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1.  Functional Connectivity in Autosomal Dominant and Late-Onset Alzheimer Disease 
JAMA neurology  2014;71(9):1111-1122.
Autosomal dominant Alzheimer disease (ADAD) is caused by rare genetic mutations in three specific genes, in contrast to late-onset Alzheimer Disease (LOAD), which has a more polygenetic risk profile.
Design, Setting, and Participants
We analyzed functional connectivity in multiple brain resting state networks (RSNs) in a cross-sectional cohort of ADAD (N=79) and LOAD (N=444) human participants using resting state functional connectivity MRI (rs-fcMRI) at multiple international academic sites.
Main Outcomes and Measures
For both types of AD, we quantified and compared functional connectivity changes in RSNs as a function of dementia severity as measured by clinical dementia rating (CDR). In ADAD, we qualitatively investigated functional connectivity changes with respect to estimated years from onset of symptoms within five RSNs.
Functional connectivity decreases with increasing CDR were similar for both LOAD and ADAD in multiple RSNs. Ordinal logistic regression models constructed in each type of AD accurately predicted CDR stage in the other, further demonstrating similarity of functional connectivity loss in each disease type. Among ADAD participants, functional connectivity in multiple RSNs appeared qualitatively lower in asymptomatic mutation carriers near their anticipated age of symptom onset compared to asymptomatic mutation non-carriers.
Conclusions and Relevance
rs-fcMRI changes with progressing AD severity are similar between ADAD and LOAD. Rs-fcMRI may be a useful endpoint for LOAD and ADAD therapy trials. ADAD disease process may be an effective model for LOAD disease process.
PMCID: PMC4240274  PMID: 25069482
Resting-state functional connectivity; autosomal dominant Alzheimer's disease; late-onset Alzheimer's disease; default mode network; apolipoprotein E (APOE)
2.  Relationship Between Stroop Performance and Resting State Functional Connectivity in Cognitively Normal Older Adults 
Neuropsychology  2013;27(5):10.1037/a0033402.
Early biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are needed for developing therapeutic interventions. Measures of attentional control in Stroop-type tasks discriminate healthy aging from early stage AD (Hutchison et al., 2010) and predict future development of AD (Balota et al., 2010) in cognitively normal individuals. Disruption in resting state functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fcMRI) has been reported in AD (Greicius et al., 2004), and in healthy controls at risk for AD (Sheline et al, 2010a). We explored the relationship among Stroop performance, rs-fcMRI, and CSF Aβ42 levels in cognitively normal older adults.
A computerized Stroop task (along with standard neuropsychological measures), rs-fcMRI, and CSF were obtained in 237 cognitively normal older adults. We compared the relationship between Stroop performance, including measures from reaction distributional analyses, and composite scores from four resting state networks (RSNs) [default mode (DMN), salience (SAL), dorsal attention (DAN), and sensory motor (SMN)], and the modulatory influence of CSF Aβ42 levels.
A larger Stroop effect in errors was associated with reduced rs-fcMRI within the DMN and SAL. Reaction time distributional analyses indicated the slow tail of the reaction time distribution was related to reduced rs-fcMRI functional connectivity within the SAL. Standard psychometric measures were not related to RSN composite scores. A relationship between Stroop performance and DMN (but not SAL) functional connectivity was stronger in CSF Aβ42 positive individuals.
A link exists between RSN composite scores and specific attentional performance measures. Both measures may be sensitive biomarkers for AD.
PMCID: PMC3837537  PMID: 24040929
resting state functional connectivity; Stroop; Alzheimer’s disease
3.  Preclinical Alzheimer disease and risk of falls 
Neurology  2013;81(5):437-443.
We determined the rate of falls among cognitively normal, community-dwelling older adults, some of whom had presumptive preclinical Alzheimer disease (AD) as detected by in vivo imaging of fibrillar amyloid plaques using Pittsburgh compound B (PiB) and PET and/or by assays of CSF to identify Aβ42, tau, and phosphorylated tau.
We conducted a 12-month prospective cohort study to examine the cumulative incidence of falls. Participants were evaluated clinically and underwent PiB PET imaging and lumbar puncture. Falls were reported monthly using an individualized calendar journal returned by mail. A Cox proportional hazards model was used to test whether time to first fall was associated with each biomarker and the ratio of CSF tau/Aβ42 and CSF phosphorylated tau/Aβ42, after adjustment for common fall risk factors.
