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Tourette disorder (TD), hallmarks of which are motor and vocal tics, has been related to functional abnormalities in large-scale brain networks. Using a fully data driven approach in a prospective, case–control study, we tested the hypothesis that functional connectivity of these networks carries a neural signature of TD. Our aim was to investigate (i) the brain networks that distinguish adult patients with TD from controls, and (ii) the effects of antipsychotic medication on these networks.
Using a multivariate analysis based on support vector machine (SVM), we developed a predictive model of resting state functional connectivity in 48 patients and 51 controls, and identified brain networks that were most affected by disease and pharmacological treatments. We also performed standard univariate analyses to identify differences in specific connections across groups.
SVM was able to identify TD with 67% accuracy (p = 0.004), based on the connectivity in widespread networks involving the striatum, fronto-parietal cortical areas and the cerebellum. Medicated and unmedicated patients were discriminated with 69% accuracy (p = 0.019), based on the connectivity among striatum, insular and cerebellar networks. Univariate approaches revealed differences in functional connectivity within the striatum in patients v. controls, and between the caudate and insular cortex in medicated v. unmedicated TD.
SVM was able to identify a neuronal network that distinguishes patients with TD from control, as well as medicated and unmedicated patients with TD, holding a promise to identify imaging-based biomarkers of TD for clinical use and evaluation of the effects of treatment.
The aim of this study was to describe atrial septal defect morphology in hypoplastic left heart syndrome, to report the incidence of restrictiveness and its relationship with defect morphology, to correlate restriction with midterm outcome, and to describe our interventional approach to restrictive defect.
Methods and results
From 2011 to 2015, 31 neonates with hypoplastic left heart syndrome underwent hybrid procedure with pulmonary artery banding and ductal stenting at our Institution. Restrictive physiology of the atrial septal defect was based on Doppler gradient >6 mmHg through the defect and on clinical signs of pulmonary hypertension. The mean gradient was then measured invasively. Restrictive defect occurred in 11/27 patients (40%). The restrictive group showed three ostium secundum defects (27%) and eight complex morphologies (73%). Conversely, in the non-restrictive group, we observed 11 ostium secundum defects (69%) and five complex morphologies (31%). Early balloon atrioseptostomy was required in three cases. Late restriction occurred in eight patients and was dealt with balloon dilation, stenting, or atrioseptectomy. There was no significant difference between restrictive and non-restrictive groups in terms of early or 12-month survival.
Complex morphologies were more frequently related to restrictiveness. Stenting technique has a crucial role, as the procedure carries a significant risk for stent migration. Effective treatment of restrictive atrial septal defect is related to a better outcome, as it leads to equalisation of survival between patients with and those without restrictive atrial septal defect.
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