202 research outputs found

    Monitoring coordination during bimanual movements: where is the mastermind?

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    One remarkable aspect of the human motor repertoire is the multitude of bimanual actions it contains. Still, the neural correlates of coordinated movements, in which the two hands share a common goal, remain debated. To address this issue, we designed two bimanual circling tasks that differed only in terms of goal conceptualization: a "coordination" task that required movements of both hands to adapt to each other to reach a common goal and an "independent" task that imposed a separate goal to each hand. fMRI allowed us to pinpoint three areas located in the right hemisphere that were more strongly activated in the coordination condition: the superior temporal gyrus (STG), the SMA, and the primary motor cortex (M1). We then used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to disrupt transiently the function of those three regions to determine their causal role in bimanual coordination. Right STG virtual lesions impaired bimanual coordination, whereas TMS to right M1 enhanced hand independence. TMS over SMA, left STG, or left M1 had no effect. The present study provides direct insight into the neural correlates of coordinated bimanual movements and highlights the role of right STG in such bimanual movements

    Long-term white matter tract reorganization following prolonged febrile seizures

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    OBJECTIVE: Diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies have demonstrated acute white matter changes following prolonged febrile seizures (PFS), but their longer-term evolution is unknown. We investigated a population-based cohort to determine white matter diffusion properties 8 years after PFS. METHODS: We used diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and applied Tract-Based Spatial Statistics for voxel-wise comparison of white matter microstructure between 26 children with PFS and 27 age-matched healthy controls. Age, gender, handedness, and hippocampal volumes were entered as covariates for voxel-wise analysis. RESULTS: Mean duration between the episode of PFS and follow-up was 8.2 years (range 6.7-9.6). All children were neurologically normal, and had normal conventional neuroimaging. On voxel-wise analysis, compared to controls, the PFS group had (1) increased fractional anisotropy in early maturing central white matter tracts, (2) increased mean and axial diffusivity in several peripheral white matter tracts and late-maturing central white matter tracts, and (3) increased radial diffusivity in peripheral white matter tracts. None of the tracts had reduced fractional anisotropy or diffusivity indices in the PFS group. SIGNIFICANCE: In this homogeneous, population-based sample, we found increased fractional anisotropy in early maturing central white matter tracts and increased mean and axial diffusivity with/without increased radial diffusivity in several late-maturing peripheral white matter tracts 8 years post-PFS. We propose disruption in white matter maturation secondary to seizure-induced axonal injury, with subsequent neuroplasticity and microstructural reorganization as a plausible explanation

    Lobar and segmental liver atrophy associated with hilar cholangiocarcinoma and the impact of hilar biliary anatomical variants: a pictorial essay

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    The radiological features of lobar and segmental liver atrophy and compensatory hypertrophy associated with biliary obstruction are important to recognise for diagnostic and therapeutic reasons. Atrophied lobes/segments reduce in volume and usually contain crowded dilated bile ducts extending close to the liver surface. There is often a “step” in the liver contour between the atrophied and non-atrophied parts. Hypertrophied right lobe or segments enlarge and show a prominently convex or “bulbous” visceral surface. The atrophied liver parenchyma may show lower attenuation on pre-contrast computed tomography (CT) and CT intravenous cholangiography (CT-IVC) and lower signal intensity on T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Hilar biliary anatomical variants can have an impact on the patterns of lobar/segmental atrophy, as the cause of obstruction (e.g. cholangiocarcinoma) often commences in one branch, leading to atrophy in that drainage region before progressing to complete biliary obstruction and jaundice. Such variants are common and can result in unusual but explainable patterns of atrophy and hypertrophy. Examples of changes seen with and without hilar variants are presented that illustrate the radiological features of atrophy/hypertrophy

