The hypothalamus is critically involved in the regulation of feeding. Previous studies have shown that glucose ingestion inhibits hypothalamic neuronal activity. However, this was not observed in patients with type 2 diabetes. Restoring energy balance by reducing caloric intake and losing weight are important therapeutic strategies in patients with type 2 diabetes. We hypothesized that caloric restriction would have beneficial effects on the hypothalamic neuronal response to glucose ingestion. Functional magnetic resonance imaging was performed in 10 male type 2 diabetic patients before and after a 4-day very-low-calorie diet (VLCD) at a 3.0 Tesla scanner using a blood oxygen level–dependent technique for measuring neuronal activity in the hypothalamus in response to an oral glucose load. Hypothalamic signals were normalized to baseline value, and differences between the pre- and postdiet condition were tested using paired t tests. Pre-VLCD scans showed no response of the hypothalamus to glucose intake (i.e., no signal decrease after glucose intake was observed). Post-VLCD scans showed a prolonged signal decrease after glucose ingestion. The results of the current study demonstrate that short-term caloric restriction readily normalizes hypothalamic responsiveness to glucose ingestion in patients with type 2 diabetes.
We test the hypothesis that cerebral microbleeds (CMB) and age-related macular degeneration (AMD), both linked to amyloid-β deposition, are correlated. This study includes 4205 participants (mean age 76.2; 57.8% women) in the AGES-Reykjavik Study (2002–2006). CMB were assessed from magnetic resonance images and AMD from digital retinal images. Data were analyzed with multinomial logistic models controlling for major confounders. Evidence of CMB was detected in 476 persons (272 with strict lobar CMB and 204 with non-lobar CMB). AMD was detected in 1098 persons (869 with early AMD, 140 with exudative AMD, and 89 with pure geographic atrophy). Early and exudative AMD were not associated with CMB. The adjusted odds ratio of pure geographic atrophy was 1.62 (95% confidence interval 0.93–2.82, P=0.089) for having any CMB, 1.43 (0.66–3.06, P=0.363) for strict lobar CMB, and 1.85 (0.89–3.87, P=0.100) for non-lobar CMB. This study provides no evidence that amyloid deposits in the brain and AMD are correlated. However, the suggestive association of geographic atrophy with CMB warrants further investigation.
Age-related macular degeneration; Cerebral microbleeds; Amyloid-β; The AGES-Reykjavik Study
Major depressive disorder (MDD) has been associated with abnormal prefrontal-limbic interactions and altered catecholaminergic neurotransmission. The val158met polymorphism on the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene has been shown to influence prefrontal cortex (PFC) activation during both emotional processing and working memory (WM). Although COMT-genotype is not directly associated with MDD, it may affect MDD pathology by altering PFC activation, an endophenotype associated with both COMT and MDD. 125 participants, including healthy controls (HC, n=28) and MDD patients were genotyped for the COMT val158met polymorphism and underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI-neuroimaging) during emotion processing (viewing of emotional facial expressions) and a WM task (visuospatial planning). Within HC, we observed a positive correlation between the number of met-alleles and right inferior frontal gyrus activation during emotional processing, whereas within patients the number of met-alleles was not correlated with PFC activation. During WM a negative correlation between the number of met-alleles and middle frontal gyrus activation was present in the total sample. In addition, during emotional processing there was an effect of genotype in a cluster including the amygdala and hippocampus. These results demonstrate that COMT genotype is associated with relevant endophenotypes for MDD. In addition, presence of MDD only interacts with genotype during emotional processing and not working memory.
The increased risk of cerebro- and cardiovascular disease in migraineurs may be the consequence of a systemic condition affecting whole body vasculature. At cerebrovascular level, this may be reflected by interictal global or regional cerebral perfusion abnormalities. Whether focal perfusion changes occur during interictal migraine has not been convincingly demonstrated.
We measured brain perfusion with dynamic susceptibility contrast magnetic resonance imaging (DSC-MRI) in 29 interictal female migraineurs (12 migraine with aura (MA), 17 migraine without aura (MO)) and 16 female controls. Perfusion maps were compared between these groups with a voxelwise (p<0.001, uncorrected, minimum cluster size 20 voxels) and a region-of-interest approach.
