Mapping Cortico-Striatal Connectivity onto the Cortical Surface: A New Tractography-Based Approach to Study Huntington Disease

Article (PDF Available)inPLoS ONE 8(2):e53135 · February 2013with37 Reads
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0053135 · Source: PubMed
Abstract
Huntington disease (HD) is associated with early and severe damage to the basal ganglia and particularly the striatum. We investigated cortico-striatal connectivity modifications occurring in HD patients using a novel approach which focuses on the projection of the connectivity profile of the basal ganglia onto the cortex. This approach consists in computing, for each subcortical structure, surface connectivity measures representing its strength of connections to the cortex and comparing these measures across groups. In this study, we focused on Huntington disease as an application of this new approach. First, surface cortico-striatal connectivity measures of a group of healthy subjects were averaged in order to infer the "normal" connectivity profile of the striatum to the cortex. Second, a statistical analysis was performed from the surface connectivity measures of healthy subjects and HD patients in order to detect the cortical gyri presenting altered cortico-striatal connectivity in HD. Lastly, percentage differences of connectivity between healthy subjects and patients were inferred, for each nucleus of the striatum, from the connectivity measures of the cortical gyri presenting a significant connectivity difference between the two groups. These percentage differences characterize the axonal disruptions between the striatum and the cortex occurring in HD. We found selective region-specific degeneration of cortical connections predominating for associative and primary sensorimotor connections and with relative preservation of limbic connections. Our method can be used to infer novel connectivity-based markers of HD pathological process.
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    • "(Werner et al. 2014 ) Cortical connections deteriorate in a region-specific manner with the most severe reduction occurring in associative and primary sensorimotor connections while limbic connections are relatively preserved. (Marrakchi-Kacem et al. 2013) "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Huntington's disease (HD) is a lethal, dominantly inherited neurodegenerative disorder reported to be unusually rare in Finland. The overall HD prevalence and the proportion of late-onset cases (LOHD) are increasing in many populations. The characteristics of LOHD are nevertheless poorly understood. Information on neurological comorbidity in patients with HD is also scarce. These retrospective studies analyzed a national Finnish HD cohort in the time frame 1987-2010 by searching national registries and archives. Data was extracted from medical records. Population genotypes were obtained from the 1000 Genomes project. The prevalence of HD in Finland was found to be 2.12/100,000, or over four times more common than reported previously. Nonetheless, HD is more uncommon than in other Western European countries. The national cohort of 207 patients included 52 (25%) patients with LOHD; they had poorer motor status at the time of diagnosis than patients with mid-age onset, possibly because of the diagnostic delay. No other differences were detected between these groups. Interestingly, only one individual (0.5% of all HD patients in Finland) with juvenile-onset HD was identified. The length of the affected CAG repeat or its intergenerational stability did not differ from those reported in other populations. However, the high risk chromosome 4 haplogroup A was relatively uncommon in the Finnish general population (39.2%), possibly partly explaining the relative rarity of HD in Finland. Patients with adult-onset HD had epilepsy and strokes as often as reported in the general population. HD patients were, however, at an increased risk of suffering subdural haematomas.
