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A Study on the correlation between brain functional and structural changes and altered cognitive function after radiotherapy for nasopharyngeal carcinoma
C-H. Qin, S-J. Qiu, H-Z. Wang, F-H. Duan, D-L. Wu, X. Leng
Medical Imaging Center, The First Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510405, P.R. China , lengxi1022@163.com
Abstract:   (85 Views)
Background: To explore the changes of brain function and structure after radiotherapy (RT) for nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), to investigate their correlation with altered cognitive function and to promote the recognition of radiation-induced brain injury (RBI). Materials and Methods: Resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) and three dimensional (3D) T1-weighted imaging scans were conducted on 32 patients and 34 healthy subjects. Cognitive function was assessed in all subjects using multiple cognitive scales. Differences in regional homogeneity (ReHo) and brain gray matter (GM) volumes between groups were analyzed using the DPARSF package and VBM methods. Results: ReHo in Cerebelum_Crus2_L of the NPC patients was significantly higher than that in the controls, and was significantly correlated with memory, general cognitive function, and executive ability. The GM volumes in right fusiform gyrus (FFG.R), left temporal pole: middle temporal gyrus (TPOmid.L), left inferior temporal gyrus (ITG.L), Cerebelum_6_L, and left middle frontal gyrus (MFG.L) in the patients were significantly reduced compared with the controls, and were markedly correlated with multiple cognitive scale scores. Conclusion: Damage to brain after radiotherapy mostly involving the temporal lobe and cerebellum, manifested by a compensatory increase in ReHo and a decrease in GM volume, both of which were significantly correlated with multiple cognitive impairments. ReHo and brain GM volume can be considered as sensitive biomarkers to monitor RBI.
Keywords: Radiation-induced brain injury, resting-state functional magnetic resonance, brain gray matter volume, cognitive function.
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Type of Study: Original Research | Subject: Radiation Biology

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