Offspring whose parents have Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are at increased risk for developing dementia. Patients with AD typically exhibit disruptions in the default mode network (DMN). The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of a family history of late-onset AD on DMN integrity in cognitively normal individuals. In particular, we determined whether a family history effect is detectable in apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4 allele non-carriers.
We studied a cohort of 348 cognitively normal participants with or without family history of late-onset AD. DMN integrity was assessed by resting state functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging.
A family history of late-onset AD was associated with reduced resting state functional connectivity between particular nodes of the DMN, namely the posterior cingulate and medial temporal cortex. The observed functional connectivity reduction was not attributable to medial temporal structural atrophy. Importantly, we detected a family history effect on DMN functional connectivity in APOE ε4 allele non-carriers.
Unknown genetic factors, embodied in a family history of late-onset AD, may affect DMN integrity prior to cognitive impairment.
HIV preferentially affects white matter (WM) in the brain. While combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) reduces HIV viral load within the brain, continued inflammation can persist. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) provides a non-invasive method to assess WM structural integrity in the cART era. We examined the impact of HIV and cART on WM integrity within the corpus callosum (CC) and centrum semiovale (CSO) using DTI. Neuropsychological testing and DTI scans were acquired for a cross-sectional cohort consisting of 63 individuals that were divided into one of three groups: 21 HIV-uninfected (HIV-) controls, 21 HIV-infected (HIV+) subjects naïve to cART (HIV+/cART-), and 21 HIV+ subjects receiving stable cART (HIV+/cART+). DTI measures (fractional anisotropy (FA), mean diffusivity (MD), axial diffusivity (AD), radial diffusivity (RD)) were obtained for the genu, splenium, and body of the CC as well as the CSO. A subset of the HIV+/cART- individuals (n=10) were also longitudinally assessed immediately before and approximately 6 months after receiving stable therapy. Differences among the cross-sectional groups were assessed using an ANOVA while paired t-tests evaluated longitudinal changes. The HIV+/cART- participants had significantly lower MD, AD, and RD for each CC region and the CSO compared to HIV- controls and HIV+/cART+ individuals. Observed decreases in DTI parameters could reflect the presence of inflammatory cells or cytotoxic edema in the WM of HIV+/cART- subjects. No significant difference existed between HIV- controls and HIV+/cART+ subjects. In some HIV+ subjects, initiation of cART led to significant increases in MD, RD, and AD but not FA in the CC and CSO regions. Observed changes in DTI parameters in the WM after initiating cART could reflect reduced neuro-inflammation. Future DTI studies may be useful in evaluating the efficacy of cART regimens with higher brain penetration.
HIV; Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI); Combination Antiretroviral Therapy (cART); Corpus Callosum (CC); Centrum Semiovale (CSO)
In HIV populations that are aging due to improved longevity with combination antiretroviral therapy (CART), both hypertriglyceridemia (hTRG) and sensory neuropathy have become increasingly common. Sensory neuropathy is associated with substantial long-term disability and frequently requires management with analgesics. Elevated serum triglycerides (TRGs) are associated with an increased risk for sensory neuropathy in diabetes mellitus. However, the contribution of hTRG to sensory neuropathy in HIV has not been carefully evaluated.
Prospective, comparative, single-center, cross-sectional cohort study.
Clinical correlates of sensory neuropathy were assessed in HIV-positive and HIV-negative participants. HIV-sensory neuropathy was defined as one or more clinical signs of reduced distal sensation or ankle reflexes; symptoms were distal leg and foot pain, parasthesias or numbness. TRG levels were assessed along with concomitant metabolic and other risk factors including glucose, lipids, age, height, current and nadir CD4, and past or current use of protease inhibitors, dideoxynucleoside antiretrovirals (d-drugs), and statins in univariable and multivariable logistic regression.