The sample (n = 125) was predominately female (62.4%) and white (96%) with a mean age of 74.4 years. When controlled for ability to perform activities of daily living, higher levels of PiB retention (hazard ratio = 2.95 [95% confidence interval 1.01–6.45], p = 0.05) and of CSF biomarker ratios (p < 0.001) were associated with a faster time to first fall.
Presumptive preclinical AD is a risk factor for falls in older adults. This study suggests that subtle noncognitive changes that predispose older adults to falls are associated with AD and may precede detectable cognitive changes.
PMCID: PMC3776538  PMID: 23803314
4.  Cerebrospinal fluid amyloid β42, phosphorylated tau181, and resting state functional connectivity 
JAMA neurology  2013;70(10):1242-1248.
Resting state functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fcMRI) has great potential for characterizing pathophysiological changes during the preclinical phase of Alzheimer’s disease (AD).
To assess the relationship between default mode network (DMN) integrity and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers of AD pathology in cognitively normal older individuals
Cross-sectional cohort study
Knight Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at Washington University in St Louis, Missouri.
207 older adults with normal cognition (Clinical Dementia Rating of 0).
Main Outcome measures
rs-fcMRI measures of DMN integrity.
Decreased CSF Aβ42 or increased CSF phosphorylated tau181 (ptau181) were independently associated with reduced DMN integrity, with the most prominent decreases in functional connectivity observed between the posterior cingulate and medial temporal regions. Observed reductions in functional connectivity were not attributable to age or structural atrophy in the posterior cingulate and medial temporal areas. Similar rs-fcMRI findings in relation to CSF biomarkers were obtained using region-of-interest analyses and voxel-wise correlation mapping.
Both Aβ and tau pathology affect DMN integrity prior to clinical onset of AD.
PMCID: PMC3836828  PMID: 23959173
5.  Diurnal Patterns of Soluble Amyloid Precursor Protein Metabolites in the Human Central Nervous System 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e89998.
The amyloid-β (Aβ) protein is diurnally regulated in both the cerebrospinal fluid and blood in healthy adults; circadian amplitudes decrease with aging and the presence of cerebral Aβ deposits. The cause of the Aβ diurnal pattern is poorly understood. One hypothesis is that the Amyloid Precursor Protein (APP) is diurnally regulated, leading to APP product diurnal patterns. APP in the central nervous system is processed either via the β-pathway (amyloidogenic), generating soluble APP-β (sAPPβ) and Aβ, or the α-pathway (non-amyloidogenic), releasing soluble APP-α (sAPPα). To elucidate the potential contributions of APP to the Aβ diurnal pattern and the balance of the α- and β- pathways in APP processing, we measured APP proteolytic products over 36 hours in human cerebrospinal fluid from cognitively normal and Alzheimer's disease participants. We found diurnal patterns in sAPPα, sAPPβ, Aβ40, and Aβ42, which diminish with increased age, that support the hypothesis that APP is diurnally regulated in the human central nervous system and thus results in Aβ diurnal patterns. We also found that the four APP metabolites were positively correlated in all participants without cerebral Aβ deposits. This positive correlation suggests that the α- and β- APP pathways are non-competitive under normal physiologic conditions where APP availability may be the limiting factor that determines sAPPα and sAPPβ production. However, in participants with cerebral Aβ deposits, there was no correlation of Aβ to sAPP metabolites, suggesting that normal physiologic regulation of cerebrospinal fluid Aβ is impaired in the presence of amyloidosis. Lastly, we found that the ratio of sAPPβ to sAPPα was significantly higher in participants with cerebral Aβ deposits versus those without deposits. Therefore, the sAPPβ to sAPPα ratio may be a useful biomarker for cerebral amyloidosis.
PMCID: PMC3960093  PMID: 24646516
6.  Impaired default network functional connectivity in autosomal dominant Alzheimer disease 
Neurology  2013;81(8):736-744.
To investigate default mode network (DMN) functional connectivity MRI (fcMRI) in a large cross-sectional cohort of subjects from families harboring pathogenic presenilin-1 (PSEN1), presenilin-2 (PSEN2), and amyloid precursor protein (APP) mutations participating in the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network.
Eighty-three mutation carriers and 37 asymptomatic noncarriers from the same families underwent fMRI during resting state at 8 centers in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia. Using group-independent component analysis, fcMRI was compared using mutation status and Clinical Dementia Rating to stratify groups, and related to each participant's estimated years from expected symptom onset (eYO).
