Multiple sclerosis risk variants alter expression of co-stimulatory genes in B cells Brain (IF 10.292) Pub Date : 2018-01-18 Ide Smets, Barnaby Fiddes, Josselyn E Garcia-Perez, Di He, Klara Mallants, Wenjia Liao, James Dooley, George Wang, Stephanie Humblet-Baron, Bénédicte Dubois, Alastair Compston, Joanne Jones, Alasdair Coles, Adrian Liston, Maria Ban, An Goris, Stephen Sawcer
The increasing evidence supporting a role for B cells in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis prompted us to investigate the influence of known susceptibility variants on the surface expression of co-stimulatory molecules in these cells. Using flow cytometry we measured surface expression of CD40 and CD86 in B cells from 68 patients and 162 healthy controls that were genotyped for the multiple sclerosis associated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) rs4810485, which maps within the CD40 gene, and rs9282641, which maps within the CD86 gene. We found that carrying the risk allele rs4810485*T lowered the cell-surface expression of CD40 in all tested B cell subtypes (in total B cells P ≤ 5.10 × 10−5 in patients and ≤4.09 × 10−6 in controls), while carrying the risk allele rs9282641*G increased the expression of CD86, with this effect primarily seen in the naïve B cell subset (P = 0.048 in patients and 5.38 × 10−5 in controls). In concordance with these results, analysis of RNA expression demonstrated that the risk allele rs4810485*T resulted in lower total CD40 expression (P = 0.057) but with an increased proportion of alternative splice-forms leading to decoy receptors (P = 4.00 × 10−7). Finally, we also observed that the risk allele rs4810485*T was associated with decreased levels of interleukin-10 (P = 0.020), which is considered to have an immunoregulatory function downstream of CD40. Given the importance of these co-stimulatory molecules in determining the immune reaction that appears in response to antigen our data suggest that B cells might have an important antigen presentation and immunoregulatory role in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis.
Migraine with visual aura associated with thicker visual cortex Brain (IF 10.292) Pub Date : 2018-01-18 David Gaist, Anders Hougaard, Ellen Garde, Nina Linde Reislev, Rikke Wiwie, Pernille Iversen, Camilla Gøbel Madsen, Morten Blaabjerg, Helle Hvilsted Nielsen, Thomas Krøigård, Kamilla Østergaard, Kirsten Ohm Kyvik, Jacob Hjelmborg, Kristoffer Madsen, Hartwig Roman Siebner, Messoud Ashina
Until recent years it was believed that migraine with aura was a disorder causing intermittent neurological symptoms, with no impact on brain structure. However, recent MRI studies have reported increased cortical thickness of visual and somatosensory areas in patients with migraine with aura, suggesting that such structural alterations were either due to increased neuronal density in the areas involved, or a result of multiple episodes of cortical spreading depression as part of aura attacks. Subsequent studies have yielded conflicting results, possibly due to methodological reasons, e.g. small number of subjects. In this cross-sectional study, we recruited females aged 30–60 years from the nationwide Danish Twin Registry. Brain MRI of females with migraine with aura (patients), their co-twins, and unrelated migraine-free twins (controls) were performed at a single centre and assessed for cortical thickness in predefined cortical areas (V1, V2, V3A, MT, somatosensory cortex), blinded to headache diagnoses. The difference in cortical thickness between patients and controls adjusted for age, and other potential confounders was assessed. Comparisons of twin pairs discordant for migraine with aura were also performed. Comparisons were based on 166 patients, 30 co-twins, and 137 controls. Compared with controls, patients had a thicker cortex in areas V2 [adjusted mean difference 0.032 mm (95% confidence interval 0.003 to 0.061), V3A [adjusted mean difference 0.037 mm (95% confidence interval 0.008 to 0.067)], while differences in the remaining areas examined were not statistically significant [adjusted mean difference (95% confidence interval): V1 0.022 (−0.007 to 0.052); MT: 0.018 (−0.011 to 0.047); somatosensory cortex: 0.020 (−0.009 to 0.049)]. We found no association between the regions of interest and active migraine, or number of lifetime aura attacks. Migraine with aura discordant twin pairs (n = 30) only differed in mean thickness of V2 (0.039 mm, 95% CI 0.005 to 0.074). In conclusion, females with migraine with aura have a thicker cortex corresponding to visual areas and our results indicate this may be an inherent trait rather than a result of repeated aura attacks.
Spike-related haemodynamic responses overlap with high frequency oscillations in patients with focal epilepsy Brain (IF 10.292) Pub Date : 2018-01-18 Karina A González Otárula, Hui Ming Khoo, Nicolás von Ellenrieder, Jeffery A Hall, François Dubeau, Jean Gotman
Simultaneous scalp EEG/functional MRI measures non-invasively haemodynamic responses to interictal epileptic discharges, which are related to the epileptogenic zone. High frequency oscillations are also an excellent indicator of this zone, but are primarily recorded from intracerebral EEG. We studied the spatial overlap of these two important markers in patients with drug-resistant epilepsy to assess if their combination could help better define the extent of the epileptogenic zone. We included patients who underwent EEG-functional MRI and later intracerebral EEG. Based on intracerebral EEG findings, we separated patients with unifocal seizures from patients with multifocal or unknown onset seizures. Haemodynamic t-maps were coregistered with the intracerebral electrode positions. Each EEG channel was classified as pertaining to one of the following categories: primary haemodynamic cluster (maximum t-value), secondary cluster (t-value > 90% of the primary cluster) or outside the primary and secondary clusters. We marked high frequency oscillations (ripples: 80–250 Hz; fast ripples: 250–500 Hz) during 1 h of slow wave sleep, and compared their rates in each haemodynamic category. After classifying channels as high- or low-rate, the proportion of high-rate channels within the primary or primary plus secondary clusters was compared to the proportion expected by chance. Twenty-five patients, 11 with unifocal and 14 with multifocal/unknown seizure onsets, were studied. We found a significantly higher median high frequency oscillation rate in the primary cluster compared to secondary cluster and outside these two clusters for the unifocal group (P < 0.0001), but not for the multifocal/unknown group. For the unifocal group, the number of high-rate channels within the primary or primary plus secondary clusters was significantly higher than expected by chance. This held only for the high-ripple-rate channels in the multifocal/unknown group. At the patient level, most patients (18/25, or 72%) had at least one high-rate channel within a primary cluster. In patients with unifocal epilepsy, the maximum haemodynamic response (primary cluster) related to scalp interictal discharges overlaps with the tissue generating high frequency oscillations at high rates. If intracranial EEG is warranted, this response should be explored. As a tentative clinical use of the combination of these techniques we propose that higher high frequency oscillation rates inside than outside the maximum response indicates that the patient has indeed a focal epileptogenic zone demarcated by this response, whereas similar rates inside and outside may indicate a widespread epileptogenic zone or an epileptogenic zone not covered by the implantation.
Concussion, microvascular injury, and early tauopathy in young athletes after impact head injury and an impact concussion mouse model Brain (IF 10.292) Pub Date : 2018-01-18 Chad A Tagge, Andrew M Fisher, Olga V Minaeva, Amanda Gaudreau-Balderrama, Juliet A Moncaster, Xiao-Lei Zhang, Mark W Wojnarowicz, Noel Casey, Haiyan Lu, Olga N Kokiko-Cochran, Sudad Saman, Maria Ericsson, Kristen D Onos, Ronel Veksler, Vladimir V Senatorov, Asami Kondo, Xiao Z Zhou, Omid Miry, Linnea R Vose, Katisha R Gopaul, Chirag Upreti, Christopher J Nowinski, Robert C Cantu, Victor E Alvarez, Audrey M Hildebrandt, Erich S Franz, Janusz Konrad, James A Hamilton, Ning Hua, Yorghos Tripodis, Andrew T Anderson, Gareth R Howell, Daniela Kaufer, Garth F Hall, Kun P Lu, Richard M Ransohoff, Robin O Cleveland, Neil W Kowall, Thor D Stein, Bruce T Lamb, Bertrand R Huber, William C Moss, Alon Friedman, Patric K Stanton, Ann C McKee, Lee E Goldstein
The mechanisms underpinning concussion, traumatic brain injury, and chronic traumatic encephalopathy, and the relationships between these disorders, are poorly understood. We examined post-mortem brains from teenage athletes in the acute-subacute period after mild closed-head impact injury and found astrocytosis, myelinated axonopathy, microvascular injury, perivascular neuroinflammation, and phosphorylated tau protein pathology. To investigate causal mechanisms, we developed a mouse model of lateral closed-head impact injury that uses momentum transfer to induce traumatic head acceleration. Unanaesthetized mice subjected to unilateral impact exhibited abrupt onset, transient course, and rapid resolution of a concussion-like syndrome characterized by altered arousal, contralateral hemiparesis, truncal ataxia, locomotor and balance impairments, and neurobehavioural deficits. Experimental impact injury was associated with axonopathy, blood–brain barrier disruption, astrocytosis, microgliosis (with activation of triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells, TREM2), monocyte infiltration, and phosphorylated tauopathy in cerebral cortex ipsilateral and subjacent to impact. Phosphorylated tauopathy was detected in ipsilateral axons by 24 h, bilateral axons and soma by 2 weeks, and distant cortex bilaterally at 5.5 months post-injury. Impact pathologies co-localized with serum albumin extravasation in the brain that was diagnostically detectable in living mice by dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI. These pathologies were also accompanied by early, persistent, and bilateral impairment in axonal conduction velocity in the hippocampus and defective long-term potentiation of synaptic neurotransmission in the medial prefrontal cortex, brain regions distant from acute brain injury. Surprisingly, acute neurobehavioural deficits at the time of injury did not correlate with blood–brain barrier disruption, microgliosis, neuroinflammation, phosphorylated tauopathy, or electrophysiological dysfunction. Furthermore, concussion-like deficits were observed after impact injury, but not after blast exposure under experimental conditions matched for head kinematics. Computational modelling showed that impact injury generated focal point loading on the head and seven-fold greater peak shear stress in the brain compared to blast exposure. Moreover, intracerebral shear stress peaked before onset of gross head motion. By comparison, blast induced distributed force loading on the head and diffuse, lower magnitude shear stress in the brain. We conclude that force loading mechanics at the time of injury shape acute neurobehavioural responses, structural brain damage, and neuropathological sequelae triggered by neurotrauma. These results indicate that closed-head impact injuries, independent of concussive signs, can induce traumatic brain injury as well as early pathologies and functional sequelae associated with chronic traumatic encephalopathy. These results also shed light on the origins of concussion and relationship to traumatic brain injury and its aftermath.
Dopaminergic abnormalities following traumatic brain injury Brain (IF 10.292) Pub Date : 2018-01-17 Peter O Jenkins, Sara De Simoni, Niall J Bourke, Jessica Fleminger, Gregory Scott, David J Towey, William Svensson, Sameer Khan, Maneesh Patel, Richard Greenwood, James H Cole, David J Sharp
Traumatic brain injury can reduce striatal dopamine levels. The cause of this is uncertain, but is likely to be related to damage to the nigrostriatal system. We investigated the pattern of striatal dopamine abnormalities using 123I-Ioflupane single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) scans and their relationship to nigrostriatal damage and clinical features. We studied 42 moderate–severe traumatic brain injury patients with cognitive impairments but no motor parkinsonism signs and 20 healthy controls. 123I-Ioflupane scanning was used to assess dopamine transporter levels. Clinical scan reports were compared to quantitative dopamine transporter results. Advanced MRI methods were used to assess the nigrostriatal system, including the area through which the nigrostriatal projections pass as defined from high-resolution Human Connectome data. Detailed clinical and neuropsychological assessments were performed. Around 20% of our moderate–severe patients had clear evidence of reduced specific binding ratios for the dopamine transporter in the striatum measured using 123I-Ioflupane SPECT. The caudate was affected more consistently than other striatal regions. Dopamine transporter abnormalities were associated with reduced substantia nigra volume. In addition, diffusion MRI provided evidence of damage to the regions through which the nigrostriatal tract passes, particularly the area traversed by dopaminergic projections to the caudate. Only a small percentage of patients had evidence of macroscopic lesions in the striatum and there was no relationship between presence of lesions and dopamine transporter specific binding ratio abnormalities. There was also no relationship between reduced volume in the striatal subregions and reduced dopamine transporter specific binding ratios. Patients with low caudate dopamine transporter specific binding ratios show impaired processing speed and executive dysfunction compared to patients with normal levels. Taken together, our results suggest that the dopaminergic system is affected by a moderate–severe traumatic brain injury in a significant proportion of patients, even in the absence of clinical motor parkinsonism. Reduced dopamine transporter levels are most commonly seen in the caudate and this is likely to reflect the pattern of nigrostriatal tract damage produced by axonal injury and associated midbrain damage.
