contused cortex and the normal-appearing perilesional hippocampus over a time course from 1 hour to 2 weeks after injury. We found significant changes in 19 out of 20 neurochemicals in the cortex, and 9 out of 20 neurochemicals in the hippocampus. These changes provide evidence of altered cellular metabolic status after TBI, with specific compounds proposed to reflect edema, excitotoxicity, neuronal and glial integrity, mitochondrial status and bioenergetics, oxidative stress, inflammation, and cell membrane disruption. Our results support the utility of 1H-MRS for monitoring cellular mechanisms of TBI pathology in animal models, and the potential of this approach for preclinical evaluation of novel therapies.
animal models; brain trauma; cell death mechanisms; MR spectroscopy; neurochemistry
The majority of research on obesity has focused primarily on clinical features (eating behavior, adiposity measures), or peripheral appetite-regulatory peptides (leptin, ghrelin). However, recent functional neuroimaging studies have demonstrated that some reward circuitry regions which are associated with appetite-regulatory hormones are also involved in the development and maintenance of obesity. Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS), characterized by hyperphagia and hyperghrelinemia reflecting multi-system dysfunction in inhibitory and satiety mechanisms, serves as an extreme model of genetic obesity. Simple (non-PWS) obesity (OB) represents an obesity control state.
This study investigated subcortical food motivation circuitry and prefrontal inhibitory circuitry functioning in response to food stimuli before and after eating in individuals with PWS compared with OB. We hypothesized that groups would differ in limbic regions (i.e., hypothalamus, amygdala) and prefrontal regions associated with cognitive control [i.e., dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), orbitofrontal cortex (OFC)] after eating.
Design and Participants
Fourteen individuals with PWS, 14 BMI- and age-matched individuals with OB, and 15 age-matched healthy-weight controls (HWC) viewed food and non-food images while undergoing functional MRI before (pre-meal) and after (post-meal) eating. Using SPM8, group contrasts were tested for hypothesized regions: hypothalamus, nucleus accumbens (NAc), amygdala, hippocampus, OFC, medial PFC, and DLPFC.
Compared with OB and HWC, PWS demonstrated higher activity in reward/limbic regions (NAc, amygdala) and lower activity in hypothalamus and hippocampus, in response to food (vs. non-food) images pre-meal. Post-meal, PWS exhibited higher subcortical activation (hypothalamus, amygdala, hippocampus) compared to OB and HWC. OB showed significantly higher activity versus PWS and HWC in cortical regions (DLPFC, OFC) associated with inhibitory control.
In PWS compared with obesity per se, results suggest hyperactivations in subcortical reward circuitry and hypoactivations in cortical inhibitory regions after eating, which provides evidence of neural substrates associated with variable abnormal food motivation phenotypes in PWS and simple obesity.
obesity; DLPFC; inhibition; motivation; fMRI; Prader-Willi syndrome
To assess the relative frequency of unique mutations and their associated characteristics in 97 individuals with mutations in progranulin (GRN), an important cause of frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD).
Participants and Design
A 46-site International Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration Collaboration was formed to collect cases of FTLD with TAR DNA-binding protein of 43-kDa (TDP-43)–positive inclusions (FTLD-TDP). We identified 97 individuals with FTLD-TDP with pathogenic GRN mutations (GRN+ FTLD-TDP), assessed their genetic and clinical characteristics, and compared them with 453 patients with FTLD-TDP in which GRN mutations were excluded (GRN− FTLD-TDP). No patients were known to be related. Neuropathologic characteristics were confirmed as FTLD-TDP in 79 of the 97 GRN+ FTLDTDP cases and all of the GRN− FTLD-TDP cases.