We observed significantly decreased DMN fcMRI in mutation carriers with increasing Clinical Dementia Rating, most evident in the precuneus/posterior cingulate and parietal cortices (p < 0.001). Comparison of asymptomatic mutation carriers with noncarriers demonstrated decreased fcMRI in the precuneus/posterior cingulate (p = 0.014) and right parietal cortex (p = 0.0016). We observed a significant interaction between mutation carrier status and eYO, with decreases in DMN fcMRI observed as mutation carriers approached and surpassed their eYO.
Functional disruption of the DMN occurs early in the course of autosomal dominant Alzheimer disease, beginning before clinically evident symptoms, and worsening with increased impairment. These findings suggest that DMN fcMRI may prove useful as a biomarker across a wide spectrum of disease, and support the feasibility of DMN fcMRI as a secondary endpoint in upcoming multicenter clinical trials in Alzheimer disease.
PMCID: PMC3776464  PMID: 23884042
7.  Improved in vivo diffusion tensor imaging of human cervical spinal cord 
NeuroImage  2012;67:64-76.
We describe a cardiac gated high in-plane resolution axial human cervical spinal cord diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) protocol. Multiple steps were taken to optimize both image acquisition and image processing. The former includes slice-by-slice cardiac triggering and individually tiltable slices. The latter includes (i) iterative 2D retrospective motion correction, (ii) image intensity outlier detection to minimize the influence of physiological noise, (iii) a non-linear DTI estimation procedure incorporating non-negative eigenvalue priors, and (iv) tract-specific region-of-interest (ROI) identification based on an objective geometry reference. Using these strategies in combination, radial diffusivity (λ⊥) was reproducibly measured in white matter (WM) tracts (adjusted mean [95% confidence interval]=0.25 [0.22, 0.29]µm2/ms), lower than previously reported λ⊥ values in the in vivo human spinal cord DTI literature. Radial diffusivity and fractional anisotropy (FA) measured in WM varied from rostral to caudal as did mean translational motion, likely reflecting respiratory motion effect. Given the considerable sensitivity of DTI measurements to motion artifact, we believe outlier detection is indispensable in spinal cord diffusion imaging. We also recommend using a mixed-effects model to account for systematic measurement bias depending on cord segment.
PMCID: PMC3604900  PMID: 23178538
Directional diffusivity; Outlier rejection; Non-negative eigenvalue priors; Reduced FOV; Cardiac gating; Cervical spinal cord; Lateral corticospinal tract; Posterior column; Diffusion tensor imaging; Reproducibility
8.  Effects of Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease Along the Longitudinal Axis of the Hippocampus 
Journal of Alzheimer's disease : JAD  2013;37(1):10.3233/JAD-130011.
The hippocampus is often treated as a uniform structure, but possesses differential projections to surrounding cortex along its longitudinal axis. This heterogeneity could create varied susceptibility to pathological influences, potentially leading to non-uniform volumetric associations with advancing age and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Previous examinations of aging and AD effects on hippocampal subdivisions have produced highly discrepant findings. To clarify these inconsistencies, we examined the hippocampal head, body, and tail in a large sample of 292 cognitively normal, 37 very mildly demented, and 18 mildly demented individuals, divided into two independent samples. As often done in the literature, we characterized qualitative patterns across these regions, but extended these results by explicitly testing for quantitative differences. In each sample of cognitively normal individuals, the head and body demonstrated greater age effects than the tail. In each sample contrasting AD and cognitively normal individuals, all three regions showed significant volume reductions, with the greatest effect on the head. When examining increasing severity of dementia, the hippocampal head showed progressive volume loss, while the body and tail did not. The patterns of results examining both aging and AD were relatively consistent across the independent samples. These results indicate that there is an anterior-to-posterior gradient of loss within the hippocampus with both advancing age and AD.
PMCID: PMC3883500  PMID: 23780659
Brain aging; dorsal hippocampus; long-axis; ventral hippocampus
9.  Noninvasive estimation of the arterial input function in positron emission tomography imaging of cerebral blood flow 
Positron emission tomography (PET) with 15O-labeled water can provide reliable measurement of cerebral blood flow (CBF). Quantification of CBF requires knowledge of the arterial input function (AIF), which is usually provided by arterial blood sampling. However, arterial sampling is invasive. Moreover, the blood generally is sampled at the wrist, which does not perfectly represent the AIF of the brain, because of the effects of delay and dispersion. We developed and validated a new noninvasive method to obtain the AIF directly by PET imaging of the internal carotid artery in a region of interest (ROI) defined by coregistered high-resolution magnetic resonance angiography. An ROI centered at the petrous portion of the internal carotid artery was defined, and the AIF was estimated simultaneously with whole brain blood flow. The image-derived AIF (IDAIF) method was validated against conventional arterial sampling. The IDAIF generated highly reproducible CBF estimations, generally in good agreement with the conventional technique.