    Full-text · Thesis · Feb 2017 · Brain
    • "To our knowledge, reductions in subcortical–cortical structural connections have been shown in Huntington's disease subjects in comparison with healthy controls in four studies to date [Bohanna et al., 2011a,b; Kloppel et al., 2008; Marrakchi-Kacem et al., 2010; Marrakchi-Kacem et al., 2013] . Connections to associative [Marrakchi-Kacem et al., 2013] and sensorimotor [Bohanna et al., 2011a [Bohanna et al., , 2011b Marrakchi-Kacem et al., 2013] cortex appear particularly affected. Altered diffusion metrics within tractographygenerated white matter pathways have also been shown [Douaud et al., 2009; Dumas et al., 2012]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Huntington's disease is an incurable neurodegenerative disease caused by inheritance of an expanded cytosine-adenine-guanine (CAG) trinucleotide repeat within the Huntingtin gene. Extensive volume loss and altered diffusion metrics in the basal ganglia, cortex and white matter are seen when patients with Huntington's disease (HD) undergo structural imaging, suggesting that changes in basal ganglia-cortical structural connectivity occur. The aims of this study were to characterise altered patterns of basal ganglia-cortical structural connectivity with high anatomical precision in premanifest and early manifest HD, and to identify associations between structural connectivity and genetic or clinical markers of HD. 3-Tesla diffusion tensor magnetic resonance images were acquired from 14 early manifest HD subjects, 17 premanifest HD subjects and 18 controls. Voxel-based analyses of probabilistic tractography were used to quantify basal ganglia-cortical structural connections. Canonical variate analysis was used to demonstrate disease-associated patterns of altered connectivity and to test for associations between connectivity and genetic and clinical markers of HD; this is the first study in which such analyses have been used. Widespread changes were seen in basal ganglia-cortical structural connectivity in early manifest HD subjects; this has relevance for development of therapies targeting the striatum. Premanifest HD subjects had a pattern of connectivity more similar to that of controls, suggesting progressive change in connections over time. Associations between structural connectivity patterns and motor and cognitive markers of disease severity were present in early manifest subjects. Our data suggest the clinical phenotype in manifest HD may be at least partly a result of altered connectivity. Hum Brain Mapp, 2015. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015
    • "The tracts were first resampled to a resolution of 0.5 mm between two consecutive points, which corresponds to half of the resolution of T 1 -weighted images. For each subject 's', nucleus 'n' and gyrus 'r', surface connectivity measures C s (n,r) were computed as previously described (Marrakchi-Kacem et al., 2013 ). To take into account intra-subject variability, we normalized the connectivity measures by the number of whole brain tracts 'Ns' leading to normalized surface connectivity measures NC s (n,r): "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Gilles de la Tourette syndrome is a childhood-onset syndrome characterized by the presence and persistence of motor and vocal tics. A dysfunction of cortico-striato-pallido-thalamo-cortical networks in this syndrome has been supported by convergent data from neuro-pathological, electrophysiological as well as structural and functional neuroimaging studies. Here, we addressed the question of structural integration of cortico-striato-pallido-thalamo-cortical networks in Gilles de la Tourette syndrome. We specifically tested the hypothesis that deviant brain development in Gilles de la Tourette syndrome could affect structural connectivity within the input and output basal ganglia structures and thalamus. To this aim, we acquired data on 49 adult patients and 28 gender and age-matched control subjects on a 3 T magnetic resonance imaging scanner. We used and further implemented streamline probabilistic tractography algorithms that allowed us to quantify the structural integration of cortico-striato-pallido-thalamo-cortical networks. To further investigate the microstructure of white matter in patients with Gilles de la Tourette syndrome, we also evaluated fractional anisotropy and radial diffusivity in these pathways, which are both sensitive to axonal package and to myelin ensheathment. In patients with Gilles de la Tourette syndrome compared to control subjects, we found white matter abnormalities in neuronal pathways connecting the cerebral cortex, the basal ganglia and the thalamus. Specifically, striatum and thalamus had abnormally enhanced structural connectivity with primary motor and sensory cortices, as well as paracentral lobule, supplementary motor area and parietal cortices. This enhanced connectivity of motor cortex positively correlated with severity of tics measured by the Yale Global Tics Severity Scale and was not influenced by current medication status, age or gender of patients. Independently of the severity of tics, lateral and medial orbito-frontal cortex, inferior frontal, temporo-parietal junction, medial temporal and frontal pole also had enhanced structural connectivity with the striatum and thalamus in patients with Gilles de la Tourette syndrome. In addition, the cortico-striatal pathways were characterized by elevated fractional anisotropy and diminished radial diffusivity, suggesting microstructural axonal abnormalities of white matter in Gilles de la Tourette syndrome. These changes were more prominent in females with Gilles de la Tourette syndrome compared to males and were not related to the current medication status. Taken together, our data showed widespread structural abnormalities in cortico-striato-pallido-thalamic white matter pathways in patients with Gilles de la Tourette, which likely result from abnormal brain development in this syndrome.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2014
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