Of 436 HIV patients (median age 52 years; 75% on CART), 27% had sensory neuropathy; 48% were symptomatic. TRG levels were significantly higher in HIV-positive than HIV-negative individuals (mean ± SD, 245 ± 242 versus 160 ± 97 mg/dl; P < 0.001). Among HIV-positive patients, those with TRG levels in the highest tertile (≥ 244 mg/dl) were more likely to have sensory neuropathy than those in the lowest tertile (reference, ≤ 142 mg/dl) after adjusting for concurrent predictors (adjusted odds ratio 2.7, 95% confidence interval 1.4–5.5).
Elevated triglyceride levels increased the risk for HIV-sensory neuropathy in HIV-positive individuals independently of other known risk factors.
antiretroviral; HIV; sensory neuropathy; triglyceride
Previous studies have reported cognitive deficits among HIV-positive individuals infected with clade C virus. However, no study has examined whether individuals predominately infected with clade C virus exhibit brain atrophy relative to healthy controls. This study examined volumetric differences between 28 HIV+ individuals and 23 HIV− controls from South Africa. Volumetric measures were obtained from six regions of interest--caudate, thalamus, corpus callosum, total cortex, total gray matter, and total white matter. HIV+ participants had significantly lower volumes in the total white matter (p<.01), thalamus (p<.01) and total gray matter (inclusive of cortical and subcortical regions, p<.01). The current study is the first to provide evidence of brain atrophy among HIV+ individuals in South Africa, where HIV Clade C predominates. Additional research that integrates neuroimaging, comprehensive neuropsychological testing, genetic variance in clade-specific proteins, and the impact of treatment with ARVs are necessary to understand the development of HIV-related neurocognitive disorders in South Africa.
This study compared the neurology residency training experience for a single neurology resident at the University of Pennsylvania from the years 2002–2005. The prevalence of encounters seen during this residency was compared to the prevalence of neurological disorders typically observed by ambulatory neurologists in the United States (US). A total of 1,333 patients were evaluated during this residency. Ischemic stroke/ transient ischemic accident, epilepsy, metabolic encephalopathy, peripheral neuropathy, and multiple sclerosis were the most common neurological disorders observed. The four most common reasons for an outpatient visit to a neurologist (i.e. headache/migraine, epilepsy, cerebrovascular disease, and peripheral neuropathy) typically account for ~ 49–55% of all appointments, but only contributed to ~40% of patient encounters during this neurology residency. While these results reflect the encounters of a single neurology resident, both the total number and distribution of neurological diagnoses were similar to previous experiences over two decades ago at US academic medical centers despite significant changes in health care delivery and policy. This case report demonstrates that neurology residency programs continue to overemphasize acute management of inpatient neurological disorders compared to outpatient care of more prevalent neurological complaints. Additional measures could be instituted to ensure a broader range of experiences during residency (i.e. online resident log). These methods could allow residency coordinators to identify certain areas of deficiency in regards to exposure to patients for a resident and ensure greater competency during residency.
Neurocognitive impairment remains prevalent in HIV infected (HIV+) individuals despite highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART). We assessed the impact of HIV, HAART, and aging using structural neuroimaging.
Seventy-eight participants (HIV− (n=26), HIV+ on stable HAART (HIV+/HAART+; n=26), HIV+ naive to HAART (HIV+/HAART−; n=26)) completed neuroimaging and neuropsychological testing. A subset of HIV+ subjects (n = 12) performed longitudinal assessments before and after initiating HAART. Neuropsychological tests evaluated memory, psychomotor speed, and executive function and a composite neuropsychological score was calculated based on normalized performances (NPZ-4). Volumetrics were evaluated for the amygdala, caudate, thalamus, hippocampus, putamen, corpus callosum, cerebral grey and white matter. A three-group one way analysis of variance assessed differences in neuroimaging and neuropsychological indices. Correlations were examined between NPZ-4 and volumetrics. Exploratory testing using a broken stick regression model evaluated self-reported duration of HIV infection on brain structure.
