G F Busatto

University of São Paulo, San Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

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Publications (36)80.82 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Various functional magnetic resonance imaging studies addressed the effects of antidepressant drugs on brain functioning in healthy subjects; however, none specifically investigated positive mood changes to antidepressant drug. Sixteen subjects with no personal or family history of psychiatric disorders were selected from an ongoing 4-week open trial of small doses of clomipramine. Follow-up interviews documented clear positive treatment effects in six subjects, with reduced irritability and tension in social interactions, improved decision making, higher self-confidence and brighter mood. These subjects were then included in a placebo-controlled confirmatory trial and were scanned immediately after 4 weeks of clomipramine use and again 4 weeks after the last dose of clomipramine. The functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans were run during emotion-eliciting stimuli. Repeated-measures analysis of variance of brain activity patterns showed significant interactions between group and treatment status during induced irritability (P<0.005 cluster-based) but not during happiness. Individuals displaying a positive subjective response do clomipramine had higher frontoparietal cortex activity during irritability than during happiness and neutral emotion, and higher temporo-parieto-occipital cortex activity during irritability than during happiness. We conclude that antidepressants not only induce positive mood responses but also act upon autobiographical recall of negative emotions.
    Translational psychiatry. 01/2014; 4:e405.
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    ABSTRACT: The pathophysiology of Parkinson's disease (PD) has not yet been completely elucidated. However, during the past few years, significant progress has been made in understanding the intra- and extracellular mechanisms by which proteins such as alpha-synuclein and neuroinflammatory molecules may display impaired function and/or expression in PD. Recent developments in imaging techniques based on positron emission tomography (PET) and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) now allow the non-invasive tracking of such molecular targets of known relevance to PD in vivo. This article summarizes recent PET and SPECT studies of new radiopharmaceuticals and discusses their potential role and perspectives for use in the fields of new drug development and early diagnosis for PD, as well to aid in differential diagnosis and monitoring of the progression of PD.
    Journal of Parkinson's disease. 08/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: Background: In recent years, growing concerns about the effects of cannabis use on mental health have renewed interest in cannabis research. In particular, there has been a marked increase in the number of neuroimaging studies of the effects of cannabinoids. We conducted a systematic review to assess the impact of acute cannabis exposure on brain function in humans and in experimental animals. Methods: Papers published until June 2012 were included from EMBASE, Medline, PubMed and LILACS databases following a comprehensive search strategy and pre-determined set of criteria for article selection. Only pharmacological challenge studies involving the acute experimental administration of cannabinoids in occasional or naive cannabis users, and naive animals were considered. Results: Two hundred and twenty-four studies were identified, of which 45 met our inclusion criteria. Twenty-four studies were in humans and 21 in animals. Most comprised studies of the acute effects of cannabinoids on brain functioning in the context of either resting state activity or activation during cognitive paradigms. In general, THC and CBD had opposite neurophysiological effects. There were also a smaller number of neurochemical imaging studies: overall, these did not support a central role for increased dopaminergic activity in THC-induced psychosis. There was a considerable degree of methodological heterogeneity in the imaging literature reviewed. Conclusion: Functional neuroimaging studies have provided extensive evidence for the acute modulation of brain function by cannabinoids, but further studies are needed in order to understand the neural mechanisms underlying these effects. Future studies should also consider the need for more standardised methodology and the replication of findings.
    Current pharmaceutical design 06/2013; · 4.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Neurodevelopmental alterations have been described inconsistently in psychosis probably because of lack of standardization among studies. The aim of this study was to conduct the first longitudinal and population-based magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) evaluation of the presence and size of the cavum septum pellucidum (CSP) and adhesio interthalamica (AI) in a large sample of patients with first-episode psychosis (FEP).MethodFEP patients (n=122) were subdivided into schizophrenia (n=62), mood disorders (n=46) and other psychosis (n=14) groups and compared to 94 healthy next-door neighbour controls. After 13 months, 80 FEP patients and 52 controls underwent a second MRI examination. RESULTS: We found significant reductions in the AI length in schizophrenia FEP in comparison with the mood disorders and control subgroups (longer length) at the baseline assessment, and no differences in any measure of the CSP. By contrast, there was a diagnosis×time interaction for the CSP length, with a more prominent increase for this measure in the psychosis group. There was an involution of the AI length over time for all groups but no diagnosis×time interaction. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that the CSP per se may not be linked to the neurobiology of emerging psychotic disorders, although it might be related to the progression of the disease. However, the fact that the AI length was shown to be shorter at the onset of the disorder supports the neurodevelopmental model of schizophrenia and indicates that an alteration in this grey matter junction may be a risk factor for developing psychosis.
