In fMRI there are two classes of inference: one aims to make a comment about the "typical" characteristics of a population, and the other about "average" characteristics. The first pertains to studies of normal subjects that try to identify some qualitative aspect of normal functional anatomy. The second class necessarily applies to clinical neuroscience studies that want to make an inference about quantitative differences of a regionally specific nature. The first class of inferences is adequately serviced by conjunction analyses and fixed-effects models with relatively small numbers of subjects. The second requires random-effect analyses and larger cohorts.
"fMRI data were analysed using a two-stage random-effects procedure (Friston et al. 1999). The first stage identified subject-specific task-related activations relevant to pattern trials (experimental condition) over the entire session as well as linear increases and decreases in activity over the five blocks of pattern trials. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Most cognitive domains show only minimal improvement following typical or atypical antipsychotic treatments in schizophrenia, and some may even worsen. One domain that may worsen is procedural learning, an implicit memory function relying mainly on the integrity of the fronto-striatal system.
We investigated whether switching to atypical antipsychotics would improve procedural learning and task-related neural activation in patients on typical antipsychotics. Furthermore, we explored the differential effects of the atypical antipsychotics risperidone and olanzapine.
Thirty schizophrenia patients underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging during a 5-min procedural (sequence) learning task on two occasions: at baseline and 7-8 weeks later. Of 30 patients, 10 remained on typical antipsychotics, and 20 were switched randomly in equal numbers to receive either olanzapine (10-20 mg) or risperidone (4-8 mg) for 7-8 weeks.
At baseline, patients (all on typical antipsychotics) showed no procedural learning. At follow-up, patients who remained on typical antipsychotics continued to show a lack of procedural learning, whereas those switched to atypical antipsychotics displayed significant procedural learning (p = 0.001) and increased activation in the superior-middle frontal gyrus, anterior cingulate and striatum (cluster-corrected p < 0.05). These neural effects were present as a linear increase over five successive 30-s blocks of sequenced trials. A switch to either risperidone or olanzapine resulted in comparable performance but with both overlapping and distinct task-related activations.
Atypical antipsychotics restore procedural learning deficits and associated neural activity in schizophrenia. Furthermore, different atypical antipsychotics produce idiosyncratic task-related neural activations, and this specificity may contribute to their differential long-term clinical profiles.
") was performed in the following manner: for each seed, the time course was used as an individual predictor in a separate group analysis using a General Linear Model (GLM) in a hierarchical random effects (RFX) analysis (Friston et al., 1999 "
"Even though the number of 19 participants in each group approaches the recommended sample size for fMRI studies (99), a larger sample size would have increased the power of the statistical analyses. Furthermore, the incorporation of autonomic measures such as heart-rate would be useful to confirm the distressing quality of the trauma pictures in ASD patients. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Functional imaging studies of patients with post-traumatic stress disorder showed wide-spread activation of midline cortical areas during symptom provocation, i.e., exposure to trauma-related cues. The present study aimed at investigating neural activation during exposure to trauma-related pictures in patients with acute stress disorder (ASD) shortly after the traumatic event. Nineteen ASD patients and 19 healthy control participants were presented with individualized pictures of the traumatic event and emotionally neutral control pictures during the acquisition of whole-brain data with a 3-T fMRI scanner. Compared to the control group and to control pictures, ASD patients showed significant activation in midline cortical areas in response to trauma-related pictures including precuneus, cuneus, postcentral gyrus, and pre-supplementary motor area. The results suggest that the trauma-related pictures evoke emotionally salient self-referential processing in ASD patients.
Frontiers in Psychiatry 05/2014; 5:49. DOI:10.3389/fpsyt.2014.00049
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