Thalamus altered spontaneous exercise and connectivity in obstructive sleep apnea syndrome

This article was originally published here

J Neuroimaging. 2021 December 28th doi: 10.1111 / jon.12952. Online before printing.


Background and Purpose: Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome () is a sleep disorder characterized by excessive snoring, repetitive apneas, and nocturnal arousal that leads to fragmented sleep and intermittent nocturnal hypoxemia. Morphometric and functional brain changes in cortical and subcortical structures were documented in these patients using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), although no correlation data between the changes in the brain and cognitive and clinical indices have been reported.

METHODS: We investigated the influence of on spontaneous brain activity by measuring the fractional amplitude of low frequency fluctuations (fALFF) in functional MRI data at rest from 20 drug-naïve patients with syndrome and 20 healthy control subjects who were matched for age and gender , have measured and body mass index.

: Patients exhibited a pattern of significantly abnormal subcortical functional activity compared to controls, with increased activity selectively involving the thalami, particularly their intrinsic nuclei associated with somatosensory and motor-premotor cortical regions. Using these nuclei as seed regions, the subsequent analysis of functional connectivity showed an in the patients’ thalamocortical connectivity at rest. In addition, the correlation between fALFF and polysomnographic data showed a possible connection between the severity of OSA and the fALFF of regions belonging to the central autonomous network.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest hyperactivation of daytime thalamic activity in patients with OSA syndrome, which we interpret as a possible consequence of increased thalamocortical circuit activation during the night due to repetitive excitation.

PMID: 34964182 | DOI: 10.1111 / jon.12952

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