Age at onset of FTLD was younger in patients with GRN+ FTLD-TDP vs GRN− FTLD-TDP (median, 58.0 vs 61.0 years; P<.001), as was age at death (median, 65.5 vs 69.0 years; P<.001). Concomitant motor neuron disease was much less common in GRN+ FTLDTDP vs GRN− FTLD-TDP (5.4% vs 26.3%; P<.001). Fifty different GRN mutations were observed, including 2 novel mutations: c.139delG (p.D47TfsX7) and c.378C>A (p.C126X). The 2 most common GRN mutations were c.1477C>T (p.R493X, found in 18 patients, representing 18.6% of GRN cases) and c.26C>A (p.A9D, found in 6 patients, representing 6.2% of cases). Patients with the c.1477C>T mutation shared a haplotype on chromosome 17; clinically, they resembled patients with other GRN mutations. Patients with the c.26C>A mutation appeared to have a younger age at onset of FTLD and at death and more parkinsonian features than those with other GRN mutations.
GRN+ FTLD-TDP differs in key features from GRN− FTLD-TDP.
Dietary restriction (DR) has recognized health benefits that may extend to brain. We examined how DR affects bioenergetics-relevant enzymes and signaling pathways in the brains of C57BL/6 mice. Five month-old male mice were placed in ad libitum (AL) or one of two repeated fasting and refeeding (RFR) groups, an alternate day (intermittent fed; IF) or alternate day plus antioxidants (blueberry, pomegranate, and green tea extracts) (IF+AO) fed group. During the 24 hour fast blood glucose levels initially fell but stabilized within 6 hours of starting the fast, thus avoiding frank hypoglycemia. DR in general appeared to enhance insulin sensitivity. After six weeks brain AKT and GSK3β phosphorylation were lower in the RFR mice, suggesting RFR reduced brain insulin signaling pathway activity. Pathways that mediate mitochondrial biogenesis were not activated; AMPK phosphorylation, SIRT1 phosphorylation, PGC1a levels, and COX4 levels did not change. ATP levels also did not decline, which suggests the RFR protocols did not directly impact brain bioenergetics. Antioxidant supplementation did not affect the brain parameters we evaluated. Our data indicate in young adult male C57BL/6 mice, RFR primarily affects brain energy metabolism by reducing brain insulin signaling, which potentially results indirectly as a consequence of reduced peripheral insulin production.
antioxidants; brain; caloric restriction; dietary restriction; insulin; mitochondrial biogenesis
Background and Purpose
Our goal was to investigate whether certain metabolites, specific to neurons, glial cells, or the neuronal-glial neurotransmission system, in primary motor cortices (M1), are altered and correlated with clinical motor severity in chronic stroke.
Fourteen survivors of a single ischemic stroke located outside the M1 and 14 age-matched healthy control subjects were included. At >6 months after stroke, N-acetylaspartate, myo-inositol, and glutamate/glutamine were measured using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (in-plane resolution=5×5 mm2) in radiologically normal-appearing gray matter of the hand representation area, identified by functional MRI, in each M1. Metabolite concentrations and analyses of metabolite correlations within M1 were determined. Relationships between metabolite concentrations and arm motor impairment were also evaluated.
The stroke survivors showed lower N-acetylaspartate and higher myo-inositol across ipsilesional and contral-esional M1 compared with control subjects. Significant correlations between N-acetylaspartate and glutamate/glutamine were found in either M1. Ipsilesional N-acetylaspartate and glutamate/glutamine were positively correlated with arm motor impairment and contralesional N-acetylaspartate with time after stroke.
Our preliminary data demonstrated significant alterations of neuronal-glial interactions in spared M1 with the ipsilesional alterations related to stroke severity and contralesional alterations to stroke duration. Thus, MR spectroscopy might be a sensitive method to quantify relevant metabolite changes after stroke and consequently increase our knowledge of the factors leading from these changes in spared motor cortex to motor impairment after stroke.
1H-MRS; motor impairment; plasticity; primary motor cortex; stroke; plasticity
Background and Purpose
The safety of carotid artery stenting (CAS) and carotid endarterectomy (CEA) has varied by symptomatic status in previous trials. The Carotid Revascularization Endarterectomy versus Stenting Trial (CREST) data were analyzed to determine safety in symptomatic and asymptomatic patients.