HIV+ individuals had significant reductions in brain volumetrics within select subcortical regions (amygdala, caudate, and corpus callosum) compared to HIV− participants. However, HAART did not affect brain structure as regional volumes were similar for HIV+/HAART− and HIV+/HAART+. No association existed between NPZ-4 and volumetrics. HIV and aging were independently associated with volumetric reductions. Exploratory analyses suggest caudate atrophy due to HIV slowly occurs after self-reported seroconversion.
HIV associated volumetric reductions within the amygdala, caudate, and corpus callosum occurs despite HAART. A gradual decline in caudate volume occurs after self-reported seroconversion. HIV and aging independently increase brain vulnerability. Additional longitudinal structural MRI studies, especially within older HIV+ participants, are required.
HIV; HAART; aging; brain volume
Different brain regions sense and modulate the counterregulatory responses that can occur in response to declining plasma glucose levels. The aim of this study was to determine if changes in regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) during hypoglycemia relative to euglycemia are similar for two imaging modalities–pulsed arterial spin labeling magnetic resonance imaging (PASL-MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET). Nine healthy non-diabetic participants underwent a hyperinsulinemic euglycemic (92±3 mg/dL) – hypoglycemic (53±1 mg/dL) clamp. Counterregulatory hormone levels were collected at each of these glycemic levels and rCBF measurements within the previously described network of hypoglycemia-responsive regions (thalamus, medial prefrontal cortex and globus pallidum) were obtained using PASL-MRI and [15O] water PET. In response to hypoglycemia, rCBF was significantly increased in the thalamus, medial prefrontal cortex, and globus pallidum compared to euglycemia for both PASL-MRI and PET methodologies. Both imaging techniques found similar increases in rCBF in the thalamus, medial prefrontal cortex, and globus pallidum in response to hypoglycemia. These brain regions may be involved in the physiologic and symptom responses to hypoglycemia. Compared to PET, PASL-MRI may provide a less invasive, less expensive method for assessing changes in rCBF during hypoglycemia without radiation exposure.
Diagnostic challenges exist for differentiating HIV associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) from symptomatic Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in HIV+ participants. Both disorders have cerebral amyloid containing plaques associated with abnormalities in amyloid beta protein 1–42 (Aβ42) metabolism. We evaluated if the amyloid-binding agent 11C-Pittsburgh compound B (11C-PiB) could discriminate AD from HAND in middle-aged HIV+ participants.
11C-PiB scanning, clinical assessment, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis were performed. χ2 and t-tests assessed differences in clinical and demographic variables between HIV+ participants and community-living individuals followed by Alzheimer Disease Research Center (ADRC). An analysis of variance (ANOVA) assessed for regional differences in Aβ42 using 11C-PiB.
ADRC and HIV clinic
16 HIV+ participants (11 cognitively normal, 5 with HAND) and 19 ADRC participants (8 cognitively normal, 11 with symptomatic AD).
Main Outcome Measure(s)
Mean and regional 11C-PiB binding potentials
Symptomatic AD were older (p < 0.001), had lower CSF Aβ42 (p < 0.001), and had higher CSF tau levels (p < 0.001) than other groups. Regardless of degree of impairment, HIV+ participants did not have increased 11C-PiB. Mean and regional binding potentials were elevated for symptomatic AD participants (p <0.0001).
Middle-aged HIV+ participants, even with HAND, do not exhibit increased 11C-PiB while symptomatic AD individuals have increased fibrillar Aβ42 deposition in cortical and subcortical regions. Observed dissimilarities between HAND and AD may reflect differences in Aβ42 metabolism. 11C-PiB may provide a diagnostic biomarker for distinguishing symptomatic AD from HAND in middle-aged HIV+ participants. Future cross sectional and longitudinal studies are required to assess utility of 11C-PiB in older HAND individuals.