Anatomy of aphasia revisited Brain (IF 10.292) Pub Date : 2018-01-17 Julius Fridriksson, Dirk-Bart den Ouden, Argye E Hillis, Gregory Hickok, Chris Rorden, Alexandra Basilakos, Grigori Yourganov, Leonardo Bonilha
In most cases, aphasia is caused by strokes involving the left hemisphere, with more extensive damage typically being associated with more severe aphasia. The classical model of aphasia commonly adhered to in the Western world is the Wernicke-Lichtheim model. The model has been in existence for over a century, and classification of aphasic symptomatology continues to rely on it. However, far more detailed models of speech and language localization in the brain have been formulated. In this regard, the dual stream model of cortical brain organization proposed by Hickok and Poeppel is particularly influential. Their model describes two processing routes, a dorsal stream and a ventral stream, that roughly support speech production and speech comprehension, respectively, in normal subjects. Despite the strong influence of the dual stream model in current neuropsychological research, there has been relatively limited focus on explaining aphasic symptoms in the context of this model. Given that the dual stream model represents a more nuanced picture of cortical speech and language organization, cortical damage that causes aphasic impairment should map clearly onto the dual processing streams. Here, we present a follow-up study to our previous work that used lesion data to reveal the anatomical boundaries of the dorsal and ventral streams supporting speech and language processing. Specifically, by emphasizing clinical measures, we examine the effect of cortical damage and disconnection involving the dorsal and ventral streams on aphasic impairment. The results reveal that measures of motor speech impairment mostly involve damage to the dorsal stream, whereas measures of impaired speech comprehension are more strongly associated with ventral stream involvement. Equally important, many clinical tests that target behaviours such as naming, speech repetition, or grammatical processing rely on interactions between the two streams. This latter finding explains why patients with seemingly disparate lesion locations often experience similar impairments on given subtests. Namely, these individuals’ cortical damage, although dissimilar, affects a broad cortical network that plays a role in carrying out a given speech or language task. The current data suggest this is a more accurate characterization than ascribing specific lesion locations as responsible for specific language deficits.
Unifying control over the body: consciousness and cross-cueing in split-brain patients Brain (IF 10.292) Pub Date : 2018-01-16 Lukas J Volz, Steven A Hillyard, Michael B Miller, Michael S Gazzaniga
SCO2 mutations cause early-onset axonal Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease associated with cellular copper deficiency Brain (IF 10.292) Pub Date : 2018-01-16 Adriana P Rebelo, Dimah Saade, Claudia P Pereira, Amjad Farooq, Tyler C Huff, Lisa Abreu, Carlos T Moraes, Diana Mnatsakanova, Kathy Mathews, Hua Yang, Eric A Schon, Stephan Zuchner, Michael E Shy
Recessive mutations in the mitochondrial copper-binding protein SCO2, cytochrome c oxidase (COX) assembly protein, have been reported in several cases with fatal infantile cardioencephalomyopathy with COX deficiency. Significantly expanding the known phenotypic spectrum, we identified compound heterozygous variants in SCO2 in two unrelated patients with axonal polyneuropathy, also known as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 4. Different from previously described cases, our patients developed predominantly motor neuropathy, they survived infancy, and they have not yet developed the cardiomyopathy that causes death in early infancy in reported patients. Both of our patients harbour missense mutations near the conserved copper-binding motif (CXXXC), including the common pathogenic variant E140K and a novel change D135G. In addition, each patient carries a second mutation located at the same loop region, resulting in compound heterozygote changes E140K/P169T and D135G/R171Q. Patient fibroblasts showed reduced levels of SCO2, decreased copper levels and COX deficiency. Given that another Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease gene, ATP7A, is a known copper transporter, our findings further underline the relevance of copper metabolism in Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease.
A brain-based pain facilitation mechanism contributes to painful diabetic polyneuropathy Brain (IF 10.292) Pub Date : 2018-01-15 Andrew R Segerdahl, Andreas C Themistocleous, Dean Fido, David L Bennett, Irene Tracey
The descending pain modulatory system represents one of the oldest and most fundamentally important neurophysiological mechanisms relevant to pain. Extensive work in animals and humans has shown how a functional imbalance between the facilitatory and inhibitory components is linked to exacerbation and maintenance of persistent pain states. Forward translation of these findings into clinical populations is needed to verify the relevance of this imbalance. Diabetic polyneuropathy is one of the most common causes of chronic neuropathic pain; however, the reason why ∼25–30% of patients with diabetes develop pain is not known. The current study used a multimodal clinical neuroimaging approach to interrogate whether the sensory phenotype of painful diabetic polyneuropathy involves altered function of the ventrolateral periaqueductal grey—a key node of the descending pain modulatory system. We found that ventrolateral periaqueductal grey functional connectivity is altered in patients suffering from painful diabetic polyneuropathy; the magnitude of which is correlated to their spontaneous and allodynic pain as well as the magnitude of the cortical response elicited by an experimental tonic heat paradigm. We posit that ventrolateral periaqueductal grey-mediated descending pain modulatory system dysfunction may reflect a brain-based pain facilitation mechanism contributing to painful diabetic polyneuropathy.
Hot-spot KIF5A mutations cause familial ALS Brain (IF 10.292) Pub Date : 2018-01-12 David Brenner, Rüstem Yilmaz, Kathrin Müller, Torsten Grehl, Susanne Petri, Thomas Meyer, Julian Grosskreutz, Patrick Weydt, Wolfgang Ruf, Christoph Neuwirth, Markus Weber, Susana Pinto, Kristl G Claeys, Berthold Schrank, Berit Jordan, Antje Knehr, Kornelia Günther, Annemarie Hübers, Daniel Zeller, Ute Weyen, Andreas Hermann, Tim Hagenacker, Jan Christoph Koch, Paul Lingor, Bettina Göricke, Stephan Zierz, Petra Baum, Joachim Wolf, Andrea Winkler, Peter Young, Ulrich Bogdahn, Johannes Prudlo, Jan Kassubek, Christian Kubisch, Sibylle Jablonka, Michael Sendtner, Thomas Klopstock, Mamede de Carvalho, Anne Sperfeld, Guntram Borck, Alexander E. Volk, Johannes Dorst, Joachim Weis, Markus Otto, Joachim Schuster, Kelly Del Tredici, Heiko Braak, Karin M Danzer, Axel Freischmidt, Thomas Meitinger, Tim M Strom, Albert C Ludolph, Peter M Andersen, Jochen H Weishaupt
Heterozygous missense mutations in the N-terminal motor or coiled-coil domains of the kinesin family member 5A (KIF5A) gene cause monogenic spastic paraplegia (HSP10) and Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 2 (CMT2). Moreover, heterozygous de novo frame-shift mutations in the C-terminal domain of KIF5A are associated with neonatal intractable myoclonus, a neurodevelopmental syndrome. These findings, together with the observation that many of the disease genes associated with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis disrupt cytoskeletal function and intracellular transport, led us to hypothesize that mutations in KIF5A are also a cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Using whole exome sequencing followed by rare variant analysis of 426 patients with familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and 6137 control subjects, we detected an enrichment of KIF5A splice-site mutations in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (2/426 compared to 0/6137 in controls; P = 4.2 × 10−3), both located in a hot-spot in the C-terminus of the protein and predicted to affect splicing exon 27. We additionally show co-segregation with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis of two canonical splice-site mutations in two families. Investigation of lymphoblast cell lines from patients with KIF5A splice-site mutations revealed the loss of mutant RNA expression and suggested haploinsufficiency as the most probable underlying molecular mechanism. Furthermore, mRNA sequencing of a rare non-synonymous missense mutation (predicting p.Arg1007Gly) located in the C-terminus of the protein shortly upstream of the splice donor of exon 27 revealed defective KIF5A pre-mRNA splicing in respective patient-derived cell lines owing to abrogation of the donor site. Finally, the non-synonymous single nucleotide variant rs113247976 (minor allele frequency = 1.00% in controls, n = 6137), also located in the C-terminal region [p.(Pro986Leu) in exon 26], was significantly enriched in familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients (minor allele frequency = 3.40%; P = 1.28 × 10−7). Our study demonstrates that mutations located specifically in a C-terminal hotspot of KIF5A can cause a classical amyotrophic lateral sclerosis phenotype, and underline the involvement of intracellular transport processes in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis pathogenesis.
Long-interval intracortical inhibition as biomarker for epilepsy: a transcranial magnetic stimulation study Brain (IF 10.292) Pub Date : 2018-01-11 Prisca R Bauer, Annika A de Goede, William M Stern, Adam D Pawley, Fahmida A Chowdhury, Robert M Helling, Romain Bouet, Stiliyan N Kalitzin, Gerhard H Visser, Sanjay M Sisodiya, John C Rothwell, Mark P Richardson, Michel J A M van Putten, Josemir W Sander
Cortical excitability, as measured by transcranial magnetic stimulation combined with electromyography, is a potential biomarker for the diagnosis and follow-up of epilepsy. We report on long-interval intracortical inhibition data measured in four different centres in healthy controls (n = 95), subjects with refractory genetic generalized epilepsy (n = 40) and with refractory focal epilepsy (n = 69). Long-interval intracortical inhibition was measured by applying two supra-threshold stimuli with an interstimulus interval of 50, 100, 150, 200 and 250 ms and calculating the ratio between the response to the second (test stimulus) and to the first (conditioning stimulus). In all subjects, the median response ratio showed inhibition at all interstimulus intervals. Using a mixed linear-effects model, we compared the long-interval intracortical inhibition response ratios between the different subject types. We conducted two analyses; one including data from the four centres and one excluding data from Centre 2, as the methods in this centre differed from the others. In the first analysis, we found no differences in long-interval intracortical inhibition between the different subject types. In all subjects, the response ratios at interstimulus intervals 100 and 150 ms showed significantly more inhibition than the response ratios at 50, 200 and 250 ms. Our second analysis showed a significant interaction between interstimulus interval and subject type (P = 0.0003). Post hoc testing showed significant differences between controls and refractory focal epilepsy at interstimulus intervals of 100 ms (P = 0.02) and 200 ms (P = 0.04). There were no significant differences between controls and refractory generalized epilepsy groups or between the refractory generalized and focal epilepsy groups. Our results do not support the body of previous work that suggests that long-interval intracortical inhibition is significantly reduced in refractory focal and genetic generalized epilepsy. Results from the second analysis are even in sharper contrast with previous work, showing inhibition in refractory focal epilepsy at 200 ms instead of facilitation previously reported. Methodological differences, especially shorter intervals between the pulse pairs, may have contributed to our inability to reproduce previous findings. Based on our results, we suggest that long-interval intracortical inhibition as measured by transcranial magnetic stimulation and electromyography is unlikely to have clinical use as a biomarker of epilepsy.