CREST is a randomized trial comparing safety and efficacy of CAS versus CEA in patients with high-grade carotid stenoses. Patients were defined as symptomatic if they had relevant symptoms within 180 days of randomization. The primary endpoint was stroke, myocardial infarction, or death within the periprocedural period or ipsilateral stroke up to 4 years.
For 1321 symptomatic and 1181 asymptomatic patients, the periprocedural aggregate of stroke, myocardial infarction, and death did not differ between CAS and CEA (5.2% versus 4.5%; hazard ratio, 1.18; 95% CI, 0.82 to 1.68; P=0.38). The stroke and death rate was higher for CAS versus CEA (4.4% versus 2.3%; hazard ratio, 1.90; 95% CI, 1.21 to 2.98; P=0.005). For symptomatic patients, the periprocedural stroke and death rates were 6.0%±0.9% for CAS and 3.2%±0.7% for CEA (hazard ratio, 1.89; 95% CI, 1.11 to 3.21; P=0.02). For asymptomatic patients, the stroke and death rates were 2.5%±0.6% for CAS and 1.4%±0.5% for CEA (hazard ratio, 1.88; 95% CI, 0.79 to 4.42; P=0.15). Rates were lower for those aged <80 years.
There were no significant differences between CAS versus CEA by symptomatic status for the primary CREST endpoint. Periprocedural stroke and death rates were significantly lower for CEA in symptomatic patients. However, for both CAS and CEA stroke and death rates were below or comparable to those of previous randomized trials and were within the complication thresholds suggested in current guidelines for both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients.
carotid endarterectomy; cerebral infarct; cerebrovascular disease; clinical trials; myocardial infarction; stenting; surgery/endarterectomy
Neuromagnetic evoked fields were recorded to compare the adaptation of the primary somatosensory cortex (SI) response to tactile stimuli delivered to the glabrous skin at the fingertips of the first three digits (condition 1) and between midline upper and lower lips (condition 2). The stimulation paradigm allowed to characterize the response adaptation in the presence of functional integration of tactile stimuli from adjacent skin areas in each condition. At each stimulation site, cutaneous stimuli (50 ms duration) were delivered in three runs, using trains of 6 pulses with regular stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA). The pulses were separated by SOAs of 500 ms, 250 ms or 125 ms in each run, respectively, while the inter-train interval was fixed (5 s) across runs. The evoked activity in SI (contralateral to the stimulated hand, and bilaterally for lips stimulation) was characterized from the best-fit dipoles of the response component peaking around 70 ms for the hand stimulation, and 8 ms earlier (on average) for the lips stimulation. The SOA-dependent long-term adaptation effects were assessed from the change in the amplitude of the responses to the first stimulus in each train. The short-term adaptation was characterized by the lifetime of an exponentially saturating model function fitted to the set of suppression ratios of the second relative to the first SI response in each train. Our results indicate: 1) the presence of a rate-dependent long-term adaptation effect induced only by the tactile stimulation of the digits; and 2) shorter recovery lifetimes for the digits compared with the lips stimulation.
magnetoencephalography; somatosensory evoked fields
We compared white matter integrity with brain atrophy in healthy controls and participants with very mild dementia (Clinical Dementia Rating 0 vs. 0.5) from the Brain Aging Project, a longitudinal study of aging and memory at the University of Kansas Medical Center. Structural magnetic resonance imaging and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) including fractional anisotropy and mean diffusivity were performed on 27 patients with very mild dementia (Clinical Dementia Rating = 0.5) of the Alzheimer's type (DAT), and 32 cognitively normal subjects. Patient groups were compared across 6 volumetric measures and 14 DTI regions of interest. Very mildly demented patients showed expected disease-related patterns of brain atrophy with reductions in whole-brain and hippocampal volumes most prominent. DTI indices of white matter integrity were mixed. Right parahippocampus showed significant but small disease-related reductions in fractional anisotropy. Right parahippocampus and left internal capsule showed greater mean diffusivity in early DAT compared with controls. A series of discriminant analyses demonstrated that gray matter atrophy was a significantly better predictor of dementia status than were DTI indices. Brain atrophy was most strongly related to very mild DAT. Modest disease-related white matter anomalies were present in temporal cortex, and deep white matter had limited discriminatory diagnostic power, probably because of the very mild stage of disease in these participants.