In whole brain voxelwise analyses interictal hyperperfusion was observed in the left medial frontal gyrus in migraineurs and in the inferior and middle temporal gyrus in MO patients, in comparison to controls. Hypoperfusion was seen in the postcentral gyrus and in the inferior temporal gyrus in MA patients and in the inferior frontal gyrus in MO patients. Additional focal sites of hyperperfusion were noted in subgroups based on attack frequency and disease history. Region-of-interest analyses of the pons, hypothalamus, occipital lobe and cerebellum did not show interictal perfusion differences between migraineurs and controls.
We conclude that interictal migraine is characterized by discrete areas of hyper- and hypoperfusion unspecific for migraine pathophysiology and not explaining the increased vulnerability of particular brain regions for cerebrovascular damage.
interictal migraine; dynamic susceptibility contrast magnetic resonance imaging; brain perfusion
Preclinical studies suggest that fluoxetine may have neuroprotective properties. In this pilot study forty-two patients with secondary or primary progressive MS were randomized to receive fluoxetine 20 mg twice daily or placebo for 2 years. Every 3 months the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS), 9-hole peg test (9-HPT) and ambulation index (AI) were assessed. Brain MRI scans, Multiple Sclerosis Functional Composite, Fatigue Impact Scale, Guy's neurological disability Scale and SF-36 were performed at baseline, year 1 and year 2. Seven out of 20 (35%) patients in the fluoxetine group and 7 out of 22 (32%) patients in the placebo group had sustained progression on the EDSS, 9-HPT, or AI at 2 years. No differences were identified between the 2 treatment groups with respect to secondary clinical outcomes and T2 lesion load, grey matter volume and white matter volume. An unanticipated low rate of disability progression in the placebo group decreased the statistical power. At least 200 patients would have been needed to detect a 50% treatment effect. This trial shows that fluoxetine was generally well tolerated, but no assumptions can be made about a possible treatment effect. An adequately powered controlled trial of fluoxetine in progressive MS is still warranted. This trial is registered with Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN38456328.
Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) has been associated with biased processing and abnormal regulation of negative and positive information, which may result from compromised coordinated activity of prefrontal and subcortical brain regions involved in evaluating emotional information. We tested whether patients with MDD show distributed changes in functional connectivity with a set of independently derived brain networks that have shown high correspondence with different task demands, including stimulus salience and emotional processing. We further explored if connectivity during emotional word processing related to the tendency to engage in positive or negative emotional states. In this study, 25 medication-free MDD patients without current or past comorbidity and matched controls (n = 25) performed an emotional word-evaluation task during functional MRI. Using a dual regression approach, individual spatial connectivity maps representing each subject's connectivity with each standard network were used to evaluate between-group differences and effects of positive and negative emotionality (extraversion and neuroticism, respectively, as measured with the NEO-FFI). Results showed decreased functional connectivity of the medial prefrontal cortex, ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, and ventral striatum with the fronto-opercular salience network in MDD patients compared to controls. In patients, abnormal connectivity was related to extraversion, but not neuroticism. These results confirm the hypothesis of a relative (para)limbic–cortical decoupling that may explain dysregulated affect in MDD. As connectivity of these regions with the salience network was related to extraversion, but not to general depression severity or negative emotionality, dysfunction of this network may be responsible for the failure to sustain engagement in rewarding behavior.
•We studied whole-brain functional connectivity in MDD during an emotional task.•We used a set of independent template networks, corresponding to various task demands.•We showed lower connectivity of reward related regions with a salience network in MDD.•Lower salience connectivity specifically related to extraversion in patients•Results may reflect vulnerability for MDD via a circuit vital for rewarding behavior.
Depression; Extraversion; Functional magnetic resonance imagint; Salience network; Whole-brain functional connectivity
A previous cross-sectional study showed an association of migraine with a higher prevalence of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)–measured ischemic lesions in the brain.
To determine whether women or men with migraine (with and without aura) have a higher incidence of brain lesions 9 years after initial MRI, whether migraine frequency was associated with progression of brain lesions, and whether progression of brain lesions was associated with cognitive decline.
Design, Setting, and Participants
In a follow-up of the 2000 Cerebral Abnormalities in Migraine, an Epidemiological Risk Analysis cohort, a prospective populationbased observational study of Dutch participants with migraine and an age- and sexmatched control group, 203 of the 295 baseline participants in the migraine group and 83 of 140 in the control group underwent MRI scan in 2009 to identify progression of MRI-measured brain lesions. Comparisons were adjusted for age, sex, hypertension, diabetes, and educational level. The participants in the migraine group were a mean 57 years (range, 43–72 years), and 71% were women. Those in the control group were a mean 55 years (range, 44–71 years), and 69% were women.
