Posted: 2016/05/20 16:12 | Author: NICA

On 10 o’clock A.M, May 20, 2016, Master ZhouPeng passed the Master Thesis Defense in the conference room on 10th floor of Automation Building. His thesis topic is ”Resting-state Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study of the Function in Amblyopia Patients’ Brian”.

Here is the abstract: 

Amblyopia is ophthalmic diseases that seriously effects the visual function of children and it has been the focus of many studies to understand the mechanisms of the disease in recent years. In this study, the resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data and corresponding structural images are used to investigate the alteration of the brain’s function in amblyopia patients. The contents of this study include several aspects, as showed below.

1. We used Amplitude of Low Fluctuation (ALFF) and fractional Amplitude of Low Fluctuation (fALFF) to the explore the changes of the brain’s function in amblyopia patients. With regard to the analysis of ALFF, we found that the parietal lobe, temporal lobe and frontal lobe exhibited decreased ALFF values; meanwhile, the temporal pole, insula and related regions showed increased ALFF values. As for the fALFF analysis, the decreased fALFF were mainly located in regions of frontal lobe, hippocampe and regions of limbic system, and increased fALFF were in precentral gyrus and some regions in frontal cortex. The result showed that the visual cortex and related visual pathway were injured in amblyopia patients, and the result also proved that the pathophysiological base of the amblyopia mainly located in the brain.

2. We also used the Voxel-Mirrored Homotopic Connectivity (VMHC) method to explore the inter-hemispheric relationship of the brain in amblyopia patients. To date as we know, this is the first study to apply VMHC to amblyopia. The results showed that the amblyopia patients had decreased VMHC values in temporal lobe, cuneus, precuneus and other related regions and increased VMHC values in the frontal lobe and the insula. We found that the inter-hemispheric connection of patients’ brain changed which meant the alteration of relationships in both hemispheres. The decreased VMHC values indicated the reduction of inter-hemisphere functional connections. In other words, during the visual information processing, the damage of the visual related regions and visual pathways reduced the coordination of both hemispheres. And the increased VMHC values implied the ability of independent information processing in visual related regions.

3. We also tried to find the relationship between the abnormal regions and the clinical parameter. We extracted the abnormal regions and computed the average ALFF, fALFF and VMHC values in these regions and conducted a correlation analysis between these values and the clinical parameters. We found the average fALFF and VMHC values in middle temporal gyrus was positively correlated with the visual acuity in left eyes in amblyopia patients and no significant correlations were found between average ALFF values and the clinical parameters. Based on the resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging, we explored the functional alternation in amblyopia patients’ brain. And we found that some regions of the brain indeed changed in amblyopia patients, inplying the changes occurred in brain’s function. Meanwhile, the findings proved that the pathological basis of amblyopia mainly located in the brain and provided more information for the subsequent researches on the alternations of the brain’s function and structure.