Christina P Boyle

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, United States

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Publications (10)52.49 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to use a novel imaging biomarker to assess associations between physical activity (PA), body mass index (BMI), and brain structure in normal aging, mild cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer's dementia. We studied 963 participants (mean age: 74.1 ± 4.4 years) from the multisite Cardiovascular Health Study including healthy controls (n = 724), Alzheimer's dementia patients (n = 104), and people with mild cognitive impairment (n = 135). Volumetric brain images were processed using tensor-based morphometry to analyze regional brain volumes. We regressed the local brain tissue volume on reported PA and computed BMI, and performed conjunction analyses using both variables. Covariates included age, sex, and study site. PA was independently associated with greater whole brain and regional brain volumes and reduced ventricular dilation. People with higher BMI had lower whole brain and regional brain volumes. A PA-BMI conjunction analysis showed brain preservation with PA and volume loss with increased BMI in overlapping brain regions. In one of the largest voxel-based cross-sectional studies to date, PA and lower BMI may be beneficial to the brain across the spectrum of aging and neurodegeneration.
    Neurobiology of Aging 08/2014; 36. DOI:10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2014.05.036 · 4.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Physical activity influences inflammation, and both affect brain structure and Alzheimer's disease (AD) risk. We hypothesized that older adults with greater reported physical activity intensity and lower serum levels of the inflammatory marker tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα) would have larger regional brain volumes on subsequent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. In 43 cognitively intact older adults (79.3 ± 4.8 years) and 39 patients with AD (81.9 ± 5.1 years at the time of MRI) participating in the Cardiovascular Health Study, we examined year-1 reported physical activity intensity, year-5 blood serum TNFα measures, and year-9 volumetric brain MRI scans. We examined how prior physical activity intensity and TNFα related to subsequent total and regional brain volumes. Physical activity intensity was measured using the modified Minnesota Leisure Time Physical Activities questionnaire at year 1 of the study, when all subjects included here were cognitively intact. Stability of measures was established for exercise intensity over 9 years and TNFα over 3 years in a subset of subjects who had these measurements at multiple time points. When considered together, more intense physical activity intensity and lower serum TNFα were both associated with greater total brain volume on follow-up MRI scans. TNFα, but not physical activity, was associated with regional volumes of the inferior parietal lobule, a region previously associated with inflammation in AD patients. Physical activity and TNFα may independently influence brain structure in older adults.
    Neuroscience 05/2014; 273. DOI:10.1016/j.neuroscience.2014.05.005 · 3.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Physical activity influences inflammation, and both affect brain structure and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) risk. We hypothesized that older adults with greater reported physical activity intensity and lower serum levels of the inflammatory marker tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα) would have larger regional brain volumes on subsequent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. In 43 cognitively intact older adults (79.3 ± 4.8 years) and 39 patients with AD (81.9 ± 5.1 years at the time of MRI) participating in the Cardiovascular Health Study, we examined year-1 reported physical activity intensity, year-5 blood serum TNFα measures, and year-9 volumetric brain MRI scans. We examined how prior physical activity intensity and TNFα related to subsequent total and regional brain volumes. Physical activity intensity was measured using the modified Minnesota Leisure Time Physical Activities questionnaire at year 1 of the study, when all subjects included here were cognitively intact. Stability of measures was established for exercise intensity over 9 years and TNFα over 3 years in a subset of subjects who had these measurements at multiple time points. When considered together, more intense physical activity intensity and lower serum TNFα were both associated with greater total brain volume on follow-up MRI scans. TNFα, but not physical activity, was associated with regional volumes of the inferior parietal lobule, a region previously associated with inflammation in AD patients. Physical activity and TNFα may independently influence brain structure in older adults.