Main Outcome Measures
Progression of MRI-measured cerebral deep white matter hyperintensities, infratentorial hyperintensities, and posterior circulation territory infarctlike lesions. Change in cognition was also measured.
Of the 145 women in the migraine group, 112 (77%) vs 33 of 55 women (60%) in the control group had progression of deep white matter hyperintensities (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 2.1; 95%CI, 1.0–4.1; P=.04). There were no significant associations of migraine with progression of infratentorial hyperintensities: 21 participants (15%) in themigraine group and 1 of 57 participants (2%) in the control group showed progression (adjusted OR, 7.7; 95% CI, 1.0–59.5; P=.05) or new posterior circulation territory infarctlike lesions: 10 of 203 participants (5%) in the migraine group but none of 83 in the control group (P=.07). There was no association of number or frequency of migraine headaches with progression of lesions. There was no significant association of high vs nonhigh deep white matter hyperintensity load with change in cognitive scores ( 3.7 in the migraine group vs 1.4 in the control group; 95% CI, 4.4 to 0.2; adjusted P=.07).
In a community-based cohort followed up after 9 years, women with migraine had a higher incidence of deep white matter hyperintensities but did not have significantly higher progression of other MRI-measured brain changes. There was no association of migraine with progression of any MRI-measured brain lesions in men.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) has been associated with biased memory formation for mood-congruent information, which may be related to altered monoamine levels. The piccolo (PCLO) gene, involved in monoaminergic neurotransmission, has previously been linked to depression in a genome-wide association study. Here, we investigated the role of the PCLO risk allele on functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) correlates of emotional memory in a sample of 89 MDD patients (64 PCLO risk allele carriers) and 29 healthy controls (18 PCLO risk allele carriers). During negative word encoding, risk allele carriers showed significant lower activity relative to non-risk allele carriers in the insula, and trend-wise in the anterior cingulate cortex and inferior frontal gyrus. Moreover, depressed risk allele carriers showed significant lower activity relative to non-risk allele carriers in the striatum, an effect which was absent in healthy controls. Finally, amygdalar response during processing new positive words vs. known words was blunted in healthy PCLO+ carriers and in MDD patients irrespective of genotype, which may indicate that signalling of salient novel information does not occur to the same extent in PCLO+ carriers and MDD patients. The PCLO risk allele may increase vulnerability for MDD by modulating local brain function with regard to responsiveness to salient stimuli (i.e. insula) and processing novel negative information. Also, depression-specific effects of PCLO on dorsal striatal activation during negative word encoding and the absence of amygdalar salience signalling for novel positive information further suggest a role of PCLO in symptom maintenance in MDD.
Huntington's disease (HD) is characterised by both regional and generalised neuronal cell loss in the brain. Investigating functional brain connectivity patterns in rest in HD has the potential to broaden the understanding of brain functionality in relation to disease progression. This study aims to establish whether brain connectivity during rest is different in premanifest and manifest HD as compared to controls.
At the Leiden University Medical Centre study site of the TRACK-HD study, 20 early HD patients (disease stages 1 and 2), 28 premanifest gene carriers and 28 healthy controls underwent 3 T MRI scanning. Standard and high-resolution T1-weighted images and a resting state fMRI scan were acquired. Using FSL, group differences in resting state connectivity were examined for eight networks of interest using a dual regression method. With a voxelwise correction for localised atrophy, group differences in functional connectivity were examined.
Brain connectivity of the left middle frontal and pre-central gyrus, and right post central gyrus with the medial visual network was reduced in premanifest and manifest HD as compared to controls (0.05 > p > 0.0001). In manifest HD connectivity of numerous widespread brain regions with the default mode network and the executive control network were reduced (0.05 > p > 0.0001).
Brain regions that show reduced intrinsic functional connectivity are present in premanifest gene carriers and to a much larger extent in manifest HD patients. These differences are present even when the potential influence of atrophy is taken into account. Resting state fMRI could potentially be used for early disease detection in the premanifest phase of HD and for monitoring of disease modifying compounds.
•We applied resting state fMRI in premanifest and manifest Huntington's disease.•Reduced functional brain connectivity was present in premanifest HD gene carriers.•Large regions demonstrate reduced functional brain connectivity in manifest HD.•Medial visual, default mode and executive control networks were affected.