HIV; Pittsburgh compound B (PIB); amyloid; HIV associated neurocognitive disorders; Alzheimer’s disease
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia. Much is known concerning AD pathophysiology but our understanding of the disease at the systems level remains incomplete. Previous AD research has used resting state functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fcMRI) to assess the integrity of functional networks within the brain. Most studies have focused on the default-mode network (DMN), a primary locus of AD pathology. However, other brain regions are inevitably affected with disease progression. We studied rs-fcMRI in five functionally defined brain networks within a large cohort of human participants of either gender (n=510) that ranged in AD severity from unaffected (clinical dementia rating, CDR 0) to very mild (CDR 0.5) to mild AD (CDR 1). We observed loss of correlations within not only the DMN but other networks at CDR 0.5. Within the salience network (SAL), increases were seen between CDR 0 and CDR 0.5. However, at CDR 1, all networks, including SAL, exhibited reduced correlations. Specific networks were preferentially affected at certain CDR stages. In addition, cross-network relations were consistently lost with increasing AD severity. Our results demonstrate that AD is associated with widespread loss of both intra- and inter-network correlations. These results provide insight into AD pathophysiology and reinforce an integrative view of the brain’s functional organization.
Alzheimer’s disease; fMRI; resting state functional connectivity; BOLD; default mode network; salience network
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and methamphetamine (METH) dependence are independently associated with neuronal dysfunction. The coupling between cerebral blood flow (CBF) and neuronal activity is the basis of many task-based functional neuroimaging techniques. We examined the interaction between HIV infection and a previous history of METH dependence on CBF within the lenticular nuclei (LN). Twenty-four HIV−/METH−, eight HIV−/METH+, 24 HIV+/METH−, and 15 HIV+/METH+ participants performed a finger tapping paradigm. A multiple regression analysis of covariance assessed associations and two-way interactions between CBF and HIV serostatus and/or previous history of METH dependence. HIV+ individuals had a trend towards a lower baseline CBF (−10%, p=0.07) and greater CBF changes for the functional task (+32%, p=0.01) than HIV− subjects. Individuals with a previous history of METH dependence had a lower baseline CBF (–16%, p= 0.007) and greater CBF changes for a functional task (+33%, p=0.02). However, no interaction existed between HIV serostatus and previous history of METH dependence for either baseline CBF (p=0.53) or CBF changes for a functional task (p=0.10). In addition, CBF and volume in the LN were not correlated. A possible additive relationship could exist between HIV infection and a history of METH dependence on CBF with a previous history of METH dependence having a larger contribution. Abnormalities in CBF could serve as a surrogate measure for assessing the chronic effects of HIV and previous METH dependence on brain function.
Human immunodeficiency virus; Methamphetamine; Cerebral blood flow; Lenticular nuclei; Highly active antiretroviral therapy
To describe the development of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) treated with rituximab.
Clinical care for patients with rheumatologic diseases. Most were referred to academic centers for care after diagnosis (Washington University, St Louis, Missouri; Karolinska Insitute, Stockholm, Sweden; and Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, Australia) while one was cared for in a neurology practice in Dallas, Texas, with consultation by an academic neurovirologist from the University of Colorado in Denver.
Four patients developing PML in the setting of rituximab therapy for RA.
Main Outcome Measures
Clinical and pathological observations.
Four patients from an estimated population of 129 000 exposed to rituximab therapy for RA are reported in whom PML developed after administration of this drug. All were women older than 50 years, commonly with Sjögren syndrome and a history of treatment for joint disease ranging from 3 to 14 years. One case had no prior biologic and minimal immunosuppressive therapy. Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy presented as a progressive neurological disorder, with diagnosis confirmed by detection of JC virus DNA in the cerebrospinal fluid or brain biopsy specimen. Two patients died in less than 1 year from PML diagnosis, while 2 remain alive after treatment withdrawal. Magnetic resonance scans and tissue evaluation confirmed the frequent development of inflammatory PML during the course of the disease.
These cases suggest an increased risk, about 1 case per 25 000 individuals, of PML in patients with RA being treated with rituximab. Inflammatory PML may occur in this setting even while CD20 counts remain low.
