Neural correlates of abnormal temporal discrimination in unaffected relatives of cervical dystonia patients

Shruti Narasimham, Eavan M. McGovern, Brendan Quinlivan, Owen Killian, Rebecca Beck, Sean O’Riordan, Michael Hutchinson, Richard B. Reilly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: An abnormal temporal discrimination threshold in cervical dystonia (CD) is considered to be a mediational endophenotype; in unaffected relatives it is hypothesized to indicate non-manifesting gene carriage. The pathogenesis underlying this condition remains unknown. Investigation of the neural networks involved in disordered temporal discrimination may highlight its pathomechanisms. Objective: To examine resting state brain function in unaffected relatives of CD patients with normal and abnormal temporal discrimination. We hypothesized that the endophenotype, an abnormal temporal discrimination, would manifest as altered connectivity in relatives in regions associated with CD, thereby illuminating the neural substrates of the link between temporal discrimination and CD. Methods: Rs-fMRI data was analyzed from two sex- and age-matched cohorts: 16 unaffected relatives of CD patients with normal temporal discrimination and 16 with abnormal temporal discrimination. Regional and whole brain functional connectivity measures were extracted via Independent Component Analysis (ICA), Regional Homogeneity (ReHo), and Amplitude of Low Frequency (ALFF) analyses. Results: Our ICA analysis revealed increased connectivity within both the executive control and cerebellar networks and decreased connectivity within the sensorimotor network in relatives with abnormal temporal discrimination when compared to relatives with normal temporal discrimination. The ReHo and ALFF analyses complimented these results and demonstrated connectivity differences in areas corresponding to motor planning, movement coordination, visual information processing, and eye movements in unaffected relatives with abnormal temporal discrimination. Conclusion: Disordered connectivity in unaffected relatives with abnormal temporal discrimination illuminates neural substrates underlying endophenotype expression and supports the hypothesis that genetically determined aberrant connectivity, when later coupled with unknown environmental triggers, may lead to disease penetrance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8
JournalFrontiers in Integrative Neuroscience
Volume13
DOIs
StatePublished - 19 Feb 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cervical dystonia
  • Connectivity
  • Dual regression
  • Resting state fMRI
  • Temporal discrimination

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