Мультимодальные МРТ‑подходы к исследованию развития белого вещества головного мозга.
The volume fraction of water related to myelin (fmy) is a promising MRI index for in vivo assessment of brain myelination, that can be derived from multi-component analysis of T1 and T2 relaxometry signals. However, existing quantification methods require rather long acquisition and/or post-processing times, making implementation difficult both in research studies on healthy unsedated children and in clinical examinations. The goal of this work was to propose a novel strategy for fmy quantification within acceptable acquisition andpost-processing times. Our approach is based on a 3-compartment model (myelin-related water, intra/extra-cellular water and unrestricted water), and uses calibrated values of inherent relaxation times (T1c and T2c) for each compartment c. Calibration was first performed on adult relaxometry datasets (N = 3) acquired with large numbers of inversion times (TI) and echo times (TE), using an original combination of a region contraction approach and a non-negative least-square (NNLS) algorithm. This strategy was compared with voxel-wise fitting, and showed robust estimation of T1c and T2c. The accuracy of fmy calculations depending on multiple factors was investigated using simulated data. In the testing stage, our strategy enabled fast fmy mapping, based on relaxometry datasets acquired with reduced TI and TE numbers (acquisition <6 min), and analyzed with NNLS algorithm (post-processing <5min). In adults (N = 13, mean age 22.4±1.6 years), fmy maps showed variability across white matter regions, in agreement with previous studies. In healthy infants (N = 18, aged 3 to 34 weeks), asynchronous changes in fmy values were demonstrated across bundles, confirming the well-known progression of myelination.
Linguistic processing is based on a close collaboration between temporal and frontal regions connected by two pathways: the “dorsal” and “ventral pathways” (assumed to support phonological and semantic processing, respectively, in adults). We investigated here the development of these pathways at the onset of language acquisition, during the first post-natal weeks, using cross-sectional diffusion imaging in 21 healthy infants (6–22 weeks of age) and 17 young adults. We compared the bundle organization and microstructure at these two ages using tractography and original clustering analyses of diffusion tensor imaging parameters. We observed structural similarities between both groups, especially concerning the dorsal/ventral pathway segregation and the arcuate fasciculus asymmetry. We further highlighted the developmental tempos of the linguistic bundles: The ventral pathway maturation was more advanced than the dorsal pathway maturation, but the latter catches up during the first post-natal months. Its fast development during this period might relate to the learning of speech cross-modal representations and to the first combinatorial analyses of the speech input.
The degree of mental attention in childhood and adolescence determines in the future the effectiveness of working memory (ability to store and manipulate information). Attention has been previously found to be related to the prefrontal and parietal areas of the human cortex. But the relationship between attention and white matter properties are still largely unknown. The goal of this study was to identify the relationships between attention and fractional anisotropy (FA) of diffusion MRI in bilateral superior longitudinal fasciculus (in three subdivisions SLF 1- 3), arcuate fasciculus (AF), and corpus callosum (CC) in children and adolescents. Subjects: 14 children (9-11 years) and 13 teenagers (12-15 years). During the experiments participants had to establish a match between the colors on the screen and the colors on the previous slide. The task had six difficulty levels and both performance accuracy (m-score) and reaction time (RT) were measured. There was a positive correlation for m-score and a negative correlation for RT with FA in СС (levels 1-3) in the children's group (p<0.05). On the contrary, when FA increases in the right SLF 3 (level 6), there is a decrease in m-score, and when FA increases in the left SLF 3 and AF, there is an increase in RT at 2,3,4 and 6 levels. In contrast, a decrease in RT with an increase FA of bilateral SLF 3 (level 6) and left AF (level 4) was observed for adolescents, which reflects the redistribution of the roles between fiber tracts with age. FA values of the left (level 2) and right (level 1) SLF 2 negatively correlated with mscore (p <0.05) in the same group. For females (n=13) (regardless the age), there was only a negative correlation for m-score (2,3,5 levels) and the only positive correlation for RT (level 2) with FA of the right SLF 1, left and right SLF 2, in the left SLF 3 and СС (p<0.05). For males (n=13), on the contrary, there were positive correlations between m-score and FA of the СС (1,3,4 levels) and the left SLF 1 (5 level), and inverse correlations between RT and FA for the same fibers of the white matter (1 level) (p<0,05). Interestingly, an increase in FA with age was found in males in all the components of the white matter (p<0.01), except for the СС, and in females, on thecontrary – only in the СС. Further research is needed, taking into account gender, to fully understand the influence of white matter on the development of mental attention.
Studying how the healthy human brain develops is important to understand early pathological mechanisms and to assess the influence of fetal or perinatal events on later life. Brain development relies on complex and intermingled mechanisms especially during gestation and first post-natal months, with intense interactions between genetic, epigenetic and environmental factors. Although the baby's brain is organized early on, it is not a miniature adult brain: regional brain changes are asynchronous and protracted, i.e. sensory-motor regions develop early and quickly, whereas associative regions develop later and slowly over decades. Concurrently, the infant/child gradually achieves new performances, but how brain maturation relates to changes in behavior is poorly understood, requiring non-invasive in vivo imaging studies such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Two main processes of early white matter development are reviewed: (1) establishment of connections between brain regions within functional networks, leading to adult-like organization during the last trimester of gestation, (2) maturation (myelination) of these connections during infancy to provide efficient transfers of information. Current knowledge from post-mortem descriptions and in vivo MRI studies is summed up, focusing on T1- and T2-weighted imaging, diffusion tensor imaging, and quantitative mapping of T1/T2 relaxation times, myelin water fraction and magnetization transfer ratio.
The XVI international interdisciplinary Congress "Neuroscience for medicine and psychology" continues the cycle of scientific events (High Tatras, Slovakia, 2002 and 2003; Karadag, Crimea, Ukraine, 2002 and 2003; Hurghada, Egypt, 2004, Sudak, Crimea, Ukraine, 2004-2013, Sudak, Crimea, Russia, 2014-2019), which are dedicated to the multi-faceted study of the nervous system and the use of this knowledge in medical and psychological practice. The main goal of the forum is to unite the efforts of highly qualified and young specialists of the scientific community who study the nervous system from different points of view to preserve the biological and mental health of people in the modern world. As part of the Congress, the School "Achievements of interdisciplinary neuroscience in the XXI century" is held with lectures and reports by leading scientists. The following issues will be discussed at the sessions of the Congress sections: stress and neurosis, memory, learning, thinking and consciousness, neuronal mechanisms of cognitive processes, Neurotechnology and cognitive