PMCID: PMC3597366  PMID: 23072748
arterial input function; PET
10.  Impaired and Facilitated Functional Networks in Temporal Lobe Epilepsy 
NeuroImage : clinical  2013;2:862-872.
How epilepsy affects brain functional networks remains poorly understood. Here we investigated resting state functional connectivity of the temporal region in temporal lobe epilepsy. Thirty-two patients with unilateral temporal lobe epilepsy underwent resting state blood-oxygenation level dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging. We defined regions of interest a priori focusing on structures involved, either structurally or metabolically, in temporal lobe epilepsy. These structures were identified in each patient based on their individual anatomy. Our principal findings are decreased local and inter-hemispheric functional connectivity and increased intra-hemispheric functional connectivity ipsilateral to the seizure focus compared to normal controls. Specifically, several regions in the affected temporal lobe showed increased functional coupling with the ipsilateral insula and immediately neighboring subcortical regions. Additionally there was significantly decreased functional connectivity between regions in the affected temporal lobe and their contralateral homologous counterparts. Intriguingly, decreased local and inter-hemispheric connectivity was not limited or even maximal for the hippocampus or medial temporal region, which is the typical seizure onset region. Rather it also involved several regions in temporal neo-cortex, while also retaining specificity, with neighboring regions such as the amygdala remaining unaffected. These findings support a view of temporal lobe epilepsy as a disease of a complex functional network, with alterations that extend well beyond the seizure onset area, and the specificity of the observed connectivity changes suggests the possibility of a functional imaging biomarker for temporal lobe epilepsy.
PMCID: PMC3777845  PMID: 24073391
epilepsy; temporal lobe; hippocampus; insula; fMRI; functional connectivity
11.  Increased in vivo Amyloid-β42 production, exchange, and irreversible loss in Presenilin Mutations Carriers 
Science translational medicine  2013;5(189):10.1126/scitranslmed.3005615.
Alzheimer’s disease is hypothesized to be caused by an over-production or reduced clearance of amyloid-beta (Aβ) peptide. Autosomal Dominant Alzheimer’s Disease (ADAD) caused by mutations in the presenilin (PSEN) gene have been postulated to result from increased production of Aβ42 compared to Aβ40 in the central nervous system (CNS). This has been demonstrated in rodent models of ADAD but not in human mutation carriers We used compartmental modeling of stable isotope labeling kinetic (SILK) studies in human carriers of PSEN mutations and related non-carriers to evaluate the pathophysiological effects of PSEN1 and PSEN2 mutations on the production and turnover of Aβ isoforms. We compared these findings by mutation status and amount of fibrillar amyloid deposition as measured by positron emission tomography (PET) using the amyloid tracer, Pittsburgh compound B (PiB). CNS Aβ42 to Aβ40 production rates were 24% higher in mutation carriers compared to non-carriers and this was independent of fibrillar amyloid deposits quantified by PET PiB imaging. The fractional turnover rate of soluble Aβ42 relative to Aβ40 was 65% faster in mutation carriers and correlated with amyloid deposition, consistent with increased deposition of Aβ42 into plaques leading to reduced recovery of Aβ42 in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Reversible exchange of Aβ42 peptides with pre-existing unlabeled peptide was observed in the presence of plaques. These findings support the hypothesis that Aβ42 is overproduced in the CNS of humans with presenilin mutations that cause AD, and demonstrate that soluble Aβ42 turnover and exchange processes are altered in the presence of amyloid plaques, causing a reduction in Aβ42 concentrations in the CSF.
PMCID: PMC3838868  PMID: 23761040
12.  Quantitative Analysis of PiB-PET with FreeSurfer ROIs 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e73377.
In vivo quantification of β-amyloid deposition using positron emission tomography is emerging as an important procedure for the early diagnosis of the Alzheimer's disease and is likely to play an important role in upcoming clinical trials of disease modifying agents. However, many groups use manually defined regions, which are non-standard across imaging centers. Analyses often are limited to a handful of regions because of the labor-intensive nature of manual region drawing. In this study, we developed an automatic image quantification protocol based on FreeSurfer, an automated whole brain segmentation tool, for quantitative analysis of amyloid images. Standard manual tracing and FreeSurfer-based analyses were performed in 77 participants including 67 cognitively normal individuals and 10 individuals with early Alzheimer's disease. The manual and FreeSurfer approaches yielded nearly identical estimates of amyloid burden (intraclass correlation = 0.98) as assessed by the mean cortical binding potential. An MRI test-retest study demonstrated excellent reliability of FreeSurfer based regional amyloid burden measurements. The FreeSurfer-based analysis also revealed that the majority of cerebral cortical regions accumulate amyloid in parallel, with slope of accumulation being the primary difference between regions.
