Multi-modal and Functional Neuroimaging Research Group is
Opening new PhD positions
in the field of Neurosciences
NEUROBIOLOGICAL IMPACTS OF EXTREME STRESS ON THE HUMAN BRAIN - THREE GENERATIONS
IVAN REKTOR, BRNO
35th CZECH AND SLOVAK EPILEPTOLOGY CONGRESS AND 69th CZECH AND SLOVAK CONGRESS OF CLINICAL NEUROPHYSIOLOGY
Applications of biomedical imaging in health and disease
Global BioImaging and Australia's National Imaging Facility (NIF) is jointly organizing a webinar series in the sphere of biomedical imaging focusing on health and disease.
The City of Brno Award 2020
Ivan Rektor was one of the prize winners in The City of Brno Award in the field of medical sciences and pharmacy for 2020.
Our Latest Research
Twenty-five years of epilepsy surgery at a Central European comprehensive epilepsy center-Trends in intervention delay and outcomes
Objective: We analyzed trends in patients' characteristics, outcomes, and waiting times over the last 25 years at our epilepsy surgery center situated in Central Europe to highlight possible areas of improvement in our care for patients with drug-resistant epilepsy.
Methods: A total of 704 patients who underwent surgery at the Brno Epilepsy Center were included in the study, 71 of those were children. Patients were separated into three time periods, 1996-2000 (n = 95), 2001-2010 (n = 295) and 2011-2022 (n = 314) based on first evaluation at the center.
Results: The average duration of epilepsy before surgery in adults remained high over the last 25 years (20.1 years from 1996 to 2000, 21.3 from 2001 to 2010, and 21.3 from 2011 to 2020, P = 0.718). There has been a decrease in rate of surgeries for temporal lobe epilepsy in the most recent time period (67%-70%-52%, P < 0.001).
Editorial: The brain barriers in diseases of the nervous system
The central nervous system is protected against harmful substances from the blood by three major barriers: the blood–brain barrier, the choroid plexus blood–cerebrospinal fluid barrier, and the arachnoid blood–cerebrospinal fluid barrier. Under disease conditions (neurodegenerative, traumatic, oncologic, autoimmune), inflammatory responses within the brain barriers change their permeability. Therefore, the aim of this Research Topic was to provide new insights into (1) inflammatory responses within the brain barriers, (2) barrier changes associated with brain disorders, and (3) barrier modulation for drug delivery and treatment. This Research Topic consists of six articles, two reviews, and four original articles, written by authors with different expertise. All articles were focused on changes in the blood–brain barrier.
Keywords: blood-brain barrier; blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier; choroid plexus; drug delivery; meningeal blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier; stroke.
Domino-like effect of C112R mutation on ApoE4 aggregation and its reduction by Alzheimer's Disease drug candidate
Background: Apolipoprotein E (ApoE) ε4 genotype is the most prevalent risk factor for late-onset Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Although ApoE4 differs from its non-pathological ApoE3 isoform only by the C112R mutation, the molecular mechanism of its proteinopathy is unknown.
Methods: Here, we reveal the molecular mechanism of ApoE4 aggregation using a combination of experimental and computational techniques, including X-ray crystallography, site-directed mutagenesis, hydrogen-deuterium mass spectrometry (HDX-MS), static light scattering and molecular dynamics simulations. Treatment of ApoE ε3/ε3 and ε4/ε4 cerebral organoids with tramiprosate was used to compare the effect of tramiprosate on ApoE4 aggregation at the cellular level.
Results: We found that C112R substitution in ApoE4 induces long-distance (> 15 Å) conformational changes leading to the formation of a V-shaped dimeric unit that is geometrically different and more aggregation-prone than the ApoE3 structure.
Single-center long-term results of vagus nerve stimulation for pediatric epilepsy: a 10-17-year follow-up study
Purpose: A retrospective study, based on a prospectively built database, presents the results of long-term follow-up care of pediatric vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) patients in terms of seizure outcome, surgical aspects, the potential impact of maturation, and medication changes.