Historical crossroads in the conceptual delineation of apathy in Parkinson’s disease Brain (IF 10.292) Pub Date : 2018-01-09 Stéphane Prange, Javier Pagonabarraga, Paul Krack, Jaime Kulisevsky, Véronique Sgambato, Léon Tremblay, Stéphane Thobois, Emmanuel Broussolle
The current working definition of apathy is a decrease in goal-directed behaviours characterized by reduced interest and emotions that cannot be attributed to diminished levels of consciousness, cognitive impairment or emotional distress (Starkstein and Leentjens, 2008). It thereby constitutes a prominent and disabling symptom by itself or as a component of ‘negative signs’ in strategically-placed focal lesions of the basal ganglia, neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, certain forms of fronto-temporal dementia, Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s disease and in both schizophrenia and major depression (Bhatia and Marsden, 1994; Levy and Dubois, 2006; Starkstein and Leentjens, 2008). It is widely acknowledged nowadays that apathy is a frequent non-motor symptom in Parkinson’s disease, and affects up to 40% of de novo patients, resulting...
Synaptic markers of cognitive decline in neurodegenerative diseases: a proteomic approach Brain (IF 10.292) Pub Date : 2018-01-09 Erika Bereczki, Rui M Branca, Paul T Francis, Joana B Pereira, Jean-Ha Baek, Tibor Hortobágyi, Bengt Winblad, Clive Ballard, Janne Lehtiö, Dag Aarsland
Cognitive changes occurring throughout the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases are directly linked to synaptic loss. We used in-depth proteomics to compare 32 post-mortem human brains in the prefrontal cortex of prospectively followed patients with Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease with dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies and older adults without dementia. In total, we identified 10 325 proteins, 851 of which were synaptic proteins. Levels of 25 synaptic proteins were significantly altered in the various dementia groups. Significant loss of SNAP47, GAP43, SYBU (syntabulin), LRFN2, SV2C, SYT2 (synaptotagmin 2), GRIA3 and GRIA4 were further validated on a larger cohort comprised of 92 brain samples using ELISA or western blot. Cognitive impairment before death and rate of cognitive decline significantly correlated with loss of SNAP47, SYBU, LRFN2, SV2C and GRIA3 proteins. Besides differentiating Parkinson’s disease dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies, and Alzheimer’s disease from controls with high sensitivity and specificity, synaptic proteins also reliably discriminated Parkinson’s disease dementia from Alzheimer’s disease patients. Our results suggest that these particular synaptic proteins have an important predictive and discriminative molecular fingerprint in neurodegenerative diseases and could be a potential target for early disease intervention.
Evidence for verbal memory enhancement with electrical brain stimulation in the lateral temporal cortex Brain (IF 10.292) Pub Date : 2018-01-08 Michal T Kucewicz, Brent M Berry, Laura R Miller, Fatemeh Khadjevand, Youssef Ezzyat, Joel M Stein, Vaclav Kremen, Benjamin H Brinkmann, Paul Wanda, Michael R Sperling, Richard Gorniak, Kathryn A Davis, Barbara C Jobst, Robert E Gross, Bradley Lega, Jamie Van Gompel, S Matt Stead, Daniel S Rizzuto, Michael J Kahana, Gregory A Worrell
Direct electrical stimulation of the human brain can elicit sensory and motor perceptions as well as recall of memories. Stimulating higher order association areas of the lateral temporal cortex in particular was reported to activate visual and auditory memory representations of past experiences (Penfield and Perot, 1963). We hypothesized that this effect could be used to modulate memory processing. Recent attempts at memory enhancement in the human brain have been focused on the hippocampus and other mesial temporal lobe structures, with a few reports of memory improvement in small studies of individual brain regions. Here, we investigated the effect of stimulation in four brain regions known to support declarative memory: hippocampus, parahippocampal neocortex, prefrontal cortex and temporal cortex. Intracranial electrode recordings with stimulation were used to assess verbal memory performance in a group of 22 patients (nine males). We show enhanced performance with electrical stimulation in the lateral temporal cortex (paired t-test, P = 0.0067), but not in the other brain regions tested. This selective enhancement was observed both on the group level, and for two of the four individual subjects stimulated in the temporal cortex. This study shows that electrical stimulation in specific brain areas can enhance verbal memory performance in humans.
The cerebellum in Alzheimer’s disease: evaluating its role in cognitive decline Brain (IF 10.292) Pub Date : 2017-07-28 Heidi I L Jacobs, David A Hopkins, Helen C Mayrhofer, Emiliano Bruner, Fred W van Leeuwen, Wijnand Raaijmakers, Jeremy D Schmahmann
The cerebellum has long been regarded as essential only for the coordination of voluntary motor activity and motor learning. Anatomical, clinical and neuroimaging studies have led to a paradigm shift in the understanding of the cerebellar role in nervous system function, demonstrating that the cerebellum appears integral also to the modulation of cognition and emotion. The search to understand the cerebellar contribution to cognitive processing has increased interest in exploring the role of the cerebellum in neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders. Principal among these is Alzheimer’s disease. Here we review an already sizeable existing literature on the neuropathological, structural and functional neuroimaging studies of the cerebellum in Alzheimer’s disease. We consider these observations in the light of the cognitive deficits that characterize Alzheimer’s disease and in so doing we introduce a new perspective on its pathophysiology and manifestations. We propose an integrative hypothesis that there is a cerebellar contribution to the cognitive and neuropsychiatric deficits in Alzheimer’s disease. We draw on the dysmetria of thought theory to suggest that this cerebellar component manifests as deficits in modulation of the neurobehavioural deficits. We provide suggestions for future studies to investigate this hypothesis and, ultimately, to establish a comprehensive, causal clinicopathological disease model.
High-dimensional therapeutic inference in the focally damaged human brain Brain (IF 10.292) Pub Date : 2017-11-15 Tianbo Xu, Hans Rolf Jäger, Masud Husain, Geraint Rees, Parashkev Nachev
See Thiebaut de Schotten and Foulon (doi:10.1093/brain/awx332) for a scientific commentary on this article.
In vivo cholinergic basal forebrain atrophy predicts cognitive decline in de novo Parkinson’s disease Brain (IF 10.292) Pub Date : 2017-12-08 Nicola J Ray, Steven Bradburn, Christopher Murgatroyd, Umar Toseeb, Pablo Mir, George K Kountouriotis, Stefan J Teipel, Michel J Grothe
See Gratwicke and Foltynie (doi:10.1093/brain/awx333) for a scientific commentary on this article.
Widespread brain tau and its association with ageing, Braak stage and Alzheimer’s dementia Brain (IF 10.292) Pub Date : 2017-12-08 Val J Lowe, Heather J Wiste, Matthew L Senjem, Stephen D Weigand, Terry M Therneau, Bradley F Boeve, Keith A Josephs, Ping Fang, Mukesh K Pandey, Melissa E Murray, Kejal Kantarci, David T Jones, Prashanthi Vemuri, Jonathan Graff-Radford, Christopher G Schwarz, Mary M Machulda, Michelle M Mielke, Rosebud O Roberts, David S Knopman, Ronald C Petersen, Clifford R Jack
See Herholz (doi:10.1093/brain/awx340) for a scientific commentary on this article.
Reply: Non-freezing cold injury: a multi-faceted syndrome Brain (IF 10.292) Pub Date : 2018-01-05 Tom A Vale, Mkael Symmonds, Michael Polydefkis, Kelly Byrnes, Andrew S C Rice, Andreas C Themistocleous, David L H Bennett
Networks of tau distribution in Alzheimer’s disease Brain (IF 10.292) Pub Date : 2018-01-05 Merle C Hoenig, Gérard N Bischof, Joseph Seemiller, Jochen Hammes, Juraj Kukolja, Özgür A Onur, Frank Jessen, Klaus Fliessbach, Bernd Neumaier, Gereon R Fink, Thilo van Eimeren, Alexander Drzezga
A stereotypical anatomical propagation of tau pathology has been described in Alzheimer’s disease. According to recent concepts (network degeneration hypothesis), this propagation is thought to be indicative of misfolded tau proteins possibly spreading along functional networks. If true, tau pathology accumulation should correlate in functionally connected brain regions. Therefore, we examined whether independent components could be identified in the distribution pattern of in vivo tau pathology and whether these components correspond with specific functional connectivity networks. Twenty-two 18F-AV-1451 PET scans of patients with amnestic Alzheimer’s disease (mean age = 66.00 ± 7.22 years, 14 males/eight females) were spatially normalized, intensity standardized to the cerebellum, and z-transformed using the mean and deviation image of a healthy control sample to assess Alzheimer’s disease-related tau pathology. First, to detect distinct tau pathology networks, the deviation maps were subjected to an independent component analysis. Second, to investigate if regions of high tau burden are associated with functional connectivity networks, we extracted the region with the maximum z-value in each of the generated tau pathology networks and used them as seeds in a subsequent resting-state functional MRI analysis, conducted in a group of healthy adults (n = 26) who were part of the 1000 Functional Connectomes Project. Third, to examine if tau pathology co-localizes with functional connectivity networks, we quantified the spatial overlap between the seed-based networks and the corresponding tau pathology network by calculating the Dice similarity coefficient. Additionally, we assessed if the tau-dependent seed-based networks correspond with known functional resting-state networks. Finally, we examined the relevance of the identified components in regard to the neuropathological Braak stages. We identified 10 independently coherent tau pathology networks with the majority showing a symmetrical bi-hemispheric expansion and coinciding with highly functionally connected brain regions such as the precuneus and cingulate cortex. A fair-to-moderate overlap was observed between the tau pathology networks and corresponding seed-based networks (Dice range: 0.13–0.57), which in turn resembled known resting-state networks, particularly the default mode network (Dice range: 0.42–0.56). Moreover, greater tau burden in the tau pathology networks was associated with more advanced Braak stages. Using the data-driven approach of an independent component analysis, we observed a set of independently coherent tau pathology networks in Alzheimer’s disease, which were associated with disease progression and coincided with functional networks previously reported to be impaired in Alzheimer’s disease. Together, our results provide novel information regarding the impact of tau pathology networks on the mechanistic pathway of Alzheimer’s disease.
Non-freezing cold injury: a multi-faceted syndrome Brain (IF 10.292) Pub Date : 2018-01-05 Clare M Eglin, Hugh Montgomery, Michael J Tipton
Editorial Brain (IF 10.292) Pub Date : 2017-12-28 Dimitri M Kullmann
Brain enters its 141st year of continuous publication with this issue, and its 5th year under the current editorial team. It is tempting to be complacent, and use this editorial to list the metrics that testify to the journal’s continued success. There is, however, an important aspect where the journal does not appear to have moved as far from its 19th century origins as might be hoped. The current Editor is, in common with all 16 of his predecessors, male, as are 7 out of 9 Associate Editors, and 19 out of 24 members of the Editorial Advisory Board. How does this reflect the gender balance of authors publishing in the journal? Authors are not asked to self-identify as male or female upon submission or acceptance...
The rise of a new associationist school for lesion-symptom mapping Brain (IF 10.292) Pub Date : 2017-12-28 Michel Thiebaut de Schotten, Chris Foulon
This scientific commentary refers to ‘High-dimensional therapeutic inference in the focally damaged human brain’, by Xu et al. (doi:10.1093/brain/awx288).
Early nucleus basalis of Meynert degeneration predicts cognitive decline in Parkinson’s disease Brain (IF 10.292) Pub Date : 2017-12-28 James P Gratwicke, Thomas Foltynie
This scientific commentary refers to ‘In vivo cholinergic basal forebrain atrophy predicts cognitive decline in de novo Parkinson’s disease’ by Ray et al. (doi:10.1093/brain/awx310).
Spread of tau deposits: can we trust in vivo findings? Brain (IF 10.292) Pub Date : 2017-12-28 Karl Herholz
This scientific commentary refers to ‘Widespread brain tau and its association with ageing, Braak stage and Alzheimer’s dementia’, by Lowe et al. (doi:10.1093/brain/awx320).
