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PubMed | Chinese University of Hong Kong, The Second Peoples Hospital of Shenzhen Shenzhen, Dalian University and Dalian Medical University
Type: | Journal: Frontiers in psychology | Year: 2016

Schizotypal personality disorder (SPD) is considered one of the classic disconnection syndromes. However, the specific cortical disconnectivity pattern has not been fully investigated. In this study, we aimed to explore significant alterations in whole-cortex structural connectivity in SPD individuals (SPDs) by combining the techniques of brain surface morphometry and white matter tractography. Diffusion and structural MR data were collected from 20 subjects with SPD (all males; age, 19.7 0.9 years) and 18 healthy controls (all males; age, 20.3 1.0 years). To measure the structural connectivity for a given unit area of the cortex, the fiber connectivity density (FiCD) value was proposed and calculated as the sum of the fractional anisotropy of all the fibers connecting to that unit area in tractography. Then, the resultant whole-cortex FiCD maps were compared in a vertex-wise manner between SPDs and controls. Compared with normal controls, SPDs showed significantly decreased FiCD in the rostral middle frontal gyrus (crossing BA 9 and BA 10) and significantly increased FiCD in the anterior part of the fusiform/inferior temporal cortex (P < 0.05, Monte Carlo simulation corrected). Moreover, the gray matter volume extracted from the left rostral middle frontal cluster was observed to be significantly greater in the SPD group (P = 0.02). Overall, this study identifies a decrease in connectivity in the left middle frontal cortex as a key neural deficit at the whole-cortex level in SPD, thus providing insight into its neuropathological basis.

PubMed | Interventional Imaging, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Capital Medical University and The Second Peoples Hospital of Shenzhen Shenzhen
Type: | Journal: Frontiers in aging neuroscience | Year: 2016

Patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) are at high risk for developing Alzheimers disease (AD), while some of them may remain stable over decades. The underlying mechanism is still not fully understood. In this study, we aimed to explore the connectivity differences between progressive MCI (PMCI) and stable MCI (SMCI) individuals on a whole-brain scale and on a voxel-wise basis, and we also aimed to reveal the differential dynamic alteration patterns between these two disease subtypes. The resting-state functional magnetic resonance images of PMCI and SMCI patients at baseline and year-one were obtained from the Alzheimers Disease Neuroimaging Initiative dataset, and the progression was determined based on a 3-year follow-up. A whole-brain voxel-wise degree map that was calculated based on graph-theory was constructed for each subject, and then the cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses on the degree maps were performed between PMCI and SMCI patients. In longitudinal analyses, compared with SMCI group, PMCI group showed decreased long-range degree in the left middle occipital/supramarginal gyrus, while the short-range degree was increased in the left supplementary motor area and middle frontal gyrus and decreased in the right middle temporal pole. A significant longitudinal alteration of decreased short-range degree in the right middle occipital was found in PMCI group. Taken together with previous evidence, our current findings may suggest that PMCI, compared with SMCI, might be a severe presentation of disease along the AD continuum, and the rapidly reduced degree in the right middle occipital gyrus may have indicative value for the disease progression. Moreover, the cross-sectional comparison results and corresponding receiver-operator characteristic-curves analyses may indicate that the baseline degree difference is not a good predictor of disease progression in MCI patients. Overall, these findings may provide objective evidence and an indicator to characterize the progression-related brain connectivity changes in MCI patients.

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