Huntington's disease; Resting state fMRI; Premanifest gene carriers; Functional connectivity
Aortic stiffness increases with age and vascular risk factor exposure and is associated with increased risk for structural and functional abnormalities in the brain. High ambient flow and low impedance are thought to sensitize the cerebral microcirculation to harmful effects of excessive pressure and flow pulsatility. However, haemodynamic mechanisms contributing to structural brain lesions and cognitive impairment in the presence of high aortic stiffness remain unclear. We hypothesized that disproportionate stiffening of the proximal aorta as compared with the carotid arteries reduces wave reflection at this important interface and thereby facilitates transmission of excessive pulsatile energy into the cerebral microcirculation, leading to microvascular damage and impaired function. To assess this hypothesis, we evaluated carotid pressure and flow, carotid–femoral pulse wave velocity, brain magnetic resonance images and cognitive scores in participants in the community-based Age, Gene/Environment Susceptibility – Reykjavik study who had no history of stroke, transient ischaemic attack or dementia (n = 668, 378 females, 69–93 years of age). Aortic characteristic impedance was assessed in a random subset (n = 422) and the reflection coefficient at the aorta–carotid interface was computed. Carotid flow pulsatility index was negatively related to the aorta–carotid reflection coefficient (R = −0.66, P<0.001). Carotid pulse pressure, pulsatility index and carotid–femoral pulse wave velocity were each associated with increased risk for silent subcortical infarcts (hazard ratios of 1.62–1.71 per standard deviation, P<0.002). Carotid–femoral pulse wave velocity was associated with higher white matter hyperintensity volume (0.108 ± 0.045 SD/SD, P = 0.018). Pulsatility index was associated with lower whole brain (−0.127 ± 0.037 SD/SD, P<0.001), grey matter (−0.079 ± 0.038 SD/SD, P = 0.038) and white matter (−0.128 ± 0.039 SD/SD, P<0.001) volumes. Carotid–femoral pulse wave velocity (−0.095 ± 0.043 SD/SD, P = 0.028) and carotid pulse pressure (−0.114 ± 0.045 SD/SD, P = 0.013) were associated with lower memory scores. Pulsatility index was associated with lower memory scores (−0.165 ± 0.039 SD/SD, P<0.001), slower processing speed (−0.118 ± 0.033 SD/SD, P<0.001) and worse performance on tests assessing executive function (−0.155 ± 0.041 SD/SD, P<0.001). When magnetic resonance imaging measures (grey and white matter volumes, white matter hyperintensity volumes and prevalent subcortical infarcts) were included in cognitive models, haemodynamic associations were attenuated or no longer significant, consistent with the hypothesis that increased aortic stiffness and excessive flow pulsatility damage the microcirculation, leading to quantifiable tissue damage and reduced cognitive performance. Marked stiffening of the aorta is associated with reduced wave reflection at the interface between carotid and aorta, transmission of excessive flow pulsatility into the brain, microvascular structural brain damage and lower scores in various cognitive domains.
haemodynamics; aortic stiffness; magnetic resonance imaging; brain structure; cognitive function
By phage display, llama-derived heavy chain antibody fragments were selected from non-immune and immune libraries and tested for their affinity and specificity for beta amyloid by phage-ELISA, immunohistochemistry and surface plasmon resonance.
We identified 8 distinct heavy chain antibody fragments specific for beta amyloid. Whilst three of them recognized vascular and parenchymal beta amyloid deposits, the remaining five heavy chain antibody fragments recognized vascular beta amyloid specifically, failing to bind to parenchymal beta amyloid.
These heavy chain antibody fragments, selected from different libraries, demonstrated differential affinity for different epitopes when used for immunohistochemistry. These observations indicate that the llama heavy chain antibody fragments are the first immunologic probes with the ability to differentiate between parenchymal and vascular beta amyloid aggregates. This indicates that vascular and parenchymal beta amyloid deposits are heterogeneous in epitope presence/availability. The properties of these heavy chain antibody fragments make them potential candidates for use in in vivo differential diagnosis of Alzheimer disease and cerebral amyloid angiopathy. Continued use and characterization of these reagents will be necessary to fully understand the performance of these immunoreagents.
