Abnormal intrinsic brain activity in individuals with peripheral vision loss because of retinitis pigmentosa using amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations

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The study aimed to determine alterations in intrinsic brain activity in retinitis pigmentosa (RP) individuals using the amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (ALFF)/fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (fALFF) method. Sixteen RP individuals (10 men and six women) and 14 healthy controls (HCs) (six men and eight women) closely matched in age, sex, and education were enrolled in the study. The ALFF/fALFF method was applied to compare different intrinsic brain activities between the RP group and the HC group. The relationship between the mean ALFF/fALFF signal values of different brain regions and the visual measurements in RP group was analyzed by Pearson correlation. Compared with HCs, RP individuals had significantly lower ALFF values in the bilateral lingual gyrus (LIGG)/cerebellum posterior lobe [Brodmann area (BA) 17,18], but lower fALFF values in the bilateral LIGG/cerebellum anterior lobe (BA 17,18). Meanwhile, RP individuals had significantly higher ALFF in the bilateral precuneus cortex/middle cingulate cortex (BA 7,31), as well as higher fALFF values in the left superior/middle frontal gyrus (BA 9,10) and bilateral supplementary motor area (BA 6,8) (voxel-level P<0.01, cluster-level P<0.05). Moreover, the fALFF values of the bilateral LIGG/cerebellum anterior lobe showed positive relationships with the best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA)-oculus dexter (r=0.574, P=0.020) and BCVA-oculus sinister (r=0.570, P=0.021) in RP individuals; our results provide evidence that RP individuals may have impaired intrinsic brain activity in the primary visual area and the visuomotor coordination area that correlates with BCVA. Moreover, our findings indicate that reorganization of the dorsal visual stream and the parietoprefrontal pathway occurs in RP individuals.

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