    Psychological Medicine 04/2012; · 5.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Previous cross-sectional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies of healthy aging in young adults have indicated the presence of significant inverse correlations between age and gray matter volumes, although not homogeneously across all brain regions. However, such cross-sectional studies have important limitations and there is a scarcity of detailed longitudinal MRI studies with repeated measures obtained in the same individuals in order to investigate regional gray matter changes during short periods of time in non-elderly healthy adults. In the present study, 52 healthy young adults aged 18 to 50 years (27 males and 25 females) were followed with repeated MRI acquisitions over approximately 15 months. Gray matter volumes were compared between the two times using voxel-based morphometry, with the prediction that volume changes would be detectable in the frontal lobe, temporal neocortex and hippocampus. Voxel-wise analyses showed significant (P < 0.05, family-wise error corrected) relative volume reductions of gray matter in two small foci located in the right orbitofrontal cortex and left hippocampus. Separate comparisons for males and females showed bilateral gray matter relative reductions in the orbitofrontal cortex over time only in males. We conclude that, in non-elderly healthy adults, subtle gray matter volume alterations are detectable after short periods of time. This underscores the dynamic nature of gray matter changes in the brain during adult life, with regional volume reductions being detectable in brain regions that are relevant to cognitive and emotional processes.
    Brazilian journal of medical and biological research = Revista brasileira de pesquisas medicas e biologicas / Sociedade Brasileira de Biofisica ... [et al.] 03/2012; 45(6):516-23. · 1.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Functional brain variability has been scarcely investigated in cognitively healthy elderly subjects, and it is currently debated whether previous findings of regional metabolic variability are artifacts associated with brain atrophy. The primary purpose of this study was to test whether there is regional cerebral age-related hypometabolism specifically in later stages of life. MR imaging and FDG-PET data were acquired from 55 cognitively healthy elderly subjects, and voxel-based linear correlations between age and GM volume or regional cerebral metabolism were conducted by using SPM5 in images with and without correction for PVE. To investigate sex-specific differences in the pattern of brain aging, we repeated the above voxelwise calculations after dividing our sample by sex. Our analysis revealed 2 large clusters of age-related metabolic decrease in the overall sample, 1 in the left orbitofrontal cortex and the other in the right temporolimbic region, encompassing the hippocampus, the parahippocampal gyrus, and the amygdala. The division of our sample by sex revealed significant sex-specific age-related metabolic decrease in the left temporolimbic region of men and in the left dorsolateral frontal cortex of women. When we applied atrophy correction to our PET data, none of the above-mentioned correlations remained significant. Our findings suggest that age-related functional brain variability in cognitively healthy elderly individuals is largely secondary to the degree of regional brain atrophy, and the findings provide support to the notion that appropriate PVE correction is a key tool in neuroimaging investigations.
    American Journal of Neuroradiology 02/2011; 32(3):560-5. · 3.17 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Some neuroimaging studies have supported the hypothesis of progressive brain changes after a first episode of psychosis. We aimed to determine whether (i) first-episode psychosis patients would exhibit more pronounced brain volumetric changes than controls over time and (ii) illness course/treatment would relate to those changes. Longitudinal regional grey matter volume and ventricle:brain ratio differences between 39 patients with first-episode psychosis (including schizophrenia and schizophreniform disorder) and 52 non-psychotic controls enrolled in a population-based case-control study. While there was no longitudinal difference in ventricle:brain ratios between first-episode psychosis subjects and controls, patients exhibited grey matter volume changes, indicating a reversible course in the superior temporal cortex and hippocampus compared with controls. A remitting course was related to reversal of baseline temporal grey matter deficits. Our findings do not support the hypothesis of brain changes indicating a progressive course in the initial phase of psychosis. Rather, some brain volume abnormalities may be reversible, possibly associated with a better illness course.
    Psychological Medicine 12/2010; 41(8):1677-89. · 5.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this article is to propose an integrated framework for extracting and describing patterns of disorders from medical images using a combination of linear discriminant analysis and active contour models. A multivariate statistical methodology was first used to identify the most discriminating hyperplane separating two groups of images (from healthy controls and patients with schizophrenia) contained in the input data. After this, the present work makes explicit the differences found by the multivariate statistical method by subtracting the discriminant models of controls and patients, weighted by the pooled variance between the two groups. A variational level-set technique was used to segment clusters of these differences. We obtain a label of each anatomical change using the Talairach atlas. In this work all the data was analysed simultaneously rather than assuming a priori regions of interest. As a consequence of this, by using active contour models, we were able to obtain regions of interest that were emergent from the data. The results were evaluated using, as gold standard, well-known facts about the neuroanatomical changes related to schizophrenia. Most of the items in the gold standard was covered in our result set. We argue that such investigation provides a suitable framework for characterising the high complexity of magnetic resonance images in schizophrenia as the results obtained indicate a high sensitivity rate with respect to the gold standard.