Movement disorders with neuronal antibodies: syndromic approach, genetic parallels and pathophysiology Brain (IF 10.292) Pub Date : 2017-09-25 Bettina Balint, Angela Vincent, Hans-Michael Meinck, Sarosh R Irani, Kailash P Bhatia
Movement disorders are a prominent and common feature in many autoantibody-associated neurological diseases, a group of potentially treatable conditions that can mimic infectious, metabolic or neurodegenerative disease. Certain movement disorders are likely to associate with certain autoantibodies; for example, the characteristic dyskinesias, chorea and dystonia associated with NMDAR antibodies, stiff person spectrum disorders with GAD, glycine receptor, amphiphysin or DPPX antibodies, specific paroxysmal dystonias with LGI1 antibodies, and cerebellar ataxia with various anti-neuronal antibodies. There are also less-recognized movement disorder presentations of antibody-related disease, and a considerable overlap between the clinical phenotypes and the associated antibody spectra. In this review, we first describe the antibodies associated with each syndrome, highlight distinctive clinical or radiological ‘red flags’, and suggest a syndromic approach based on the predominant movement disorder presentation, age, and associated features. We then examine the underlying immunopathophysiology, which may guide treatment decisions in these neuroimmunological disorders, and highlight the exceptional interface between neuronal antibodies and neurodegeneration, such as the tauopathy associated with IgLON5 antibodies. Moreover, we elaborate the emerging pathophysiological parallels between genetic movement disorders and immunological conditions, with proteins being either affected by mutations or targeted by autoantibodies. Hereditary hyperekplexia, for example, is caused by mutations of the alpha subunit of the glycine receptor leading to an infantile-onset disorder with exaggerated startle and stiffness, whereas antibodies targeting glycine receptors can induce acquired hyperekplexia. The spectrum of such immunological and genetic analogies also includes cerebellar ataxias and some encephalopathies. Lastly, we discuss how these pathophysiological considerations could reflect on possible future directions regarding antigen-specific immunotherapies or targeting the pathophysiological cascades downstream of the antibody effects.
Heterozygous SSBP1 start loss mutation co-segregates with hearing loss and the m.1555A>G mtDNA variant in a large multigenerational family Brain (IF 10.292) Pub Date : 2017-11-22 Peter J Kullar, Aurora Gomez-Duran, Payam A Gammage, Caterina Garone, Michal Minczuk, Zoe Golder, Janet Wilson, Julio Montoya, Sanna Häkli, Mikko Kärppä, Rita Horvath, Kari Majamaa, Patrick F Chinnery
The m.1555A>G mtDNA variant causes maternally inherited deafness, but the reasons for the highly variable clinical penetrance are not known. Exome sequencing identified a heterozygous start loss mutation in SSBP1, encoding the single stranded binding protein 1 (SSBP1), segregating with hearing loss in a multi-generational family transmitting m.1555A>G, associated with mtDNA depletion and multiple deletions in skeletal muscle. The SSBP1 mutation reduced steady state SSBP1 levels leading to a perturbation of mtDNA metabolism, likely compounding the intra-mitochondrial translation defect due to m.1555A>G in a tissue-specific manner. This family demonstrates the importance of rare trans-acting genetic nuclear modifiers in the clinical expression of mtDNA disease.
Mutations affecting glycinergic neurotransmission in hyperekplexia increase pain sensitivity Brain (IF 10.292) Pub Date : 2017-11-15 Pascal Henri Vuilleumier, Raphael Fritsche, Jürg Schliessbach, Bernhard Schmitt, Lars Arendt-Nielsen, Hanns Ulrich Zeilhofer, Michele Curatolo
See Dickenson (doi:10.1093/brain/awx334) for a scientific commentary on this article.
Plasma oxysterols: biomarkers for diagnosis and treatment in spastic paraplegia type 5 Brain (IF 10.292) Pub Date : 2017-12-08 Cecilia Marelli, Foudil Lamari, Dominique Rainteau, Alexandre Lafourcade, Guillaume Banneau, Lydie Humbert, Marie-Lorraine Monin, Elodie Petit, Rabab Debs, Giovanni Castelnovo, Elisabeth Ollagnon, Julie Lavie, Julie Pilliod, Isabelle Coupry, Patrick J Babin, Claire Guissart, Imen Benyounes, Urielle Ullmann, Gaetan Lesca, Christel Thauvin-Robinet, Pierre Labauge, Sylvie Odent, Claire Ewenczyk, Claude Wolf, Giovanni Stevanin, David Hajage, Alexandra Durr, Cyril Goizet, Fanny Mochel
The hereditary spastic paraplegias are an expanding and heterogeneous group of disorders characterized by spasticity in the lower limbs. Plasma biomarkers are needed to guide the genetic testing of spastic paraplegia. Spastic paraplegia type 5 (SPG5) is an autosomal recessive spastic paraplegia due to mutations in CYP7B1, which encodes a cytochrome P450 7α-hydroxylase implicated in cholesterol and bile acids metabolism. We developed a method based on ultra-performance liquid chromatography electrospray tandem mass spectrometry to validate two plasma 25-hydroxycholesterol (25-OHC) and 27-hydroxycholesterol (27-OHC) as diagnostic biomarkers in a cohort of 21 patients with SPG5. For 14 patients, SPG5 was initially suspected on the basis of genetic analysis, and then confirmed by increased plasma 25-OHC, 27-OHC and their ratio to total cholesterol. For seven patients, the diagnosis was initially based on elevated plasma oxysterol levels and confirmed by the identification of two causal CYP7B1 mutations. The receiver operating characteristic curves analysis showed that 25-OHC, 27-OHC and their ratio to total cholesterol discriminated between SPG5 patients and healthy controls with 100% sensitivity and specificity. Taking advantage of the robustness of these plasma oxysterols, we then conducted a phase II therapeutic trial in 12 patients and tested whether candidate molecules (atorvastatin, chenodeoxycholic acid and resveratrol) can lower plasma oxysterols and improve bile acids profile. The trial consisted of a three-period, three-treatment crossover study and the six different sequences of three treatments were randomized. Using a linear mixed effect regression model with a random intercept, we observed that atorvastatin decreased moderately plasma 27-OHC (∼30%, P < 0.001) but did not change 27-OHC to total cholesterol ratio or 25-OHC levels. We also found an abnormal bile acids profile in SPG5 patients, with significantly decreased total serum bile acids associated with a relative decrease of ursodeoxycholic and lithocholic acids compared to deoxycholic acid. Treatment with chenodeoxycholic acid restored bile acids profile in SPG5 patients. Therefore, the combination of atorvastatin and chenodeoxycholic acid may be worth considering for the treatment of SPG5 patients but the neurological benefit of these metabolic interventions remains to be evaluated in phase III therapeutic trials using clinical, imaging and/or electrophysiological outcome measures with sufficient effect sizes. Overall, our study indicates that plasma 25-OHC and 27-OHC are robust diagnostic biomarkers of SPG5 and shall be used as first-line investigations in any patient with unexplained spastic paraplegia.
Clemastine rescues myelination defects and promotes functional recovery in hypoxic brain injury Brain (IF 10.292) Pub Date : 2017-12-13 Bruce A C Cree, Jianqin Niu, Kimberly K Hoi, Chao Zhao, Scott D Caganap, Roland G Henry, Dang Q Dao, Daniel R Zollinger, Feng Mei, Yun-An A Shen, Robin J M Franklin, Erik M Ullian, Lan Xiao, Jonah R Chan, Stephen P J Fancy
Hypoxia can injure brain white matter tracts, comprised of axons and myelinating oligodendrocytes, leading to cerebral palsy in neonates and delayed post-hypoxic leukoencephalopathy (DPHL) in adults. In these conditions, white matter injury can be followed by myelin regeneration, but myelination often fails and is a significant contributor to fixed demyelinated lesions, with ensuing permanent neurological injury. Non-myelinating oligodendrocyte precursor cells are often found in lesions in plentiful numbers, but fail to mature, suggesting oligodendrocyte precursor cell differentiation arrest as a critical contributor to failed myelination in hypoxia. We report a case of an adult patient who developed the rare condition DPHL and made a nearly complete recovery in the setting of treatment with clemastine, a widely available antihistamine that in preclinical models promotes oligodendrocyte precursor cell differentiation. This suggested possible therapeutic benefit in the more clinically prevalent hypoxic injury of newborns, and we demonstrate in murine neonatal hypoxic injury that clemastine dramatically promotes oligodendrocyte precursor cell differentiation, myelination, and improves functional recovery. We show that its effect in hypoxia is oligodendroglial specific via an effect on the M1 muscarinic receptor on oligodendrocyte precursor cells. We propose clemastine as a potential therapy for hypoxic brain injuries associated with white matter injury and oligodendrocyte precursor cell maturation arrest.
Macrophage enzyme and reduced inflammation drive brain correction of mucopolysaccharidosis IIIB by stem cell gene therapy Brain (IF 10.292) Pub Date : 2017-11-27 Rebecca J Holley, Stuart M Ellison, Daniel Fil, Claire O’Leary, John McDermott, Nishanthi Senthivel, Alexander W W Langford-Smith, Fiona L Wilkinson, Zelpha D’Souza, Helen Parker, Aiyin Liao, Samuel Rowlston, Hélène F E Gleitz, Shih-Hsin Kan, Patricia I Dickson, Brian W Bigger
Mucopolysaccharidosis IIIB is a paediatric lysosomal storage disease caused by deficiency of the enzyme α-N-acetylglucosaminidase (NAGLU), involved in the degradation of the glycosaminoglycan heparan sulphate. Absence of NAGLU leads to accumulation of partially degraded heparan sulphate within lysosomes and the extracellular matrix, giving rise to severe CNS degeneration with progressive cognitive impairment and behavioural problems. There are no therapies. Haematopoietic stem cell transplant shows great efficacy in the related disease mucopolysaccharidosis I, where donor-derived monocytes can transmigrate into the brain following bone marrow engraftment, secrete the missing enzyme and cross-correct neighbouring cells. However, little neurological correction is achieved in patients with mucopolysaccharidosis IIIB. We have therefore developed an ex vivo haematopoietic stem cell gene therapy approach in a mouse model of mucopolysaccharidosis IIIB, using a high-titre lentiviral vector and the myeloid-specific CD11b promoter, driving the expression of NAGLU (LV.NAGLU). To understand the mechanism of correction we also compared this with a poorly secreted version of NAGLU containing a C-terminal fusion to IGFII (LV.NAGLU-IGFII). Mucopolysaccharidosis IIIB haematopoietic stem cells were transduced with vector, transplanted into myeloablated mucopolysaccharidosis IIIB mice and compared at 8 months of age with mice receiving a wild-type transplant. As the disease is characterized by increased inflammation, we also tested the anti-inflammatory steroidal agent prednisolone alone, or in combination with LV.NAGLU, to understand the importance of inflammation on behaviour. NAGLU enzyme was substantially increased in the brain of LV.NAGLU and LV.NAGLU-IGFII-treated mice, with little expression in wild-type bone marrow transplanted mice. LV.NAGLU treatment led to behavioural correction, normalization of heparan sulphate and sulphation patterning, reduced inflammatory cytokine expression and correction of astrocytosis, microgliosis and lysosomal compartment size throughout the brain. The addition of prednisolone improved inflammatory aspects further. Substantial correction of lysosomal storage in neurons and astrocytes was also achieved in LV.NAGLU-IGFII-treated mice, despite limited enzyme secretion from engrafted macrophages in the brain. Interestingly both wild-type bone marrow transplant and prednisolone treatment alone corrected behaviour, despite having little effect on brain neuropathology. This was attributed to a decrease in peripheral inflammatory cytokines. Here we show significant neurological disease correction is achieved using haematopoietic stem cell gene therapy, suggesting this therapy alone or in combination with anti-inflammatories may improve neurological function in patients.
