Neuroimaging Techniques (neuroimaging + techniques)

Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Medical Sciences

Selected Abstracts

EFNS guideline on neuroimaging in acute stroke.

Report of an EFNS task force
Neuroimaging techniques are necessary for the evaluation of stroke, one of the leading causes of death and neurological impairment in developed countries. The multiplicity of techniques available has increased the complexity of decision making for physicians. We performed a comprehensive review of the literature in English for the period 1965,2005 and critically assessed the relevant publications. The members of the panel reviewed and corrected an initial draft, until a consensus was reached on recommendations stratified according to the European Federation of Neurological Societies (EFNS) criteria. Non-contrast computed tomography (CT) scan is the established imaging procedure for the initial evaluation of stroke patients. However, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has a higher sensitivity than CT for the demonstration of infarcted or ischemic areas and depicts well acute and chronic intracerebral hemorrhage. Perfusion and diffusion MRI together with MR angiography (MRA) are very helpful for the acute evaluation of patients with ischemic stroke. MRI and MRA are the recommended techniques for screening cerebral aneurysms and for the diagnosis of cerebral venous thrombosis and arterial dissection. For the non-invasive study of extracranial vessels, MRA is less portable and more expensive than ultrasonography but it has higher sensitivity and specificity for carotid stenosis. Transcranial Doppler is very useful for monitoring arterial reperfusion after thrombolysis, for the diagnosis of intracranial stenosis and of right-to-left shunts, and for monitoring vasospasm after subarachnoid hemorrhage. Currently, single photon emission computed tomography and positron emission tomography have a more limited role in the evaluation of the acute stroke patient. [source]

A survey of neuroimaging research in European neurological departments

K. Herholz
In the international neurological literature, neuroimaging research plays an important role. Neuroimaging techniques are also of steadily increasing importance for clinical diagnosis and treatment monitoring. Therefore, neuroimaging research activities were surveyed by a questionnaire, which was completed by 100 neurological centres across Europe. It showed that most groups use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), fMRI, computerized tomography (CT) and single photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT). Positron emission tomography (PET) and ultrasound are also employed by nearly half of the centres. Neuroimaging research involves co-operation amongst typically five to 10 disciplines. Cerebrovascular disease, dementia, cognitive disorders, epilepsy, movement disorders, brain tumours and multiple sclerosis are frequently being studied. Many groups rely on small budgets, have few full-time scientists and limited access to expensive resources. There is little exchange of scientists amongst laboratories. It was felt that funding and co-operation needed improvement in order to maintain a high standard in neuroimaging research. [source]

Neuroanatomical substrates of social cognition dysfunction in autism

Kevin Pelphrey
Abstract In this review article, we summarize recent progress toward understanding the neural structures and circuitry underlying dysfunctional social cognition in autism. We review selected studies from the growing literature that has used the functional neuroimaging techniques of cognitive neuroscience to map out the neuroanatomical substrates of social cognition in autism. We also draw upon functional neuroimaging studies with neurologically normal individuals and individuals with brain lesions to highlight the insights these studies offer that may help elucidate the search for the neural basis of social cognition deficits in autism. We organize this review around key brain structures that have been implicated in the social cognition deficits in autism: (1) the amygdala, (2) the superior temporal sulcus region, and (3) the fusiform gyrus. We review some of what is known about the contribution of each structure to social cognition and then review autism studies that implicate that particular structure. We conclude with a discussion of several potential future directions in the cognitive neuroscience of social deficits in autism. © 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc. MRDD Research Reviews 2004;10:259,271. [source]

Increased cerebral activity in Parkinson's disease patients carrying the DRD2 TaqIA A1 allele during a demanding motor task: a compensatory mechanism?

