White matter hemisphere asymmetries in healthy subjects and in schizophrenia: A diffusion tensor MRI study

Clinical Neuroscience Division, Laboratory of Neuroscience, Boston VA Health Care System-Brockton Division, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02301, USA.
NeuroImage (Impact Factor: 6.36). 10/2004; 23(1):213-23. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2004.04.036
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Hemisphere asymmetry was explored in normal healthy subjects and in patients with schizophrenia using a novel voxel-based tensor analysis applied to fractional anisotropy (FA) of the diffusion tensor. Our voxel-based approach, which requires precise spatial normalization to remove the misalignment of fiber tracts, includes generating a symmetrical group average template of the diffusion tensor by applying nonlinear elastic warping of the demons algorithm. We then normalized all 32 diffusion tensor MRIs from healthy subjects and 23 from schizophrenic subjects to the symmetrical average template. For each brain, six channels of tensor component images and one T2-weighted image were used for registration to match tensor orientation and shape between images. A statistical evaluation of white matter asymmetry was then conducted on the normalized FA images and their flipped images. In controls, we found left-higher-than-right anisotropic asymmetry in the anterior part of the corpus callosum, cingulum bundle, the optic radiation, and the superior cerebellar peduncle, and right-higher-than-left anisotropic asymmetry in the anterior limb of the internal capsule and the anterior limb's prefrontal regions, in the uncinate fasciculus, and in the superior longitudinal fasciculus. In patients, the asymmetry was lower, although still present, in the cingulum bundle and the anterior corpus callosum, and not found in the anterior limb of the internal capsule, the uncinate fasciculus, and the superior cerebellar peduncle compared to healthy subjects. These findings of anisotropic asymmetry pattern differences between healthy controls and patients with schizophrenia are likely related to neurodevelopmental abnormalities in schizophrenia.

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Available from: Carl-Fredrik Westin, Jul 29, 2015
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    • "In that context, WM asymmetries have been observed, mainly focusing on the arcuate fasciculus because of its relationship to hemispheric specialization of language [e.g., Buchel et al., 2004; Catani et al., 2007; Nucifora et al., 2005; Rodrigo et al., 2007; Takao et al., 2011; Thiebaut de Schotten et al., 2011; Vernooij et al., 2007]. Other DTI studies have explored fractional anisotropy asymmetry in the cingulum [e.g., Gong et al., 2005; Kubicki et al., 2003; Takao et al., 2011], corticospinal tract [e.g., Park et al., 2004; Westerhausen et al., 2007], and uncinate fasciculus [Kubicki et al., 2002]. Our understanding of structural asymmetries is still largely limited to the level of individual structures. "
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    ABSTRACT: The study on structural brain asymmetries in healthy individuals plays an important role in our understanding of the factors that modulate cognitive specialization in the brain. Here, we used fiber tractography to reconstruct the left and right hemispheric networks of a large cohort of 346 healthy participants (20–86 years) and performed a graph theoretical analysis to investigate this brain laterality from a network perspective. Findings revealed that the left hemisphere is significantly more “efficient” than the right hemisphere, whereas the right hemisphere showed higher values of “betweenness centrality” and “small-worldness.” In particular, left-hemispheric networks displayed increased nodal efficiency in brain regions related to language and motor actions, whereas the right hemisphere showed an increase in nodal efficiency in brain regions involved in memory and visuospatial attention. In addition, we found that hemispheric networks decrease in efficiency with age. Finally, we observed significant gender differences in measures of global connectivity. By analyzing the structural hemispheric brain networks, we have provided new insights into understanding the neuroanatomical basis of lateralized brain functions. Hum Brain Mapp, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Human Brain Mapping 09/2014; 35(9). DOI:10.1002/hbm.22524 · 6.92 Impact Factor
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    • "In contrast, there was no evidence of asymmetry in the UF in the whole sample or either group. Asymmetries in white matter tracts of healthy volunteers are often reported (Vernooij et al., 2007; Iturria-Medina et al., 2011), whilst schizophrenia patients tend to have reduced asymmetry (Park et al., 2004) including the UF (Kubicki et al., 2002). Regarding the UF, the extent to which asymmetry exists in healthy controls is debated (Rodrigo et al., 2007; Lebel et al., 2008; Hasan et al., 2009). "
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    ABSTRACT: Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) studies have identified changes in white matter tracts in schizophrenia patients and those at high risk of transition. Schizotypal samples represent a group on the schizophrenia continuum that share some aetiological risk factors but without the confounds of illness. The aim of the current study was to compare tract microstructural coherence as measured by fractional anisotropy (FA) between 12 psychometrically defined schizotypes and controls. We investigated bilaterally the uncinate and arcuate fasciculi (UF and AF) via a probabilistic tractography algorithm (PICo), with FA values compared between groups. Partial correlations were also examined between measures of subclinical hallucinatory/delusional experiences and FA values. Participants with schizotypal features were found to have increased FA values in the left hemisphere UF only. In the whole sample there was a positive correlation between FA values and measures of hallucinatory experience in the right AF. These findings suggest subtle changes in microstructural coherence are found in individuals with schizotypal features, but are not similar to changes predominantly observed in clinical samples. Correlations between mild hallucinatory experience and FA values could indicate increasing tract coherence could be associated with symptom formation.
    10/2013; DOI:10.1016/j.pscychresns.2013.10.006
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    • "In the current study, the results of the higher left-than-right FA of aCB in both of the two independent groups were consistent with those found in previous studies (O'Donnell et al. 2009; Takei et al. 2009; Huster et al. 2009; Gong et al. 2005a, b; Park et al. 2004; Fujiwara et al. 2007; Kubicki et al. 2003). The functional importance of such leftward asymmetry in the aCB is open to question. "
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    ABSTRACT: The dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) has been consistently implicated in cognitive control processes. Many studies have found higher fractional anisotropy (FA) in the left anterior cingulum bundle (aCB) than in the right. However, the asymmetry of gray matter density (GMD) is not clear. Using multiple modalities of MRI, we investigated both FA and GMD in the dACC in two independent groups of healthy participants (50 per group, 18-24 years old, half males and half females). Consistent with previous findings, the mean FA of the left aCB was significantly higher than that of the right. Males showed higher FA in the bilateral aCB than females. Voxel-based analysis of GMD in the dACC presented a region-specific significant asymmetry: right > left in the lower part (around callosal sulcus) but left > right in the upper part (around cingulate sulcus). No significant sex effect was found for GMD in the dACC. All these results were almost the same across the two independent groups. The complex pattern of asymmetry in GMD may imply highly differentiated functions of the dACC. Future fine-scale structural and diffusion MRI studies and a battery of cognitive behavioral measurements are needed to fully elucidate the asymmetry of the dACC.
    Neuroinformatics 10/2012; 11(2). DOI:10.1007/s12021-012-9167-9 · 3.10 Impact Factor
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