Alzheimer's disease; brain atrophy; diffusion tensor imaging (DTI); white matter disease
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is associated with altered body composition with weight loss beginning years prior to the onset of dementia. We examined body composition in early AD and nondemented individuals and its relation to cognition and brain volume.
Cross-sectional, case-control study
Alzheimer and Memory Program at the University of Kansas School of Medicine
Nondemented (Clinical Dementia Rating [CDR] 0, n=70) and early-stage AD (CDR 0.5 or 1, n=70) participants.
Main Outcome Measures
Participants were evaluated with brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), neuropsychological testing and dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) to determine whole-body fat mass and lean mass. Body mass index (BMI) was determined from height and weight.
Lean mass was reduced in early AD compared to nondemented controls (F=7.73, p=0.006) after controlling for sex. Whole-brain volume (beta=0.20, p<0.001), white matter volume (beta=0.19, p<0.001), and global cognitive performance (beta=0.12, p=0.007) were associated with lean mass (dependent variable) when controlling for age and sex. Total body fat and percent body fat were not different across groups or related to cognition and brain volume.
Loss of lean mass is accelerated in AD and associated with brain atrophy and cognitive performance perhaps as a direct or indirect consequence of AD pathophysiology or through shared mechanisms common to both AD and sarcopenia.
Alzheimer’s disease; brain atrophy; whole brain volume; lean body mass; sarcopenia
Accelerated bone loss is associated with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Although the central nervous system plays a direct role in regulating bone mass, primarily through the actions of the hypothalamus, there is little work investigating the possible role of neurodegeneration in bone loss. In this cross-sectional study, we examined the association between bone mineral density (BMD) and neuroimaging markers of neurodegeneration (i.e., global and regional measures of brain volume) in early AD and non-demented aging. Fifty-five non-demented and 63 early AD participants underwent standard neurological and neuropsychological assessment, structural MRI scanning, and dual energy x-ray absorptiometry. In early AD, voxel-based morphometry analyses demonstrated that low BMD was associated with low volume in limbic grey matter (GM) including the hypothalamus, cingulate, and parahippocampal gyri and in the left superior temporal gyrus and left inferior parietal cortex. No relationship between BMD and regional GM volume was found in non-demented controls. The hypothesis-driven region of interest analysis further isolating the hypothalamus demonstrated a positive relationship between BMD and hypothalamic volume after controlling for age and gender in the early AD group but not in non-demented controls. These results demonstrate that lower BMD is associated with lower hypothalamic volume in early AD, suggesting that central mechanisms of bone remodeling may be disrupted by neurodegeneration.
Alzheimer’s disease; bone density; hypothalamus; voxel-based morphometry
Carotid-artery stenting and carotid endarterectomy are both options for treating carotid-artery stenosis, an important cause of stroke.
We randomly assigned patients with symptomatic or asymptomatic carotid stenosis to undergo carotid-artery stenting or carotid endarterectomy. The primary composite end point was stroke, myocardial infarction, or death from any cause during the periprocedural period or any ipsilateral stroke within 4 years after randomization.