Alzheimer’s disease; Amyloid beta; Antibody; Histochemistry; Imaging; Immunoreactivity
Cerebral microbleeds (CMB) are increasingly recognized neuroimaging findings, occurring with cerebrovascular disease, dementia, and normal aging. Recent years have seen substantial progress, particularly in developing newer MRI methodologies for CMB detection and applying them to population-based elderly samples. This review focuses on these recent developments and their impact on two major questions: how CMB are detected, and how they should be interpreted. There is now ample evidence that prevalence and number of detected CMB varies with MRI characteristics such as pulse sequence, sequence parameters, spatial resolution, magnetic field strength, and post-processing, underlining the importance of MRI technique in interpreting studies. Recent investigations using sensitive techniques find the prevalence of CMB detected in community-dwelling elderly to be surprisingly high. We propose procedural guidelines for identifying CMB and suggest possible future approaches for elucidating the role of these common lesions as markers for, and potential contributors to, small vessel brain disease.
This study investigated the in vivo properties of two heavy chain antibody fragments (VHH), ni3A and pa2H, to differentially detect vascular or parenchymal amyloid-β deposits characteristic for Alzheimer's disease and cerebral amyloid angiopathy. Blood clearance and biodistribution including brain uptake were assessed by bolus injection of radiolabeled VHH in APP/PS1 mice or wildtype littermates. In addition, in vivo specificity for Aβ was examined in more detail with fluorescently labeled VHH by circumventing the blood-brain barrier via direct application or intracarotid co-injection with mannitol. All VHH showed rapid renal clearance (10–20 min). Twenty-four hours post-injection 99mTc-pa2H resulted in a small yet significant higher cerebral uptake in the APP/PS1 animals. No difference in brain uptake were observed for 99mTc-ni3A or DTPA(111In)-pa2H, which lacked additional peptide tags to investigate further clinical applicability. In vivo specificity for Aβ was confirmed for both fluorescently labeled VHH, where pa2H remained readily detectable for 24 hours or more after injection. Furthermore, both VHH showed affinity for parenchymal and vascular deposits, this in contrast to human tissue, where ni3A specifically targeted only vascular Aβ. Despite a brain uptake that is as yet too low for in vivo imaging, this study provides evidence that VHH detect Aβ deposits in vivo, with high selectivity and favorable in vivo characteristics, making them promising tools for further development as diagnostic agents for the distinctive detection of different Aβ deposits.
Background and Purpose
Several cardiovascular risk factors are associated with cognitive disorders in older persons. Little is known about the association of the burden of coronary atherosclerosis with brain structure and function.
Cross-sectional analysis of data from the AGES Reykjavik Study cohort of men and women born 1907-35. Coronary artery calcification (CAC), a marker of atherosclerotic burden was measured with computed tomography. Memory, speed of processing, and executive function composites were calculated from a cognitive test battery. Dementia was assessed in a multi-step procedure and diagnosed according to international guidelines. Quantitative data on total intracranial and tissue volumes [total, Gray (GMV), White (WMV), and White Matter Lesions (WMLV)], cerebral infarcts and cerebral microbleeds (CMB) were obtained with brain MRI. The association of CAC with dementia (n=165 cases) and cognitive function in non-demented subjects (n=4085), and separately with MRI outcomes, was examined in multivariate models adjusting for demographic and vascular risk factors. Analyses tested whether brain structure mediated the associations of CAC to cognitive function.
Subjects with higher CAC were more likely to have dementia and lower cognitive scores, more likely to have lower WMV, GMV and total brain tissue, and more cerebral infarcts, CMB and WMLV. The relations of cognitive performance and dementia to CAC were significantly attenuated when the models were adjusted for brain lesions and volumes.
In a population-based sample increasing atherosclerotic load, assessed by CAC, is associated with poorer cognitive performance and dementia, and these relations are mediated by evidence of brain pathology.
Atherosclerosis; Coronary Artery Disease; Calcinosis/radiography; Dementia; Cognitive function
To identify vascular mechanisms of brain atrophy in type 1 diabetes mellitus (DM) patients by investigating the relationship between brain volumes and cerebral perfusion and aortic stiffness using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
Approval from the local institutional review board was obtained, and patients gave informed consent. Fifty-one type 1 DM patients (30 men; mean age 44 ± 11 years; mean DM duration 23 ± 12 years) and 34 age- and sex-matched healthy control subjects were prospectively enrolled. Exclusion criteria comprised hypertension, stroke, aortic disease, and standard MRI contraindications. White matter (WM) and gray matter (GM) brain volumes, total cerebral blood flow (tCBF), total brain perfusion, and aortic pulse wave velocity (PWV) were assessed using MRI. Multivariable linear regression analysis was used for statistics, with covariates age, sex, mean arterial pressure, BMI, smoking, heart rate, DM duration, and HbA1c.