    Artificial intelligence in medicine 06/2010; 49(2):105-15. · 1.65 Impact Factor
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    Alzheimers & Dementia - ALZHEIMERS DEMENT. 01/2010; 6(4).
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    ABSTRACT: Here, we examine morphological changes in cortical thickness of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) using image analysis algorithms for brain structure segmentation and study automatic classification of AD patients using cortical and volumetric data. Cortical thickness of AD patients (n=14) was measured using MRI cortical surface-based analysis and compared with healthy subjects (n=20). Data was analyzed using an automated algorithm for tissue segmentation and classification. A Support Vector Machine (SVM) was applied over the volumetric measurements of subcortical and cortical structures to separate AD patients from controls. The group analysis showed cortical thickness reduction in the superior temporal lobe, parahippocampal gyrus, and enthorhinal cortex in both hemispheres. We also found cortical thinning in the isthmus of cingulate gyrus and middle temporal gyrus at the right hemisphere, as well as a reduction of the cortical mantle in areas previously shown to be associated with AD. We also confirmed that automatic classification algorithms (SVM) could be helpful to distinguish AD patients from healthy controls. Moreover, the same areas implicated in the pathogenesis of AD were the main parameters driving the classification algorithm. While the patient sample used in this study was relatively small, we expect that using a database of regional volumes derived from MRI scans of a large number of subjects will increase the SVM power of AD patient identification.
    Journal of Alzheimer's disease: JAD 01/2010; 19(4):1263-72. · 4.17 Impact Factor
  • International Journal of Psychophysiology - INT J PSYCHOPHYSIOL. 01/2010; 77(3):263-263.
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    ABSTRACT: Several morphometric MR imaging studies have investigated age- and sex-related cerebral volume changes in healthy human brains, most often by using samples spanning several decades of life and linear correlation methods. This study aimed to map the normal pattern of regional age-related volumetric reductions specifically in the elderly population. One hundred thirty-two eligible individuals (67-75 years of age) were selected from a community-based sample recruited for the São Paulo Ageing and Health (SPAH) study, and a cross-sectional MR imaging investigation was performed concurrently with the second SPAH wave. We used voxel-based morphometry (VBM) to conduct a voxelwise search for significant linear correlations between gray matter (GM) volumes and age. In addition, region-of-interest masks were used to investigate whether the relationship between regional GM (rGM) volumes and age would be best predicted by a nonlinear model. VBM and region-of-interest analyses revealed selective foci of accelerated rGM loss exclusively in men, involving the temporal neocortex, prefrontal cortex, and medial temporal region. The only structure in which GM volumetric changes were best predicted by a nonlinear model was the left parahippocampal gyrus. The variable patterns of age-related GM loss across separate neocortical and temporolimbic regions highlight the complexity of degenerative processes that affect the healthy human brain across the life span. The detection of age-related limbic GM decrease in men supports the view that atrophy in such regions should be seen as compatible with normal aging.
    American Journal of Neuroradiology 09/2009; 30(10):1850-6. · 3.17 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We conducted a systematic review to assess the evidence for specific effects of cannabis on brain structure and function. The review focuses on the cognitive changes associated with acute and chronic use of the drug. We reviewed literature reporting neuroimaging studies of chronic or acute cannabis use published up until January 2009. The search was conducted using Medline, EMBASE, LILACS and PsycLIT indexing services using the following key words: cannabis, marijuana, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, THC, cannabidiol, CBD, neuroimaging, brain imaging, computerized tomography, CT, magnetic resonance, MRI, single photon emission tomography, SPECT, functional magnetic resonance, fMRI, positron emission tomography, PET, diffusion tensor MRI, DTI-MRI, MRS and spectroscopy. Sixty-six studies were identified, of which 41 met the inclusion criteria. Thirty-three were functional (SPECT/PET/fMRI) and eight structural (volumetric/DTI) imaging studies. The high degree of heterogeneity across studies precluded a meta-analysis. The functional studies suggest that resting global and prefrontal blood flow are lower in cannabis users than in controls. The results from the activation studies using a cognitive task are inconsistent because of the heterogeneity of the methods used. Studies of acute administration of THC or marijuana report increased resting activity and activation of the frontal and anterior cingulate cortex during cognitive tasks. Only three of the structural imaging studies found differences between users and controls. Functional neuroimaging studies suggest a modulation of global and prefrontal metabolism both during the resting state and after the administration of THC/marijuana cigarettes. Minimal evidence of major effects of cannabis on brain structure has been reported.
