Interregional cerebral metabolic associativity during a continuous performance task (Part I): Healthy adults

Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, PHS, HHS, Bethesda, MD, USA.
Psychiatry Research (Impact Factor: 2.47). 10/2008; 164(1):16-29. DOI: 10.1016/j.pscychresns.2007.12.015
Source: PubMed


One emerging hypothesis regarding psychiatric illnesses is that they arise from the dysregulation of normal circuits or neuroanatomical patterns. In order to study mood disorders within this framework, we explored normal metabolic associativity patterns in healthy volunteers as a prelude to examining the same relationships in affectively ill patients (Part II). We applied correlational analyses to regional brain activity as measured with FDG-PET during an auditory continuous performance task (CPT) in 66 healthy volunteers. This simple attention task controlled for brain activity that otherwise might vary amongst affective and cognitive states. There were highly significant positive correlations between homologous regions in the two hemispheres in thalamic, extrapyramidal, orbital frontal, medial temporal and cerebellar areas. Dorsal frontal, lateral temporal, cingulate, and especially insula, and inferior parietal areas showed less significant homologous associativity, suggesting more specific lateralized function. The medulla and bilateral thalami exhibited the most diverse interregional associations. A general pattern emerged of cortical regions covarying inversely with subcortical structures, particularly the frontal cortex with cerebellum, amygdala and thalamus. These analytical data may help to confirm known functional and neuroanatomical relationships, elucidate others as yet unreported, and serve as a basis for comparison to patients with psychiatric illness.

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    ABSTRACT: Unipolar and bipolar disorders have often been reported to exhibit abnormal regional brain activity in prefrontal cortex and paralimbic structures compared with healthy controls. We sought to ascertain how regions postulated to be abnormal in bipolar and unipolar disorders were functionally connected to the rest of the brain, and how this associativity differed from healthy controls. Thirty patients with bipolar disorder (BPs), 34 patients with unipolar disorder (UPs), and 66 healthy volunteers (Willis, M.W., Benson, B.E., Ketter, T.A., Kimbrell, T.A., George, M.S., Speer, A.M., Herscovitch, P., Post, R.M., 2008. Interregional cerebral metabolic associativity during a continuous performance task in healthy adults. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging 164 (1)) were imaged using F-18-fluorodeoxyglucose and positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) while performing an auditory continuous performance task (CPT). Five bilateral regions of interest (ROIs), namely dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), insula, inferior parietal cortex (INFP), thalamus and cerebellum, were correlated with normalized cerebral metabolism in the rest of the brain while covarying out Hamilton Depression Rating Scale Scores. In bipolar patients compared with controls, metabolism in the left DLPFC and INFP, and bilateral thalamus and insula had more positive and fewer negative metabolic correlations with other brain regions. In contrast, compared with controls, unipolar patients had fewer significant correlative relationships, either positive or negative. In common, bipolar and unipolar patients lacked the normal inverse relationships between the DLPFC and cerebellum, as well as relationships between the primary ROIs and other limbic regions (medial prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate, and temporal lobes) compared with controls. Associations of DLPFC and INFP with other brain areas were different in each hemisphere in patients and controls. Bipolar patients exhibited exaggerated positive coherence of activity throughout the brain, while unipolar patients showed a paucity of normal interrelationships compared with controls. These abnormal patterns of metabolic associativity suggest marked interregional neuronal dysregulation in bipolar and unipolar illness exists beyond that of mere absolute regional differences from control levels, and provides rationale for using acute and long-term therapies that may re-establish and maintain normal associativity in these devastating illnesses.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2008 · Psychiatry Research
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    ABSTRACT: Objective The amygdala and hippocampus – two structures intimately associated with mood and cognition – have been reported to exhibit altered neural activity or volume in affective disorders. We hypothesized the amygdala and hippocampus would show altered and differential patterns of connectivity in patients with bipolar (BPs) and unipolar (UPs) disorder compared to healthy volunteers. Method Thirty BPs, 34 UPs, and 66 healthy volunteers were imaged using F-18-fluorodeoxyglucose and positron emission tomography while performing an auditory continuous performance task (CPT). Normalized mean activity of the amygdala and hippocampus was correlated with the rest of the brain. Results In BPs, the amygdalae displayed exaggerated positive metabolic correlations with prefrontal and ventral striatal areas, while the hippocampus showed a paucity of normal inter-relations compared to controls. In contrast, in UPs the amygdala was significantly negatively correlated with prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortex, while the hippocampus was significantly more positively correlated to these same prefrontal areas. Conclusions During a simple cognitive task, the functional connectivity of the amygdala and hippocampus, regions usually associated with emotion and memory regulation, was substantially different in affective illness compared to healthy controls whether or not there were baseline abnormalities in these areas. These striking differences in functional connectivity of amygdala and hippocampus should be further explored in ill and well states and using more specific emotion and cognitive evocative tasks.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2014 · Journal of Affective Disorders