    Neuroscience 01/2014; 273:199–209. · 3.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cognitive impairment and brain injury are common in people with HIV/AIDS, even when viral replication is effectively suppressed with combined antiretroviral therapies (cART). Metabolic and structural abnormalities may promote cognitive decline, but we know little about how these measures relate in people on stable cART. Here we used tensor-based morphometry (TBM) to reveal the 3D profile of regional brain volume variations in 210 HIV + patients scanned with whole-brain MRI at 1.5 T (mean age: 48.6 ± 8.4 years; all receiving cART). We identified brain regions where the degree of atrophy was related to HIV clinical measures and cerebral metabolite levels assessed with magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS). Regional brain volume reduction was linked to lower nadir CD4 + count, with a 1–2% white matter volume reduction for each 25-point reduction in nadir CD4 +. Even so, brain volume measured by TBM showed no detectable association with current CD4 + count, AIDS Dementia Complex (ADC) stage, HIV RNA load in plasma or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), duration of HIV infection, antiretroviral CNS penetration-effectiveness (CPE) scores, or years on cART, after controlling for demographic factors, and for multiple comparisons. Elevated glutamate and glutamine (Glx) and lower N-acetylaspartate (NAA) in the frontal white matter, basal ganglia, and mid frontal cortex — were associated with lower white matter, putamen and thalamus volumes, and ventricular and CSF space expansion. Reductions in brain volumes in the setting of chronic and stable disease are strongly linked to a history of immunosuppression, suggesting that delays in initiating cART may result in imminent and irreversible brain damage.
    Clinical neuroimaging 12/2013; 3:132–142. DOI:10.1016/j.nicl.2013.07.009 · 2.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Obesity and major depressive disorder (MDD) are highly prevalent and often comorbid health conditions. Both are associated with differences in brain structure and are genetically influenced. Yet, little is known about how obesity, MDD, and known risk genotypes might interact in the brain. Subjects were 81 patients with MDD (mean age 48.6 years) and 69 matched healthy controls (mean age 51.2 years). Subjects underwent 1.5T magnetic resonance imaging, genotyping for the fat mass and obesity associated (FTO) gene rs3751812 polymorphism, and measurements for body mass index (BMI). We conducted a whole brain voxelwise analysis using tensor-based morphometry (TBM) to examine the main and interaction effects of diagnosis, BMI and FTO genotype. Significant effects of BMI were observed across widespread brain regions, indicating reductions in predominantly subcortical and white matter areas associated with increased BMI, but there was no influence of MDD or FTO rs3751812 genotype. There were no significant interaction effects. Within MDD patients, there was no effect of current depressive symptoms; however the use of antidepressant medication was associated with reductions in brain volume in the frontal lobe and cerebellum. Obesity affects brain structure in both healthy participants and MDD patients; this influence may account for some of the brain changes previously associated with MDD. BMI and use of medication should ideally be measured and controlled for when conducting structural brain imaging research in major depressive disorder.
    Neuroscience 08/2013; 252. DOI:10.1016/j.neuroscience.2013.07.015 · 3.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Various neuroimaging measures are being evaluated for tracking Alzheimer's disease progression in therapeutic trials, including measures of structural brain change based on repeated scanning of patients with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Methods to compute brain change must be robust to scan quality. Biases may arise if any scans are thrown out, as this can lead to the true changes being overestimated or underestimated. Here we analyzed the full ADNI-1 MRI dataset and assessed several sources of bias that can arise when tracking brain changes with structural brain imaging methods, as part of a pipeline for tensor-based morphometry (TBM). In all healthy subjects who completed MRI scanning at screening, 6, 12, and 24months, brain atrophy was essentially linear with no detectable bias in longitudinal measures. In power analyses for clinical trials based on these change measures, only 39AD and 95 MCI subjects were needed for a 24-month trial to detect a 25% reduction in the average rate of change using a two-sided test (α=0.05, power=80%). Further sample size reductions were achieved by stratifying the data into Apolipoprotein E (ApoE) ε4 carriers vs. non-carriers. We show how selective data exclusion affects sample size estimates, motivating an objective comparison of different analysis techniques based on statistical power and robustness. TBM is an unbiased, robust, high-throughput imaging surrogate marker for large, multi-site neuroimaging studies and clinical trials of AD and MCI.