Both WM and GM brain volumes were decreased in type 1 DM patients compared with control subjects (WM P = 0.04; respective GM P = 0.03). Total brain perfusion was increased in type 1 DM compared with control subjects (β = −0.219, P < 0.05). Total CBF and aortic PWV predicted WM brain volume (β = 0.352, P = 0.024 for tCBF; respective β = −0.458, P = 0.016 for aortic PWV) in type 1 DM. Age was the independent predictor of GM brain volume (β = −0.695, P < 0.001).
Type 1 DM patients without hypertension showed WM and GM volume loss compared with control subjects concomitant with a relative increased brain perfusion. Total CBF and stiffness of the aorta independently predicted WM brain atrophy in type 1 DM. Only age predicted GM brain atrophy.
A small MRI study showed increased iron depositions in the periaqueductal grey matter in migraineurs, suggestive of a disturbed central antinociceptive neuronal network.
With 1.5T MRI, we assessed iron concentrations in seven deep brain nuclei in a large population-based cohort. We compared T2 values between migraineurs (n=138) and controls (n=75), with multivariate regression analysis. Analyses were conducted in age strata (<50, n=112; ≥50) because iron measures are increasingly influenced by non-iron related factors in the older group.
Overall, migraineurs and controls did not differ, nor did migraineurs with vs. without aura. In the younger migraineurs compared to controls, T2-values were lower in the putamen (p=0.02), globus pallidus (p=0.03) and red nucleus (p=0.03). Similarly, in these younger migraineurs, controlling for age, those with longer migraine-history had lower T2 values in the putamen (p=0.01), caudate (p=0.04) and red nucleus (p=0.001).
Repeated migraine attacks are associated with increased iron concentration / accumulation in multiple deep nuclei that are involved in central pain processing and migraine pathophysiology. It remains unclear whether iron accumulation in the antinociceptive network has a causative role in the development of (chronic) migraine headache.
Migraine; Magnetic Resonance Imaging; Iron accumulation; Pain processing
Background & Purpose
Cerebral infarcts increase the risk for cognitive impairment. The relevance of location and number of infarcts with respect to cognitive function is less clear.
We studied the cross-sectional association between number and location of infarcts and cognitive performance in 4030 non-demented participants of the Age Gene/Environment Susceptibility-Reykjavik Study. Composite scores for memory (MEM), processing speed (SP) and executive function (EF) were created from a neuropsychological battery. Subcortical, cortical, and cerebellar infarcts were identified on brain MRI. We performed linear-regression analyses adjusted for demographic and vascular risk factors, depression, white matter lesions, and atrophy.
Compared to participants with no infarcts, those with infarcts in multiple locations (n=287, 7%) had slower SP (β=-0.19, p<.001) and poorer MEM (β=-0.16, p<.001) and EF (β=-0.12, p=.003). Compared to no infarcts, the presence of either subcortical infarcts only (n=275) (β=-0.12, p=.016) or cortical infarcts only (n=215) (β=-0.17, p=.001) was associated with poorer MEM performance. Compared to no infarcts, a combination of cortical and subcortical infarcts (n=45) was associated with slower SP (β=-0.38, p<.001) and poorer EF (β=-0.22, p=.02), while a combination of cerebellar and subcortical infarcts (n=89) was associated with slower SP (β=-0.15, p=.04). Infarcts in all three locations was associated with slower SP (β=-0.33, p=.002).
Having infarcts in more than one location is associated with poor performance in memory, processing speed, and executive function, independent of cardiovascular comorbidities, white matter lesions and brain atrophy, suggesting that both the number and the distribution of infarcts jointly contribute to cognitive impairment.
Previous studies suggested that migraine is a risk factor for brain lesions, but methodological issues hampered drawing definite conclusions. Therefore, we initiated the MRI “CAMERA” study.
We summarize our previously published results. A total of 295 migraineurs and 140 controls were randomly selected from a previously diagnosed population-based sample (n=6039), who underwent an interview, physical examination, and a brain MRI-scan.