For 2502 patients over a median follow-up period of 2.5 years, there was no significant difference in the estimated 4-year rates of the primary end point between the stenting group and the endarterectomy group (7.2% and 6.8%, respectively; hazard ratio with stenting, 1.11; 95% confidence interval, 0.81 to 1.51; P = 0.51). There was no differential treatment effect with regard to the primary end point according to symptomatic status (P = 0.84) or sex (P = 0.34). The 4-year rate of stroke or death was 6.4% with stenting and 4.7% with endarterectomy (hazard ratio, 1.50; P = 0.03); the rates among symptomatic patients were 8.0% and 6.4% (hazard ratio, 1.37; P = 0.14), and the rates among asymptomatic patients were 4.5% and 2.7% (hazard ratio, 1.86; P = 0.07), respectively. Periprocedural rates of individual components of the end points differed between the stenting group and the endarterectomy group: for death (0.7% vs. 0.3%, P = 0.18), for stroke (4.1% vs. 2.3%, P = 0.01), and for myocardial infarction (1.1% vs. 2.3%, P = 0.03). After this period, the incidences of ipsilateral stroke with stenting and with endarterectomy were similarly low (2.0% and 2.4%, respectively; P = 0.85).
Among patients with symptomatic or asymptomatic carotid stenosis, the risk of the composite primary outcome of stroke, myocardial infarction, or death did not differ significantly in the group undergoing carotid-artery stenting and the group undergoing carotid endarterectomy. During the periprocedural period, there was a higher risk of stroke with stenting and a higher risk of myocardial infarction with endarterectomy. (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00004732.)
Exercise and cardiorespiratory (CR) fitness may moderate age-related regional brain changes in nondemented older adults (ND). The relationship of fitness to Alzheimer's disease (AD) related brain change is understudied, particularly in the hippocampus which is disproportionately affected in early AD. The role of apolipoprotein E4 (apoE4) genotype in modulating this relationship is also unknown. Nondemented (n=56) and early-stage AD subjects (n=61) over age 65 had MRI and CR fitness assessments. Voxel-based morphometry (VBM) techniques were utilized to identify AD-related atrophy. We analyzed the relationship of CR fitness with white and gray matter within groups, assessed fitness-related brain volume change in areas most affected by AD-related atrophy, and then analyzed differential fitness-brain relationships between apoE4 carriers. Atrophy was present in the medial temporal, temporal, and parietal cortices in subjects with mild AD. There was a significant positive correlation of CR fitness with parietal and medial temporal volume in AD subjects. ND subjects did not have a significant relationship between brain volume and CR fitness in the global or SVC analyses. There was not a significant interaction for fitness × apoE4 genotype in either group. In early-stage AD, cardiorespiratory fitness is associated with regional brain volumes in the medial temporal and parietal cortices suggesting that maintaining cardiorespiratory fitness may modify AD-related brain atrophy.
Alzheimer Disease; Cardiorespiratory Fitness; Physical Activity; Hippocampus; Voxel-Based-Morphometry; APOE; Dementia; Aging
Studies suggest a link between bone loss and Alzheimer’s disease. To examine bone mineral density (BMD) in early Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and its relationship to brain structure and cognition we evaluated 71 patients with early stage AD (Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) 0.5 and 1) and 69 non-demented elderly control participants (CDR 0). Measures included whole body BMD by dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and normalized whole brain volumes computed from structural MRI scans. Cognition was assessed with a standard neuropsychological test battery. Mean BMD was lower in the early AD group (1.11 ± 0.13) compared to the non-demented control group (1.16 ± 0.12, p=0.02), independent of age, sex, habitual physical activity, smoking, depression, estrogen replacement, and apolipoprotein E4 carrier status. In the early AD group, BMD was related to whole brain volume (b=0.18, p=0.03). BMD was also associated with cognitive performance, primarily in tests of memory (logical memory [b=0.15, p=0.04], delayed logical memory [b=0.16, p=0.02], and the selective reminding task, free recall [b=0.18, p=0.009]). Bone mineral density is reduced in the earliest clinical stages of AD and associated with brain atrophy and memory decline, suggesting that central mechanisms may contribute to bone loss in early Alzheimer’s disease.