A fingerprint of the epileptogenic zone in human epilepsies Brain (IF 10.292) Pub Date : 2017-12-20 Olesya Grinenko, Jian Li, John C Mosher, Irene Z Wang, Juan C Bulacio, Jorge Gonzalez-Martinez, Dileep Nair, Imad Najm, Richard M Leahy, Patrick Chauvel
Defining a bio-electrical marker for the brain area responsible for initiating a seizure remains an unsolved problem. Fast gamma activity has been identified as the most specific marker for seizure onset, but conflicting results have been reported. In this study, we describe an alternative marker, based on an objective description of interictal to ictal transition, with the aim of identifying a time-frequency pattern or ‘fingerprint’ that can differentiate the epileptogenic zone from areas of propagation. Seventeen patients who underwent stereoelectroencephalography were included in the study. Each had seizure onset characterized by sustained gamma activity and were seizure-free after tailored resection or laser ablation. We postulated that the epileptogenic zone was always located inside the resection region based on seizure freedom following surgery. To characterize the ictal frequency pattern, we applied the Morlet wavelet transform to data from each pair of adjacent intracerebral electrode contacts. Based on a visual assessment of the time-frequency plots, we hypothesized that a specific time-frequency pattern in the epileptogenic zone should include a combination of (i) sharp transients or spikes; preceding (ii) multiband fast activity concurrent; with (iii) suppression of lower frequencies. To test this hypothesis, we developed software that automatically extracted each of these features from the time-frequency data. We then used a support vector machine to classify each contact-pair as being within epileptogenic zone or not, based on these features. Our machine learning system identified this pattern in 15 of 17 patients. The total number of identified contacts across all patients was 64, with 58 localized inside the resected area. Subsequent quantitative analysis showed strong correlation between maximum frequency of fast activity and suppression inside the resection but not outside. We did not observe significant discrimination power using only the maximum frequency or the timing of fast activity to differentiate contacts either between resected and non-resected regions or between contacts identified as epileptogenic versus non-epileptogenic. Instead of identifying a single frequency or a single timing trait, we observed the more complex pattern described above that distinguishes the epileptogenic zone. This pattern encompasses interictal to ictal transition and may extend until seizure end. Its time-frequency characteristics can be explained in light of recent models emphasizing the role of fast inhibitory interneurons acting on pyramidal cells as a prominent mechanism in seizure triggering. The pattern clearly differentiates the epileptogenic zone from areas of propagation and, as such, represents an epileptogenic zone ‘fingerprint’.
Oestrogen receptor β ligand acts on CD11c+ cells to mediate protection in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis Brain (IF 10.292) Pub Date : 2017-12-08 Roy Y Kim, Darian Mangu, Alexandria S Hoffman, Rojan Kovash, Eunice Jung, Noriko Itoh, Rhonda Voskuhl
Oestrogen treatments are neuroprotective in a variety of neurodegenerative disease models. Selective oestrogen receptor modifiers are needed to optimize beneficial effects while minimizing adverse effects to achieve neuroprotection in chronic diseases. Oestrogen receptor beta (ERβ) ligands are potential candidates. In the multiple sclerosis model chronic experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, ERβ-ligand treatment is neuroprotective, but mechanisms underlying this neuroprotection remain unclear. Specifically, whether there are direct effects of ERβ-ligand on CD11c+ microglia, myeloid dendritic cells or macrophages in vivo during disease is unknown. Here, we generated mice with ERβ deleted from CD11c+ cells to show direct effects of ERβ-ligand treatment in vivo on these cells to mediate neuroprotection during experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Further, we use bone marrow chimeras to show that ERβ in peripherally derived myeloid cells, not resident microglia, are the CD11c+ cells mediating this protection. CD11c+ dendritic cell and macrophages isolated from the central nervous system of wild-type experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis mice treated with ERβ-ligand expressed less iNOS and T-bet, but more IL-10, and this treatment effect was lost in mice with specific deletion of ERβ in CD11c+ cells. Also, we extend previous reports of ERβ-ligand’s ability to enhance remyelination through a direct effect on oligodendrocytes by showing that the immunomodulatory effect of ERβ-ligand acting on CD11c+ cells is necessary to permit the maturation of oligodendrocytes. Together these results demonstrate that targeting ERβ signalling pathways in CD11c+ myeloid cells is a novel strategy for regulation of the innate immune system in neurodegenerative diseases. To our knowledge, this is the first report showing how direct effects of a candidate neuroprotective treatment on two distinct cell lineages (bone marrow derived myeloid cells and oligodendrocytes) can have complementary neuroprotective effects in vivo.
Altered caudate connectivity is associated with executive dysfunction after traumatic brain injury Brain (IF 10.292) Pub Date : 2017-11-23 Sara De Simoni, Peter O Jenkins, Niall J Bourke, Jessica J Fleminger, Peter J Hellyer, Amy E Jolly, Maneesh C Patel, James H Cole, Robert Leech, David J Sharp
Traumatic brain injury often produces executive dysfunction. This characteristic cognitive impairment often causes long-term problems with behaviour and personality. Frontal lobe injuries are associated with executive dysfunction, but it is unclear how these injuries relate to corticostriatal interactions that are known to play an important role in behavioural control. We hypothesized that executive dysfunction after traumatic brain injury would be associated with abnormal corticostriatal interactions, a question that has not previously been investigated. We used structural and functional MRI measures of connectivity to investigate this. Corticostriatal functional connectivity in healthy individuals was initially defined using a data-driven approach. A constrained independent component analysis approach was applied in 100 healthy adult dataset from the Human Connectome Project. Diffusion tractography was also performed to generate white matter tracts. The output of this analysis was used to compare corticostriatal functional connectivity and structural integrity between groups of 42 patients with traumatic brain injury and 21 age-matched controls. Subdivisions of the caudate and putamen had distinct patterns of functional connectivity. Traumatic brain injury patients showed disruption to functional connectivity between the caudate and a distributed set of cortical regions, including the anterior cingulate cortex. Cognitive impairments in the patients were mainly seen in processing speed and executive function, as well as increased levels of apathy and fatigue. Abnormalities of caudate functional connectivity correlated with these cognitive impairments, with reductions in right caudate connectivity associated with increased executive dysfunction, information processing speed and memory impairment. Structural connectivity, measured using diffusion tensor imaging between the caudate and anterior cingulate cortex was impaired and this also correlated with measures of executive dysfunction. We show for the first time that altered subcortical connectivity is associated with large-scale network disruption in traumatic brain injury and that this disruption is related to the cognitive impairments seen in these patients.
Neuronal inhibition and synaptic plasticity of basal ganglia neurons in Parkinson's disease Brain (IF 10.292) Pub Date : 2017-12-11 Luka Milosevic, Suneil K Kalia, Mojgan Hodaie, Andres M Lozano, Alfonso Fasano, Milos R Popovic, William D Hutchison
Deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus is an effective treatment for Parkinson’s disease symptoms. The therapeutic benefits of deep brain stimulation are frequency-dependent, but the underlying physiological mechanisms remain unclear. To advance deep brain stimulation therapy an understanding of fundamental mechanisms is critical. The objectives of this study were to (i) compare the frequency-dependent effects on cell firing in subthalamic nucleus and substantia nigra pars reticulata; (ii) quantify frequency-dependent effects on short-term plasticity in substantia nigra pars reticulata; and (iii) investigate effects of continuous long-train high frequency stimulation (comparable to conventional deep brain stimulation) on synaptic plasticity. Two closely spaced (600 µm) microelectrodes were advanced into the subthalamic nucleus (n = 27) and substantia nigra pars reticulata (n = 14) of 22 patients undergoing deep brain stimulation surgery for Parkinson’s disease. Cell firing and evoked field potentials were recorded with one microelectrode during stimulation trains from the adjacent microelectrode across a range of frequencies (1–100 Hz, 100 µA, 0.3 ms, 50–60 pulses). Subthalamic firing attenuated with ≥20 Hz (P < 0.01) stimulation (silenced at 100 Hz), while substantia nigra pars reticulata decreased with ≥3 Hz (P < 0.05) (silenced at 50 Hz). Substantia nigra pars reticulata also exhibited a more prominent increase in transient silent period following stimulation. Patients with longer silent periods after 100 Hz stimulation in the subthalamic nucleus tended to have better clinical outcome after deep brain stimulation. At ≥30 Hz the first evoked field potential of the stimulation train in substantia nigra pars reticulata was potentiated (P < 0.05); however, the average amplitude of the subsequent potentials was rapidly attenuated (P < 0.01). This is suggestive of synaptic facilitation followed by rapid depression. Paired pulse ratios calculated at the beginning of the train revealed that 20 Hz (P < 0.05) was the minimum frequency required to induce synaptic depression. Lastly, the average amplitude of evoked field potentials during 1 Hz pulses showed significant inhibitory synaptic potentiation after long-train high frequency stimulation (P < 0.001) and these increases were coupled with increased durations of neuronal inhibition (P < 0.01). The subthalamic nucleus exhibited a higher frequency threshold for stimulation-induced inhibition than the substantia nigra pars reticulata likely due to differing ratios of GABA:glutamate terminals on the soma and/or the nature of their GABAergic inputs (pallidal versus striatal). We suggest that enhancement of inhibitory synaptic plasticity, and frequency-dependent potentiation and depression are putative mechanisms of deep brain stimulation. Furthermore, we foresee that future closed-loop deep brain stimulation systems (with more frequent off stimulation periods) may benefit from inhibitory synaptic potentiation that occurs after high frequency stimulation.
Structural connectivity of right frontal hyperactive areas scales with stuttering severity Brain (IF 10.292) Pub Date : 2017-12-08 Nicole E Neef, Alfred Anwander, Christoph Bütfering, Carsten Schmidt-Samoa, Angela D Friederici, Walter Paulus, Martin Sommer
A neuronal sign of persistent developmental stuttering is the magnified coactivation of right frontal brain regions during speech production. Whether and how stuttering severity relates to the connection strength of these hyperactive right frontal areas to other brain areas is an open question. Scrutinizing such brain–behaviour and structure–function relationships aims at disentangling suspected underlying neuronal mechanisms of stuttering. Here, we acquired diffusion-weighted and functional images from 31 adults who stutter and 34 matched control participants. Using a newly developed structural connectivity measure, we calculated voxel-wise correlations between connection strength and stuttering severity within tract volumes that originated from functionally hyperactive right frontal regions. Correlation analyses revealed that with increasing speech motor deficits the connection strength increased in the right frontal aslant tract, the right anterior thalamic radiation, and in U-shaped projections underneath the right precentral sulcus. In contrast, with decreasing speech motor deficits connection strength increased in the right uncinate fasciculus. Additional group comparisons of whole-brain white matter skeletons replicated the previously reported reduction of fractional anisotropy in the left and right superior longitudinal fasciculus as well as at the junction of right frontal aslant tract and right superior longitudinal fasciculus in adults who stutter compared to control participants. Overall, our investigation suggests that right fronto-temporal networks play a compensatory role as a fluency enhancing mechanism. In contrast, the increased connection strength within subcortical-cortical pathways may be implied in an overly active global response suppression mechanism in stuttering. Altogether, this combined functional MRI–diffusion tensor imaging study disentangles different networks involved in the neuronal underpinnings of the speech motor deficit in persistent developmental stuttering.
A human prefrontal-subthalamic circuit for cognitive control Brain (IF 10.292) Pub Date : 2017-11-28 Ryan Kelley, Oliver Flouty, Eric B Emmons, Youngcho Kim, Johnathan Kingyon, Jan R Wessel, Hiroyuki Oya, Jeremy D Greenlee, Nandakumar S Narayanan
The subthalamic nucleus is a key site controlling motor function in humans. Deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus can improve movements in patients with Parkinson’s disease; however, for unclear reasons, it can also have cognitive effects. Here, we show that the human subthalamic nucleus is monosynaptically connected with cognitive brain areas such as the prefrontal cortex. Single neurons and field potentials in the subthalamic nucleus are modulated during cognitive processing and are coherent with 4-Hz oscillations in medial prefrontal cortex. These data predict that low-frequency deep brain stimulation may alleviate cognitive deficits in Parkinson’s disease patients. In line with this idea, we found that novel 4-Hz deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus improved cognitive performance. These data support a role for the human hyperdirect pathway in cognitive control, which could have relevance for brain-stimulation therapies aimed at cognitive symptoms of human brain disease.