PMCID: PMC3819320  PMID: 24223109
13.  The pattern of atrophy in familial Alzheimer disease 
Neurology  2013;81(16):1425-1433.
To assess regional patterns of gray and white matter atrophy in familial Alzheimer disease (FAD) mutation carriers.
A total of 192 participants with volumetric T1-weighted MRI, genotyping, and clinical diagnosis were available from the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network. Of these, 69 were presymptomatic mutation carriers, 50 were symptomatic carriers (31 with Clinical Dementia Rating [CDR] = 0.5, 19 with CDR > 0.5), and 73 were noncarriers from the same families. Voxel-based morphometry was used to identify cross-sectional group differences in gray matter and white matter volume.
Significant differences in gray matter (p < 0.05, family-wise error–corrected) were observed between noncarriers and mildly symptomatic (CDR = 0.5) carriers in the thalamus and putamen, as well as in the temporal lobe, precuneus, and cingulate gyrus; the same pattern, but with more extensive changes, was seen in those with CDR > 0.5. Significant white matter differences between noncarriers and symptomatic carriers were observed in the cingulum and fornix; these form input and output connections to the medial temporal lobe, cingulate, and precuneus. No differences between noncarriers and presymptomatic carriers survived correction for multiple comparisons, but there was a trend for decreased gray matter in the thalamus for carriers closer to their estimated age at onset. There were no significant increases of gray or white matter in asymptomatic or symptomatic carriers compared to noncarriers.
Atrophy in FAD is observed early, both in areas commonly associated with sporadic Alzheimer disease and also in the putamen and thalamus, 2 regions associated with early amyloid deposition in FAD mutation carriers.
PMCID: PMC3806583  PMID: 24049139
14.  Developing an international network for Alzheimer research: The Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network 
Clinical investigation  2012;2(10):975-984.
The Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network (DIAN) is a collaborative effort of international Alzheimer disease (AD) centers that are conducting a multifaceted prospective biomarker study in individuals at-risk for autosomal dominant AD (ADAD). DIAN collects comprehensive information and tissue in accordance with standard protocols from asymptomatic and symptomatic ADAD mutation carriers and their non-carrier family members to determine the pathochronology of clinical, cognitive, neuroimaging, and fluid biomarkers of AD. This article describes the structure, implementation, and underlying principles of DIAN, as well as the demographic features of the initial DIAN cohort.
PMCID: PMC3489185  PMID: 23139856
Alzheimer disease; autosomal dominant; biomarkers of Alzheimer disease; PSEN1; PSEN2; APP; amyloid-beta; preclinical Alzheimer disease
15.  Alzheimer’s disease family history impacts resting state functional connectivity 
Annals of neurology  2012;72(4):571-577.
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.
PMCID: PMC3490438  PMID: 23109152
16.  Increased Radial Diffusivity in Spinal Cord Lesions in Neuromyelitis Optica Compared to Multiple Sclerosis 
Multiple sclerosis (MS) and neuromyelitis optica (NMO) both affect spinal cord with notable differences in pathology.
Determine the utility of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to differentiate the spinal cord lesions of NMO from MS within and outside T2 lesions.
Subjects ≥12 months from a clinical episode of transverse myelitis underwent a novel transaxial cervical spinal cord DTI sequence. Ten subjects with NMO, 10 with MS, and 10 healthy controls were included.
Within T2 affected white matter regions, radial diffusivity was increased in both NMO and MS compared to healthy controls (p<0.001, respectively), and to a greater extent in NMO than MS (p<0.001). Axial diffusivity was decreased in T2 lesions in both NMO and MS compared to controls (p<0.001, p=0.001), but did not differ between the two diseases. Radial diffusivity and FA within white matter regions upstream and downstream of T2 lesions were different from controls in each disease.
