Tract-specific white matter correlates of fatigue and cognitive impairment in benign multiple sclerosis
Bester, Maxim; Lazar, Mariana; Petracca, Maria; Babb, James S; Herbert, Joseph; Grossman, Robert I; Inglese, Matilde
BACKGROUND: Although benign multiple sclerosis (BMS) is traditionally defined by the presence of mild motor involvement decades after disease onset, symptoms of fatigue and cognitive impairment are very common. OBJECTIVE: To investigate the association between micro-structural damage in the anterior thalamic (AT) tracts and in the corpus callosum (CC), as measured by diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) tractography, and fatigue and cognitive deficits. METHODS: DTI data were acquired from 26 BMS patients and 24 sex- and age-matched healthy controls. RESULTS: General and mental fatigue scores were significantly impaired in patients compared with controls (p=0.05 for both) and 38% of patients resulted cognitively impaired. Mean diffusivity (MD) of the AT and CC tracts was significantly higher and fractional anisotropy (FA) was lower in patients compared with controls (p<0.001 for all). Fatigue was associated with increased MD (p=0.01) of the AT tracts whereas deficit of executive functions and verbal learning were associated with decreased FA in the body (p=0.004) and genu (p=0.008) of the CC. Deficits in processing speed and attention were associated with the T2 lesion volume of the AT tracts (p<0.01 for all). DISCUSSION: These findings suggest that fatigue and cognitive impairment are quite frequent in BMS patients and are, at least in part, related to micro-structural damage and T2LV of WM tracts connecting the brain cortical and sub-cortical regions of the two hemispheres.
Proton MR spectroscopy correlates diffuse axonal abnormalities with post-concussive symptoms in mild traumatic brain injury
Kirov, Ivan I; Tal, Assaf; Babb, James S; Reaume, Joseph; Bushnik, Tamara; Ashman, Teresa; Flanagan, Steven R; Grossman, Robert I; Gonen, Oded
There are no established biomarkers for mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), in part because post-concussive symptoms (PCS) are subjective and conventional imaging is typically unremarkable. To test whether diffuse axonal abnormalities quantified with three-dimensional (3D) proton magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (1H-MRSI) correlated with patients' PCS, we retrospectively studied 26 mTBI patients (mean Glasgow Coma Scale score of 14.7), 18-56 years old, 3 - 55 days post injury and 13 controls. All were scanned at 3 Tesla with T1-and T2-weighted MRI and 3D 1H-MRSI (480 voxels over 360 cm3, ~30% of the brain). On scan day patients completed a symptom questionnaire and those indicating at least one of the most common acute/subacute mTBI symptoms (headache, dizziness, sleep disturbance, memory deficits, blurred vision) were grouped as PCS-positive. Global gray- and white matter (GM/WM) absolute concentrations of N-acetylaspartate (NAA), choline (Cho), creatine (Cr) and myo-inositol (mI) in the PCS-positive and PCS-negative patients were compared to age- and gender-matched controls using two-way analysis of variance. The results showed that the PCS-negative group (n=11) and controls (n=8) did not differ in any GM or WM metabolite level. The PCS-positive patients (n=15), however, had lower WM NAA than the controls (n=12): 7.0+/-0.6 mM (mean+/- standard deviation) versus 7.9+/-0.5mM (p=0.0007). Global WM NAA, therefore, showed sensitivity to the TBI sequelae associated with common PCS in individuals with mostly normal neuroimaging as well as GCS scores. This suggests a potential biomarker role in a patient population in which objective measures of injury and symptomatology are currently lacking.
Mild traumatic brain injury: longitudinal regional brain volume changes
Zhou, Yongxia; Kierans, Andrea; Kenul, Damon; Ge, Yulin; Rath, Joseph; Reaume, Joseph; Grossman, Robert I; Lui, Yvonne W
Purpose: To investigate longitudinal changes in global and regional brain volume in patients 1 year after mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) and to correlate such changes with clinical and neurocognitive metrics. Materials and Methods: This institutional review board-approved study was HIPAA compliant. Twenty-eight patients with MTBI (with 19 followed up at 1 year) with posttraumatic symptoms after injury and 22 matched control subjects (with 12 followed up at 1 year) were enrolled. Automated segmentation of brain regions to compute regional gray matter (GM) and white matter (WM) volumes was performed by using three-dimensional T1-weighted 3.0-T magnetic resonance imaging, and results were correlated with clinical metrics. Pearson and Spearman rank correlation coefficients were computed between longitudinal brain volume and neurocognitive scores, as well as clinical metrics, over the course of the follow-up period. Results: One year after MTBI, there was measurable global brain atrophy, larger than that in control subjects. The anterior cingulate WM bilaterally and the left cingulate gyrus isthmus WM, as well as the right precuneal GM, showed significant decreases in regional volume in patients with MTBI over the 1st year after injury (corrected P < .05); this was confirmed by means of cross-sectional comparison with data in control subjects (corrected P < .05). Left and right rostral anterior cingulum WM volume loss correlated with changes in neurocognitive measures of memory (r = 0.65, P = .005) and attention (r = 0.60, P = .01). At 1-year follow-up, WM volume in the left cingulate gyrus isthmus correlated with clinical scores of anxiety (Spearman rank correlation r = -0.68, P = .007) and postconcussive symptoms (Spearman rank correlation r = -0.65, P = .01). Conclusion: These observations demonstrate structural changes to the brain 1 year after injury after a single concussive episode. Regional brain atrophy is not exclusive to moderate and severe traumatic brain injury but may be seen after mild injury. In particular, the anterior part of the cingulum and the cingulate gyrus isthmus, as well as the precuneal GM, may be distinctively vulnerable 1 year after MTBI. (c) RSNA, 2013.
Functional homotopic changes in multiple sclerosis with resting-state functional MR imaging
Zhou, Y; Milham, M; Zuo, X-N; Kelly, C; Jaggi, H; Herbert, J; Grossman, R I; Ge, Y
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: CC is extensively involved in MS with interhemispheric dysfunction. The purpose of this study was to determine whether interhemispheric correlation is altered in MS by use of a recently developed RS-fMRI homotopy technique and whether these homotopic changes correlate with CC pathology. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Twenty-four patients with relapsing-remitting MS and 24 age-matched healthy volunteers were studied with RS-fMRI and DTI acquired at 3T. The Pearson correlation of each pair of symmetric interhemispheric voxels of RS-fMRI time-series data was performed to compute VMHC, and z-transformed for subsequent group-level analysis. In addition, 5 CC segments in the midsagittal area and DTI-derived FA were measured to quantify interhemispheric microstructural changes and correlate with global and regional VMHC in MS. RESULTS: Relative to control participants, patients with MS exhibited an abnormal homotopic pattern with decreased VMHC in the primary visual, somatosensory, and motor cortices and increased VMHC in several regions associated with sensory processing and motor control including the insula, thalamus, pallidum, and cerebellum. The global VMHC correlates moderately with the average FA of the entire CC for all participants in both groups (r = 0.3; P = .03). CONCLUSIONS: Our data provide preliminary evidence of the potential usefulness of VMHC analyses for the detection of abnormalities of interhemispheric coordination in MS. We demonstrated that the whole-brain homotopic RS-fMRI pattern was altered in patients with MS, which was partially associated with the underlying structural degenerative changes of CC measured with FA.
Cognitive impairment in mild traumatic brain injury: a longitudinal diffusional kurtosis and perfusion imaging study
Grossman, E J; Jensen, J H; Babb, J S; Chen, Q; Tabesh, A; Fieremans, E; Xia, D; Inglese, M; Grossman, R I
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Cognitive impairment is frequent among patients with mild traumatic brain injury despite the absence of detectable damage on conventional MR imaging. In this study, the quantitative MR imaging techniques DTI, DKI, and ASL were used to measure changes in the structure and function in the thalamus and WM of patients with MTBI during a short follow-up period, to determine whether these techniques can be used to investigate relationships with cognitive performance and to predict outcome. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Twenty patients with MTBI and 16 controls underwent MR imaging at 3T and a neuropsychological battery designed to yield measures for attention, concentration, executive functioning, memory, learning, and information processing. MK, FA, MD, and CBF were measured in the thalamus by using region-of-interest analysis and in WM by using tract-based spatial statistics. Analyses were performed comparing regional imaging measures of subject groups and the results of testing of their associations with neuropsychological performance. RESULTS: Patients with MTBI exhibited significant differences from controls for DTI, DKI, and ASL measures in the thalamus and various WM regions both within 1 month after injury and >9 months after injury. At baseline, DTI and DKI measures in the thalamus and various WM regions were significantly associated with performance in different neuropsychological domains, and cognitive impairment was significantly associated with MK in the thalamus and FA in optic radiations. CONCLUSIONS: Combined application of DTI, DKI, and ASL to study MTBI might be useful for investigating dynamic changes in the thalamus and WM as well as cognitive impairment during a short follow-up period, though the small number of patients examined did not predict outcome.
Diffuse axonal injury in mild traumatic brain injury: a 3D multivoxel proton MR spectroscopy study
Kirov, Ivan I; Tal, Assaf; Babb, James S; Lui, Yvonne W; Grossman, Robert I; Gonen, Oded
Since mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) often leads to neurological symptoms even without clinical MRI findings, our goal was to test whether diffuse axonal injury is quantifiable with multivoxel proton MR spectroscopic imaging ((1)H-MRSI). T1- and T2-weighted MRI images and three-dimensional (1)H-MRSI (480 voxels over 360 cm(3), about 30 % of the brain) were acquired at 3 T from 26 mTBI patients (mean Glasgow Coma Scale score 14.7, 18-56 years old, 3-55 days after injury) and 13 healthy matched contemporaries as controls. The N-acetylaspartate (NAA), choline (Cho), creatine (Cr) and myo-inositol (mI) concentrations and gray-matter/white-matter (GM/WM) and cerebrospinal fluid fractions were obtained in each voxel. Global GM and WM absolute metabolic concentrations were estimated using linear regression, and patients were compared with controls using two-way analysis of variance. In patients, mean NAA, Cr, Cho and mI concentrations in GM (8.4 +/- 0.7, 6.9 +/- 0.6, 1.3 +/- 0.2, 5.5 +/- 0.6 mM) and Cr, Cho and mI in WM (4.8 +/- 0.5, 1.4 +/- 0.2, 4.6 +/- 0.7 mM) were not different from the values in controls. The NAA concentrations in WM, however, were significantly lower in patients than in controls (7.2 +/- 0.8 vs. 7.7 +/- 0.6 mM, p = 0.0125). The Cho and Cr levels in WM of patients were positively correlated with time since mTBI. This (1)H-MRSI approach allowed us to ascertain that early mTBI sequelae are (1) diffuse (not merely local), (2) neuronal (not glial), and (3) in the global WM (not GM). These findings support the hypothesis that, similar to more severe head trauma, mTBI also results in diffuse axonal injury, but that dysfunction rather than cell death dominates shortly after injury.
Chapter by: Grossman, Robert I
in: Evidence-based neuroimaging diagnosis and treatment : improving the quality of neuroimaging in patient care by Medina, L; Sanelli, Pina C; Jarvik, Jeffrey G [Eds]
New York : Springer, 
The role of gray and white matter segmentation in quantitative proton MR spectroscopic imaging
Tal, Assaf; Kirov, Ivan I; Grossman, Robert I; Gonen, Oded
Since the brain's gray matter (GM) and white matter (WM) metabolite concentrations differ, their partial volumes can vary the voxel's (1) H MR spectroscopy ((1) H-MRS) signal, reducing sensitivity to changes. While single-voxel (1) H-MRS cannot differentiate between WM and GM signals, partial volume correction is feasible by MR spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) using segmentation of the MRI acquired for VOI placement. To determine the magnitude of this effect on metabolic quantification, we segmented a 1-mm(3) resolution MRI into GM, WM and CSF masks that were co-registered with the MRSI grid to yield their partial volumes in approximately every 1 cm(3) spectroscopic voxel. Each voxel then provided one equation with two unknowns: its i- metabolite's GM and WM concentrations C(i) (GM) , C(i) (WM) . With the voxels' GM and WM volumes as independent coefficients, the over-determined system of equations was solved for the global averaged C(i) (GM) and C(i) (WM) . Trading off local concentration differences offers three advantages: (i) higher sensitivity due to combined data from many voxels; (ii) improved specificity to WM versus GM changes; and (iii) reduced susceptibility to partial volume effects. These improvements made no additional demands on the protocol, measurement time or hardware. Applying this approach to 18 volunteered 3D MRSI sets of 480 voxels each yielded N-acetylaspartate, creatine, choline and myo-inositol C(i) (GM) concentrations of 8.5 +/- 0.7, 6.9 +/- 0.6, 1.2 +/- 0.2, 5.3 +/- 0.6mM, respectively, and C(i) (WM) concentrations of 7.7 +/- 0.6, 4.9 +/- 0.5, 1.4 +/- 0.1 and 4.4 +/- 0.6mM, respectively. We showed that unaccounted voxel WM or GM partial volume can vary absolute quantification by 5-10% (more for ratios), which can often double the sample size required to establish statistical significance
Default-mode network disruption in mild traumatic brain injury
Zhou, Yongxia; Milham, Michael P; Lui, Yvonne W; Miles, Laura; Reaume, Joseph; Sodickson, Daniel K; Grossman, Robert I; Ge, Yulin