Two critical brain networks for generation and combination of remote associations Brain (IF 10.292) Pub Date : 2017-11-22 David Bendetowicz, Marika Urbanski, Béatrice Garcin, Chris Foulon, Richard Levy, Marie-Laure Bréchemier, Charlotte Rosso, Michel Thiebaut de Schotten, Emmanuelle Volle
Recent functional imaging findings in humans indicate that creativity relies on spontaneous and controlled processes, possibly supported by the default mode and the fronto-parietal control networks, respectively. Here, we examined the ability to generate and combine remote semantic associations, in relation to creative abilities, in patients with focal frontal lesions. Voxel-based lesion-deficit mapping, disconnection-deficit mapping and network-based lesion-deficit approaches revealed critical prefrontal nodes and connections for distinct mechanisms related to creative cognition. Damage to the right medial prefrontal region, or its potential disrupting effect on the default mode network, affected the ability to generate remote ideas, likely by altering the organization of semantic associations. Damage to the left rostrolateral prefrontal region and its connections, or its potential disrupting effect on the left fronto-parietal control network, spared the ability to generate remote ideas but impaired the ability to appropriately combine remote ideas. Hence, the current findings suggest that damage to specific nodes within the default mode and fronto-parietal control networks led to a critical loss of verbal creative abilities by altering distinct cognitive mechanisms.
Obligatory and facultative brain regions for voice-identity recognition Brain (IF 10.292) Pub Date : 2017-12-08 Claudia Roswandowitz, Claudia Kappes, Hellmuth Obrig, Katharina von Kriegstein
Recognizing the identity of others by their voice is an important skill for social interactions. To date, it remains controversial which parts of the brain are critical structures for this skill. Based on neuroimaging findings, standard models of person-identity recognition suggest that the right temporal lobe is the hub for voice-identity recognition. Neuropsychological case studies, however, reported selective deficits of voice-identity recognition in patients predominantly with right inferior parietal lobe lesions. Here, our aim was to work towards resolving the discrepancy between neuroimaging studies and neuropsychological case studies to find out which brain structures are critical for voice-identity recognition in humans. We performed a voxel-based lesion-behaviour mapping study in a cohort of patients (n = 58) with unilateral focal brain lesions. The study included a comprehensive behavioural test battery on voice-identity recognition of newly learned (voice-name, voice-face association learning) and familiar voices (famous voice recognition) as well as visual (face-identity recognition) and acoustic control tests (vocal-pitch and vocal-timbre discrimination). The study also comprised clinically established tests (neuropsychological assessment, audiometry) and high-resolution structural brain images. The three key findings were: (i) a strong association between voice-identity recognition performance and right posterior/mid temporal and right inferior parietal lobe lesions; (ii) a selective association between right posterior/mid temporal lobe lesions and voice-identity recognition performance when face-identity recognition performance was factored out; and (iii) an association of right inferior parietal lobe lesions with tasks requiring the association between voices and faces but not voices and names. The results imply that the right posterior/mid temporal lobe is an obligatory structure for voice-identity recognition, while the inferior parietal lobe is only a facultative component of voice-identity recognition in situations where additional face-identity processing is required.
The cerebellar cognitive affective/Schmahmann syndrome scale Brain (IF 10.292) Pub Date : 2017-12-01 Franziska Hoche, Xavier Guell, Mark G Vangel, Janet C Sherman, Jeremy D Schmahmann
Cerebellar cognitive affective syndrome (CCAS; Schmahmann’s syndrome) is characterized by deficits in executive function, linguistic processing, spatial cognition, and affect regulation. Diagnosis currently relies on detailed neuropsychological testing. The aim of this study was to develop an office or bedside cognitive screen to help identify CCAS in cerebellar patients. Secondary objectives were to evaluate whether available brief tests of mental function detect cognitive impairment in cerebellar patients, whether cognitive performance is different in patients with isolated cerebellar lesions versus complex cerebrocerebellar pathology, and whether there are cognitive deficits that should raise red flags about extra-cerebellar pathology. Comprehensive standard neuropsychological tests, experimental measures and clinical rating scales were administered to 77 patients with cerebellar disease—36 isolated cerebellar degeneration or injury, and 41 complex cerebrocerebellar pathology—and to healthy matched controls. Tests that differentiated patients from controls were used to develop a screening instrument that includes the cardinal elements of CCAS. We validated this new scale in a new cohort of 39 cerebellar patients and 55 healthy controls. We confirm the defining features of CCAS using neuropsychological measures. Deficits in executive function were most pronounced for working memory, mental flexibility, and abstract reasoning. Language deficits included verb for noun generation and phonemic > semantic fluency. Visual spatial function was degraded in performance and interpretation of visual stimuli. Neuropsychiatric features included impairments in attentional control, emotional control, psychosis spectrum disorders and social skill set. From these results, we derived a 10-item scale providing total raw score, cut-offs for each test, and pass/fail criteria that determined ‘possible’ (one test failed), ‘probable’ (two tests failed), and ‘definite’ CCAS (three tests failed). When applied to the exploratory cohort, and administered to the validation cohort, the CCAS/Schmahmann scale identified sensitivity and selectivity, respectively as possible exploratory cohort: 85%/74%, validation cohort: 95%/78%; probable exploratory cohort: 58%/94%, validation cohort: 82%/93%; and definite exploratory cohort: 48%/100%, validation cohort: 46%/100%. In patients in the exploratory cohort, Mini-Mental State Examination and Montreal Cognitive Assessment scores were within normal range. Complex cerebrocerebellar disease patients were impaired on similarities in comparison to isolated cerebellar disease. Inability to recall words from multiple choice occurred only in patients with extra-cerebellar disease. The CCAS/Schmahmann syndrome scale is useful for expedited clinical assessment of CCAS in patients with cerebellar disorders.
Asymmetry of post-mortem neuropathology in behavioural-variant frontotemporal dementia Brain (IF 10.292) Pub Date : 2017-12-08 David J Irwin, Corey T McMillan, Sharon X Xie, Katya Rascovsky, Vivianna M Van Deerlin, H Branch Coslett, Roy Hamilton, Geoffrey K Aguirre, Edward B Lee, Virginia M Y Lee, John Q Trojanowski, Murray Grossman
Antemortem behavioural and anatomic abnormalities have largely been associated with right hemisphere disease in behavioural-variant frontotemporal dementia, but post-mortem neuropathological examination of bilateral hemispheres remains to be defined. Here we measured the severity of post-mortem pathology in both grey and white matter using a validated digital image analysis method in four cortical regions sampled from each hemisphere in 26 patients with behavioural-variant frontotemporal dementia, including those with frontotemporal degeneration (i.e. tau = 9, TDP-43 = 14, or FUS = 1 proteinopathy) or Alzheimer’s pathology (n = 2). We calculated an asymmetry index based on the difference in measured pathology from each left-right sample pair. Analysis of the absolute value of the asymmetry index (i.e. degree of asymmetry independent of direction) revealed asymmetric pathology for both grey and white matter in all four regions sampled in frontototemporal degeneration patients with tau or TDP-43 pathology (P ≤ 0.01). Direct interhemispheric comparisons of regional pathology measurements within-subjects in the combined tauopathy and TDP-43 proteinopathy group found higher pathology in the right orbitofrontal grey matter compared to the left (P < 0.01) and increased pathology in ventrolateral temporal lobe grey matter of the left hemisphere compared to the right (P < 0.02). Preliminary group-wise comparisons between tauopathy and TDP-43 proteinopathy groups found differences in patterns of interhemispheric burden of grey and white matter regional pathology, with greater relative white matter pathology in tauopathies. To test the association of pathology measurement with ante-mortem observations, we performed exploratory analyses in the subset of patients with imaging data (n = 15) and found a direct association for increasing pathologic burden with decreasing cortical thickness in frontotemporal regions on ante-mortem imaging in tauopathy (P = 0.001) and a trend for TDP-43 proteinopathy (P = 0.06). Exploratory clinicopathological correlations demonstrated an association of socially-inappropriate behaviours with asymmetric right orbitofrontal grey matter pathology, and reduced semantically-guided category naming fluency was associated asymmetric white matter pathology in the left ventrolateral temporal region. We conclude that pathologic disease burden is distributed asymmetrically in behavioural-variant frontotemporal dementia, although not universally in the right hemisphere, and this asymmetry contributes to the clinical heterogeneity of the disorder. The basis for this asymmetric profile is enigmatic but may reflect distinct species or strains of tau and TDP-43 pathologies with propensities to spread by distinct cell- and region-specific mechanisms. Patterns of region-specific pathology in the right hemisphere as well as the left hemisphere may play a role in antemortem clinical observations, and these observations may contribute to antemortem identification of molecular pathology in frontotemporal degeneration.
Longitudinal structural and molecular neuroimaging in agrammatic primary progressive aphasia Brain (IF 10.292) Pub Date : 2017-12-08 Katerina A Tetzloff, Joseph R Duffy, Heather M Clark, Edythe A Strand, Mary M Machulda, Christopher G Schwarz, Matthew L Senjem, Robert I Reid, Anthony J Spychalla, Nirubol Tosakulwong, Val J Lowe, Clifford R Jr Jack, Keith A Josephs, Jennifer L Whitwell
The agrammatic variant of primary progressive aphasia affects normal grammatical language production, often occurs with apraxia of speech, and is associated with left frontal abnormalities on cross-sectional neuroimaging studies. We aimed to perform a detailed assessment of longitudinal change on structural and molecular neuroimaging to provide a complete picture of neurodegeneration in these patients, and to determine how patterns of progression compare to patients with isolated apraxia of speech (primary progressive apraxia of speech). We assessed longitudinal structural MRI, diffusion tensor imaging and 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose PET in 11 agrammatic aphasia subjects, 20 primary progressive apraxia of speech subjects, and 62 age and gender-matched controls with two serial assessments. Rates of change in grey matter volume and hypometabolism, and white matter fractional anisotropy, mean diffusivity, radial diffusivity and axial diffusivity were assessed at the voxel-level and for numerous regions of interest. The greatest rates of grey matter atrophy in agrammatic aphasia were observed in inferior, middle, and superior frontal gyri, premotor and motor cortices, as well as medial temporal lobe, insula, basal ganglia, and brainstem compared to controls. Longitudinal decline in metabolism was observed in the same regions, with additional findings in medial and lateral parietal lobe. Diffusion tensor imaging changes were prominent bilaterally in inferior and middle frontal white matter and superior longitudinal fasciculus, as well as right inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus, superior frontal and precentral white matter. More focal patterns of degeneration of motor and premotor cortex were observed in primary progressive apraxia of speech. Agrammatic aphasia showed greater rates of grey matter atrophy, decline in metabolism, and white matter degeneration compared to primary progressive apraxia of speech in the left frontal lobe, predominantly inferior and middle frontal grey and white matter. Correlations were also assessed between rates of change on neuroimaging and rates of clinical decline. Progression of aphasia correlated with rates of degeneration in frontal and temporal regions within the language network, while progression of parkinsonism and limb apraxia correlated with degeneration of motor cortex and brainstem. These findings demonstrate that disease progression in agrammatic aphasia is associated with widespread neurodegeneration throughout regions of the language network, as well as connecting white matter tracts, but also with progression to regions outside of the language network that are responsible for the development of motor symptoms. The fact that patterns of progression differed from primary progressive apraxia of speech supports the clinical distinction of these syndromes.