    NeuroImage 11/2012; 66. DOI:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2012.10.086 · 6.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: CONTEXT Nonpsychotic siblings of patients with childhood-onset schizophrenia (COS) share cortical gray matter abnormalities with their probands at an early age; these normalize by the time the siblings are aged 18 years, suggesting that the gray matter abnormalities in schizophrenia could be an age-specific endophenotype. Patients with COS also show significant white matter (WM) growth deficits, which have not yet been explored in nonpsychotic siblings. OBJECTIVE To study WM growth differences in nonpsychotic siblings of patients with COS. DESIGN Longitudinal (5-year) anatomic magnetic resonance imaging study mapping WM growth using a novel tensor-based morphometry analysis. SETTING National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, Bethesda, Maryland. PARTICIPANTS Forty-nine healthy siblings of patients with COS (mean [SD] age, 16.1 [5.3] years; 19 male, 30 female) and 57 healthy persons serving as controls (age, 16.9 [5.3] years; 29 male, 28 female). INTERVENTION Magnetic resonance imaging. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE White matter growth rates. RESULTS We compared the WM growth rates in 3 age ranges. In the youngest age group (7 to <14 years), we found a significant difference in growth rates, with siblings of patients with COS showing slower WM growth rates in the parietal lobes of the brain than age-matched healthy controls (false discovery rate, q = 0.05; critical P = .001 in the bilateral parietal WM; a post hoc analysis identified growth rate differences only on the left side, critical P = .004). A growth rate difference was not detectable at older ages. In 3-dimensional maps, growth rates in the siblings even appeared to surpass those of healthy individuals at later ages, at least locally in the brain, but this effect did not survive a multiple comparisons correction. CONCLUSIONS In this first longitudinal study of nonpsychotic siblings of patients with COS, the siblings showed early WM growth deficits, which normalized with age. As reported before for gray matter, WM growth may also be an age-specific endophenotype that shows compensatory normalization with age.
    Archives of general psychiatry 09/2012; 69(9):875-84. DOI:10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2011.2084 · 13.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Callosal volume reduction has been observed in patients with bipolar disorder, but whether these deficits reflect genetic vulnerability to the illness remains unresolved. Here, we used computational methods to map corpus callosum abnormalities in a population-based sample of twin pairs discordant for bipolar disorder. Twenty-one probands with bipolar I disorder (mean age 44.4 ± 7.5 years; 48% female), 19 of their non-bipolar co-twins, and 34 demographically matched control twin individuals underwent magnetic resonance imaging. Three-dimensional callosal surface models were created to visualize its morphologic variability and to localize group differences. Neurocognitive correlates of callosal area differences were additionally investigated in a subsample of study participants. Bipolar (BPI) probands, but not their co-twins, showed significant callosal thinning and area reduction, most pronounced in the genu and splenium, relative to healthy twins. Altered callosal curvature was additionally observed in BPI probands. In bipolar probands and co-twins, genu and splenium midsagittal areas were significantly correlated with verbal processing speed and response inhibition. These findings suggest that aberrant connections between cortical regions--possibly reflecting decreased myelination of white matter tracts--may be involved in bipolar pathophysiology. However, findings of callosal thinning appear to be disease related, rather than reflecting genetic vulnerability to bipolar illness.
    Cerebral Cortex 03/2011; 21(10):2415-24. DOI:10.1093/cercor/bhr030 · 8.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This paper responds to Thompson and Holland (2011), who challenged our tensor-based morphometry (TBM) method for estimating rates of brain changes in serial MRI from 431 subjects scanned every 6 months, for 2 years. Thompson and Holland noted an unexplained jump in our atrophy rate estimates: an offset between 0 and 6 months that may bias clinical trial power calculations. We identified why this jump occurs and propose a solution. By enforcing inverse-consistency in our TBM method, the offset dropped from 1.4% to 0.28%, giving plausible anatomical trajectories. Transitivity error accounted for the minimal remaining offset. Drug trial sample size estimates with the revised TBM-derived metrics are highly competitive with other methods, though higher than previously reported sample size estimates by a factor of 1.6 to 2.4. Importantly, estimates are far below those given in the critique. To demonstrate a 25% slowing of atrophic rates with 80% power, 62 AD and 129 MCI subjects would be required for a 2-year trial, and 91 AD and 192 MCI subjects for a 1-year trial.
    NeuroImage 02/2011; 57(1):5-14. DOI:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2011.01.079 · 6.36 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

128 Citations
52.49 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2014
    • University of Southern California
      • Department of Medicine
      Los Angeles, California, United States
  • 2012–2013
    • Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center
      • Department of Medicine
      Torrance, California, United States
  • 2011–2012
    • University of California, Los Angeles
      • Laboratory of Neuro Imaging
      Los Ángeles, California, United States