Migraineurs, notably those with aura, had higher prevalence of subclinical infarcts in the posterior circulation (OR=13.7; 95%CI 1.7–112). Female migraineurs were at independent increased risk of white matter lesions (WML; OR=2.1; 95%CI 1.0–4.1), and migraineurs had a higher prevalence of brainstem hyperintense lesions (4.4% vs. 0.7%, p=0.04). We observed a higher lifetime prevalence of (frequent) syncope and orthostatic insufficiency in migraineurs; future research needs to clarify whether autonomic nervous system dysfunction could explain (part of) the increased risk of WMLs in female migraineurs. Finally, in migraineurs aged <50, compared to controls, we found evidence of increased iron concentration in putamen (p=0.02), globus pallidus (p=0.03) and red nucleus (p=0.03). Higher risks in those with higher attack frequency or longer disease duration were found consistent with a causal relationship between migraine and lesions.
This summary of our population-based data illustrates that migraine is associated with a significantly increased risk of brain lesions. Longitudinal studies are needed to assess whether these lesions are progressive and have relevant (long-term) functional correlates.
Neuroticism and extraversion are personality factors associated with the vulnerability for developing depression and anxiety disorders, and are possibly differentially related to brain structures implicated in the processing of emotional information and the generation of mood states. To date, studies on brain morphology mainly focused on neuroticism, a dimension primarily related to negative affect, yielding conflicting findings concerning the association with personality, partially due to methodological issues and variable population samples under study. Recently, extraversion, a dimension primarily related to positive affect, has been repeatedly inversely related to with symptoms of depression and anxiety disorders. In the present study, high resolution structural T1-weighted MR images of 65 healthy adults were processed using an optimized Voxel Based Morphometry (VBM) approach. Multiple regression analyses were performed to test for associations of neuroticism and extraversion with prefrontal and subcortical volumes. Orbitofrontal and right amygdala volume were both positively related to extraversion. Extraversion was differentially related to volume of the anterior cingulate cortex in males (positive) and females (negative). Neuroticism scores did not significantly correlate with these brain regions. As extraversion is regarded a protective factor for developing anxiety disorders and depression and has been related to the generation of positive affect, the present results indicate that the reduced likelihood of developing affective disorders in individuals high on extraversion is related to modulation of emotion processing through the orbitofrontal cortex and the amygdala.
We have examined sensitivity and specificity of pseudocontinuous arterial spin labeling (PCASL) to detect global and regional changes in cerebral blood flow (CBF) in response to two different psychoactive drugs. We tested alcohol and morphine in a placebo-controlled, double-blind randomized study in 12 healthy young men. Drugs were administered intravenously. Validated pharmacokinetic protocols achieved minimal intersubject and intrasubject variance in plasma drug concentration. Permutation-based statistical testing of a mixed effect repeated measures model revealed a widespread increase in absolute CBF because of both morphine and alcohol. Conjunction analysis revealed overlapping effects of morphine and alcohol on absolute CBF in the left anterior cingulate, right hippocampus, right insula, and left primary sensorimotor areas. Effects of morphine and alcohol on relative CBF (obtained from z-normalization of absolute CBF maps) were significantly different in the left putamen, left frontoparietal network, cerebellum, and the brainstem. Corroborating previous PET results, our findings suggest that PCASL is a promising tool for central nervous system drug research.
alcohol; cerebral blood flow; functional brain imaging; perfusion weighted MRI; pharma fMRI; morphine
Many efforts have been directed at negating the influence of electromyographic (EMG) activity on the EEG, especially in elderly demented patients. We wondered whether these “artifacts” might reflect cognitive and behavioural aspects of dementia. In this pilot study, 11 patients with probable Alzheimer's disease (AD), 13 with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and 13 controls underwent EEG registration. As EMG measures, we used frontal and temporal 50–70 Hz activity. We found that the EEGs of AD patients displayed more theta activity, less alpha reactivity, and more frontal EMG than controls. Interestingly, increased EMG activity indicated more cognitive impairment and more depressive complaints. EEG variables on the whole distinguished better between groups than EMG variables, but an EMG variable was best for the distinction between MCI and controls. Our results suggest that EMG activity in the EEG could be more than noise; it differs systematically between groups and may reflect different cerebral functions than the EEG.
