Background: The heterogeneity of white matter damage and symptoms in concussion has been identified as a major obstacle to therapeutic innovation. In contrast, most diffusion MRI (dMRI) studies on concussion have traditionally relied on group-comparison approaches that average out heterogeneity. To leverage, rather than average out, concussion heterogeneity, we combined dMRI and multivariate statistics to characterize multi-tract multi-symptom relationships.
Methods: Using cross-sectional data from 306 previously-concussed children aged 9-10 from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study, we built connectomes weighted by classical and emerging diffusion measures. These measures were combined into two informative indices, the first representing microstructural complexity, the second representing axonal density. We deployed pattern-learning algorithms to jointly decompose these connectivity features and 19 symptom measures.
Results: Early multi-tract multi-symptom pairs explained the most covariance and represented broad symptom categories, such as a general problems pair, or a pair representing all cognitive symptoms, and implicated more distributed networks of white matter tracts. Further pairs represented more specific symptom combinations, such as a pair representing attention problems exclusively, and were associated with more localized white matter abnormalities. Symptom representation was not systematically related to tract representation across pairs. Sleep problems were implicated across most pairs, but were related to different connections across these pairs. Expression of multi-tract features was not driven by sociodemographic and injury-related variables, as well as by clinical subgroups defined by the presence of ADHD. Analyses performed on a replication dataset showed consistent results.
Conclusions: Using a double-multivariate approach, we identified clinically-informative, cross-demographic multi-tract multi-symptom relationships. These results suggest that rather than clear one-to-one symptom-connectivity disturbances, concussions may be characterized by subtypes of symptom/connectivity relationships. The symptom/connectivity relationships identified in multi-tract multi-symptom pairs were not apparent in single-tract/single-symptom analyses. Future studies aiming to better understand connectivity/symptom relationships should take into account multi-tract multi-symptom heterogeneity.
Funding: financial support for this work from a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (GIG), an Ontario Graduate Scholarship (SS), a Restracomp Research Fellowship provided by the Hospital for Sick Children (SS), an Institutional Research Chair in Neuroinformatics (MD), as well as a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council CREATE grant (MD).
All data used in this project were obtained from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study. This dataset is administered by the National Institutes of Mental Health Data Archive and is freely available to all qualified researchers upon submission of an access request. All relevant instructions to obtain the data can be found in https://nda.nih.gov/abcd/request-access. The Institutional Review Board of the McGill University Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences reviewed the application and confirmed that no further ethics approvals were required.
Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development StudyNIMH Data Archive Collection 2573.
- Guido I Guberman
- Sonja Stojanovski
- Sonja Stojanovski
- Maxime Descoteaux
- Maxime Descoteaux
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Human subjects: The data used in this study were obtained from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study. All aspects related to ethical standards were managed by the ABCD Study team. The Institutional Review Board of the McGill University Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences reviewed the application and confirmed that no further ethics approvals were required.
- Alexander Shackman, University of Maryland, United States
© 2022, Guberman et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Microscopic colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease divided into two subtypes: collagenous colitis and lymphocytic colitis. With an increasing incidence of microscopic colitis exceeding those of ulcerative and Crohn’s disease among elderly people in some countries, microscopic colitis is a debilitating life experience. Therefore, physicians should be familiar with its clinical features and management strategies because the disease deserves the same attention as the classical inflammatory bowel diseases. Here, state-of-the-art knowledge of microscopic colitis is provided from a global perspective with reference to etiopathology and how to establish the diagnosis with the overall aim to create awareness and improve rational management in clinical practice. The immune system and a dysregulated immune response seem to play a key role combined with risk factors (e.g. cigarette smoking) in genetically predisposed individuals. The symptoms are characterized by recurrent or chronic nonbloody, watery diarrhea, urgency, weight loss, and a female preponderance. As biomarkers are absent, the diagnosis relies on colonoscopy with a histological assessment of biopsy specimens from all parts of the colon. Although the disease is not associated with a risk of colorectal cancer, a recent nationwide, population-based cohort study found an increased risk of lymphoma and lung cancer. Budesonide is the first-line therapy for management, whereas immunomodulatory drugs (including biologics) and drugs with antidiarrheal properties may be indicated in those failing, dependent, or intolerant to budesonide. In microscopic colitis induced by checkpoint inhibitors, a drug class used increasingly for a wide range of malignancies, a more aggressive therapeutic approach with biologics introduced early seems reasonable. However, particular attention needs to be drawn to the existence of incomplete forms of microscopic colitis with the risk of being overlooked in routine clinical settings.
Pediatric acute respiratory distress syndrome (PARDS), though both common and deadly in critically ill children, lacks targeted therapies. The development of effective pharmacotherapies has been limited, in part, by lack of clarity about the pathobiology of pediatric ARDS. Epithelial lung injury, vascular endothelial activation, and systemic immune activation are putative drivers of this complex disease process. Prior studies have used either hypothesis-driven (e.g., candidate genes and proteins, in vitro investigations) or unbiased (e.g., genome-wide association, transcriptomic, metabolomic) approaches to predict clinical outcomes and to define subphenotypes. Advances in multiple omics technologies, including genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics, have permitted more comprehensive investigation of PARDS pathobiology. However, omics studies have been limited in children compared to adults, and analyses across multiple tissue types are lacking. Here, we synthesized existing literature on the molecular mechanism of PARDS, summarized our interrogation of publicly available genomic databases to determine the association of candidate genes with PARDS phenotypes across multiple tissues and cell types, and integrated recent studies that used single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq). We conclude that novel profiling methods such as scRNA-seq, which permits more comprehensive, unbiased evaluation of pathophysiological mechanisms across tissue and cell types, should be employed to investigate the molecular mechanisms of PRDS toward the goal of identifying targeted therapies.