Dr Harrison Martland and the history of punch drunk syndrome Brain (IF 10.292) Pub Date : 2017-12-28 Abhinav R Changa, Robert A Vietrogoski, Peter W Carmel
Today, traumatic brain injury (TBI) and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) have become important topics of discussion within sports and neuroscience. Although the entity of CTE and its consequences within the realm of sports have become prevalent in the 21st century, the clinical syndrome was first described earlier by Dr Harrison Martland. A pathologist by training, Dr Martland is most known for his works in the field of forensic pathology and radiation toxicity. However, his important work in formulating the clinical picture of ‘punch drunk’ has helped to shape the field of neurotrauma and continues to be relevant today. This paper briefly discusses Martland’s life and accomplishments in medicine. It discusses the significance of Martland’s role in clarifying the effects of repetitive head trauma in 1920s boxing...
POLR3A variants in hereditary spastic paraplegia and ataxia Brain (IF 10.292) Pub Date : 2017-12-08 Laurence Gauquelin, Martine Tétreault, Isabelle Thiffault, Emily Farrow, Neil Miller, Byunggil Yoo, Eric Bareke, Grace Yoon, Oksana Suchowersky, Nicolas Dupré, Mark Tarnopolsky, Bernard Brais, Nicole I Wolf, Jacek Majewski, Guy A Rouleau, Ziv Gan-Or, Geneviève Bernard
Reply: POLR3A variants in hereditary spastic paraplegia and ataxia Brain (IF 10.292) Pub Date : 2017-12-11 Martina Minnerop, Delia Kurzwelly, Tim W Rattay, Dagmar Timmann, Holger Hengel, Matthis Synofzik, Claudia Stendel, Rita Horvath, Rebecca Schüle, Alfredo Ramirez
DGUOK recessive mutations in patients with CPEO, mitochondrial myopathy, parkinsonism and mtDNA deletions Brain (IF 10.292) Pub Date : 2017-12-08 Leonardo Caporali, Luca Bello, Francesca Tagliavini, Chiara La Morgia, Alessandra Maresca, Lidia Di Vito, Rocco Liguori, Maria Lucia Valentino, Diego Cecchin, Elena Pegoraro, Valerio Carelli
Reply: DGUOK recessive mutations in patients with CPEO, mitochondrial myopathy, parkinsonism and mtDNA deletions Brain (IF 10.292) Pub Date : 2017-12-08 Dario Ronchi, Daniela Piga, Stefano Lamberti, Monica Sciacco, Stefania Corti, Maurizio Moggio, Nereo Bresolin, Giacomo Pietro Comi
CLIPPERS, a possible symptomatic lymphohistiocytic immune reaction Brain (IF 10.292) Pub Date : 2017-11-17 Guillaume Taieb, Pierre Labauge
Reply: CLIPPERS, a possible symptomatic lymphohistiocytic immune reaction Brain (IF 10.292) Pub Date : 2017-11-17 W Oliver Tobin, Yong Guo, B Mark Keegan
Effect of cholinergic treatment depends on cholinergic integrity in early Alzheimer’s disease Brain (IF 10.292) Pub Date : 2018-01-04 Nils Richter, Nora Beckers, Oezguer A Onur, Markus Dietlein, Marc Tittgemeyer, Lutz Kracht, Bernd Neumaier, Gereon R Fink, Juraj Kukolja
In early Alzheimer’s disease, which initially presents with progressive loss of short-term memory, neurodegeneration especially affects cholinergic neurons of the basal forebrain. Pharmacotherapy of Alzheimer’s disease therefore often targets the cholinergic system. In contrast, cholinergic pharmacotherapy of mild cognitive impairment is debated since its efficacy to date remains controversial. We here investigated the relationship between cholinergic treatment effects and the integrity of the cholinergic system in mild cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer’s disease. Fourteen patients with high likelihood of mild cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer’s disease and 16 age-matched cognitively normal adults performed an episodic memory task during functional magnetic resonance imaging under three conditions: (i) without pharmacotherapy; (ii) with placebo; and (iii) with a single dose of rivastigmine (3 mg). Cortical acetylcholinesterase activity was measured using PET with the tracer 11C-N-methyl-4-piperidyl acetate (MP4A). Cortical acetylcholinesterase activity was significantly decreased in patients relative to controls, especially in the lateral temporal lobes. Without pharmacotherapy, mild cognitive impairment was associated with less memory-related neural activation in the fusiform gyrus and impaired deactivation in the posterior cingulate cortex, relative to controls. These differences were attenuated under cholinergic stimulation with rivastigmine: patients showed increased neural activation in the right fusiform gyrus but enhanced deactivation of the posterior cingulate cortex under rivastigmine, compared to placebo. Conversely, controls showed reduced activation of the fusiform gyrus and reduced deactivation of the posterior cingulate under rivastigmine, compared to placebo. In both groups, the change in neural activation in response to rivastigmine was negatively associated with local acetylcholinesterase activity. At the behavioural level, an analysis of covariance revealed a significant group × treatment interaction in episodic memory performance when accounting for hippocampal grey matter atrophy and function. Our results indicate that rivastigmine differentially affects memory-related neural activity in patients with mild cognitive impairment and cognitively normal, age-matched adults, depending on acetylcholinesterase activity as a marker for the integrity of the cortical cholinergic system. Furthermore, hippocampal integrity showed an independent association with the response of memory performance to acetylcholinesterase inhibition.
Fibre-specific white matter reductions in Alzheimer’s disease and mild cognitive impairment Brain (IF 10.292) Pub Date : 2018-01-04 Remika Mito, David Raffelt, Thijs Dhollander, David N Vaughan, J -Donald Tournier, Olivier Salvado, Amy Brodtmann, Christopher C Rowe, Victor L Villemagne, Alan Connelly
Alzheimer’s disease is increasingly considered a large-scale network disconnection syndrome, associated with progressive aggregation of pathological proteins, cortical atrophy, and functional disconnections between brain regions. These pathological changes are posited to arise in a stereotypical spatiotemporal manner, targeting intrinsic networks in the brain, most notably the default mode network. While this network-specific disruption has been thoroughly studied with functional neuroimaging, changes to specific white matter fibre pathways within the brain’s structural networks have not been closely investigated, largely due to the challenges of modelling complex white matter structure. Here, we applied a novel technique known as ‘fixel-based analysis’ to comprehensively investigate fibre tract-specific differences at a within-voxel level (called ‘fixels’) to assess potential axonal loss in subjects with Alzheimer’s disease and mild cognitive impairment. We hypothesized that patients with Alzheimer’s disease would exhibit extensive degeneration across key fibre pathways connecting default network nodes, while patients with mild cognitive impairment would exhibit selective degeneration within fibre pathways connecting regions previously identified as functionally implicated early in Alzheimer’s disease. Diffusion MRI data from Alzheimer’s disease (n = 49), mild cognitive impairment (n = 33), and healthy elderly control subjects (n = 95) were obtained from the Australian Imaging, Biomarkers and Lifestyle study of ageing. We assessed microstructural differences in fibre density, and macrostructural differences in fibre bundle morphology using fixel-based analysis. Whole-brain analysis was performed to compare groups across all white matter fixels. Subsequently, we performed a tract of interest analysis comparing fibre density and cross-section across 11 selected white matter tracts, to investigate potentially subtle degeneration within fibre pathways in mild cognitive impairment, initially by clinical diagnosis alone, and then by including amyloid status (i.e. a positive or negative amyloid PET scan). Our whole-brain analysis revealed significant white matter loss manifesting both microstructurally and macrostructurally in Alzheimer’s disease patients, evident in specific fibre pathways associated with default mode network nodes. Reductions in fibre density and cross-section in mild cognitive impairment patients were only exhibited within the posterior cingulum when statistical analyses were limited to tracts of interest. Interestingly, these degenerative changes did not appear to be associated with high amyloid accumulation, given that amyloid-negative, but not positive, mild cognitive impairment subjects exhibited subtle focal left posterior cingulum deficits. The findings of this study demonstrated a stereotypical distribution of white matter degeneration in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, which was in line with canonical findings from other imaging modalities, and with a network-based conceptualization of the disease.
Spatial patterns of progressive brain volume loss after moderate-severe traumatic brain injury Brain (IF 10.292) Pub Date : 2018-01-04 James H Cole, Amy Jolly, Sara de Simoni, Niall Bourke, Maneesh C Patel, Gregory Scott, David J Sharp
Traumatic brain injury leads to significant loss of brain volume, which continues into the chronic stage. This can be sensitively measured using volumetric analysis of MRI. Here we: (i) investigated longitudinal patterns of brain atrophy; (ii) tested whether atrophy is greatest in sulcal cortical regions; and (iii) showed how atrophy could be used to power intervention trials aimed at slowing neurodegeneration. In 61 patients with moderate-severe traumatic brain injury (mean age = 41.55 years ± 12.77) and 32 healthy controls (mean age = 34.22 years ± 10.29), cross-sectional and longitudinal (1-year follow-up) brain structure was assessed using voxel-based morphometry on T1-weighted scans. Longitudinal brain volume changes were characterized using a novel neuroimaging analysis pipeline that generates a Jacobian determinant metric, reflecting spatial warping between baseline and follow-up scans. Jacobian determinant values were summarized regionally and compared with clinical and neuropsychological measures. Patients with traumatic brain injury showed lower grey and white matter volume in multiple brain regions compared to controls at baseline. Atrophy over 1 year was pronounced following traumatic brain injury. Patients with traumatic brain injury lost a mean (± standard deviation) of 1.55% ± 2.19 of grey matter volume per year, 1.49% ± 2.20 of white matter volume or 1.51% ± 1.60 of whole brain volume. Healthy controls lost 0.55% ± 1.13 of grey matter volume and gained 0.26% ± 1.11 of white matter volume; equating to a 0.22% ± 0.83 reduction in whole brain volume. Atrophy was greatest in white matter, where the majority (84%) of regions were affected. This effect was independent of and substantially greater than that of ageing. Increased atrophy was also seen in cortical sulci compared to gyri. There was no relationship between atrophy and time since injury or age at baseline. Atrophy rates were related to memory performance at the end of the follow-up period, as well as to changes in memory performance, prior to multiple comparison correction. In conclusion, traumatic brain injury results in progressive loss of brain tissue volume, which continues for many years post-injury. Atrophy is most prominent in the white matter, but is also more pronounced in cortical sulci compared to gyri. These findings suggest the Jacobian determinant provides a method of quantifying brain atrophy following a traumatic brain injury and is informative in determining the long-term neurodegenerative effects after injury. Power calculations indicate that Jacobian determinant images are an efficient surrogate marker in clinical trials of neuroprotective therapeutics.
Tau burden and the functional connectome in Alzheimer’s disease and progressive supranuclear palsy Brain (IF 10.292) Pub Date : 2017-12-26 Thomas E Cope, Timothy Rittman, Robin J Borchert, P Simon Jones, Deniz Vatansever, Kieren Allinson, Luca Passamonti, Patricia Vazquez Rodriguez, W Richard Bevan-Jones, John T O'Brien, James B Rowe
Alzheimer’s disease and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) represent neurodegenerative tauopathies with predominantly cortical versus subcortical disease burden. In Alzheimer’s disease, neuropathology and atrophy preferentially affect ‘hub’ brain regions that are densely connected. It was unclear whether hubs are differentially affected by neurodegeneration because they are more likely to receive pathological proteins that propagate trans-neuronally, in a prion-like manner, or whether they are selectively vulnerable due to a lack of local trophic factors, higher metabolic demands, or differential gene expression. We assessed the relationship between tau burden and brain functional connectivity, by combining in vivo PET imaging using the ligand AV-1451, and graph theoretic measures of resting state functional MRI in 17 patients with Alzheimer’s disease, 17 patients with PSP, and 12 controls. Strongly connected nodes displayed more tau pathology in Alzheimer’s disease, independently of intrinsic connectivity network, validating the predictions of theories of trans-neuronal spread but not supporting a role for metabolic demands or deficient trophic support in tau accumulation. This was not a compensatory phenomenon, as the functional consequence of increasing tau burden in Alzheimer’s disease was a progressive weakening of the connectivity of these same nodes, reducing weighted degree and local efficiency and resulting in weaker ‘small-world’ properties. Conversely, in PSP, unlike in Alzheimer’s disease, those nodes that accrued pathological tau were those that displayed graph metric properties associated with increased metabolic demand and a lack of trophic support rather than strong functional connectivity. Together, these findings go some way towards explaining why Alzheimer’s disease affects large scale connectivity networks throughout cortex while neuropathology in PSP is concentrated in a small number of subcortical structures. Further, we demonstrate that in PSP increasing tau burden in midbrain and deep nuclei was associated with strengthened cortico-cortical functional connectivity. Disrupted cortico-subcortical and cortico-brainstem interactions meant that information transfer took less direct paths, passing through a larger number of cortical nodes, reducing closeness centrality and eigenvector centrality in PSP, while increasing weighted degree, clustering, betweenness centrality and local efficiency. Our results have wide-ranging implications, from the validation of models of tau trafficking in humans to understanding the relationship between regional tau burden and brain functional reorganization.