    Selection and Presentation of Imaging Figures in the Medical Literature

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    Background: Images are important for conveying information, but there is no empirical evidence on whether imaging figures are properly selected and presented in the published medical literature. We therefore evaluated the selection and presentation of radiological imaging figures in major medical journals. Methodology/Principal Findings: We analyzed articles published in 2005 in 12 major general and specialty medical journals that had radiological imaging figures. For each figure, we recorded information on selection, study population, provision of quantitative measurements, color scales and contrast use. Overall, 417 images from 212 articles were analyzed. Any comment/hint on image selection was made in 44 (11%) images (range 0–50% across the 12 journals) and another 37 (9%) (range 0–60%) showed both a normal and abnormal appearance. In 108 images (26%) (range 0–43%) it was unclear whether the image came from the presented study population. Eighty-three images (20%) (range 0–60%) had any quantitative or ordered categorical value on a measure of interest. Information on the distribution of the measure of interest in the study population was given in 59 cases. For 43 images (range 0–40%), a quantitative measurement was provided for the depicted case and the distribution of values in the study population was also available; in those 43 cases there was no over-representation of extreme than average cases (p = 0.37). Significance: The selection and presentation of images in the medical literature is often insufficiently documented; quantitative data are sparse and difficult to place in context

    Treatment Planning and Volumetric Response Assessment for Yttrium-90 Radioembolization: Semiautomated Determination of Liver Volume and Volume of Tumor Necrosis in Patients with Hepatic Malignancy

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    PurposeThe primary purpose of this study was to demonstrate intraobserver/interobserver reproducibility for novel semiautomated measurements of hepatic volume used for Yttrium-90 dose calculations as well as whole-liver and necrotic-liver (hypodense/nonenhancing) tumor volume after radioembolization. The secondary aim was to provide initial comparisons of tumor volumetric measurements with linear measurements, as defined by Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors criteria, and survival outcomes.MethodsBetween 2006 and 2009, 23 consecutive radioembolization procedures were performed for 14 cases of hepatocellular carcinoma and 9 cases of hepatic metastases. Baseline and follow-up computed tomography obtained 1 month after treatment were retrospectively analyzed. Three observers measured liver, whole-tumor, and tumor-necrosis volumes twice using semiautomated software.ResultsGood intraobserver/interobserver reproducibility was demonstrated (intraclass correlation [ICC] > 0.9) for tumor and liver volumes. Semiautomated measurements of liver volumes were statistically similar to those obtained with manual tracing (ICC = 0.868), but they required significantly less time to perform (p < 0.0001, ICC = 0.088). There was a positive association between change in linear tumor measurements and whole-tumor volume (p < 0.0001). However, linear measurements did not correlate with volume of necrosis (p > 0.05). Dose, change in tumor diameters, tumor volume, and necrotic volume did not correlate with survival (p > 0.05 in all instances). However, Kaplan-Meier curves suggest that a >10% increase in necrotic volume correlated with survival (p = 0.0472).ConclusionSemiautomated volumetric analysis of liver, whole-tumor, and tumor-necrosis volume can be performed with good intraobserver/interobserver reproducibility. In this small retrospective study, measurements of tumor necrosis were suggested to correlate with survival

    Association between breastfeeding during infancy and white matter microstructure in early childhood

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    INTRODUCTION: Associations between breastfeeding and brain development, in the context of child, perinatal, and sociodemographic variables, remain unclear. This study investigated whether exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months and total duration of breastfeeding were associated with brain white matter microstructure in young children. METHODS: This study included 85 typically developing children (42 males) born to 83 mothers that were predominantly white, highly educated, and in high income households. Children underwent their first diffusion tensor imaging scan between ages 2.34 and 6.97 years; some children returned multiple times, providing a total of 331 datasets. Feeding information was collected from mothers at 3, 6, and 12 months postpartum and at their child's scan to calculate breastfeeding status at 6 months (exclusive or not) as well as total duration of any breastfeeding. Linear regression was used to investigate associations between breastfeeding exclusivity/duration and fractional anisotropy (FA) for the whole brain and 10 individual white matter tracts. RESULTS: Breastfeeding exclusivity and duration were associated with global and regional white matter microstructure, even after controlling for perinatal and sociodemographic factors. Greater exclusivity was associated with higher FA in females and lower FA in males. CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest white matter differences associated with breastfeeding that differ by sex. These may stem from different trajectories in white matter development between males and females in early childhood and suggest possible long-term white matter differences associated with breastfeeding