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Evaluation of motor activation pattern in patients with sensory neuronopathies using fMRI effective connectivity

Grant number: 14/15918-6
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate (Direct)
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2015
Effective date (End): May 31, 2017
Field of knowledge:Interdisciplinary Subjects
Principal Investigator:Marcondes Cavalcante Franca Junior
Grantee:Raphael Fernandes Casseb
Host Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Médicas (FCM). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:13/01766-7 - Sensory neuronopathies: investigation of new diagnostic methods, mechanisms of the disease and therapeutic strategies, AP.JP
Associated scholarship(s):16/00330-9 - The dynamics of functional connectivity in patients with sensory neuronopathy: a Bayesian approach to characterize damaged neural circuitries, BE.EP.DD


Sensory Neuron Diseases (SND) constitute a subgroup of peripheral nervous system diseases whose most striking feature is the primary degeneration of Dorsal Root Ganglia (DRG). SND patients have a sensitivity deficit in many parts of the body, which leads to loss of complete movement coordination, although their motor brain areas remain intact. Therefore, question arises as to why the multifocal sensory deficit in these patients thus affects the motor system. The Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) technique is used as a tool in the evaluation of such patients to ascertain the level of damage to DRG, but to the best of our knowledge, few studies have used the technique of functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to study the SND. This technique allows statistical mapping of brain activation sites when the subject under analysis is required to accomplish a given physical or mental task, which allows relating brain areas or neural networks to specific brain functions. At the same time, other more recent MRI techniques will also be employed in the investigation: (I) the determination of cerebral organizing patterns in the absence of tasks or stimuli (which is known as resting state condition); (II) the assessment of water flux (or diffusion) in the brain and in the spinal cord, since alterations in this flux may be a consequence of alterations in the nerve fiber integrity (a technique known as diffusion weighted imaging - DTI); (III) size and shape evaluation of brain structures, based on high spatial resolution images (a technique known as Voxel-Based Morphometry - VBM); and assessment of connections between areas from brain networks models proposed a priori, and of how these areas influence each other (a technique known as Dynamic Causal Modelling - DCM). Thus, the main goal of this project is to use a variety of fMRI techniques to analyze brain areas related to the motor and sensory systems of patients suffering from SND, and possibly identify structural and functional damaged regions. Therapeutic implications may come from the results, since a better understanding of the disease mechanism allows a more suitable design of the applied therapy. Nevertheless, we will also try to identify biomarkers and investigate ways to ease early diagnosis. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
CASSEB, RAPHAEL F.; DE CAMPOS, BRUNNO M.; MARTINEZ, ALBERTO R. M.; CASTELLANO, GABRIELA; FRANCA JUNIOR, MARCONDES C.. Selective sensory deafferentation induces structural and functional brain plasticity. NEUROIMAGE-CLINICAL, v. 21, . (14/15918-6, 13/01766-7)
PIMENTEL-SILVA, LUCIANA R.; CASSEB, RAPHAEL F.; CORDEIRO, MONICA M.; CAMPOS, BRUNO A. G.; ALVIM, MARINA K. M.; ROGERIO, FABIO; YASUDA, CLARISSA L.; CENDES, FERNANDO. Interactions between in vivo neuronal-glial markers, side of hippocampal sclerosis, and pharmacoresponse in temporal lobe epilepsy. Epilepsia, v. 61, n. 5, . (13/21056-4, 14/15918-6, 13/07559-3)
DE CAMPOS, BRUNNO MACHADO; COAN, ANA CAROLINA; YASUDA, CLARISSA LIN; CASSEB, RAPHAEL FERNANDES; CENDES, FERNANDO. Large-Scale Brain Networks Are Distinctly Affected in Right and Left Mesial Temporal Lobe Epilepsy. Human Brain Mapping, v. 37, n. 9, p. 3137-3152, . (13/07559-3, 13/00099-7, 14/15918-6)
Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
CASSEB, Raphael Fernandes. Neuroimaging in patients with sensory neuronopathy. 2017. Doctoral Thesis - Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Faculdade de Ciências Médicas Campinas, SP.

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