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Medicine (Baltimore). 2017 Mar;96(9):e6139. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000006139.

Structural and functional brain changes in early- and mid-stage primary open-angle glaucoma using voxel-based morphometry and functional magnetic resonance imaging.

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aDepartment of Ophthalmology, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University bDepartment of Ophthalmology cDepartment of Imaging, The First Affiliated Hospital of Jinan University, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China.


To investigate structural and functional brain changes in patients with primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) by using voxel-based morphometry based on diffeomorphic anatomical registration through exponentiated Lie algebra (VBM-DARTEL) and blood oxygenation level dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging (BOLD-fMRI), respectively.Thirteen patients diagnosed with POAG and 13 age- and sex-matched healthy controls were enrolled in the study. For each participant, high-resolution structural brain imaging and blood flow imaging were acquired on a 3.0-Tesla magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner. Structural and functional changes between the POAG and control groups were analyzed. An analysis was carried out to identify correlations between structural and functional changes acquired in the previous analysis and the retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL).Patients in the POAG group showed a significant (P < 0.001) volume increase in the midbrain, left brainstem, frontal gyrus, cerebellar vermis, left inferior parietal lobule, caudate nucleus, thalamus, precuneus, and Brodmann areas 7, 18, and 46. Moreover, significant (P < 0.001) BOLD signal changes were observed in the right supramarginal gyrus, frontal gyrus, superior frontal gyrus, left inferior parietal lobule, left cuneus, and left midcingulate area; many of these regions had high correlations with the RNFL.Patients with POAG undergo widespread and complex changes in cortical brain structure and blood flow. ( number: NCT02570867).

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