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Functional and structural brain modifications induced by oculomotor training in patients with age-related macular degeneration.

Rosengarth K, Keck I, Brandl-Rühle S, Frolo J, Hufendiek K, Greenlee MW, Plank T - Front Psychol (2013)

Bottom Line: Despite substantial variability in the training effects, on average, AMD patients benefited from the training measurements as indexed by significant improvements in their fixation stability, visual acuity, and reading speed.We also found a significant increase in gray and white matter in the posterior cerebellum after training in the patient group.Our results show that functional and structural brain changes can be associated, at least on the short-term, with benefits of oculomotor and/or reading training in patients with central scotomata resulting from AMD.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute for Experimental Psychology, University of Regensburg Regensburg, Germany.

ABSTRACT
Patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) are reliant on their peripheral visual field. Oculomotor training can help them to find the best area on intact peripheral retina and to efficiently stabilize eccentric fixation. In this study, nine patients with AMD were trained over a period of 6 months using oculomotor training protocols to improve fixation stability. They were followed over an additional period of 6 months, where they completed an auditory memory training as a sham training. In this cross-over design five patients started with the sham training and four with the oculomotor training. Seven healthy age-matched subjects, who did not take part in any training procedure, served as controls. During the 6 months of training the AMD subjects and the control group took part in three functional and structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) sessions to assess training-related changes in the brain function and structure. The sham-training phase was accompanied by two more fMRI measurements, resulting in five MRI sessions at intervals of 3 months for all participants. Despite substantial variability in the training effects, on average, AMD patients benefited from the training measurements as indexed by significant improvements in their fixation stability, visual acuity, and reading speed. The patients showed a significant positive correlation between brain activation changes and improvements in fixation stability in the visual cortex during training. These correlations were less pronounced on the long-term after training had ceased. We also found a significant increase in gray and white matter in the posterior cerebellum after training in the patient group. Our results show that functional and structural brain changes can be associated, at least on the short-term, with benefits of oculomotor and/or reading training in patients with central scotomata resulting from AMD.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Correlation between the change in% signal change and change in fixation stability for the patient group only before fixation training and during fixation training in the inferior temporal gyrus (ITG), the lateral occipital cortex (LOC), and the fusiform gyrus [(A) as labeled in Freesurfer]. (B) The upper row depicts the correlation between changes in % signal change and changes in fixation stability in case of checkerboard stimulation, the lower row depicts these correlations for everyday images. As in Figures 8, 9, the differently colored symbols refer to the different retinal locations that were stimulated (green, fovea; red, OppPRL; blue, PRL).
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Figure 10: Correlation between the change in% signal change and change in fixation stability for the patient group only before fixation training and during fixation training in the inferior temporal gyrus (ITG), the lateral occipital cortex (LOC), and the fusiform gyrus [(A) as labeled in Freesurfer]. (B) The upper row depicts the correlation between changes in % signal change and changes in fixation stability in case of checkerboard stimulation, the lower row depicts these correlations for everyday images. As in Figures 8, 9, the differently colored symbols refer to the different retinal locations that were stimulated (green, fovea; red, OppPRL; blue, PRL).

Mentions: To investigate the relationship between BOLD signal and training effects we correlated the increase in fixation stability between the sessions “before training” and “during training,” as well as between the sessions “before training” and “after training,” with differences in % signal change between the two sessions, respectively. The results can be seen in correlation coefficients (Figures 10, 11, and Table 4, upper and lower right panel). Also in areas fusiform gyrus and LOC improvements in fixation stability between the sessions “before” and “during training” correlate significantly with increases in BOLD response when the PRL is stimulated with pictures of everyday objects. For the correlations between the sessions “before” and “after training” there is no systematic trend observable. The data from patient AMD 7 were also excluded from this analysis, because she showed strongly negative BOLD responses.


Functional and structural brain modifications induced by oculomotor training in patients with age-related macular degeneration.

Rosengarth K, Keck I, Brandl-Rühle S, Frolo J, Hufendiek K, Greenlee MW, Plank T - Front Psychol (2013)

Correlation between the change in% signal change and change in fixation stability for the patient group only before fixation training and during fixation training in the inferior temporal gyrus (ITG), the lateral occipital cortex (LOC), and the fusiform gyrus [(A) as labeled in Freesurfer]. (B) The upper row depicts the correlation between changes in % signal change and changes in fixation stability in case of checkerboard stimulation, the lower row depicts these correlations for everyday images. As in Figures 8, 9, the differently colored symbols refer to the different retinal locations that were stimulated (green, fovea; red, OppPRL; blue, PRL).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3713239&req=5

Figure 10: Correlation between the change in% signal change and change in fixation stability for the patient group only before fixation training and during fixation training in the inferior temporal gyrus (ITG), the lateral occipital cortex (LOC), and the fusiform gyrus [(A) as labeled in Freesurfer]. (B) The upper row depicts the correlation between changes in % signal change and changes in fixation stability in case of checkerboard stimulation, the lower row depicts these correlations for everyday images. As in Figures 8, 9, the differently colored symbols refer to the different retinal locations that were stimulated (green, fovea; red, OppPRL; blue, PRL).
Mentions: To investigate the relationship between BOLD signal and training effects we correlated the increase in fixation stability between the sessions “before training” and “during training,” as well as between the sessions “before training” and “after training,” with differences in % signal change between the two sessions, respectively. The results can be seen in correlation coefficients (Figures 10, 11, and Table 4, upper and lower right panel). Also in areas fusiform gyrus and LOC improvements in fixation stability between the sessions “before” and “during training” correlate significantly with increases in BOLD response when the PRL is stimulated with pictures of everyday objects. For the correlations between the sessions “before” and “after training” there is no systematic trend observable. The data from patient AMD 7 were also excluded from this analysis, because she showed strongly negative BOLD responses.

Bottom Line: Despite substantial variability in the training effects, on average, AMD patients benefited from the training measurements as indexed by significant improvements in their fixation stability, visual acuity, and reading speed.We also found a significant increase in gray and white matter in the posterior cerebellum after training in the patient group.Our results show that functional and structural brain changes can be associated, at least on the short-term, with benefits of oculomotor and/or reading training in patients with central scotomata resulting from AMD.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute for Experimental Psychology, University of Regensburg Regensburg, Germany.

ABSTRACT
Patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) are reliant on their peripheral visual field. Oculomotor training can help them to find the best area on intact peripheral retina and to efficiently stabilize eccentric fixation. In this study, nine patients with AMD were trained over a period of 6 months using oculomotor training protocols to improve fixation stability. They were followed over an additional period of 6 months, where they completed an auditory memory training as a sham training. In this cross-over design five patients started with the sham training and four with the oculomotor training. Seven healthy age-matched subjects, who did not take part in any training procedure, served as controls. During the 6 months of training the AMD subjects and the control group took part in three functional and structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) sessions to assess training-related changes in the brain function and structure. The sham-training phase was accompanied by two more fMRI measurements, resulting in five MRI sessions at intervals of 3 months for all participants. Despite substantial variability in the training effects, on average, AMD patients benefited from the training measurements as indexed by significant improvements in their fixation stability, visual acuity, and reading speed. The patients showed a significant positive correlation between brain activation changes and improvements in fixation stability in the visual cortex during training. These correlations were less pronounced on the long-term after training had ceased. We also found a significant increase in gray and white matter in the posterior cerebellum after training in the patient group. Our results show that functional and structural brain changes can be associated, at least on the short-term, with benefits of oculomotor and/or reading training in patients with central scotomata resulting from AMD.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus