Abnormal intrinsic brain activity patterns in leukoaraiosis with and without cognitive impairment

Chuanming Li, Jun Yang, Xuntao Yin, Chen Liu, Lin Zhang, Xiaochun Zhang, Li Gui, Jian Wang
Behavioural Brain Research 2015 October 1, 292: 409-13
The amplitude of low frequency fluctuations (ALFF) from resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) signals can be used to detect intrinsic spontaneous brain activity and provide valuable insights into the pathomechanism of neural disease. In this study, we recruited 56 patients who had been diagnosed as having mild to severe leukoaraiosis. According to the neuropsychological tests, they were subdivided into a leukoaraiosis with cognitive impairment group (n = 28) and a leukoaraiosis without cognitive impairment group (n = 28). 28 volunteers were included as normal controls. We found that the three groups showed significant differences in ALFF in the brain regions of the right inferior occipital gyrus (IOG_R), left middle temporal gyrus (MTG_L), left precuneus (Pcu_L), right superior frontal gyrus (SFG_R) and right superior occipital gyrus (SOG_R). Compared with normal controls, the leukoaraiosis without cognitive impairment group exhibited significantly increased ALFF in the IOG_R, Pcu_L, SFG_R and SOG_R. While compared with leukoaraiosis without cognitive impairment group, the leukoaraiosis with cognitive impairment group showed significantly decreased ALFF in IOG_R, MTG_L, Pcu_L and SOG_R. A close negative correlation was found between the ALFF values of the MTG_L and the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) scores. Our data demonstrate that white matter integrity and cognitive impairment are associated with different amplitude fluctuations of rs-fMRI signals. Leukoaraiosis is related to ALFF increases in IOG_R, Pcu_L, SFG_Orb_R and SOG_R. Decreased ALFF in MTG_L is characteristic of cognitive impairment and may aid in its early detection.

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