Sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is considered primarily a disease of grey matter, although the extent of white matter involvement has not been well described. We used diffusion tensor imaging to study the white matter in sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease compared to healthy control subjects and to correlated magnetic resonance imaging findings with histopathology. Twenty-six patients with sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and nine age- and gender-matched healthy control subjects underwent volumetric T1-weighted and diffusion tensor imaging. Six patients had post-mortem brain analysis available for assessment of neuropathological findings associated with prion disease. Parcellation of the subcortical white matter was performed on 3D T1-weighted volumes using Freesurfer. Diffusion tensor imaging maps were calculated and transformed to the 3D-T1 space; the average value for each diffusion metric was calculated in the total white matter and in regional volumes of interest. Tract-based spatial statistics analysis was also performed to investigate the deeper white matter tracts. There was a significant reduction of mean (P = 0.002), axial (P = 0.0003) and radial (P = 0.0134) diffusivities in the total white matter in sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Mean diffusivity was significantly lower in most white matter volumes of interest (P < 0.05, corrected for multiple comparisons), with a generally symmetric pattern of involvement in sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Mean diffusivity reduction reflected concomitant decrease of both axial and radial diffusivity, without appreciable changes in white matter anisotropy. Tract-based spatial statistics analysis showed significant reductions of mean diffusivity within the white matter of patients with sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, mainly in the left hemisphere, with a strong trend (P = 0.06) towards reduced mean diffusivity in most of the white matter bilaterally. In contrast, by visual assessment there was no white matter abnormality either on T2-weighted or diffusion-weighted images. Widespread reduction in white matter mean diffusivity, however, was apparent visibly on the quantitative attenuation coefficient maps compared to healthy control subjects. Neuropathological analysis showed diffuse astrocytic gliosis and activated microglia in the white matter, rare prion deposition and subtle subcortical microvacuolization, and patchy foci of demyelination with no evident white matter axonal degeneration. Decreased mean diffusivity on attenuation coefficient maps might be associated with astrocytic gliosis. We show for the first time significant global reduced mean diffusivity within the white matter in sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, suggesting possible primary involvement of the white matter, rather than changes secondary to neuronal degeneration/loss.
We aimed to characterize difficulties in famous face naming in three poststroke aphasic patients with a lesion limited to the left mid-posterior temporal language regions, sparing the anterior temporal lobe. The patients did not present semantic deficits specific to known people. Nonetheless, they showed difficulties naming famous buildings in addition to famous faces, but they were comparable to healthy controls in generating proper names. Our results support the critical role of the mid-posterior temporal language regions in the lexical retrieval of proper names, namely from pictorial stimuli, in absence of semantic impairments.
In resting state fMRI (rs-fMRI), only functional connectivity (FC) reductions in the default mode network (DMN) are normally reported as a biomarker for Alzheimer's disease (AD). In this investigation we have developed a comprehensive strategy to characterize the FC changes occurring in multiple networks and applied it in a pilot study of subjects with AD and Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), compared to healthy controls (HC). Resting state networks (RSNs) were studied in 14 AD (70 ± 6 years), 12 MCI (74 ± 6 years), and 16 HC (69 ± 5 years). RSN alterations were present in almost all the 15 recognized RSNs; overall, 474 voxels presented a reduced FC in MCI and 1244 in AD while 1627 voxels showed an increased FC in MCI and 1711 in AD. The RSNs were then ranked according to the magnitude and extension of FC changes (gFC), putting in evidence 6 RSNs with prominent changes: DMN, frontal cortical network (FCN), lateral visual network (LVN), basal ganglia network (BGN), cerebellar network (CBLN), and the anterior insula network (AIN). Nodes, or hubs, showing alterations common to more than one RSN were mostly localized within the prefrontal cortex and the mesial-temporal cortex. The cerebellum showed a unique behavior where voxels of decreased gFC were only found in AD while a significant gFC increase was only found in MCI. The gFC alterations showed strong correlations (p < 0.001) with psychological scores, in particular Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and attention/memory tasks. In conclusion, this analysis revealed that the DMN was affected by remarkable FC increases, that FC alterations extended over several RSNs, that derangement of functional relationships between multiple areas occurred already in the early stages of dementia. These results warrant future work to verify whether these represent compensatory mechanisms that exploit a pre-existing neural reserve through plasticity, which evolve in a state of lack of connectivity between different networks with the worsening of the pathology.
In recent years, herpes simplex encephalitis (HSE) has been reported with increasing frequency in settings of immunosuppression, such as acquired immunodeficiency, transplantation and cancer. As observed, in immunocompromised individuals HSE presents peculiar clinical and paraclinical features, and poorer prognosis.
Unusual late-onset complications of brain irradiation, characterized by reversible neurologic focal signs, seizures, and MRI alterations, have recently been reported and classified as stroke-like migraine attacks after radiation therapy (SMART)(1) and peri-ictal pseudoprogression (PIPG).(2.)
Symptomatic cluster headache (CH) secondary to internal carotid artery dissection (ICAD) has been frequently reported, however, as far as we know, the coexistence of episodic CH and acute symptomatic CH secondary to ICAD has not.
Atypical patterns of language activation in functional MRI (fMRI) are not unusual, particularly in patients with severe epilepsy. Still, the functional significance of these activations is under debate. We describe a case of a right-handed patient affected by drug-refractory right temporal lobe epilepsy in whom pre-surgical fMRI showed bilateral language activations, greater in the right hemisphere (RH). After surgery, a right subdural hematoma caused epileptic status and severe aphasia. This post-surgical complication of a crossed aphasia confirmed the prior fMRI findings of RH language thus stressing the value of pre-surgical fMRI evaluations, even when surgery is planned in the RH of a right-handed patient.
As treatment of neurodegenerative disease moves toward therapies aimed at specific molecular abnormalities, the importance of early and accurate diagnosis will increase, as will the need for sensitive measures for tracking disease progression. Brain imaging, using MRI and PET scanning, offers a variety of highly reliable techniques that examine the structure, chemical content, metabolic state, and functional capacity of the brain. For all the major neurodegenerative disorders, relatively specific findings can be identified with some or all of these techniques. New approaches for imaging specific molecular pathology likely will revolutionize brain imaging and be combined with established imaging approaches to obtain a complete molecular, structural, and metabolic characterization, which could be used to improve diagnosis, and to stage each patient and follow disease progression and response to treatment.
Continuous recording of Visual Evoked Potentials (VEPs) and functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) exploits the VEPs high temporal resolution and the fMRI high spatial resolution. In this work, we present a new method of continuous VEPs/fMRI recording to study visual function in seven normal subjects. Our real-time artifact filtering is characterized by a procedure based on an analytical study of echo-planar imaging (EPI) sequence parameters related electro-encephalogram (EEG)-artifact shapes. The magnetic field artifacts were minimized by using a dedicated amagnetic device and by a subtraction algorithm that takes into account the EPI sequence parameters. No significant decrease in signal-to-noise ratio was observed in case of EEG recording simultaneously with MR acquisition; similarly, transient and steady-state VEPs parameters were comparable during fMRI acquisition and in the off-phase of fMRI recording. We also applied this method to one patient with optic neuritis, and, compared with controls, found different results. We suggest that our technique can be reliably used to investigate the function of human visual cortex and properly correlate the electrophysiological and functional neuroimaging related changes.
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