D. Bartrés-Faz
Previous studies suggest that neuroimaging techniques are useful for detecting the effects of functional genetic polymorphisms on brain function in healthy subjects or in patients presenting with psychiatric or neurodegenerative conditions. Former evidence showed that individuals carrying risk alleles displayed broader patterns of brain activity during behavioural and cognitive tasks, despite being clinically comparable to non-carriers. This suggests the presence of compensatory brain mechanisms. In the present study, we investigated this effect in Parkinson's disease (PD) patients carrying the DRD2 TaqIA A1 allelic variant. This variant may confer an increased risk of developing the disease and/or influence the clinical presentation. During a complex sequential motor task, we evidenced by functional magnetic resonance imaging that A1 allele carriers activated a larger network of bilateral cerebral areas than non-carriers, including cerebellar and premotor regions. Both groups had similar clinical and demographic measures. In addition, their motor performance during the functional magnetic resonance experiment was comparable. Therefore, our conclusions, pending replication in a larger sample, seem to reflect the recruitment of compensatory cerebral resources during motor processing in PD patients carrying the A1 allele. [source]

Functional Imaging in Primary Headache Disorders

HEADACHE, Issue 5 2008
F. Michael Cutrer MD
Over the past two decades, the development of new functional neuroimaging techniques has improved our understanding of the brain events underlying several primary headache disorders. In migraine and cluster headache, the advent of these techniques has shifted the emphasis in pathophysiological research away from the vessel and back to the brain. [source]

In vivo quantitative proton MRSI study of brain development from childhood to adolescence,

Alena Horská PhD
Abstract Purpose To quantify regional variations in metabolite levels in the developing brain using quantitative proton MR spectroscopic imaging (MRSI). Materials and Methods Fifteen healthy subjects three to 19 years old were examined by in vivo multislice proton MRSI. Concentrations of N-acetyl aspartate (NAA), total choline (Cho), total creatine (Cr), and peak area ratios were determined in selected frontal and parietal gray and white matter regions, basal ganglia, and thalamus. Results In cortical gray matter regions, the ratio of NAA/Cho increased to a maximum at 10 years and decreased thereafter (P = 0.010). In contrast, in white matter, average ratios NAA/Cho increased linearly with age (P = 0.045). In individual brain regions, age-related changes in NAA/Cho were found in the putamen (P = 0.044). No significant age-related changes in NAA, Cho, Cr, or other metabolite ratios could be determined. Conclusion Consistent with recent studies using other structural and functional neuroimaging techniques, our data suggest that small but significant changes occur in regional cerebral metabolism during childhood and adolescence. Non-linear age related changes of NAA/Cho in frontal and parietal areas, resembling previously reported age related changes in rates of glucose utilization and cortical volumes, may be associated with dendritic and synaptic development and regression. Linear age-related changes of NAA/Cho in white matter are also in agreement with age-related increases in white matter volumes, and may reflect progressive increases in axonal diameter and myelination. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2002;15:137,143. Published 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

Neuroimaging and Neurologic Complications after Organ Transplantation

ABSTRACT Neurologic complications are common after transplantation and affect 30-60% of transplant recipients. The etiology of most of the posttransplant neurologic disorders is related to the opportunistic infections, both systemic and involving central nervous system (CNS), toxicity of immunosuppressive medications, and the metabolic insult created by the underlying primary disease and the transplant procedure. Neuroimaging studies are one of the key tools in the evaluation and enable early diagnosis of neurologic complications in transplant patients, especially posterior reversible leukoencephalopathy syndrome, central pontine myelinolysis, intracerebral hemorrhage, and fungal and bacterial abscesses. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is the preferred technique, but each of the available neuroimaging techniques offers a unique insight into the pathophysiologic mechanisms underlying neurologic complications of transplantation. The role of neuroimaging in this population includes early detection of calcineurin inhibitor neurotoxicity, opportunistic infections, neoplasia, metabolic disorders, or cerebrovascular diseases. In addition, we can monitor longitudinal progression of disease and treatment response. [source]

Neonatal Alcohol-Induced Region-Dependent Changes in Rat Brain Neurochemistry Measured by High-Resolution Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy

ALCOHOLISM, Issue 10 2008
Shonagh K. O'Leary-Moore
Background:, Maternal drinking during pregnancy can lead to a range of deleterious outcomes in the developing offspring that have been collectively termed fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs). There is interest and recognized value in using non-invasive neuroimaging techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) to characterize, respectively, structural and biochemical alterations in individuals with FASDs. To date, however, results with MRS have been inconsistent regarding the degree and/or nature of abnormalities. Methods:, High-resolution magic angle spinning (HR-MAS) proton (1H) MRS is an ex vivo neuroimaging technique that can acquire spectra in small punches of intact tissue, providing clinically relevant neurochemical information about discrete brain regions. In this study, HR-MAS 1H MRS was used to examine regional neurochemistry in frontal cortex, striatum, hippocampus, and cerebellum of young rats previously exposed to ethanol as neonates. Key neurochemicals of interest included N-acetyl-aspartate (NAA), glutamate, GABA, glutamine, creatine, choline and myo -inositol. Results:, Daily neonatal alcohol exposure from postnatal day 4 (PN4) through PN9 significantly reduced levels of NAA and taurine in the cerebellum and striatum, and induced sex-dependent reductions in cerebellar glutamate when measured on PN16. In addition, myo -inositol was significantly increased in cerebellum. The frontal cortex and hippocampus were virtually unaffected by this neonatal alcohol exposure. Conclusion:, Results of this research may have implications for understanding the underlying neurobiology associated with FASDs and aid in testing treatments in the future. Ongoing studies are assessing the developmental persistence of and/or maturational recovery from these changes. [source]

Diagnostic evaluation of developmental delay/mental retardation: An overview

Agatino Battaglia
Abstract Mental retardation (MR) is one of the few clinically important disorders for which the etiopathogenesis is still poorly understood. It is a condition of great concern for public health and society. MR is currently defined as a significant impairment of cognitive and adaptive functions, with onset before age 18 years. It may become evident during infancy or early childhood as developmental delay (DD), but it is best diagnosed during the school years. MR is estimated to occur in 1,10% of the population, and research on its etiology has always been a challenge in medicine. The etiopathogenesis encompasses so many different entities that the attending physician can sometimes feel a "virtual panic," starting a wide-range diagnostic evaluation. The Consensus Conference of the American College of Medical Genetics has recently established guidelines regarding the evaluation of patients with MR [Curry et al., 1997], emphasizing the high diagnostic utility of cytogenetic studies and neuroimaging in certain clinical settings. However, since then there has been substantial progress in molecular cytogenetics and neuroimaging techniques, the use of which has allowed recognition and definition of new disorders, thus increasing the diagnostic yield. This review will focus on the most appropriate investigations shown to be, at present, necessary to define the etiology of DD/MR, in the context of recommendations for the clinical evaluation of the patient with undiagnosed MR. © 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

Pre-clinical Dementia: Does it Exist?

Louise M. Waite
Identification of syndromes that will progress to dementia carries immense importance for the management of these diseases when therapies are available and for future research into effective early prevention. Evidence supporting the presence of a preclinical phase for dementia has arisen from a range of different areas. Clinical and epidemiological studies have identified both cognitive and neurological abnormalities which predict the future development of dementia. Similarly, various neuroimaging techniques have identified abnormalities in asymptomatic subjects with significant risk for developing Alzheimer's disease and subjects who show mild cognitive deficits. Neuropathological series are hampered by non-representative study populations and poor antemortem data but in studies where informants have been utilised to provide details of subjects' antemortem cognitive function, evidence indicates that the presence of brain pathology is associated with cognitive deficits. This paper reviews the current literature exploring the presence of a pre-clinical phase for dementia, identifies the weaknesses in this research and provides suggestions for future research. [source]