In Huntington’s disease (HD) atrophy of the caudate nucleus and putamen has been described many years before clinical manifestation. Volume changes of the pallidum, thalamus, brainstem, accumbens nucleus, hippocampus, and amygdala are less well investigated, or reported with contradicting results. The aim of our study is to provide a more precise view of the specific atrophy of the subcortical grey matter structures in different stages of Huntington’s disease, and secondly to investigate how this influences the clinical manifestations. All TRACK-HD subjects underwent standardised T1-weighted 3T MRI scans encompassing 123 manifest HD (stage 1, n = 77; stage 2, n = 46), 120 premanifest HD (close to onset n = 58, far from onset n = 62) and 123 controls. Using FMRIB’s FIRST and SIENAX tools the accumbens nucleus, amygdala, brainstem, caudate nucleus, hippocampus, pallidum, putamen, thalamus and whole brain volume were extracted. Results showed that volumes of the caudate nucleus and putamen were reduced in premanifest HD far from predicted onset (>10.8 years). Atrophy of accumbens nucleus and pallidum was apparent in premanifest HD in the close to onset group (0–10.8 years). All other structures were affected to some degree in the manifest group, although brainstem, thalamus and amygdala were relatively spared. The accumbens nucleus, putamen, pallidum and hippocampus had a strong significant correlation with functional and motor scores. We conclude that volume changes may be a sensitive and reliable measure for early disease detection and in this way serve as a biomarker for Huntington’s disease. Besides the caudate nucleus and putamen, the pallidum and the accumbens nucleus show great potential in this respect.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00415-010-5768-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Huntington’s disease; Volumetric MRI; Accumbens nucleus; Pallidum; Biomarker
To investigate in preterm infants associations between Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) parameters of the posterior limb of the internal capsule (PLIC) and corpus callosum (CC) and age, white matter (WM) injury and clinical factors.
In 84 preterm infants DTI was performed between 40–62 weeks postmenstrual age on 3 T MR. Fractional anisotropy (FA), apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values and fibre lengths through the PLIC and the genu and splenium were determined. WM injury was categorised as normal/mildly, moderately and severely abnormal. Associations between DTI parameters and age, WM injury and clinical factors were analysed.
A positive association existed between FA and age at imaging for fibres through the PLIC (r = 0.48 p < 0.001) and splenium (r = 0.24 p < 0.01). A negative association existed between ADC and age at imaging for fibres through the PLIC (r = −0.65 p < 0.001), splenium (r = −0.35 p < 0.001) and genu (r = −0.53 p < 0.001). No association was found between DTI parameters and gestational age, degree of WM injury or categorical clinical factors.
These results indicate that in our cohort of very preterm infants, at this young age, the development of the PLIC and CC is ongoing and independent of the degree of prematurity or WM injury.
Diffusion tensor imaging; Fibre tractography; Very preterm infants; Term equivalent age; White matter injury
To examine the association of glycemic status to magnetic resonance imaging indicators of brain pathological changes.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
This was a cross-sectional, population-based study of 4,415 men and women without dementia (mean age 76 years) participating in the Age Gene/Environment Susceptibility–Reykjavik Study. Glycemic status groups included the following: type 2 diabetes (self-report of diabetes, use of diabetes medications, or fasting blood glucose ≥7.0 mmol/l [11.1%]); impaired fasting glucose (IFG) (fasting blood glucose 5.6–6.9 mmol/l [36.2%]); and normoglycemic (52.7%). Outcomes were total brain volume, white and gray matter volume, white matter lesion (WML) volume, and presence of cerebral infarcts.
After adjustment for demographic and cardiovascular risk factors, participants with type 2 diabetes had significantly lower total brain volume (72.2 vs. 71.5%; P < 0.001) and lower gray and white matter volumes (45.1 vs. 44.9%, P < 0.01 and 25.7 vs. 25.3%, P < 0.001, respectively) and were more likely to have single (odds ratio 1.45 [95% CI 1.14–1.85]) or multiple (2.27 [1.60–3.23]) cerebral infarcts compared with normoglycemic participants. Longer duration of type 2 diabetes was associated with lower total brain volume and gray and white matter volume, higher WML volume (all Ptrend < 0.05), and a greater likelihood of single and multiple cerebral infarcts (all Ptrend < 0.01).
Type 2 diabetic participants have more pronounced brain atrophy and are more likely to have cerebral infarcts. Duration of type 2 diabetes is associated with brain changes, suggesting that type 2 diabetes has a cumulative effect on the brain.