Higher radial diffusivity, within spinal cord white matter tracts derived from diffusion tensor imaging were appreciated in NMO compared to MS, consistent with the known greater tissue destruction seen in NMO. DTI also detected tissue alterations outside T2 lesions, and may be a surrogate of anterograde and retrograde degeneration.
PMCID: PMC3360125  PMID: 22354742
diffusion tensor imaging; neuromyelitis optica (NMO); multiple sclerosis (MS); spinal cord; MRI
17.  Impaired and facilitated functional networks in temporal lobe epilepsy☆ 
NeuroImage : Clinical  2013;2:862-872.
How epilepsy affects brain functional networks remains poorly understood. Here we investigated resting state functional connectivity of the temporal region in temporal lobe epilepsy. Thirty-two patients with unilateral temporal lobe epilepsy underwent resting state blood-oxygenation level dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging. We defined regions of interest a priori focusing on structures involved, either structurally or metabolically, in temporal lobe epilepsy. These structures were identified in each patient based on their individual anatomy. Our principal findings are decreased local and inter-hemispheric functional connectivity and increased intra-hemispheric functional connectivity ipsilateral to the seizure focus compared to normal controls. Specifically, several regions in the affected temporal lobe showed increased functional coupling with the ipsilateral insula and immediately neighboring subcortical regions. Additionally there was significantly decreased functional connectivity between regions in the affected temporal lobe and their contralateral homologous counterparts. Intriguingly, decreased local and inter-hemispheric connectivity was not limited or even maximal for the hippocampus or medial temporal region, which is the typical seizure onset region. Rather it also involved several regions in temporal neo-cortex, while also retaining specificity, with neighboring regions such as the amygdala remaining unaffected. These findings support a view of temporal lobe epilepsy as a disease of a complex functional network, with alterations that extend well beyond the seizure onset area, and the specificity of the observed connectivity changes suggests the possibility of a functional imaging biomarker for temporal lobe epilepsy.
•We studied functional connectivity changes in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy.•Patients had decreased local and inter-hemispheric functional connectivity.•Patients had increased intra-hemispheric connectivity, ipsilateral to seizure focus.•Functional changes involved several neocortical sites, including the insula.•This pattern may have usefulness as a non-invasive method for presurgical planning.
PMCID: PMC3777845  PMID: 24073391
Epilepsy; Temporal lobe; Hippocampus; Insula; fMRI; Functional connectivity
18.  Diminished performance on neuropsychological testing in late life depression is correlated with microstructural white matter abnormalities 
Neuroimage  2012;60(4):2182-2190.
Traditional T2 weighted MR imaging results are non-specific for the extent of underlying white matter structural abnormalities present in late life depression (LLD). Diffusion tensor imaging provides a unique opportunity to investigate the extent and nature of structural injury, but has been limited by examining only a subset of regions of interest (ROI) and by confounds common to the study of an elderly population, including comorbid vascular pathology. Furthermore, comprehensive correlation of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) measurements, including axial and radial diffusivity measurements, has not been demonstrated in the late life depression population.
51 depressed and 16 non-depressed, age- and cerebrovascular risk factor- matched elderly subjects underwent traditional anatomic T1 and T2 weight imaging, as well as DTI. The DTI data were skeletonized using tract based spatial statistics (TBSS), and both regional and global analyses were performed.
Widespread structural abnormalities within white matter were detected in the LLD group, accounting for age, gender and education and matched for cerebrovascular risk factors and global T2 white matter hyperintensities (T2WMH). Regional differences were most prominent in uncinate and cingulate white matter and were generally characterized by an increase in radial diffusivity. Age-related changes particularly in the cingulate bundle were more advanced in individuals with LLD relative to controls. Regression analysis demonstrated significant correlations of regional fractional anisotropy and radial diffusivity with five different neuropsychological factor scores. TBSS analysis demonstrated a greater extent of white matter abnormalities in LLD not responsive to treatment, as compared to controls.
White matter integrity is compromised in late life depression, largely manifested by increased radial diffusivity in specific regions, suggesting underlying myelin injury. A possible mechanism for underlying myelin injury is chronic white matter ischemia related to intrinsic cerebrovascular disease. In some regions such as the cingulate bundle, the white matter injury related to late-life depression appears to be independent of and compounded by age-related changes. The correlations with neuropsychological testing indicate the essential effects of white matter injury on functional status. Lastly, response to treatment may depend on the extent of white matter injury, suggesting a need for intact functional networks.