Increased rates of white matter hyperintensities in late-onset bipolar disorder

Jaqueline Hatsuko Tamashiro
Objectives:, Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies have reported an increased frequency of white matter hyperintensities (WMH) in association with late-onset (LO) depression, and this has supported the notion that vascular-related mechanisms may be implicated in the pathophysiology of LO mood disorders. Recent clinical studies have also suggested a link between LO bipolar disorder (LO-BD) and cerebrovascular risk factors, but this has been little investigated with neuroimaging techniques. In order to ascertain whether there could be a specific association between WMH and LO-BD, we directly compared WMH rates between LO-BD subjects (illness onset , 60 years), early-onset BD subjects (EO-BD, illness onset <60 years), and elderly healthy volunteers. Methods:, T2-weighted MRI data were acquired in LO-BD subjects (n = 10, age = 73.60 ± 4.09), EO-BD patients (n = 49, age = 67.78 ± 4.44), and healthy subjects (n = 24, age = 69.00 ± 7.22). WMH rates were assessed using the Scheltens scale. Results:, There was a greater prevalence of WMH in LO-BD patients relative to the two other groups in the deep parietal region (p = 0.018) and basal ganglia (p < 0.045). When between-group comparisons of mean WMH scores were conducted taking account of age differences (ANCOVA), there were more severe scores in LO-BD patients relative to the two other groups in deep frontal and parietal regions, as well as in the putamen (p < 0.05). Conclusions:, Our results provide empirical support to the proposed link between vascular risk factors and LO-BD. If extended in future studies with larger samples, these findings may help to clarify the pathophysiological distinctions between bipolar disorder emerging at early and late stages of life. [source]

Do psychotherapies produce neurobiological effects?

Veena Kumari
Background:, An area of recent interest in psychiatric research is the application of neuroimaging techniques to investigate neural events associated with the development and the treatment of symptoms in a number of psychiatric disorders. Objective:, To examine whether psychological therapies modulate brain activity and, if so, to examine whether these changes similar to those found with relevant pharmacotherapy in various mental disorders. Methods:, Relevant data were identified from Pubmed and PsycInfo searches up to July 2005 using combinations of keywords including ,psychological therapy', ,behaviour therapy', ,depression', ,panic disorder', ,phobia', ,obsessive compulsive disorder', ,schizophrenia', ,psychosis', ,brain activity', ,brain metabolism', ,PET', ,SPECT' and ,fMRI'. Results:, There was ample evidence to demonstrate that psychological therapies produce changes at the neural level. The data, for example in depression, panic disorder, phobia and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), clearly suggested that a change in patients' symptoms and maladaptive behaviour at the mind level with psychological techniques is accompanied with functional brain changes in relevant brain circuits. In many studies, cognitive therapies and drug therapies achieved therapeutic gains through the same neural pathways although the two forms of treatment may still have different mechanisms of action. Conclusions:, Empirical research indicates a close association between the ,mind' and the ,brain' in showing that changes made at the mind level in a psychotherapeutic context produce changes at the brain level. The investigation of changes in neural activity with psychological therapies is a novel area which is likely to enhance our understanding of the mechanisms for therapeutic changes across a range of disorders. [source]

Imaging auditory hallucinations in schizophrenia

D. K. Tracy
It is increasingly recognized that there are a heterogeneous range of symptoms within the syndrome of schizophrenia and that some of these also occur frequently within other psychiatric conditions. An approach similar to that in neuropsychology, where cases are grouped based on a discrete deficit, or in this case a discrete symptom, rather than a cause or diagnosis, may be useful in exploring the neural correlates of psychotic symptomatology. Functional neuroimaging provides an excellent tool for investigating the in vivo cortical function of patients with schizophrenia. Auditory verbal hallucinations are one of the most commonly occurring psychotic symptoms in schizophrenia; and this paper examines the progress that has been made in utilizing neuroimaging techniques to investigate auditory hallucinations in schizophrenia and review potential implications for treatment and future directions for research. [source]