Matching Items (3)

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Cognition and Hippocampal Volumes in Older Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder

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With a growing number of adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), more and more research has been conducted on majority male cohorts with ASD from young, adolescence, and some older age. Currently, males make up the majority of individuals diagnosed

With a growing number of adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), more and more research has been conducted on majority male cohorts with ASD from young, adolescence, and some older age. Currently, males make up the majority of individuals diagnosed with ASD, however, recent research states that the gender gap is closing due to more advanced screening and a better understanding of how females with ASD present their symptoms. Little research has been published on the neurocognitive differences that exist between older adults with ASD compared to neurotypical (NT) counterparts, and nothing has specifically addressed older women with ASD. This study utilized neuroimaging and neuropsychological tests to examine differences between diagnosis and sex of four distinct groups: older men with ASD, older women with ASD, older NT men, and older NT women. In each group, hippocampal size (via FreeSurfer) was analyzed for differences as well as correlations with neuropsychological tests. Participants (ASD Female, n = 12; NT Female, n = 14; ASD Male, n = 30; NT Male = 22), were similar according to age, IQ, and education. The results of the study indicated that the ASD Group as a whole performed worse on executive functioning tasks (Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, Trails Making Test) and memory-related tasks (Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test, Weschler Memory Scale: Visual Reproduction) compared to the NT Group. Interactions of sex by diagnosis approached significance only within the WCST non-perseverative errors, with the women with ASD performing worse than NT women, but no group differences between men. Effect sizes between the female groups (ASD female vs. NT female) showed more than double that of the male groups (ASD male vs. NT male) for all WCST and AVLT measures. Participants with ASD had significantly smaller right hippocampal volumes than NT participants. In addition, all older women showed larger hippocampal volumes when corrected for total intracranial volume (TIV) compared to all older men. Overall, NT Females had significant correlations across all neuropsychological tests and their hippocampal volumes whereas no other group had significant correlations. These results suggest a tighter coupling between hippocampal size and cognition in NT Females than NT Males and both sexes with ASD. This study promotes further understanding of the neuropsychological differences between older men and women, both with and without ASD. Further research is needed on a larger sample of older women with and without ASD.

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Date Created
2019

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New Probes and Targets for Hypoxia Imaging

Description

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a noninvasive imaging modality, which is used for many different applications. The versatility of MRI is in acquiring high resolution anatomical and functional images with no use of ionizing radiation. The contrast in MR images

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a noninvasive imaging modality, which is used for many different applications. The versatility of MRI is in acquiring high resolution anatomical and functional images with no use of ionizing radiation. The contrast in MR images can be engineered by two different mechanisms with imaging parameters (TR, TE, α) and/or contrast agents. The contrast in the former is influenced by the intrinsic properties of the tissue (T1, T2, ρ), while the contrast agents change the relaxation rate of the protons to enhance contrast. Contrast agents have attracted a lot of attention because they can be modified with targeting groups to shed light on some physiological and biological questions, such as the presence of hypoxia in a tissue. Hypoxia, defined as lack of oxygen, has many known ramifications on the outcome of therapy in any condition. Hence its study is very important. The standard gold method to detect hypoxia, immunohistochemical (IHC) staining of pimonidazole, is invasive; however, there are many research groups focused on developing new and mainly noninvasive methods to investigate hypoxia in different tissues.Previously, a novel nitroimidazole-based T1 contrast agent, gadolinium tetraazacyclododecanetetraacetic acid monoamide conjugate of 2-nitroimidazole (GdDO3NI ), has been synthesized and characterized on subcutaneous prostate and lung tumor models. Here, its efficacy and performance on traumatic brain injuries and brain tumors are studied. The pharmacokinetic properties of the contrast agent the perfusion properties of brain tumors are investigated. These results can be used in personalized therapies for more effective results for patients.
Gadolinium (Gd), which is a strongly paramagnetic heavy metal, is routinely and widely used as an MR contrast agent by chelation with a biocompatible ligand which is typically cleared through the kidneys. While widely used, there are serious concerns for patients with impaired kidney function, as well as recent studies showed Gd accumulation in the bone and brain. Iron as a physiological ion is also capable of generating contrast in MR images. Here synthesis and characterization of an iron-based hypoxia targeting contrast agent is proposed to eliminate Gd-related complications and provide a cheaper and more economical alternative contrast agent to detect hypoxia.

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Date Created
2021

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Flexible Fractal-Inspired Metamaterial for Head Imaging at 3 T MRI

Description

The ability of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to image any part of the human body without the effects of harmful radiation such as in CAT and PET scans established MRI as a clinical mainstay for a variety of different ailments

The ability of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to image any part of the human body without the effects of harmful radiation such as in CAT and PET scans established MRI as a clinical mainstay for a variety of different ailments and maladies. Short wavelengths accompany the high frequencies present in high-field MRI, and are on the same scale as the human body at a static magnetic field strength of 3 T (128 MHz). As a result of these shorter wavelengths, standing wave effects are produced in the MR bore where the patient is located. These standing waves generate bright and dark spots in the resulting MR image, which correspond to irregular regions of high and low clarity. Coil loading is also an inevitable byproduct of subject positioning inside the bore, which decreases the signal that the region of interest (ROI) receives for the same input power. Several remedies have been proposed in the literature to remedy the standing wave effect, including the placement of high permittivity dielectric pads (HPDPs) near the ROI. Despite the success of HPDPs at smoothing out image brightness, these pads are traditionally bulky and take up a large spatial volume inside the already small MR bore. In recent years, artificial periodic structures known as metamaterials have been designed to exhibit specific electromagnetic effects when placed inside the bore. Although typically thinner than HPDPs, many metamaterials in the literature are rigid and cannot conform to the shape of the patient, and some are still too bulky for practical use in clinical settings. The well-known antenna engineering concept of fractalization, or the introduction of self-similar patterns, may be introduced to the metamaterial to display a specific resonance curve as well as increase the metamaterial’s intrinsic capacitance. Proposed in this paper is a flexible fractal-inspired metamaterial for application in 3 T MR head imaging. To demonstrate the advantages of this flexibility, two different metamaterial configurations are compared to determine which produces a higher localized signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and average signal measured in the image: in the first configuration, the metamaterial is kept rigid underneath a human head phantom to represent metamaterials in the literature (single-sided placement); and in the second, the metamaterial is wrapped around the phantom to utilize its flexibility (double-sided placement). The double-sided metamaterial setup was found to produce an increase in normalized SNR of over 5% increase in five of six chosen ROIs when compared to no metamaterial use and showed a 10.14% increase in the total average signal compared to the single-sided configuration.

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Date Created
2022-05