PMCID: PMC3337766  PMID: 22487548
Diffusion tensor imaging; Tract based spatial statistics; Anisotropy; Radial diffusivity
19.  Clinical and Biomarker Changes in Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer’s Disease 
The New England journal of medicine  2012;367(9):795-804.
The order and magnitude of pathologic processes in Alzheimer’s disease are not well understood, partly because the disease develops over many years. Autosomal dominant Alzheimer’s disease has a predictable age at onset and provides an opportunity to determine the sequence and magnitude of pathologic changes that culminate in symptomatic disease.
In this prospective, longitudinal study, we analyzed data from 128 participants who underwent baseline clinical and cognitive assessments, brain imaging, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and blood tests. We used the participant’s age at baseline assessment and the parent’s age at the onset of symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease to calculate the estimated years from expected symptom onset (age of the participant minus parent’s age at symptom onset). We conducted cross-sectional analyses of baseline data in relation to estimated years from expected symptom onset in order to determine the relative order and magnitude of pathophysiological changes.
Concentrations of amyloid-beta (Aβ)42 in the CSF appeared to decline 25 years before expected symptom onset. Aβ deposition, as measured by positron-emission tomography with the use of Pittsburgh compound B, was detected 15 years before expected symptom onset. Increased concentrations of tau protein in the CSF and an increase in brain atrophy were detected 15 years before expected symptom onset. Cerebral hypometabolism and impaired episodic memory were observed 10 years before expected symptom onset. Global cognitive impairment, as measured by the Mini–Mental State Examination and the Clinical Dementia Rating scale, was detected 5 years before expected symptom onset, and patients met diagnostic criteria for dementia at an average of 3 years after expected symptom onset.
We found that autosomal dominant Alzheimer’s disease was associated with a series of pathophysiological changes over decades in CSF biochemical markers of Alzheimer’s disease, brain amyloid deposition, and brain metabolism as well as progressive cognitive impairment. Our results require confirmation with the use of longitudinal data and may not apply to patients with sporadic Alzheimer’s disease. (Funded by the National Institute on Aging and others; DIAN number, NCT00869817.)
PMCID: PMC3474597  PMID: 22784036
20.  HIV Associated Neurocognitive Disorder (HAND) is Not Associated with Increased Fibrillar Amyloid Deposits Using 11C-PiB in Middle-Aged HIV+ Participants 
Archives of neurology  2012;69(1):72-77.
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.
PMCID: PMC3536500  PMID: 22232345
HIV; Pittsburgh compound B (PIB); amyloid; HIV associated neurocognitive disorders; Alzheimer’s disease
21.  Loss of Intra- and Inter-Network Resting State Functional Connections with Alzheimer’s Disease Progression 
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.
PMCID: PMC3458508  PMID: 22745490
Alzheimer’s disease; fMRI; resting state functional connectivity; BOLD; default mode network; salience network
22.  Amyloid-Beta Plaque Growth in Cognitively Normal Adults: Longitudinal PIB Data 
Annals of neurology  2011;70(5):857-861.
Amyloid-beta (Aβ) accumulation was evaluated with two PIB PET scans about 2.5 years apart in 146 cognitively normal adults. Seventeen of 21 participants with initially elevated Aβ deposition demonstrated subsequent Aβ plaque growth (approximately 8.0% per year) and none reverted to a state of no Aβ deposits. Ten individuals converted from negative to positive PIB status, based on a threshold of the mean cortical binding potential, representing a conversion rate of 3.1% per year. Individuals with an ε4 allele of apolipoprotein E demonstrated increased incidence of conversion (7.0% per year). Our findings suggest that the major growth in Aβ burden occurs during a preclinical stage of AD, prior to the onset of AD-related symptoms.
PMCID: PMC3243969  PMID: 22162065
preclinical Alzheimer disease; amyloid-beta accumulation; apolipoprotein E; positron emission tomography; [11C]PIB
23.  Post Contrast Susceptibility-Weighted Imaging: A Novel technique for the Detection of Arteriovenous Shunting in Vascular Malformations of the Brain 
To determine the utility of post contrast susceptibility-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (PCSWI) in the evaluation of vascular malformations of the brain (BVM).
Materials and Methods
We retrospectively evaluated PCSWI and digital subtraction angiography (DSA) data from 16 consecutive patients with known or suspected BVM, which had been entered into a prospectively maintained database during a 1-year period. There had been no intervening treatment or change in patients’ symptoms between the PCSWI and DSA studies. The utility of PCSWI in the detection of AVS was compared to that of routine non-contrast susceptibility weighted imaging (SWI), time of flight Magnetic Resonance angiography (TOFMRA) and contrast enhanced Magnetic Resonance angiography (CEMRA) using DSA results as the reference standard. The presence of AVS in PCSWI or SWI sequences was defined by the presence of abnormal signal hyperintensity in the venous structures adjacent to the BVM.