Subject performance, scanner hardware, or biological factors can affect single session neuroimaging measures. Stability studies using calibrated blood oxygenation level dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging (BOLD-fMRI) have been performed in health but not disease. We utilized calibrated BOLD-fMRI to determine the effects of HIV on neurovascular coupling. 6 clinically stable HIV-infected patients (HIV+) and 10 seronegative controls (HIV−) were scanned at two separate sessions approximately 3 months apart. Both mild hypercapnia (5% CO2) exposure and a visual functional activation task were performed. Intra-class correlation coefficients (ICC) and inter-subject variance were determined for calibrated BOLD-fMRI measures (baseline cerebral blood flow (CBF), functional CBF, BOLD, and cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen consumption (CMRO2) changes) for HIV+ and HIV− subjects. The two groups did not differ in age, sex, or education. HIV+ subjects had lower mean baseline CBF (p <0.04, Cohen’s d=−1.07) and functional BOLD responses (p< 0.001, Cohen’s d=−2.47) and a trend towards a decrease in mean functional CBF responses (p= 0.07, Cohen’s d=−0.92) despite similar mean functional CMRO2 changes (p= 0.71, Cohen’s d=0.19). The stability of each calibrated BOLD-fMRI measure, as assessed by ICC, was significantly lower for HIV+ subjects. In addition, HIV+ participants had greater inter-subject variability for baseline CBF (p <0.02), functional BOLD (p< 0.001), CBF (p< 0.001), and CMRO2 (p< 0.002) responses. Our results demonstrate that calibrated BOLD-fMRI measures have excellent stability within healthy controls. In contrast, these values have greater variability in clinically stable HIV+ subjects and may reflect alterations in coupling between CBF and CMRO2 with disease.
cerebral blood flow; cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen consumption; stability; functional magnetic resonance imaging; blood oxygenation level dependent imaging
Substantial work on the peripheral and central nervous system complications of HIV was presented at the 16th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections. Six studies of more than 4500 volunteers identified that distal sensory polyneuropathy remains common, ranging from 19% to 66%, with variation based on disease stage, type of antiretroviral therapy, age, and height. Eight studies of more than 2500 volunteers identified that neurocognitive disorders are also common, ranging from 25% to 69%, with variation based on stage of disease, antiretroviral use, diabetes mellitus, and coinfection with hepatitis viruses. Therapy-focused studies identified that resistance testing of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)-derived HIV may improve management of people with HIV-associated neurologic complications, that poorly penetrating antiretroviral therapy is associated with persistent low-level HIV RNA in CSF, and that efavirenz concentrations in CSF are low but in the therapeutic range in most individuals. Neuroimaging reports identified that people living with HIV had abnormal findings on magnetic resonance imaging (gray matter atrophy, abnormal white matter), magnetic resonance spectroscopy (lower neuronal metabolites), and blood-oxygen-level dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging (lower cerebral blood flow). Other important findings on the basic neuroscience of HIV and diagnosis and management of neurologic opportunistic infections are discussed.
We investigated interactions between HIV and aging on brain function demands using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). A multiple regression model studied the association and interaction between fMRI measures, HIV serostatus, and age for 26 HIV infected (HIV+) and 25 seronegative (HIV−) subjects. While HIV serostatus and age independently affected fMRI measures, no interaction occurred. Functional brain demands in HIV+ subjects were equivalent to ~15–20 year older HIV− subjects. Frailty parallels between HIV and aging could result from continued immunological challenges depleting resources and triggering increased metabolic demands. fMRI could be a non-invasive biomarker to assess HIV in the brain.
HIV neurological disorders; aging; functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI); cerebral blood flow and metabolism
The role of nitric oxide (NO) in the activation-flow coupling (AFC) response to periodic electrical forepaw stimulation was investigated using signal averaged laser Doppler (LD) flowmetry. LD measures of calculated cerebral blood flow (CBF) were obtained both prior and after intra-peritoneal administration of the non-selective nitric oxide synthase (NOS) inhibitor, NG-nitro-L-arginine (L-NNA) (40 mg/kg). Characteristic baseline low frequency vasomotion oscillations (0.17 Hz) were observed after L-NNA administration. These LDCBF oscillations were synchronous within but not between hemispheres. L-NNA reduced the magnitude of the AFC response (p< 0.05) for longer stimuli (1 minute) with longer inter-stimulus intervals (2 minutes). In contrast, the magnitude of the AFC response for short duration stimuli (4 seconds) with short inter-stimulus intervals (20 seconds) was augmented (p < 0.05) after L-NNA. An interaction occurred between L-NNA induced vasomotion oscillations and the AFC response with the greatest increase occurring at the stimulus harmonic closest to the oscillatory frequency. Nitric oxide may therefore modulate the effects of other vasodilators involved in vasomotion oscillations and the AFC response.
