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  Abnormal connectivity and brain structure in patients with visual snow

Aldusary, N., Traber, G. L., Freund, P., Fierz, F. C., Weber, K. P., Baeshen, A., et al. (2020). Abnormal connectivity and brain structure in patients with visual snow. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 14: 582031. doi:10.3389/fnhum.2020.582031.

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Aldusary, Njoud1, 2, Author
Traber, Ghislaine L.3, 4, 5, Author
Freund, Patrick6, 7, 8, Author              
Fierz, Fabienne C.3, Author
Weber, Konrad P.3, 8, Author
Baeshen, Arwa1, 9, Author
Alghamdi, Jamaan2, Author
Saliju, Bujar3, Author
Pazahr, Shila1, Author
Mazloum, Reza1, 10, Author
Alshehri, Fahad1, 11, Author
Landau, Klara3, Author
Kollias, Spyros1, Author
Piccirelli, Marco1, Author
Michels, Lars1, Author
1Institute of Neuroradiology, University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland, ou_persistent22              
2Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Faculty of Applied Medical Sciences, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, ou_persistent22              
3Department of Ophthalmology, University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland, ou_persistent22              
4Department of Ophthalmology, University of Basel, Switzerland, ou_persistent22              
5Institute of Molecular and Clinical Ophthalmology Basel (IOB), University of Basel, Switzerland, ou_persistent22              
6Balgrist Spinal Cord Injury Center, Balgrist University Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland, ou_persistent22              
7Department Neurophysics (Weiskopf), MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_2205649              
8Department of Neurology, University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland, ou_persistent22              
9Department of Radiological Sciences, Faculty of Applied Medical Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, ou_persistent22              
10Institute of Robotics and Intelligent Systems (IRIS), ETH Zurich, Switzerland, ou_persistent22              
11Department of Radiology, College of Medicine, Qassim University, Al Qassim, Saudi Arabia, ou_persistent22              


Free keywords: Visual system; Functional connectivity; Visual snow; Lingual gyrus; Temporal cortex
 Abstract: Objective: Visual snow (VS) is a distressing, life-impacting condition with persistent visual phenomena. VS patients show cerebral hypermetabolism within the visual cortex, resulting in altered neuronal excitability. We hypothesized to see disease-dependent alterations in functional connectivity and gray matter volume (GMV) in regions associated with visual perception. Methods: Nineteen patients with VS and 16 sex- and age-matched controls were recruited. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was applied to examine resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC). Volume changes were assessed by means of voxel-based morphometry (VBM). Finally, we assessed associations between MRI indices and clinical parameters. Results: Patients with VS showed hyperconnectivity between extrastriate visual and inferior temporal brain regions and also between prefrontal and parietal (angular cortex) brain regions (p < 0.05, corrected for age and migraine occurrence). In addition, patients showed increased GMV in the right lingual gyrus (p < 0.05 corrected). Symptom duration positively correlated with GMV in both lingual gyri (p < 0.01 corrected). Conclusion: This study found VS to be associated with both functional and structural changes in the early and higher visual cortex, as well as the temporal cortex. These brain regions are involved in visual processing, memory, spatial attention, and cognitive control. We conclude that VS is not just confined to the visual system and that both functional and structural changes arise in VS patients, be it as an epiphenomenon or a direct contributor to the pathomechanism of VS. These in vivo neuroimaging biomarkers may hold potential as objective outcome measures of this so far purely subjective condition.


Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2020-07-162020-10-142020-11-19
 Publication Status: Published online
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: -
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2020.582031
Other: eCollection 2020
PMID: 33328934
PMC: PMC7710971
 Degree: -



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Project name : -
Grant ID : PCEFP3_181362/1
Funding program : -
Funding organization : SNF Eccellenza Professorial Fellowship

Source 1

Title: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
  Abbreviation : Front Hum Neurosci
Source Genre: Journal
Publ. Info: Lausanne, Switzerland : Frontiers Research Foundation
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 14 Sequence Number: 582031 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 1662-5161
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/1662-5161