bone mineral density; brain atrophy; Alzheimer’s; memory; hypothalamus
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major cause of neurological disability across all ages, but the elderly are particularly vulnerable and have a worse prognosis than younger individuals. To advance the understanding of long-term pathogenesis induced by TBI in the elderly, aged mice (21–24 months) were given a controlled cortical impact (CCI) injury to the sensorimotor cortex, and their brains were analyzed by MRI and histopathology at 1 and 2 months after CCI injury, a post-acute period. A T2 hypointensity was observed in the ipsilateral thalamus but not in the contralateral thalamus or in the thalamus of sham operated, control mice. The hypointensity was colocalized with increased histochemical staining of iron, a paramagnetic substance that causes a shortening of the T2 relaxation time. Since iron catalyzes reactions that lead to toxic free radicals, the deposition of iron in the thalamus raises the possibility that it promotes pathogenesis following TBI. Astrocyte gliosis and microgliosis were also observed in the ipsilateral thalamus in the post-acute period. The ipsilateral internal capsule displayed a trend for a T2 hypointensity, however, unlike the thalamus it did not have an increase of iron or GFAP staining, but it did have evidence of microgliosis. In summary, areas of T2 hypointensity were revealed in both the thalamus and internal capsule during the post-acute period following CCI injury, but the underlying pathology appeared to be distinct between these regions.
T2 hypointensity; iron; traumatic brain injury; GFAP; Iba1
Some patients with mild or moderate thoracic scoliosis (Cobb angle <50-60 degrees) suffer disproportionate impairment of pulmonary function associated with deformities in the sagittal plane and reduced flexibility of the spine and chest cage. Long-term improvement in the clinical signs and symptoms of childhood onset scoliosis in an adult, without surgical intervention, has not been documented previously.
A diagnosis of thoracic scoliosis (Cobb angle 45 degrees) with pectus excavatum and thoracic hypokyphosis in a female patient (DOB 9/17/52) was made in June 1964. Immediate spinal fusion was strongly recommended, but the patient elected a daily home exercise program taught during a 6-week period of training by a physical therapist. This regime was carried out through 1992, with daily aerobic exercise added in 1974. The Cobb angle of the primary thoracic curvature remained unchanged. Ongoing clinical symptoms included dyspnea at rest and recurrent respiratory infections. A period of multimodal treatment with clinical monitoring and treatment by an osteopathic physician was initiated when the patient was 40 years old. This included deep tissue massage (1992-1996); outpatient psychological therapy (1992-1993); a daily home exercise program focused on mobilization of the chest wall (1992-2005); and manipulative medicine (1994-1995, 1999-2000). Progressive improvement in chest wall excursion, increased thoracic kyphosis, and resolution of long-standing respiratory symptoms occurred concomitant with a >10 degree decrease in Cobb angle magnitude of the primary thoracic curvature.
This report documents improved chest wall function and resolution of respiratory symptoms in response to nonsurgical approaches in an adult female, diagnosed at age eleven years with idiopathic scoliosis.
Differences in behavioral phenotypes between the two most common subtypes of Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) [chromosome 15q deletions and maternal uniparental disomy 15 (UPD)] indicate that distinct neural networks may be affected. Though both subtypes display hyperphagia, the deletion subgroup demonstrates reduced behavioral inhibition around food, whereas those with UPD are generally more able to maintain cognitive control over food intake impulses.
To examine the neural basis of phenotypic differences to better understand relationships between genetic subtypes and behavioral outcomes. We predicted greater food motivation circuitry activity in the deletion subtype and greater activity in higher order cognitive regions in the UPD group, especially after eating.
Design and Subjects
Nine individuals with PWS due to UPD and 9 individuals with PWS due to (type 2) deletion, matched for age, gender, and BMI, underwent fMRI scanning while viewing food images during two food motivation states: one before (pre-meal) and one after (post-meal) eating a standardized 500 kcal meal.
Both PWS subgroups demonstrated greater activity in response to food pre- and post-meal compared to the healthy-weight group. Compared to UPD, the deletion subtype showed increased food motivation network activation both pre- and post-meal, especially in the medial prefrontal cortex and amygdala. In contrast, the UPD group demonstrated greater activation than the deletion subtype post-meal in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and parahippocampal gyrus.