nitric oxide; oscillations; laser-Doppler flowmetry; cerebral blood flow
HIV can infect the brain and impair central nervous system (CNS) function. Combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) has not eradicated CNS complications. HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) remain common despite cART, although attenuated in severity. This may result from a combination of factors including inadequate treatment of HIV reservoirs such as circulating monocytes and glia, decreased effectiveness of cART in CNS, concurrent illnesses, stimulant use, and factors associated with prescribed drugs, including antiretrovirals. This review highlights recent investigations of HIV-related CNS injury with emphasis on cART-era neuropathological mechanisms in the context of both US and international settings.
AIDS dementia complex; Aging; Review; Cerebrospinal fluid
Sensory neuropathy (SN) is a common peripheral nerve complication of HIV infection and highly active antiretroviral therapy. Metabolic syndrome (MetS), a cluster of risk factors for atherosclerosis and microvascular disease, is associated with SN in HIV-uninfected (HIV−) persons. We examined if MetS or its components predispose individuals to HIV-SN.
From a prospective multicenter cohort of 1,556 HIV+ subjects, a subgroup (n=130) with fasting laboratory tests and SN assessment was selected.
SN was defined by symmetrically decreased reflexes or sensation loss in the legs. MetS was defined by presence of ≥3 risk factors: mean arterial pressure (MAP) ≥100 mm Hg; triglycerides (TRG) ≥150 mg/dl and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) <40 mg/dL for males, <50 mg/dL for females; body mass index (BMI) >25 kg/m2; plasma glucose (GLU) ≥100 mg/dl and self-reported diabetes (DM II). Multivariate logistic regression examined the association between HIV-SN and MetS.
After controlling for HIV-SN risk factors- age, CD4 current, length of HIV infection, use of dideoxynucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors and protease inhibitors; MetS was not associated with HIV-SN (p=0.72). However, when each MetS component was assessed, elevated TRG was a significant risk factor for HIV-SN. From the larger cohort, both DM II (OR=1.4, p<0.01) and elevated TRG (OR=1.4, p=0.01) were risk factors for HIV-SN.
The risk of HIV-SN was increased for DM II and elevated TRG, but not other MetS components. Both increase the risk of SN in HIV- populations, but the mechanism(s) remains unclear.
HIV; sensory neuropathy; metabolic syndrome; highly active antiretroviral therapy
Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a cluster of risk factors, including elevated mean arterial pressure (MAP), atherogenic dyslipidemia (elevated triglycerides [TRG]), abdominal obesity (increased body mass index [BMI]), glucose intolerance (elevated glucose [GLU]), and prothrombotic/inflammatory state (increases in uric acid [UA]), that are associated with increased risk of cerebrovascular disease. We studied if an association existed between MetS components and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-associated cryptogenic strokes—those not caused by HIV complications, endocarditis, or stimulant abuse. We performed a retrospective case-control study. Eleven cryptogenic strokes were identified from 2346 HIV-infected (HIV+) participants. Each case was matched by age, sex, and date of stroke diagnosis to five HIV+ controls without stroke. Nonparametric stratified Wilcoxon ranked sum tests with subsequent mixed effect logistic regression determined the influence of each MetS component on HIV-associated cryptogenic stroke. Although each MetS component appeared higher for HIV+ cases with cryptogenic strokes than HIV+ controls, only MAP (odds ratio [OR] = 5.70, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.15–28.3) and UA (OR = 1.88, 95% CI = 1.06–3.32) were statistically different. A significantly higher percentage of HIV-associated cryptogenic stroke cases met criteria for MetS (4/11 = 36%) compared to HIV+ controls (6/55 = 11%). This observational study suggests a possible role for MetS components in HIV+ cryptogenic stroke cases. Although MetS is defined as a constellation of disorders, elevated hypertension and hyperuricemia may be involved in stroke pathogenesis. Reducing MetS component levels in HIV+ patients could therefore protect them from subsequent stroke.
