Purpose To evaluate whether patients with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1)-a multisystem neurodevelopmental disorder with myriad imaging manifestations, including focal transient myelin vacuolization within the deep gray nuclei, brainstem, and cerebellum-exhibit differences in cortical and subcortical structures, particularly in subcortical regions where these abnormalities manifest. Materials and Methods In this retrospective study, by using clinically obtained three-dimensional T1-weighted MR images and established image analysis methods, 10 intracranial volume-corrected subcortical and 34 cortical regions of interest (ROIs) were quantitatively assessed in 32 patients with NF1 and 245 age- and sex-matched healthy control subjects. By using linear models, ROI cortical thicknesses and volumes were compared between patients with NF1 and control subjects, as a function of age. With hierarchic cluster analysis and partial correlations, differences in the pattern of association between cortical and subcortical ROI volumes in patients with NF1 and control subjects were also evaluated. Results Patients with NF1 exhibited larger subcortical volumes and thicker cortices of select regions, particularly the hippocampi, amygdalae, cerebellar white matter, ventral diencephalon, thalami, and occipital cortices. For the thalami and pallida and 22 cortical ROIs in patients with NF1, a significant inverse association between volume and age was found, suggesting that volumes decrease with increasing age. Moreover, compared with those in control subjects, ROIs in patients with NF1 exhibited a distinct pattern of clustering and partial correlations. Discussion Neurofibromatosis type 1 is characterized by larger subcortical volumes and thicker cortices of select structures. Most apparent within the hippocampi, amygdalae, cerebellar white matter, ventral diencephalon, thalami and occipital cortices, these neurofibromatosis type 1-associated volumetric changes may, in part, be age dependent.
To examine neuroanatomical morphometry in adult female victims of intimate partner violence with and without posttraumatic stress disorder. Seventeen nonvictimized comparison subjects and 22 victims of intimate partner violence, 11 with and 11 without posttraumatic stress disorder, were studied. Using quantitative magnetic resonance imaging, three mesial temporal lobe areas were measured: hippocampus, amygdala, and parahippocampal gyrus. Additionally, whole brain morphometry provided fluid, gray, and white matter volumes of the cortex and cerebellum for exploratory analyses. Relationships of morphometric measures to symptoms, abuse history, and neuropsychological function were examined. Intimate partner violence subjects with posttraumatic stress disorder did not demonstrate significantly smaller hippocampal or other mesial temporal lobe volumes. Overall, intimate partner violence subjects had smaller supratentorial cranial vaults and smaller frontal and occipital gray matter volumes relative to nonvictimized comparison subjects. Supratentorial cranial vault volume was negatively correlated with severity of childhood physical abuse, but not with intimate partner violence or posttraumatic stress disorder severity. Trails B performance was negatively correlated with frontal gray matter volume. These findings are inconsistent with prior reports of smaller hippocampal volumes in patients with posttraumatic stress disorder. Rather, the findings point to cerebral abnormalities that may reflect the influence of early trauma on neurodevelopmental processes or denote brain morphometric characteristics of persons at increased risk for serious psychosocial adversity.
Methamphetamine (METH) dependence is frequently comorbid with HIV infection and both have been linked to alterations of brain structure and function. In a previous study, we showed that the brain volume loss characteristic of HIV infection contrasts with METH-related volume increases in striatum and parietal cortex, suggesting distinct neurobiological responses to HIV and METH (Jernigan et al., 2005). Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has the potential to reveal functional interactions between the effects of HIV and METH. In the present study, 50 participants were studied in four groups: an HIV+ group, a recently METH-dependent group, a dually affected group, and a group of unaffected community comparison subjects. An fMRI paradigm consisting of motor sequencing tasks of varying levels of complexity was administered to examine blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) changes. Within all groups, activity increased significantly with increasing task complexity in large clusters within sensorimotor and parietal cortex, basal ganglia, cerebellum, and cingulate. The task complexity effect was regressed on HIV status, METH status, and the HIV×METH interaction term in a simultaneous multiple regression. HIV was associated with less complexity-related activation in striatum, whereas METH was associated with less complexity-related activation in parietal regions. Significant interaction effects were observed in both cortical and subcortical regions; and, contrary to expectations, the complexity-related activation was less aberrant in dually affected than in single risk participants, in spite of comparable levels of neurocognitive impairment among the clinical groups. Thus, HIV and METH dependence, perhaps through their effects on dopaminergic systems, may have opposing functional effects on neural circuits involved in motor programming.