A total of 17 BVMs were identified by DSA (9 newly diagnosed arteriovenous malformations, 3 dural arteriovenous fistulas, 4 treated arteriovenous malformations with residual AVS and 1 complex developmental venous anomaly). PCSWI was 100% sensitive and 100% specific with 100% positive predictive value (PPV) and 100% negative predictive value (NPV) for the detection of AVS in these BVMs. The PCSWI/SWI signal intensity ratio in the most prominent early draining venous structure was 1.2 ± 0.32.
PCSWI appears to be superior to SWI, TOFMRA and CEMRA in detecting AVS in BVMs and may be useful in the initial diagnosis and follow-up of patients with BVMs.
PMCID: PMC3202078  PMID: 21940964
Susceptibility-weighted imaging (SWI); Arteriovenous shunting; Arteriovenous malformation (AVM); Developmental venous anomalies (DVA)
24.  Cerebrospinal Fluid Biomarkers, Education, Brain Volume and Future Cognition 
Archives of neurology  2011;68(9):1145-1151.
To evaluate the combination of cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers of Aβ42, tau, and phosphorylated tau (ptau181) with education and normalized whole brain volume (nWBV) to predict incident cognitive impairment and test the cognitive/brain reserve hypothesis.
Longitudinal cohort study.
Charles F. and Joanne Knight Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center of Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri.
Convenience sample of 197 participants aged 50 years and above, with normal cognition (Clinical Dementia Rating [CDR] of 0) at baseline, followed for a mean of 3.3 years.
Main outcome measure
Time to cognitive impairment (CDR ≥ 0.5).
Three-factor interactions between the baseline biomarker values, education, and nWBV were found for Cox proportional hazards models testing tau (p=.03) and ptau (p=.008). Among those with lower tau values, nWBV (hazard ratio [HR]=.54, 95% confidence interval [CI]=.31–.91; p=.02), but not education, was related to time to cognitive impairment. For participants with higher tau values, education interacted with nWBV to predict incident impairment (p=.01). For individuals with lower ptau values, there was no effect of education or nWBV. Education interacted with nWBV to predict incident cognitive impairment among those with higher ptau values (p=.02). In models testing Aβ42, larger nWBV was associated with a slower time to cognitive impairment (HR=.84, 95%CI=.71–.99, p=.0348), but there was no effect of Aβ42 or education.
Among individuals with higher levels of CSF tau and ptau, but normal cognition at baseline, time to incident cognitive impairment is moderated by education and brain volume as predicted by the cognitive/brain reserve hypothesis.
PMCID: PMC3203689  PMID: 21911695
25.  Neuropathologic Correlates for DTI in post-infectious encephalopathy Short running title: DTI in ANE and ADEM 
Pediatric neurology  2011;44(5):389-393.
Acute necrotizing encephalopathy and acute disseminated encephalomyelitis are two rare types of acute post-infectious encephalopathy in children. Acute necrotizing encephalopathy is characterized by multiple symmetrical lesions in the thalami, putamen, cerebral and cerebellar white matter and brainstem. Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis is an immune-mediated demyelinating CNS disorder, which predominantly affects the white matter. Diffusion MRI is sensitive to measuring water diffusion in the central nervous system in human and animal models. Recent studies have demonstrated that by an analytical approach to directional diffusivity derived parameters, the axial diffusivity and the radial diffusivity, one can assess the extent of axonal or myelin injury in the CNS white matter. We applied directional diffusivity to acute necrotizing encephalopathy, acute disseminated encephalomyelitis and control cases correlating with neuropathology findings. In acute necrotizing encephalopathy, axonal injury without demyelination, noted on biopsied brain tissue, was suggested by a decreased apparent diffusion coefficient, unchanged fractional anisotropy and decreased axial and radial diffusivity. Whereas in acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, an increased apparent diffusion coefficient, decreased fractional anisotropy, unchanged axial diffusivity and markedly increased radial diffusivity compatible with active inflammatory demyelination, were noted consistent with tissue biopsy neuropathology. In conclusion, diffusion tensor parameters can potentially depict more microstructural changes than conventional MRI in post-infectious encephalopathy in children.
PMCID: PMC3085341  PMID: 21481751

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