HIV; metabolic syndrome; stroke
Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) based on blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) signal changes is a sensitive tool for mapping brain activation, but quantitative interpretation of the BOLD response is problematic. The BOLD response is primarily driven by cerebral blood flow (CBF) changes, but is moderated by M, a scaling parameter reflecting baseline deoxyhemoglobin, and n, the ratio of fractional changes in CBF to cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen consumption (CMRO2). We compared M and n between cortical (visual cortex, VC) and subcortical (lentiform nuclei, LN) regions using a quantitative approach based on calibrating the BOLD response with a hypercapnia experiment. Although M was similar in both regions (∼5.8%), differences in n (2.21±0.03 in VC and 1.58±0.03 in LN; Cohen d=1.71) produced substantially weaker (∼3.7×) subcortical than cortical BOLD responses relative to CMRO2 changes. Because of this strong sensitivity to n, BOLD response amplitudes cannot be interpreted as a quantitative reflection of underlying metabolic changes, particularly when comparing cortical and sub-cortical regions.
Cerebral blood flow; Cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen consumption; Neurovascular coupling; Hypercapnia; Blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) effect; Arterial spin labeling (ASL); fMRI; Lentiform nuclei of the basal ganglia
Combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) limits human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) replication in the central nervous system (CNS) and prevents progressive neurological dysfunction. We examined if the degree of CNS penetration by cART, as estimated by the CNS penetration effectiveness (CPE) score, affects brain activity as measured by the amplitude of the blood oxygen level–dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging (BOLD fMRI) response. HIV+ patients on low-CPE cART (n = 12) had a significantly greater BOLD fMRI response amplitude than HIV+ patients on high-CPE cART (n = 12) or seronegative controls (n = 10). An increase in the BOLD fMRI response in HIV patients on low-CPE cART may reflect continued HIV replication in the CNS leading to increased oxidative stress and associated metabolic demands.
combination antiretroviral therapy (cART); functional magnetic resonance imaging; HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders
Calibrated functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) provides a noninvasive technique to assess functional metabolic changes associated with normal aging. We simultaneously measured both the magnitude of the blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) and cerebral blood flow (CBF) responses in the visual cortex for separate conditions of mild hypercapnia (5% CO2) and a simple checkerboard stimulus in healthy younger (n = 10, mean: 28-years-old) and older (n = 10, mean: 53-years-old) adults. From these data we derived baseline CBF, the BOLD scaling parameter M, the fractional change in the cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen consumption (CMRO2) with activation, and the coupling ratio n of the fractional changes in CBF and CMRO2. For the functional activation paradigm, the magnitude of the BOLD response was significantly lower for the older group (0.57 ± 0.07%) compared to the younger group (0.95 ± 0.14%), despite the finding that the fractional CBF and CMRO2 changes were similar for both groups. The weaker BOLD response for the older group was due to a reduction in the parameter M, which was significantly lower for older (4.6 ± 0.4%) than younger subjects (6.5 ± 0.8%), most likely reflecting a reduction in baseline CBF for older (41.7 ± 4.8 mL/100 mL/min) compared to younger (59.6 ± 9.1 mL/100 mL/min) subjects. In addition to these primary responses, for both groups the BOLD response exhibited a post-stimulus undershoot with no significant difference in this magnitude. However, the post-undershoot period of the CBF response was significantly greater for older compared to younger subjects. We conclude that when comparing two populations, the BOLD response can provide misleading reflections of underlying physiological changes. A calibrated approach provides a more quantitative reflection of underlying metabolic changes than the BOLD response alone.
