Understanding the evolution of regional and hemispheric asymmetries in the early stages of life is essential to the advancement of developmental neuroscience. By using 2 noninvasive optical methods, frequency-domain near-infrared spectroscopy and diffuse correlation spectroscopy, we measured cerebral hemoglobin oxygenation (SO(2)), blood volume (CBV), an index of cerebral blood flow (CBF(i)), and the metabolic rate of oxygen (CMRO(2i)) in the frontal, temporal, and parietal regions of 70 premature and term newborns. In concordance with results obtained using more invasive imaging modalities, we verified both hemodynamic (CBV, CBF(i), and SO(2)) and metabolic (CMRO(2i)) parameters were greater in the temporal and parietal regions than in the frontal region and that these differences increased with age. In addition, we found that most parameters were significantly greater in the right hemisphere than in the left. Finally, in comparing age-matched males and females, we found that males had higher CBF(i) in most cortical regions, higher CMRO(2i) in the frontal region, and more prominent right-left CBF(i) asymmetry. These results reveal, for the first time, that we can detect regional and hemispheric asymmetries in newborns using noninvasive optical techniques. Such a bedside screening tool may facilitate early detection of abnormalities and delays in maturation of specific cortical areas.
"Indeed, the human brain displays structural and functional asymmetries from the preterm period on. Markers of maturational development show a differential calendar in the left and right hemispheres (Chiron et al., 1997; Dubois et al., 2008; Leroy et al., 2011; Lin et al., 2012) and several studies using near infra-red spectroscopy (Mahmoudzadeh et al., 2013; Telkemeyer et al., 2011), fMRI (Dehaene-Lambertz et al., 2010; Perani et al., 2010), and ERPs (Bristow et al., 2009) describe functional asymmetries which suggest a functional counterpart of the structural asymmetries. As an additional control for the possibility that the observed differences in response to the last sound were due to chance, we introduced in our analyses the factor ''stimulus number'', and tested whether the difference between conditions was significantly larger for the last vowel than during the first three vowels. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The adult human brain quickly adapts to regular temporal sequences, and emits a sequence of novelty responses when these regularities are violated. These novelty responses have been interpreted as error signals that reflect the difference between the incoming signal and predictions generated at multiple cortical levels. Do infants already possess such a hierarchy of violation-detection mechanisms? Using high-density recordings of event-related potentials during an auditory local-global violation paradigm, we show that three-month-old infants process novelty in temporal sequences at two distinct levels. Violations of local expectancies, such as perceiving a deviant vowel "a" after repeated presentation of another vowel i-i-i, elicited an early auditory mismatch response. Conversely, violations of global expectancies, such as hearing the rare sequence a-a-a-a instead of the frequent sequence a-a-a-i, modulated this early mismatch response and led to a late frontal negative slow wave, whose cortical sources included the left inferior frontal region. These results suggest that the infant brain already possesses two dissociable systems for temporal sequence learning.
"Supporting this explanation, gene transcription analyses of the embryonic human brain reveal less expression of genes that are critical for cortical development in the left hemisphere, and suggest that left hemisphere development lags behind that of the right hemisphere (Sun et al., 2005). In addition, lower cerebral blood volume and oxygenation in the left compared to the right hemisphere of newborns implies that a delayed maturation in the left hemisphere may enhance its plasticity to environmental stimuli as well as its vulnerability to insults (Lin et al., 2013). Finally, patients with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) arising from the left side exhibit greater anatomic abnormalities than patients with right-sided TLE (Kemmotsu et al., 2011). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neurobehavioral comorbidities are common in pediatric epilepsy with enduring adverse effects on functioning, but their neuroanatomic underpinning is unclear. Striatal and thalamic abnormalities have been associated with childhood-onset epilepsies, suggesting that epilepsy-related changes in the subcortical circuit might be associated with the comorbidities of children with epilepsy. We aimed to compare subcortical volumes and their relationship with age in children with complex partial seizures (CPS), childhood absence epilepsy (CAE), and healthy controls (HC). We examined the shared versus unique structural-functional relationships of these volumes with behavior problems, intelligence, language, peer interaction, and epilepsy variables in these two epilepsy syndromes.
We investigated volumetric differences of caudate, putamen, pallidum, and thalamus in children with CPS (N = 21), CAE (N = 20), and HC (N = 27). Study subjects underwent structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), intelligence, and language testing. Parent-completed Child Behavior Checklists provided behavior problem and peer interaction scores. We examined the association of age, intelligence quotient (IQ), language, behavioral problems, and epilepsy variables with subcortical volumes that were significantly different between the children with epilepsy and HC.
Both children with CPS and CAE exhibited significantly smaller left thalamic volume compared to HC. In terms of developmental trajectory, greater thalamic volume was significantly correlated with increasing age in children with CPS and CAE but not in HC. With regard to the comorbidities, reduced left thalamic volumes were related to more social problems in children with CPS and CAE. Smaller left thalamic volumes in children with CPS were also associated with poor attention, lower IQ and language scores, and impaired peer interaction.
Our study is the first to directly compare and detect shared thalamic structural abnormalities in children with CPS and CAE. These findings highlight the vulnerability of the thalamus and provide important new insights on its possible role in the neurobehavioral comorbidities of childhood-onset epilepsy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The authors describe the development of diffuse optical imaging (DOI) technologies, specifically the use of spatial and temporal modulation to control near infrared light propagation in thick tissues. We present theory and methods of DOI focusing on model-based techniques for quantitative, in vivo measurements of endogenous tissue absorption and scattering properties. We specifically emphasize the common conceptual framework of the scalar photon density wave for both temporal and spatial frequency-domain approaches. After presenting the history, theoretical foundation, and instrumentation related to these methods, we provide a brief review of clinical and preclinical applications from our research as well as our outlook on the future of DOI technology.
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