A widespread visually-sensitive functional network relates to symptoms in essential tremor Brain (IF 10.292) Pub Date : 2017-12-22 Derek B Archer, Stephen A Coombes, Winston T Chu, Jae Woo Chung, Roxana G Burciu, Michael S Okun, Aparna Wagle Shukla, David E Vaillancourt
Essential tremor is a neurological syndrome of heterogeneous pathology and aetiology that is characterized by tremor primarily in the upper extremities. This tremor is commonly hypothesized to be driven by a single or multiple neural oscillator(s) within the cerebello-thalamo-cortical pathway. Several studies have found an association of blood-oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal in the cerebello-thalamo-cortical pathway with essential tremor, but there is behavioural evidence that also points to the possibility that the severity of tremor could be influenced by visual feedback. Here, we directly manipulated visual feedback during a functional MRI grip force task in patients with essential tremor and control participants, and hypothesized that an increase in visual feedback would exacerbate tremor in the 4–12 Hz range in essential tremor patients. Further, we hypothesized that this exacerbation of tremor would be associated with dysfunctional changes in BOLD signal and entropy within, and beyond, the cerebello-thalamo-cortical pathway. We found that increases in visual feedback increased tremor in the 4–12 Hz range in essential tremor patients, and this increase in tremor was associated with abnormal changes in BOLD amplitude and entropy in regions within the cerebello-thalamo-motor cortical pathway, and extended to visual and parietal areas. To determine if the tremor severity was associated with single or multiple brain region(s), we conducted a birectional stepwise multiple regression analysis, and found that a widespread functional network extending beyond the cerebello-thalamo-motor cortical pathway was associated with changes in tremor severity measured during the imaging protocol. Further, this same network was associated with clinical tremor severity measured with the Fahn, Tolosa, Marin Tremor Rating Scale, suggesting this network is clinically relevant. Since increased visual feedback also reduced force error, this network was evaluated in relation to force error but the model was not significant, indicating it is associated with force tremor but not force error. This study therefore provides new evidence that a widespread functional network is associated with the severity of tremor in patients with essential tremor measured simultaneously at the hand during functional imaging, and is also associated with the clinical severity of tremor. These findings support the idea that the severity of tremor is exacerbated by increased visual feedback, suggesting that designers of new computing technologies should consider using lower visual feedback levels to reduce tremor in essential tremor.
Motor learning and metaplasticity in striatal neurons: relevance for Parkinson’s disease Brain (IF 10.292) Pub Date : 2017-12-21 Nadia Giordano, Attilio Iemolo, Maria Mancini, Fabrizio Cacace, Maria De Risi, Emanuele Claudio Latagliata, Veronica Ghiglieri, Gian Carlo Bellenchi, Stefano Puglisi-Allegra, Paolo Calabresi, Barbara Picconi, Elvira De Leonibus
Nigro-striatal dopamine transmission is central to a wide range of neuronal functions, including skill learning, which is disrupted in several pathologies such as Parkinson’s disease. The synaptic plasticity mechanisms, by which initial motor learning is stored for long time periods in striatal neurons, to then be gradually optimized upon subsequent training, remain unexplored. Addressing this issue is crucial to identify the synaptic and molecular mechanisms involved in striatal-dependent learning impairment in Parkinson’s disease. In this study, we took advantage of interindividual differences between outbred rodents in reaching plateau performance in the rotarod incremental motor learning protocol, to study striatal synaptic plasticity ex vivo. We then assessed how this process is modulated by dopamine receptors and the dopamine active transporter, and whether it is impaired by overexpression of human α-synuclein in the mesencephalon; the latter is a progressive animal model of Parkinson’s disease. We found that the initial acquisition of motor learning induced a dopamine active transporter and D1 receptors mediated long-term potentiation, under a protocol of long-term depression in striatal medium spiny neurons. This effect disappeared in animals reaching performance plateau. Overexpression of human α-synuclein reduced striatal dopamine active transporter levels, impaired motor learning, and prevented the learning-induced long-term potentiation, before the appearance of dopamine neuronal loss. Our findings provide evidence of a reorganization of cellular plasticity within the dorsolateral striatum that is mediated by dopamine receptors and dopamine active transporter during the acquisition of a skill. This newly identified mechanism of cellular memory is a form of metaplasticity that is disrupted in the early stage of synucleinopathies, such as Parkinson’s disease, and that might be relevant for other striatal pathologies, such as drug abuse.
Minocycline reduces chronic microglial activation after brain trauma but increases neurodegeneration Brain (IF 10.292) Pub Date : 2017-12-19 Gregory Scott, Henrik Zetterberg, Amy Jolly, James H Cole, Sara De Simoni, Peter O Jenkins, Claire Feeney, David R Owen, Anne Lingford-Hughes, Oliver Howes, Maneesh C Patel, Anthony P Goldstone, Roger N Gunn, Kaj Blennow, Paul M Matthews, David J Sharp
Survivors of a traumatic brain injury can deteriorate years later, developing brain atrophy and dementia. Traumatic brain injury triggers chronic microglial activation, but it is unclear whether this is harmful or beneficial. A successful chronic-phase treatment for traumatic brain injury might be to target microglia. In experimental models, the antibiotic minocycline inhibits microglial activation. We investigated the effect of minocycline on microglial activation and neurodegeneration using PET, MRI, and measurement of the axonal protein neurofilament light in plasma. Microglial activation was assessed using 11C-PBR28 PET. The relationships of microglial activation to measures of brain injury, and the effects of minocycline on disease progression, were assessed using structural and diffusion MRI, plasma neurofilament light, and cognitive assessment. Fifteen patients at least 6 months after a moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury received either minocycline 100 mg orally twice daily or no drug, for 12 weeks. At baseline, 11C-PBR28 binding in patients was increased compared to controls in cerebral white matter and thalamus, and plasma neurofilament light levels were elevated. MRI measures of white matter damage were highest in areas of greater 11C-PBR28 binding. Minocycline reduced 11C-PBR28 binding (mean Δwhite matter binding = −23.30%, 95% confidence interval −40.9 to −5.64%, P = 0.018), but increased plasma neurofilament light levels. Faster rates of brain atrophy were found in patients with higher baseline neurofilament light levels. In this experimental medicine study, minocycline after traumatic brain injury reduced chronic microglial activation while increasing a marker of neurodegeneration. These findings suggest that microglial activation has a reparative effect in the chronic phase of traumatic brain injury.
Kv1.3 inhibition as a potential microglia-targeted therapy for Alzheimer’s disease: preclinical proof of concept Brain (IF 10.292) Pub Date : 2017-12-18 Izumi Maezawa, Hai M Nguyen, Jacopo Di Lucente, David Paul Jenkins, Vikrant Singh, Silvia Hilt, Kyoungmi Kim, Srikant Rangaraju, Allan I Levey, Heike Wulff, Lee-Way Jin
Microglia significantly contribute to the pathophysiology of Alzheimer’s disease but an effective microglia-targeted therapeutic approach is not yet available clinically. The potassium channels Kv1.3 and Kir2.1 play important roles in regulating immune cell functions and have been implicated by in vitro studies in the ‘M1-like pro-inflammatory’ or ‘M2-like anti-inflammatory’ state of microglia, respectively. We here found that amyloid-β oligomer-induced expression of Kv1.3 and Kir2.1 in cultured primary microglia. Likewise, ex vivo microglia acutely isolated from the Alzheimer’s model 5xFAD mice co-expressed Kv1.3 and Kir2.1 as well as markers traditionally associated with M1 and M2 activation suggesting that amyloid-β oligomer induces a microglial activation state that is more complex than previously thought. Using the orally available, brain penetrant small molecule Kv1.3 blocker PAP-1 as a tool, we showed that pro-inflammatory and neurotoxic microglial responses induced by amyloid-β oligomer required Kv1.3 activity in vitro and in hippocampal slices. Since we further observed that Kv1.3 was highly expressed in microglia of transgenic Alzheimer’s mouse models and human Alzheimer’s disease brains, we hypothesized that pharmacological Kv1.3 inhibition could mitigate the pathology induced by amyloid-β aggregates. Indeed, treating APP/PS1 transgenic mice with a 5-month oral regimen of PAP-1, starting at 9 months of age, when the animals already manifest cognitive deficits and amyloid pathology, reduced neuroinflammation, decreased cerebral amyloid load, enhanced hippocampal neuronal plasticity, and improved behavioural deficits. The observed decrease in cerebral amyloid deposition was consistent with the in vitro finding that PAP-1 enhanced amyloid-β uptake by microglia. Collectively, these results provide proof-of-concept data to advance Kv1.3 blockers to Alzheimer’s disease clinical trials.
Evaluation of the noradrenergic system in Parkinson’s disease: an 11C-MeNER PET and neuromelanin MRI study Brain (IF 10.292) Pub Date : 2017-12-18 Michael Sommerauer, Tatyana D Fedorova, Allan K Hansen, Karoline Knudsen, Marit Otto, Jesper Jeppesen, Yoon Frederiksen, Jakob U Blicher, Jacob Geday, Adjmal Nahimi, Malene F Damholdt, David J Brooks, Per Borghammer
Pathological involvement of the noradrenergic locus coeruleus occurs early in Parkinson’s disease, and widespread noradrenaline reductions are found at post-mortem. Rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder (RBD) accompanies Parkinson’s disease and its presence predicts an unfavourable disease course with a higher propensity to cognitive impairment and orthostatic hypotension. MRI can detect neuromelanin in the locus coeruleus while 11C-MeNER PET is a marker of noradrenaline transporter availability. Here, we use both imaging modalities to study the association of RBD, cognition and autonomic dysfunction in Parkinson’s disease with loss of noradrenergic function. Thirty non-demented Parkinson’s disease patients [16 patients with RBD and 14 without RBD, comparable across age (66.6 ± 6.7 years), sex (22 males), and disease stage (Hoehn and Yahr, 2.3 ± 0.5)], had imaging of the locus coeruleus with neuromelanin sensitive MRI and brain noradrenaline transporter availability with 11C-MeNER PET. RBD was confirmed with polysomnography; cognitive function was assessed with a neuropsychological test battery, and blood pressure changes on tilting were documented; results were compared to 12 matched control subjects. We found that Parkinson’s disease patients with RBD showed decreased locus coeruleus neuromelanin signal on MRI (P < 0.001) and widespread reduced binding of 11C-MeNER (P < 0.001), which correlated with amount of REM sleep without atonia. Parkinson’s disease with RBD was also associated with a higher incidence of cognitive impairment, slowed EEG activity, and orthostatic hypotension. Reduced 11C-MeNER binding correlated with EEG slowing, cognitive performance, and orthostatic hypotension. In conclusion, reduced noradrenergic function in Parkinson’s disease was linked to the presence of RBD and associated with cognitive deterioration and orthostatic hypotension. Noradrenergic impairment may contribute to the high prevalence of these non-motor symptoms in Parkinson’s disease, and may be of relevance when treating these conditions in Parkinson’s disease.
Some contents have been Reproduced by permission of The Royal Society of Chemistry.
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