Aberrant functional network recruitment of posterior parietal cortex in turner syndrome
ABSTRACT Turner syndrome is a genetic disorder caused by the complete or partial absence of an X chromosome in affected women. Individuals with TS show characteristic difficulties with executive functions, visual-spatial and mathematical cognition, with relatively intact verbal skills, and congruent abnormalities in structural development of the posterior parietal cortex (PPC). The functionally heterogeneous PPC has recently been investigated using connectivity-based clustering methods, which sub-divide a given region into clusters of voxels showing similar structural or functional connectivity to other brain regions. In the present study, we extended this method to compare connectivity-based clustering between groups and investigate whether functional networks differentially recruit the PPC in TS. To this end, we parcellated the PPC into sub-regions based on temporal correlations with other regions of the brain. fMRI data were collected from 15 girls with TS and 14 typically developing (TD) girls, aged 7-14, while they performed a visual-spatial task. Temporal correlations between voxels in the PPC and a set of seed regions were calculated, and the PPC divided into clusters of voxels showing similar connectivity. It was found that in general the PPC parcellates similarly in TS and TD girls, but that regions in bilateral inferior parietal lobules, and posterior right superior parietal lobule, were reliably recruited by different networks in TS relative to TD participants. These regions showed weaker correlation in TS with a set of regions involved in visual processing. These results suggest that abnormal development of visuospatial functional networks in TS may relate to the well documented cognitive difficulties in this disorder. Hum Brain Mapp, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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ABSTRACT: Remote brain regions show correlated spontaneous activity at rest within well described intrinsic connectivity networks (ICNs). Meta-analytic coactivation studies have uncovered networks similar to resting ICNs, suggesting that in task states connectivity modulations may occur principally within ICNs. However, it has also been suggested that specific “hub” regions dynamically link networks under different task conditions. Here, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging at rest and a continuous visual attention task in 16 participants to investigate whether a shift from rest to attention was reflected by within-network connectivity modulation, or changes in network topography. Our analyses revealed evidence for both modulation of connectivity within the default-mode (DMN) and dorsal attention networks (DAN) between conditions, and identified a set of regions including the temporoparietal junction (TPJ) and posterior middle frontal gyrus (MFG) that switched between the DMN and DAN depending on the task. We further investigated the temporal nonstationarity of flexible (TPJ and MFG) regions during both attention and rest. This showed that moment-to-moment differences in connectivity at rest mirrored the variation in connectivity between tasks. Task-dependent changes in functional connectivity of flexible regions may, therefore, be understood as shifts in the proportion of time specific connections are engaged, rather than a switch between networks per se. This ability of specific regions to dynamically link ICNs under different task conditions may play an important role in behavioral flexibility. Hum Brain Mapp, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.Human Brain Mapping 09/2014; 36(2). DOI:10.1002/hbm.22646 · 6.92 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Background Through the increased availability and sophistication of genetic testing, it is now possible to identify causal diagnoses in a growing proportion of children with neurodevelopmental disorders. In addition to developmental delay and intellectual disability, many genetic disorders are associated with high risks of psychopathology, which curtail the wellbeing of affected individuals and their families. Beyond the identification of significant clinical needs, understanding the diverse pathways from rare genetic mutations to cognitive dysfunction and emotional–behavioural disturbance has theoretical and practical utility.Methods We overview (based on a strategic search of the literature) the state-of-the-art on causal mechanisms leading to one of the most common childhood behavioural diagnoses – attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) – in the context of specific genetic disorders. We focus on new insights emerging from the mapping of causal pathways from identified genetic differences to neuronal biology, brain abnormalities, cognitive processing differences and ultimately behavioural symptoms of ADHD.FindingsFirst, ADHD research in the context of rare genotypes highlights the complexity of multilevel mechanisms contributing to psychopathology risk. Second, comparisons between genetic disorders associated with similar psychopathology risks can elucidate convergent or distinct mechanisms at each level of analysis, which may inform therapeutic interventions and prognosis. Third, genetic disorders provide an unparalleled opportunity to observe dynamic developmental interactions between neurocognitive risk and behavioural symptoms. Fourth, variation in expression of psychopathology risk within each genetic disorder points to putative moderating and protective factors within the genome and the environment.ConclusionA common imperative emerging within psychopathology research is the need to investigate mechanistically how developmental trajectories converge or diverge between and within genotype-defined groups. Crucially, as genetic predispositions modify interaction dynamics from the outset, longitudinal research is required to understand the multi-level developmental processes that mediate symptom evolution.Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 12/2014; DOI:10.1111/jcpp.12374 · 5.67 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Turner syndrome (TS) arises from partial or complete absence of the X-chromosome in females. Girls with TS show deficits in visual–spatial skills as well as reduced brain volume and surface area in the parietal cortex which supports these cognitive functions. Thus, measuring the developmental trajectory of the parietal cortex and the associated visual–spatial cognition in TS may provide novel insights into critical brain-behavior associations. In this longitudinal study, we acquired structural MRI data and assessed visual–spatial skills in 16 (age: 8.23 ± 2.5) girls with TS and 13 age-matched controls over two time-points. Gray and white matter volume, surface area and cortical thickness were calculated from surfaced based segmentation of bilateral parietal cortices, and the NEPSY Arrows subtest was used to assess visual–spatial ability. Volumetric and cognitive scalars were modeled to obtain estimates of age-related change. The results show aberrant growth of white matter volume (P = 0.011, corrected) and surface area (P = 0.036, corrected) of the left superior parietal regions during childhood in girls with TS. Other parietal sub-regions were significantly smaller in girls with TS at both time-points but did not show different growth trajectories relative to controls. Furthermore, we found that visual–spatial skills showed a widening deficit for girls with TS relative to controls (P = 0.003). Young girls with TS demonstrate an aberrant trajectory of parietal cortical and cognitive development during childhood. Elucidating aberrant neurodevelopmental trajectories in this population is critical for determining specific stages of brain maturation that are particularly dependent on TS-related genetic and hormonal factors. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B Neuropsychiatric Genetics 09/2014; 165(6). DOI:10.1002/ajmg.b.32256 · 3.27 Impact Factor