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<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>Here we illustrate how investigation of individuals acutely after stroke, before structure/function reorganization through recovery or rehabilitation, can be helpful in answering questions about the role of specific brain regions in language functions. Although there is converging evidence from a variety of sources that the left posterior-superior temporal gyrus plays some role in spoken word comprehension, its precise role in this function has not been established. We hypothesized that this region is essential for distinguishing between semantically related words, because it is critical for linking the spoken word to the complete semantic representation. We tested this hypothesis in 127 individuals with 48 hours of acute ischemic stroke, before the opportunity for reorganization or recovery. We identified tissue dysfunction (acute infarct and/or hypoperfusion) in gray and white matter parcels of the left hemisphere, and we evaluated the association between rate of semantic errors in a word-picture verification tasks and extent of tissue dysfunction in each region. We found that after correcting for lesion volume and multiple comparisons, the rate of semantic errors correlated with the extent of tissue dysfunction in left posterior-superior temporal gyrus and retrolenticular white matter.</jats:p>
OBJECTIVE: To determine whether unsupervised principal component analysis (PCA) of comprehensive clinico-radiologic data can identify phenotypic subgroups within antibody-negative patients with overlapping features of multiple sclerosis (MS) and neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders (NMOSDs), and to validate the phenotypic classifications using high-resolution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) plasma metabolomics with inference to underlying pathologies. METHODS: Forty-one antibody-negative patients were recruited from the Oxford NMO Service. Thirty-six clinico-radiologic parameters, focusing on features known to distinguish NMOSD and MS, were collected to build an unbiased PCA model identifying phenotypic subgroups within antibody-negative patients. Metabolomics data from patients with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) (n = 34) and antibody-positive NMOSD (Ab-NMOSD) (aquaporin-4 antibody n = 54, myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibody n = 20) were used to identify discriminatory plasma metabolites separating RRMS and Ab-NMOSD. RESULTS: PCA of the 36 clinico-radiologic parameters revealed 3 phenotypic subgroups within antibody-negative patients: an MS-like subgroup, an NMOSD-like subgroup, and a low brain lesion subgroup. Supervised multivariate analysis of metabolomics data from patients with RRMS and Ab-NMOSD identified myoinositol and formate as the most discriminatory metabolites (both higher in RRMS). Within antibody-negative patients, myoinositol and formate were significantly higher in the MS-like vs NMOSD-like subgroup; myoinositol (mean [SD], 0.0023 [0.0002] vs 0.0019 [0.0003] arbitrary units [AU]; p = 0.041); formate (0.0027 [0.0006] vs 0.0019 [0.0006] AU; p = 0.010) (AU). CONCLUSIONS: PCA identifies 3 phenotypic subgroups within antibody-negative patients and that the metabolite discriminators of RRMS and Ab-NMOSD suggest that these groupings have some pathogenic meaning. Thus, the identified clinico-radiologic discriminators may provide useful diagnostic clues when seeing antibody-negative patients in the clinic.
© 2019 Elsevier Inc. Preclinical applications of resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rsfMRI) offer the possibility to non-invasively probe whole-brain network dynamics and to investigate the determinants of altered network signatures observed in human studies. Mouse rsfMRI has been increasingly adopted by numerous laboratories worldwide. Here we describe a multi-centre comparison of 17 mouse rsfMRI datasets via a common image processing and analysis pipeline. Despite prominent cross-laboratory differences in equipment and imaging procedures, we report the reproducible identification of several large-scale resting-state networks (RSN), including a mouse default-mode network, in the majority of datasets. A combination of factors was associated with enhanced reproducibility in functional connectivity parameter estimation, including animal handling procedures and equipment performance. RSN spatial specificity was enhanced in datasets acquired at higher field strength, with cryoprobes, in ventilated animals, and under medetomidine-isoflurane combination sedation. Our work describes a set of representative RSNs in the mouse brain and highlights key experimental parameters that can critically guide the design and analysis of future rodent rsfMRI investigations.
© 2019, The Author(s). Copy number variations (CNVs) are implicated across many neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) and contribute to their shared genetic etiology. Multiple studies have attempted to identify shared etiology among NDDs, but this is the first genome-wide CNV analysis across autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), schizophrenia (SCZ), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) at once. Using microarray (Affymetrix CytoScan HD), we genotyped 2,691 subjects diagnosed with an NDD (204 SCZ, 1,838 ASD, 427 ADHD and 222 OCD) and 1,769 family members, mainly parents. We identified rare CNVs, defined as those found in <0.1% of 10,851 population control samples. We found clinically relevant CNVs (broadly defined) in 284 (10.5%) of total subjects, including 22 (10.8%) among subjects with SCZ, 209 (11.4%) with ASD, 40 (9.4%) with ADHD, and 13 (5.6%) with OCD. Among all NDD subjects, we identified 17 (0.63%) with aneuploidies and 115 (4.3%) with known genomic disorder variants. We searched further for genes impacted by different CNVs in multiple disorders. Examples of NDD-associated genes linked across more than one disorder (listed in order of occurrence frequency) are NRXN1, SEH1L, LDLRAD4, GNAL, GNG13, MKRN1, DCTN2, KNDC1, PCMTD2, KIF5A, SYNM, and long non-coding RNAs: AK127244 and PTCHD1-AS. We demonstrated that CNVs impacting the same genes could potentially contribute to the etiology of multiple NDDs. The CNVs identified will serve as a useful resource for both research and diagnostic laboratories for prioritization of variants.
