Forskning ved Københavns Universitet - Københavns Universitet


Altered somatosensory neurovascular response in patients with Becker muscular dystrophy

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Introduction: Patients with dystrophinopathies show low levels of neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS), due to reduced or absent dystrophin expression, as nNOS is attached to the dystrophin-associated protein complex. Deficient nNOS function leads to functional ischemia during muscle activity. Dystrophin-like proteins with nNOS attached have also been identified in the brain. This suggests that a mechanism of cerebral functional ischemia with attenuation of normal activation-related vascular response may cause changes in brain function. Methods: The aim of this study was to investigate whether the brain response of patients with Becker muscular dystrophy (BMD) is dysfunctional compared to that of healthy controls. To investigate a potential change in brain activation response in patients with BMD, median nerve somatosensory evoked stimulation, with stimulation durations of 2, 4, and 10 s, was performed while recording electroencephalography and blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging. Results: Results in 14 male patients with BMD (36.2 ± 9.9 years) were compared with those of 10 healthy controls (34.4 ± 10.9 years). Compared to controls, the patients with BMD showed sustained cortical electrical activity and a significant smaller BOLD activation in contralateral primary somatosensory cortex and bilaterally in secondary somatosensory cortex. In addition, significant activation differences were found after long duration (10 s) stimuli in thalamus. Conclusion: An altered neurovascular response in patients with BMD may increase our understanding of neurovascular coupling and the pathogenesis related to dystrophinopathy and nNOS.

TidsskriftBrain and Behavior
Udgave nummer6
Antal sider9
StatusUdgivet - 2018

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