Purpose: To investigate the integrity of the default-mode network (DMN) by using independent component analysis (ICA) methods in patients shortly after mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) and healthy control subjects, and to correlate DMN connectivity changes with neurocognitive tests and clinical symptoms. Materials and Methods: This study was approved by the institutional review board and complied with HIPAA regulations. Twenty-three patients with MTBI who had posttraumatic symptoms shortly after injury (<2 months) and 18 age-matched healthy control subjects were included in this study. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging was performed at 3 T to characterize the DMN by using ICA methods, including a single-participant ICA on the basis of a comprehensive template from core seeds in the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) and medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) nodes. ICA z images of DMN components were compared between the two groups and correlated with neurocognitive tests and clinical performance in patients by using Pearson and Spearman rank correlation. Results: When compared with the control subjects, there was significantly reduced connectivity in the PCC and parietal regions and increased frontal connectivity around the MPFC in patients with MTBI (P < .01). These frontoposterior opposing changes within the DMN were significantly correlated (r = -0.44, P = .03). The reduced posterior connectivity correlated positively with neurocognitive dysfunction (eg, cognitive flexibility), while the increased frontal connectivity correlated negatively with posttraumatic symptoms (ie, depression, anxiety, fatigue, and postconcussion syndrome). Conclusion: These results showed abnormal DMN connectivity patterns in patients with MTBI, which may provide insight into how neuronal communication and information integration are disrupted among DMN key structures after mild head injury. (c) RSNA, 2012.
Impaired cerebrovascular reactivity in multiple sclerosis measured with hypercapnia perfusion magnetic resonance imaging [Meeting Abstract]
Ge, Y; Zhou, Y; Lu, H; Xu, F; Kister, I; Jaggi, H; Herbert, J; Grossman, R
Purpose: Normal neuronal activity is tightly linked to and depends on the increase of blood flow for instantaneous supply of oxygen and glucose. This study is to evaluate whether there are cerebral blood flow (CBF) regulation abnormalities in MS with measurement of cerebrovascular reactivity (CVR) using hypercapnia perfusion MRI. Materials and Methods: Sixteen patients with MS (14 relapsing remitting and 2 secondary progressive) (mean age: 45.1+14.2 years, mean EDSS: 2.9+1.6) and age-matched 13 healthy controls (mean age: 44.5+12.2 years) were recruited for this study. CO2 is a potent vasodilator, and an increase of CO2 tension in blood (referred to as hypercapnia) is known to cause CBF increase. Such CBF changes were measured with a standard pseudo-continuous arterial spin labeling (pCASL) MRI at 3T, with quantitative CBF (ml/min/100g) maps generated during both room air and hypercapnia (mixed 5%CO2, 21%O2, and 74%N2) exposure. The imaging parameters of pCASL include TR/TE=3950/17ms, 52 repetitions, FOV=22cm, in-plane matrix=64x64, slice thickness=5mm, labeling duration=1500ms, postlabeling delay=1230ms, and label location = 84mm below AC-PC line. End-tidal CO2 (EtCO2) was recorded continuously during the scan with a capnograph device and was used as an input function in the analysis. The CVR was calculated as (% change in CBF comparing CO2 inhalation to room-air breathing) divided by (EtCO2 during CO2 inhalation - EtCO2 during room-air breathing). Segmented whole brain grey matter (GM), white matter (WM), and brain parenchymal CVR were calculated for the group analysis. Results: The averaged CVR (%CBF/mmHg EtCO2) showed significant difference for whole brain parenchymal (P=0.009), GM (P=0.008), and WM (P=0.03) between patients (4.74+0.88%, 4.89+1.08%, and 4.73+1.02%) and healthy controls (3.46+1.51%, 3.51+1.47%, and 3.53+1.83%, respectively). There was a significant correlation between brain parenchymal CVR and EDSS (r=-0.69, P=0.007). Whole brain CVR changes correlate with fractional brain p!