    Psychological Medicine 08/2009; 40(3):383-98. · 5.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Previous functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies examined neural activity responses to emotive stimuli in healthy individuals after acute/subacute administration of antidepressants. We now report the effects of repeated use of the antidepressant clomipramine on fMRI data acquired during presentation of emotion-provoking and neutral stimuli on healthy volunteers. A total of 12 volunteers were evaluated with fMRI after receiving low doses of clomipramine for 4 weeks and again after 4 weeks of washout. Fear-, happiness-, anger-provoking and neutral pictures from the International Affective Picture System (IAPS) were used. Data analysis was performed with statistical parametric mapping (P < 0.05). Paired t-test comparisons for each condition between medicated and unmedicated states showed, to negative valence paradigms, decrease in brain activity in the amygdala when participants were medicated. We also demonstrated, across both positive and negative valence paradigms, consistent decreases in brain activity in the medicated state in the anterior cingulate gyrus and insula. This is the first report of modulatory effects of repeated antidepressant use on the central representation of somatic states in response to emotions of both negative and positive valences in healthy individuals. Also, our results corroborate findings of antidepressant-induced temporolimbic activity changes to emotion-provoking stimuli obtained in studies of subjects treated acutely with such agents.
    Journal of Psychopharmacology 05/2009; 24(8):1165-74. · 3.37 Impact Factor
  • Journal of The Neurological Sciences - J NEUROL SCI. 01/2009; 283(1):311-312.
  • Alzheimers & Dementia - ALZHEIMERS DEMENT. 01/2009; 5(4).
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    ABSTRACT: Happy emotional states have not been extensively explored in functional magnetic resonance imaging studies using autobiographic recall paradigms. We investigated the brain circuitry engaged during induction of happiness by standardized script-driven autobiographical recall in 11 healthy subjects (6 males), aged 32.4 +/- 7.2 years, without physical or psychiatric disorders, selected according to their ability to vividly recall personal experiences. Blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) changes were recorded during auditory presentation of personal scripts of happiness, neutral content and negative emotional content (irritability). The same uniform structure was used for the cueing narratives of both emotionally salient and neutral conditions, in order to decrease the variability of findings. In the happiness relative to the neutral condition, there was an increased BOLD signal in the left dorsal prefrontal cortex and anterior insula, thalamus bilaterally, left hypothalamus, left anterior cingulate gyrus, and midportions of the left middle temporal gyrus (P < 0.05, corrected for multiple comparisons). Relative to the irritability condition, the happiness condition showed increased activity in the left insula, thalamus and hypothalamus, and in anterior and midportions of the inferior and middle temporal gyri bilaterally (P < 0.05, corrected), varying in size between 13 and 64 voxels. Findings of happiness-related increased activity in prefrontal and subcortical regions extend the results of previous functional imaging studies of autobiographical recall. The BOLD signal changes identified reflect general aspects of emotional processing, emotional control, and the processing of sensory and bodily signals associated with internally generated feelings of happiness. These results reinforce the notion that happiness induction engages a wide network of brain regions.
    Brazilian journal of medical and biological research = Revista brasileira de pesquisas medicas e biologicas / Sociedade Brasileira de Biofisica ... [et al.] 12/2008; 41(12):1076-85. · 1.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Little is known about the incidence of first-episode psychosis in urban centres of low- or middle-income countries. To estimate the incidence of psychosis in São Paulo, a large metropolis of Brazil. Prospective survey of first-episode psychosis among residents aged 18-64 years resident in a defined area of São Paulo, over a 30-month period (July 20 2002-December 2004). Assessments were carried out with the SCID-I, and diagnoses given according to DSM-IV criteria. Population at risk was drawn from the 2000 Census data. There were 367 first-episode cases identified (51% women), and almost 40% fulfilled criteria for schizophrenia or schizophreniform disorder. The incidence rate for any psychosis was 15.8/100 000 person-years at risk (95% CI 14.3-17.6). Incidence of non-affective psychoses was higher among younger males. Incidence of psychosis in São Paulo was lower than expected for a large metropolis.
    The British journal of psychiatry. Supplement 01/2008; 51:s102-6.
  • Alzheimers & Dementia - ALZHEIMERS DEMENT. 01/2008; 4(4).
  • European Psychiatry - EUR PSYCHIAT. 01/2008; 23.