Methods: From a prospectively built database, 16 VNS patients (median age 12.0 years, range 6.0 to 16.0 years; median seizure duration 6.5 years, range 2.0 to 15.5 years) followed for at least 10 years were graded as non-responder - NR (seizure frequency reduction < 50%), responder - R (reduction ≥ 50% and < 80%), and 80% responder - 80R (reduction ≥ 80%). Data about surgical aspects (battery replacement, system complications), seizure dynamics, and medication changes were taken from the database.
Results: The early percentages of good results (80R + R) were 43.8% (year 1), 50.0% (year 2), and 43.8% (year 3).
A Pilot Study on the Functional Stability of Phonation in EEG Bands After Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in Parkinson's Disease
Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative condition with constantly increasing prevalence rates, affecting strongly life quality in terms of neuromotor and cognitive performance. PD symptoms include voice and speech alterations, known as hypokinetic dysarthria (HD). Unstable phonation is one of the manifestations of HD. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is a rehabilitative treatment thathas been shown to improve some motor and non-motor symptoms of persons with PD (PwP). This study analyzed the phonation functional behavior of 18 participants (13 males, 5 females) with PD diagnosis before (one pre-stimulus) and after (four post-stimulus) evaluation sessions of rTMS treatment, to assess the extent of changes in their phonation stability. Participants were randomized 1:1 to receive either rTMS or sham stimulation.
Effects of Reoperation Timing on Survival among Recurrent Glioblastoma Patients: A Retrospective Multicentric Descriptive Study
Glioblastoma inevitably recurs, but no standard regimen has been established for treating this recurrent disease. Several reports claim that reoperative surgery can improve survival, but the effects of reoperation timing on survival have rarely been investigated. We, therefore, evaluated the relationship between reoperation timing and survival in recurrent GBM. A consecutive cohort of unselected patients (real-world data) from three neuro-oncology cancer centers was analyzed (a total of 109 patients). All patients underwent initial maximal safe resection followed by treatment according to the Stupp protocol. Those meeting the following criteria during progression were indicated for reoperation and were further analyzed in this study: (1) The tumor volume increased by >20-30% or a tumor was rediscovered after radiological disappearance; (2) The patient's clinical status was satisfactory (KS ≥ 70% and PS WHO ≤ gr. 2); (3) The tumor was localized without multifocality; (4) The minimum expected tumor volume reduction was above 80%.
Safety and Efficacy of Baseline Antiplatelet Treatment in Patients Undergoing Mechanical Thrombectomy for Ischemic Stroke
Purpose: Baseline use of antiplatelet medication before mechanical thrombectomy (MT) for acute ischemic stroke (AIS) can provide benefit on reperfusion and clinical outcome, but could also carry an increased risk of intracranial hemorrhage (ICH). This nationwide study investigates the safety and efficacy of baseline antiplatelet treatment in AIS patients undergoing MT.
Materials and methods: All consecutive AIS patients treated with MT with and without intravenous thrombolysis (IVT) between January 2012 and December 2019 in all centers performing MT nationwide were reviewed. Data were prospectively collected in national registries (SITS-TBY, RES-Q). Primary outcome was functional independence (modified Rankin Scale 0-2) at three months, secondary outcome was ICH.
Physics-informed deep learning approach to quantification of human brain metabolites from magnetic resonance spectroscopy data
Purpose: While the recommended analysis method for magnetic resonance spectroscopy data is linear combination model (LCM) fitting, the supervised deep learning (DL) approach for quantification of MR spectroscopy (MRS) and MR spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) data recently showed encouraging results; however, supervised learning requires ground truth fitted spectra, which is not practical. Moreover, this work investigates the feasibility and efficiency of the LCM-based self-supervised DL method for the analysis of MRS data.
Method: We present a novel DL-based method for the quantification of relative metabolite concentrations, using quantum-mechanics simulated metabolite responses and neural networks. We trained, validated, and evaluated the proposed networks with simulated and publicly accessible in-vivo human brain MRS data and compared the performance with traditional methods.