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Medicine (Baltimore). 2020 Feb;99(7):e18957. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000018957.

Brain functional changes in tibetan with obstructive sleep apnea hypopnea syndrome: A resting state fMRI study.

Author information

1
Department of Medical Imaging Center, Affiliated Hospital of Qinghai University, Xining, China.

Abstract

Tibetan is a major ethnic group living on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in China. Due to their high-altitude hypoxia environment, sleeping disorder and obstructive sleep apnea hypopnea syndrome (OSAHS) are more prone to occur. In this study, we investigated the brain structural and functional differences between Tibetans OSAHS patients and Tibetans healthy controls using high resolution three-dimensional T1 weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and resting state functional MRI. The analysis was based on voxel-based morphology, regional homogeneity (ReHo), amplitude of low-frequence fluctuation (ALFF) and functional connection (FC) methods. A total of 14 OSAHS patients and 16 healthy control, all Tibetan male, matched closely in terms of age, education and living altitude, were recruited. The relationship between the ReHo and ALFF values at different brain areas and clinical features, including the apnea hypopnea index (AHI) in the OSAHS group, was analyzed using Pearson correlation. Compared with healthy control, OSAHS patients showed no significant gray matter volume or FC change. OSAHS group showed significantly increased ReHo values in the superior frontal gyrus dorsolateral, the left middle frontal gyrus, and the superior frontal gyrus medial. In contrast, OSAHS group showed decreased ReHo value in the left fusiform gyrus and cerebellum lobule 6. OSAHS group showed significantly increased ALFF values in the right inferior frontal gyrus orbital part, the right median cingulate and paracingulate gyri, the right Inferior frontal gyrus triangular part, the right insula and the left superior frontal gyrus dorsolateral. In the OSAHS group, the AHI showed a positive correlation with the ReHo value at the left cerebellum lobule 6 (r = 0.562, P = .037). Tibetan OSAHS patients had no significant change in brain structure and FC, which may be due to their adaption to the hypoxia environment. ReHo values and ALFF values changes in multiple brain areas in Tibetan OSAHS patients indicated brain functional impairment in multiple brain regions. The left cerebellum lobule 6 gradually compensates brain function as OSAHS progresses.

PMID:
32049791
DOI:
10.1097/MD.0000000000018957
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