These preliminary findings are the first functional neuroimaging findings to support divergent neural mechanisms associated with behavioral phenotypes in genetic subtypes of PWS. Results are discussed within the framework of genetic mechanisms such as haploinsufficiency and gene dosage effects and their differential influence on deletion and UPD subtypes, respectively.
hyperphagia; obesity; genetic phenotypes; fMRI; brain activity; Prader-Willi syndrome
Examine the correlation of cardiorespiratory fitness with brain atrophy and cognition in early-stage Alzheimer’s disease (AD).
In normal aging physical fitness appears to mitigate functional and structural age-related brain changes. Whether this is observed in AD is not known.
Nondemented (n=64) and early-stage AD subjects (n=57) had MRI and standard clinical and psychometric evaluations. Peak oxygen consumption (VO2peak), the standard measure of cardiorespiratory fitness, was assessed during a graded treadmill test. Normalized whole brain volume, a brain atrophy estimate, was determined by MRI. Pearson’s correlation and linear regression were used to assess fitness in relation to brain volume and cognitive performance.
Cardiorespiratory fitness (VO2peak) was modestly reduced in AD (34.7(5.0)ml/kg/min) vs. nondemented subjects (38.1(6.3)ml/kg/min, p=0.002). In early AD, VO2peak was associated with whole brain volume (beta=0.35, p=0.02) and white matter volume (beta=0.35, p=0.04) after controlling for age. Controlling for additional covariates of sex, dementia severity, physical activity, and physical frailty did not attenuate the relationships. VO2peak was associated with performance on delayed memory and digit symbol in early AD but not after controlling for age. In nondemented participants, there was no relationship between fitness and brain atrophy. Fitness in nondemented participants was associated with better global cognitive performance (r=0.30, p=0.02) and performance on Trailmaking A and B, Stroop, and delayed logical memory but not after controlling for age.
Increased cardiorespiratory fitness is associated with reduced brain atrophy in AD. Cardiorespiratory fitness may moderate AD-related brain atrophy or a common underlying AD-related process may impact both brain atrophy and cardiorespiratory fitness.
Alzheimer’s disease; cardiorespiratory fitness; atrophy
Frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) represents a clinically, pathologically and genetically heterogenous neurodegenerative disorder, often complicated by neurological signs such as motor neuron-related limb weakness, spasticity and paralysis, parkinsonism and gait disturbances. Linkage to chromosome 9p had been reported for pedigrees with the neurodegenerative disorder, frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) and motor neuron disease (MND). The objective in this study is to identify the genetic locus in a multi-generational Australian family with FTLD-MND.
Clinical review and standard neuropathological analysis of brain sections from affected pedigree members. Genome-wide scan using microsatellite markers and single nucleotide polymorphism fine mapping. Examination of candidate genes by direct DNA sequencing.
Neuropathological examination revealed cytoplasmic deposition of the TDP-43 protein in three affected individuals. Moreover, we identify a family member with clinical Alzheimer's disease, and FTLD-Ubiquitin neuropathology. Genetic linkage and haplotype analyses, defined a critical region between markers D9S169 and D9S1845 on chromosome 9p21. Screening of all candidate genes within this region did not reveal any novel genetic alterations that co-segregate with disease haplotype, suggesting that one individual carrying a meiotic recombination may represent a phenocopy. Re-analysis of linkage data using the new affection status revealed a maximal two-point LOD score of 3.24 and a multipoint LOD score of 3.41 at marker D9S1817. This provides the highest reported LOD scores from a single FTLD-MND pedigree.
Our reported increase in the minimal disease region should inform other researchers that the chromosome 9 locus may be more telomeric than predicted by published recombination boundaries. Moreover, the existence of a family member with clinical Alzheimer's disease, and who shares the disease haplotype, highlights the possibility that late-onset AD patients in the other linked pedigrees may be mis-classified as sporadic dementia cases.