© 2019, The Author(s). Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has been hypothesized to be a result of altered connectivity in the brain. Recent imaging studies suggest accelerated maturation of the white matter in young children with ASD, with underlying mechanisms unknown. Myelin is an integral part of the white matter and critical for connectivity; however, its role in ASD remains largely unclear. Here, we investigated myelin development in a model of idiopathic ASD, the BTBR mice. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed that fiber tracts in the frontal brain of the BTBR mice had increased volume at postnatal day 6, but the difference reduced over time, reminiscent of the findings in young patients. We further identified that myelination in the frontal brain of both male and female neonatal BTBR mice was increased, associated with elevated levels of myelin basic protein. However, myelin pattern was unaltered in adult BTBR mice, revealing accelerated developmental trajectory of myelination. Consistently, we found that signaling of platelet-derived growth factor receptor alpha (PDGFRα) was reduced in the frontal brain of neonatal BTBR mice. However, levels of microRNA species known to regulate PDGFRα signaling and myelination were unaltered. Together, these results suggest that precocious myelination could potentially contribute to increased volume and connectivity of the white matter observed in young children with ASD.
Studies of selective attention during perception have revealed modulation of the pupillary response according to the brightness of task-relevant (attended) vs. -irrelevant (unattended) stimuli within a visual display. As a strong test of top-down modulation of the pupil response by selective attention, we asked whether changes in pupil diameter follow internal shifts of attention to memoranda of visual stimuli of different brightness maintained in working memory, in the absence of any visual stimulation. Across 3 studies, we reveal dilation of the pupil when participants orient attention to the memorandum of a dark grating relative to that of a bright grating. The effect occurs even when the attention-orienting cue is independent of stimulus brightness, and even when stimulus brightness is merely incidental and not required for the working-memory task of judging stimulus orientation. Furthermore, relative dilation and constriction of the pupil occurred dynamically and followed the changing temporal expectation that 1 or the other stimulus would be probed across the retention delay. The results provide surprising and consistent evidence that pupil responses are under top-down control by cognitive factors, even when there is no direct adaptive gain for such modulation, since no visual stimuli were presented or anticipated. The results also strengthen the view of sensory recruitment during working memory, suggesting even activation of sensory receptors. The thought-provoking corollary to our findings is that the pupils provide a reliable measure of what is in the focus of mind, thus giving a different meaning to old proverbs about the eyes being a window to the mind.
The Osteoarthritis Thumb Therapy (OTTER) II Trial: a study protocol for a three-arm multi-centre randomised placebo controlled trial of the clinical effectiveness and efficacy and cost-effectiveness of splints for symptomatic thumb base osteoarthritis.
INTRODUCTION: The economic cost of osteoarthritis (OA) is high. At least 4.4 million people have hand OA in the UK. Symptomatic thumb base OA affects 20% of people over 55 years, causing more pain, work and functional disability than OA elsewhere in the hand. Most evidence-based guidelines recommend splinting for hand OA. Splints that support or immobilise the thumb base are routinely used despite there being limited evidence on their effectiveness. The potential effects of placebo interventions in OA are acknowledged, but few studies investigate the clinical efficacy of rehabilitation interventions nor the impact of any placebo effects associated with splints. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: Participants aged 30 years and over with symptomatic thumb base OA will be recruited into the trial from secondary care occupational therapy and physiotherapy centres. Following informed consent, participants will complete a baseline questionnaire and then be randomised into one of three treatment arms: a self-management programme, a self-management programme plus a verum thumb splint or a self-management programme plus a placebo thumb splint. The primary outcome is the Australian Canadian Osteoarthritis Hand Index (AUSCAN) hand pain scale. The study endpoint is 8 weeks after baseline. Baseline assessments will be carried out prior to randomisation and outcomes collected at 4, 8 and 12 weeks. Cost-effectiveness analysis will be conducted and individual qualitative interviews conducted with up to 40 participants after 8 weeks to explore perceptions and outcome expectations of verum and placebo splints and exercise. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: South Central-Oxford C Research Ethics Committee approved this study (16/SC/0188). The findings will be disseminated to health professional conferences, journals and lay publications for patient organisations. The research will contribute to improving the management of thumb base OA and help clinicians and patients make informed decisions about the value of different interventions. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ISRCTN54744256.