aging; functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI); blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) effect; cerebral blood flow (CBF); cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen (CMRO2); visual cortex
We report four young women who developed acute psychiatric symptoms, seizures, memory deficits, decreased level of consciousness, and central hypoventilation associated with ovarian teratoma (OT) and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) inflammatory abnormalities. Three patients recovered with treatment of the tumor or immunosuppression and one died of the disorder. Five other OT patients with a similar syndrome and response to treatment have been reported. Our patients' serum or CSF showed immunolabeling of antigens that were expressed at the cytoplasmic membrane of hippocampal neurons and processes and readily accessed by antibodies in live neurons. Immunoprobing of a hippocampal-expression library resulted in the isolation of EFA6A, a protein that interacts with a member of the two-pore-domain potassium channel family and is involved in the regulation of the dendritic development of hippocampal neurons. EFA6A-purified antibodies reproduced the hippocampal immunolabeling of all patients' antibodies and colocalized with them at the plasma membrane. These findings indicate that in a young woman with acute psychiatric symptoms, seizures, and central hypoventilation, a paraneoplastic immune-mediated syndrome should be considered. Recognition of this disorder is important because despite the severity of the symptoms, patients usually recover. The location and function of the isolated antigen suggest that the disorder is directly mediated by antibodies.
We report seven patients, six from a single institution, who developed subacute limbic encephalitis initially considered of uncertain aetiology. Four patients presented with symptoms of hippocampal dysfunction (i.e. severe short-term memory loss) and three with extensive limbic dysfunction (i.e. confusion, seizures and suspected psychosis). Brain MRI and [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG)-PET complemented each other but did not overlap in 50% of the patients. Combining both tests, all patients had temporal lobe abnormalities, five with additional areas involved. In one patient, FDG hyperactivity in the brainstem that was normal on MRI correlated with central hypoventilation; in another case, hyperactivity in the cerebellum anticipated ataxia. All patients had abnormal CSF: six pleocytosis, six had increased protein concentration, and three of five examined had oligoclonal bands. A tumour was identified and removed in four patients (mediastinal teratoma, thymoma, thymic carcinoma and thyroid cancer) and not treated in one (ovarian teratoma). An immunohistochemical technique that facilitates the detection of antibodies to cell surface or synaptic proteins demonstrated that six patients had antibodies to the neuropil of hippocampus or cerebellum, and one to intraneuronal antigens. Only one of the neuropil antibodies corresponded to voltage-gated potassium channel (VGKC) antibodies; the other five (two with identical specificity) reacted with antigens concentrated in areas of high dendritic density or synaptic-enriched regions of the hippocampus or cerebellum. Preliminary characterization of these antigens indicates that they are diverse and expressed on the neuronal cell membrane and dendrites; they do not co-localize with VGKCs, but partially co-localize with spinophilin. A target autoantigen in one of the patients co-localizes with a cell surface protein involved in hippocampal dendritic development. All patients except the one with antibodies to intracellular antigens had dramatic clinical and neuroimaging responses to immunotherapy or tumour resection; two patients had neurological relapse and improved with immunotherapy. Overall, the phenotype associated with the novel neuropil antibodies includes dominant behavioural and psychiatric symptoms and seizures that often interfere with the evaluation of cognition and memory, and brain MRI or FDG-PET abnormalities less frequently restricted to the medial temporal lobes than in patients with classical paraneoplastic or VGKC antibodies. When compared with patients with VGKC antibodies, patients with these novel antibodies are more likely to have CSF inflammatory abnormalities and systemic tumours (teratoma and thymoma), and they do not develop SIADH-like hyponatraemia. Although most autoantigens await characterization, all share intense expression by the neuropil of hippocampus, with patterns of immunolabelling characteristic enough to suggest the diagnosis of these disorders and predict response to treatment.
limbic encephalitis; neuronal autoantibodies; paraneoplastic syndrome; PET; MRI