Inflammatory changes are a prominent feature of brains affected by Alzheimer's disease (AD). Activated glial cells release inflammatory cytokines which modulate the neurodegenerative process. These cytokines are encoded by genes representing several interleukins and TNFA, which are associated with AD. The gene coding for HLA-B associated transcript 1 (BAT1) lies adjacent to TNFA in the central major histocompatibility complex (MHC). BAT1, a member of the DEAD-box family of RNA helicases, appears to regulate the production of inflammatory cytokines associated with AD pathology. In the current study TNFA and BAT1 promoter polymorphisms were analysed in AD and control cases and BAT1 mRNA levels were investigated in brain tissue from AD and control cases.
Genotyping was performed for polymorphisms at positions -850 and -308 in the proximal promoter of TNFA and position -22 in the promoter of BAT1. These were investigated singly or in haplotypic association in a cohort of Australian AD patients with AD stratified on the basis of their APOE ε4 genotype. Semi-quantitative RT-PCR was also performed for BAT1 from RNA isolated from brain tissue from AD and control cases.
APOE ε4 was associated with an independent increase in risk for AD in individuals with TNFA -850*2, while carriage of BAT1 -22*2 reduced the risk for AD, independent of APOE ε4 genotype. Semi-quantitative mRNA analysis in human brain tissue showed elevated levels of BAT1 mRNA in frontal cortex of AD cases.
These findings lend support to the application of TNFA and BAT1 polymorphisms in early diagnosis or risk assessment strategies for AD and suggest a potential role for BAT1 in the regulation of inflammatory reactions in AD pathology.
Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is a genetic disorder associated with developmental delay, obesity, and obsessive behavior related to food consumption. The most striking symptom of PWS is hyperphagia; as such, PWS may provide important insights into factors leading to overeating and obesity in the general population. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to study the neural mechanisms underlying responses to visual food stimuli, before and after eating, in individuals with PWS and a healthy weight control (HWC) group.
Research Methods and Procedures
Participants were scanned once before (pre-meal) and once after (post-meal) eating a standardized meal. Pictures of food, animals, and blurred control images were presented in a block design format during acquisition of functional magnetic resonance imaging data.
Statistical contrasts in the HWC group showed greater activation to food pictures in the pre-meal condition compared with the post-meal condition in the amygdala, orbitofrontal cortex, medial prefrontal cortex (medial PFC), and frontal operculum. In comparison, the PWS group exhibited greater activation to food pictures in the post-meal condition compared with the pre-meal condition in the orbitofrontal cortex, medial PFC, insula, hippocampus, and parahippocampal gyrus. Between-group contrasts in the pre- and post-meal conditions confirmed group differences, with the PWS group showing greater activation than the HWC group after the meal in food motivation networks.
Results point to distinct neural mechanisms associated with hyperphagia in PWS. After eating a meal, the PWS group showed hyperfunction in limbic and para-limbic regions that drive eating behavior (e.g., the amygdala) and in regions that suppress food intake (e.g., the medial PFC).
amygdala; Prader-Willi syndrome; functional magnetic resonance imaging; food motivation; genetics
Dramatic increases in childhood obesity necessitate a more complete understanding of neural mechanisms of hunger and satiation in pediatric populations. In this study, normal weight children and adolescents underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanning before and after eating a meal. Participants showed increased activation to visual food stimuli in the amygdala, medial frontal/orbitofrontal cortex, and insula in the pre-meal condition; no regions of interest responded in the post-meal condition. These results closely parallel previous findings in adults. In addition, we found evidence for habituation to food stimuli in the amygdala within the pre-meal session. These findings provide evidence that normal patterns of neural activity related to food motivation begin in childhood. Results have implications for obese children and adults, who may have abnormal hunger and satiation mechanisms.
Amygdala; Obesity; fMRI; Food motivation; Pediatric